BRUSSELS, 5 October 2021: Flight Safety Foundation has called on the aviation industry, regulators and health authorities worldwide to accelerate the development of standardised and internationally accepted digital health certificates and to have them widely deployed within one year.
“Commercial aviation has begun the long, slow climb out of the travel trough created by the Covid-19 pandemic, but even the most routine international trip is fraught with confusion and frustration about acceptable documentation, testing requirements and the spectre of quarantines, never mind the risk of fake Covid test results or vaccine status fraud,” said the foundation president and CEO Hassan Shahidi. “To maximise passenger health safety, we need a secure, globally accepted digital tool that enables travellers to upload and carry with them their vaccine status, recent test results or Covid-19 recovery status, and that will be recognised and accepted wherever they go,” he said.
While dozens of airlines and countries have deployed digital health certificates and apps, the pace of adoption of these tools has been slow and uneven. The foundation is concerned that as travel picks up, airlines, security personnel and immigration and border control agents are likely to be faced with a bewildering array of testing and vaccine documents to process.
“The only way the industry is going to be able to move forward safely and in a manner that instils confidence in travellers, aviation industry personnel, regulators and health authorities is if all the stakeholders pull together and prioritise development and adoption of these tools,” said Capt. Conor Nolan, chair of the foundation’s board of governors. “We need solutions that are scalable, interoperable, and that ensure sensitive information remains secure.”
The foundation recently published on its website “Guidance on Advancing Covid-19 Risk Mitigation in Air Travel,” which includes recommendations on ensuring passenger health safety for air travel. Development of the guidance material was informed by the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Committee.
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Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, international organisation engaged in research, education and communications to improve aviation safety. The foundation’s mission is to connect, influence and lead global aviation safety.