Flight Safety Foundation has called on the aviation industry, regulators and health authorities around the world to accelerate development of standardized and internationally accepted digital health certificates and to have them widely deployed within the next 12 months.
“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 specter of quarantines, never mind the risk of fake COVID test results or vaccine status fraud,” said Foundation President and CEO Dr. Hassan Shahidi.
“To maximize passenger health safety we need a secure, globally accepted digital tool that enables travelers to upload and carry with them their vaccine status, recent test results or COVID-19 recovery status, and that will be recognized 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 instills confidence in travelers, aviation industry personnel, regulators and health authorities is if all the stakeholders pull together and prioritize 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.”