For months now, I’ve been saying that the world is moving towards a Vaccine Passport in digital form. InsiderTravelReport.com is reporting, “The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned of potential airport chaos unless governments move quickly to adopt digital processes to manage travel health credentials (COVID-19 testing and vaccine certificates) and other COVID-19 measures.
Pre-COVID-19, passengers on average spent about 1.5 hours in travel processes for every journey (check-in, security, border control, customs, and baggage claim). Current data indicates that airport processing times have ballooned to three hours during peak time with travel volumes at only about 30 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. The greatest increases are at check-in and border control (emigration and immigration) where travel health credentials are being checked mainly as paper documents. IATA says modeling suggests that without process improvements the time spent in airport processes could reach 5.5 hours per trip at 75 percent pre-COVID-19 traffic levels, and eight hours per trip at 100 percent pre-COVID-19 traffic levels.
“Without an automated solution for COVID-19 checks, we can see the potential for significant airport disruptions on the horizon,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “Already, average passenger processing and waiting times have doubled from what they were pre-crisis during peak time—reaching an unacceptable three hours. And that is with many airports deploying pre-crisis level staffing for a small fraction of pre-crisis volumes. Nobody will tolerate waiting hours at check-in or for border formalities. We must automate the checking of vaccine and test certificates before traffic ramps up. The technical solutions exist. But governments must agree digital certificate standards and align processes to accept them. And they must act fast.”
IATA says over the past two decades, air travel has been reinvented to put passengers in control of their journeys through self-service processes. This enables travelers to arrive at the airport essentially “ready to fly.” And with digital identity technology, border control processes are also increasingly self-service using e-gates. Paper-based COVID-19 document check would force travelers back to manual check-in and border control processes that are already struggling even with low volumes of travelers.
According to IATA, if governments require COVID-19 health credentials for travel, integrating them into already automated processes is the solution for a smooth restart. This would need globally recognized, standardized, and interoperable digital certificates for COVID-19 testing and vaccine certificates.
IATA says digitalized certificates have several advantages: They help avoid fraudulent documentation; they enable advance “ready-to-fly” checks by governments; they reduce queuing, crowding and waiting time in airports through integration with self-service check-in (via the internet, kiosks or mobile phone apps); they increase security through integration with digital identity management being used by border control authorities; and they reduce the risk of virus transmission via the person-to-person exchange of paper documents.”
I don’t care about the denials from the Biden administration that a Vaccine Passport isn’t in the works. News reports are stating that Fl Governor Ron DeSantis is crafting an exemption to his ban on Covid Passport so that cruises can resume from Florida ports.
Mark my words, a Vaccine Passport is coming sooner than you think. Click on the link below for the full story mentioned in this blog post.