Singapore will be accepting International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Passes from incoming travellers soon.

covid passport unsplash
Credit: Lukas on Unsplash

Starting 1 May 2021, foreigners travelling to Singapore by air may present their IATA Travel Pass to enter the country. This will let them share their pre-departure COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results with their airline when checking in as well as on arrival at the immigration checkpoint at Changi Airport.

The acceptance of the IATA Travel Pass is the result of Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) collaboration with IATA to provide a seamless and efficient travel experience through digital certificates for COVID-19 tests. Singapore Airlines previously conducted successful trial runs while using IATA Travel Passes, which aided the Travel Pass’ acceptance.

“This latest collaboration with IATA demonstrates our shared commitment to drive the adoption of digital health certificates and restore international air travel,” said CAAS Director-General Kevin Shum. “As we work to safely rebuild the Changi Air Hub, we will continue to explore other solutions that can provide similarly secure and verifiable means of sharing health certificates for safe international travel.”

The CAAS and IATA will both be working together to add more features to further enhance the IATA Travel Pass. Features such as QR code scanning by immigration officers and digital vaccination certificates are expected to be added sometime in the future. Another feature that will also be included in the Travel Pass is back-end transmission of health credentials from the IATA Travel Pass to the airlines’ and immigration authorities’ systems for pre-boarding and pre-arrival clearance.

iata travel pass flow
Credit: International Air Transport Association

The IATA Travel Pass app will be available for download in the second half of April 2021.

The IATA Travel Pass is a global and standardised solution created by the IATA to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements. The IATA’s goal is to get people travelling again safely and to assure local governments that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19, allowing them to re-open their borders “without quarantine.”

IATA expects that the introduction of its Travel Pass will solve common problems travellers face before and after their flight such as inefficiencies, errors and fraud due to attempts of check-in agents to authenticate multiple non-standard test documents and information gap travellers face when looking for a country’s COVID-19 testing requirements.

Aside from Singapore Airlines, many more airlines have chosen to use the IATA Travel pass in a test run. These are:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Emirates
  3. Etihad
  4. International Airlines Group
  5. Malaysia Airlines
  6. Copa Airlines
  7. RwandAir
  8. Air New Zealand
  9. Qantas
  10. airBaltic
  11. Gulf Air
  12. Ana
  13. AirSERBIA
  14. Thai Airways
  15. Thai Smile Airways
  16. Korean Air
  17. Neos
  18. Virgin Atlantic
  19. Ethiopian Airlines
  20. Vietjat Air Thailand
  21. Hongkong Airlines
  22. Japan Airlines
  23. Iberia

The US government won’t be requiring COVID-19 passports or travel passes such as the IATA’s from incoming travellers to enter the country according to a Fortune report. Instead, they are leaving such efforts to the private and not-for-profit sectors. Several states, such as Texas and Florida, won’t facilitate such requirements either.

Written by John Paul Joaquin