Privacy and accuracy assurance will be tested before the interoperable system can be rolled out to more countries in the region.
As countries improve control of COVID-19 infection rates and establish travel bubbles international travel will likely resume gradually, especially with the added safeguards of digital credentials verification system to ensure authenticity of safe COVID-19 testing for travelers, airline ground staff and immigration officers.
Such platforms can eliminate human errors stemming from individual interpretations of COVID-19 pre-departure test results. They can also improve the passenger experience at the airport, and boost operational efficiency.
One airline that is actively pursuing the development and deployment of digital verification platforms is Taiwan’s EVA Air. As part of a country with a solid record of good pandemic control, the carrier has been working with airline and aviation industry organizations on establishing such digital verification solutions and promoting cross-border application standardization that will enable international systems to connect more seamlessly and support safe air travel.
Testing Singapore ground
In a pilot program with Singapore’s Changi Airport to verify passengers’ Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results for EVA’s Singapore-to-Taipei flights, the carrier is trialing a digital credentials verification system from Singapore that meets its requirements for shortening the check-in and verification process while protecting data privacy. If successful, the system can be extended to flights from Malaysia and Indonesia to Taipei, and EVA is also evaluating the introduction of digital systems on other routes based on trial outcomes.
The solution on trial is able to read and authenticate health credentials of varying standards and formats from over 14 global providers. Supplied by technology company Affinidi, the system preserves privacy, and it uses interoperable technology to enable ground crew to quickly and accurately determine the authenticity of PCR test results, name of the medical institution, date of the test and whether the passengers meet relevant policy requirements of their destination country.
Said the carrier’s Executive Vice President, David Chen: “This pilot program underscores our continual efforts in enhancing measures to manage this pandemic.”
Affinidi’s CEO, Glenn Core, said he is committed to working with the aviation industry to build an ecosystem solution to address the increasingly complex environment for international travel as countries look to re-open their borders. “We look forward to partnering EVA Air on this trial and to bringing greater convenience and confidence to travelers as we work towards our shared goal of making international travel safer for everyone.”