Nguyễn Đăng Tùng

Heritage interviewed Mr. Vinoop Goel, Asia Regional Director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), about the IATA Travel Pass (ITP), one of the “vaccine passports” in use around the world.

Ông Vinoop Goel

How does the IATA gain accurate information about passengers’ COVID-19 health status despite the complex testing requirements and different types of tests? 

The IATA Travel Pass has a few modules that can address this question. One of the modules is Timatic, which keeps track of all the government regulations. We also have a registry of all the labs that are authorized to issue test certificates. Basically, the Travel Pass keeps track of all the testing and/or vaccination certificates that are issued by accredited labs and match the requirements in the Timatic database. We can ensure that passengers meet the requirement as everything is done in a verifiable way.

How is the IATA working with governments around the world to encourage them to accept the IATA Travel Pass?

The IATA has been talking to governments around the world to make sure they understand what the ITP is all about and how it facilitates the checking of testing and vaccination credentials in a more secure and, more importantly, more efficient manner. It will reduce congestion at border control, immigration, and check-in counters. We are trying to ensure that governments understand that this is a secure and verifiable system so they accept it instead of all of the paper processes in place.

The response from governments has been positive. Recently, we had Singapore come out and publicly support the ITP. They announced it can be used for entry into Singapore. We are hoping other countries will do the same.

How can airlines support the development of the ITP?

Airlines can support the development of the ITP by signing up for the trial. Airlines can ensure that the ITP works in their own market and provide feedback that the IATA can consider to further enhance the Travel Pass.

What are your views on Vietnam’s participation in the ITP trials?

We are pleased and honored that Vietnam has chosen to pilot and try the ITP. We hope our collaboration with Vietnam Airlines in applying the Travel Pass will not only benefit VNA but also passengers who are planning trips to/from Vietnam. This is necessary to safely reopen the border and re-operate international flights, thereby allowing Vietnam’s aviation market to recover.

Thank you for this interview!