Flight Safety Foundation has issued a call for accelerated development of standardised digital health certificates.

The global aviation safety non-profit has called on the aviation industry, regulators and health authorities to have an internationally accepted digital health certificate available globally within 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 spectre of quarantines, never mind the risk of fake COVID test results or vaccine status fraud," said Foundation president and CEO Dr Hassan Shahidi.

"To maximise passenger health safety we need a secure, globally accepted digital tool that enables travellers to upload and carry with them their vaccine status, recent test results or COVID-19 recovery status, and that will be recognised and accepted wherever they go," he added.

IATA Travel Pass
IATA's Travel Pass is one of the most widely accepted digital travel certificates

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 instils confidence in travellers, aviation industry personnel, regulators and health authorities is if all the stakeholders pull together and prioritise 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."