Dubai: Emirates Airline and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will together implement digital verification of traveller medical records related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
Under the deal, the two will link the IT systems of DHA-approved laboratories with Emirates' reservations and check-in systems to enable the sharing, storing and verification of passenger health information related to COVID-19 infection, testing and vaccination.
The project, which will commence immediately, will go live in the coming months. "It's a natural step to combine our capabilities to implement digital verification of COVID-19 medical records, which will also enable contactless document verification at Dubai Airport," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates' Chairman and Chief Executive, in a statement.
"Dubai will continue to lead the way in implementing effective and balanced approaches to contagion control, while facilitating travel and air transport which are crucial to communities and economies."
The announcement comes as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) - a global trade body representing more than 290 airlines - urges govetnments to adopt a global framework for COVID-19 testing and certification.
Cure for travel's return
New digital verification methods are all set to be tested out shortly by airlines and aviation authorities worldwide. A digitally-linked uniform system is necessary for IATA's 'Travel Pass' initiative to succeed. It will allow passengers to have a 'digital passport' verified with all their pre-travel test or vaccination details to meet the requirements at their destination.
They will also be able to share test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate smoother processing at the airports. Similarly, the aviation-focussed technology services firm SITA has launched 'Health Protect' - a platform that will help passengers, airlines as well as governments to share information on health tests or vaccinations needed ahead of the actual travel.
Successful trials have already been undertaken with travellers to the UAE. Fresh trials will soon start at Milan's Malpensa Airport.