SITA has announced the launch of Health Protect – an industry solution, to help airlines, airports, governments, and passengers safely and securely share information on health tests or vaccinations needed during travel. Successful trials have already been undertaken with travellers to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and will soon start at Milan Malpensa Airport.
For many countries, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic relies heavily on travel and tourism. As governments globally seek a way to resume safe and secure travel in the wake of COVID-19, the ability for passengers to share vital health information such as PCR test results or vaccination history with authorities is increasingly important. SITA’s Health Protect allows airlines and passengers to submit these required documents safely and securely in line with specific government requirements.
A key benefit is the ability to seamlessly integrate with multiple travel pass or ‘health passport’ schemes, bridging the gap between these schemes and aviation and border processes. By incorporating Advance Passenger Processing (APP), it enables authorities to make an informed decision whether a passenger can travel at the point of check-in, improving the safety of all passengers and avoiding costly return flights.
Passengers without the required documentation, or considered high risk, will be unable to check-in for their flight, ensuring they do not travel to the airport. By facilitating the inclusion of health pass schemes into existing, proven, and trusted passenger processing systems, Health Protect minimises the operational and technical impact on carriers and ports.
Combining the functionality of passenger locator forms, health attestations, and travel declarations, as well as Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), Health Protect will deliver confidence for all stakeholders to travel again, safely and securely, supporting a seamless and contactless passenger journey. It will also provide passenger certainty that they have the right documents before departure, vitally at a time when borders regulations change regularly. At the airport, Health Protect also integrates with the existing airport passenger processing systems to verify the health status of the passenger at each point in the process using SITA Flex touchless passenger flow monitoring technology.
“We’re excited for the potential of SITA Health Protect to bridge the gap between airlines resuming normal operations and governments’ strong focus on keeping control of COVID-19,” says David Lavorel, CEO of Airports & Borders at SITA. “Recovery from COVID-19 will take time and is complex but we believe that SITA can play a key role in enabling a safer, simpler travel experience for passengers.”
In the first week of February 2021, a small group of travellers flying from Germany and Estonia to the UAE tested the health data platform and app SimplyGo in a live environment. As part of the trial project, SimplyGo partnered with SITA to make use of SITA Health Protect.
During the trial, travellers obtained a negative COVID-19 result via their SimplyGo app before travelling. The data was then securely stored on the SimplyGo platform to be accessed by airlines and border officials authorising boarding of the plane and eventually arrival at the destination country. Integration with the UAE Government systems was made possible through the Advance Passenger Processing platform delivered by SITA.
Integrating SimplyGo with APP forms part of SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem, simplifying and automating the inclusion of health data into existing airline, airport, and government processes. By adapting APP to meet the current health demands of COVID-19, passengers can be processed faster and experience a more enjoyable journey while the airport benefits from improved efficiency and security.
Similarly, SEA Milan Airports, Italy’s second-busiest airport, is collaborating with SITA to pilot an innovative platform that digitalises declarations on COVID-19 tested flights and manages the testing process at Milan Malpensa Airport.