Travel TechnologyIntegration, not disruption of health passes, is key to moving forward: SITA

Hub is where the heart of travel recovery is

SITA’s walk-through airport experience in action.
SITA’s walk-through airport experience in action.

Air transport technology giant SITA is pushing ahead with its Health Protect and Smart Path solutions, which it says will be key to speeding travel and tourism’s recovery from the Covid pandemic.

Central to the success of the project is for airports, airlines, and governments to share vital health information with one another to enable qualified passengers a seamless rite of passage when they fly.

Travel Weekly Asia looks at SITA’s solutions for a technology-led recovery in the aviation sector.

Sumesh Patel: “SITA is working for all.”
Sumesh Patel: “SITA is working for all.”

How does the SITA Health Hub help to restore ease of travel?

The Health Hub securely cocoons commercial health pass schemes – and there are many of these – global security standards and national/regional digital certificates, allowing authorities to access the health information via mobile, self-service, and automated solutions.

“Our hub is seeking a solution that will work for all,” says Sumesh Patel, president SITA Asia Pacific. “As it is, there are no common standards as governments try to find solutions on their own.”

There’s a lot of talk about forged passes and certificates. Can this be overcome?

SITA says automating passenger health processing from submission to validation and verification “mitigates forged paper certificates and cuts inefficiencies associated with manual document checking”.

“Our aim is to integrate all these systems, not disrupt what others are doing,” Patel says.

SITA worries that the Asia Pacific region is “patchy” regarding automation and digitisation.

“Some countries are making good progress in investing in the right areas to allow seamless passenger travel and easy processes to adhere to multiple health regulations; others are lagging.”

The region needs to achieve “collective digital maturity in these areas, especially for international volumes to come back,” SITA says.

What difference will SITA’s Smart Path make in the time it takes to process passengers at the airport?

SITA says that currently the few passengers that are flying face up to a five hour processing time and this will only get worse as more passengers return to flying.

“Automation and digitisation are crucial to give passengers the confidence to travel,” Patel says.

“We want to deliver a safe, walk-through, touchless experience to give passengers control of their journey.”

SITA has installed its Smart Path solution at Beijing Capital International Airport for a contactless experience from check-in to boarding. The solution allows 400-plus passengers to board an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes.

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