Recently, the representatives of more than 10 national airline associations (Boards of Airline Representatives, BARs) have requested the European Commission and the current German EU Council Presidency and respective governments to develop digital border solutions. The airlines have asked the bodies to partner together and execute an international digital border solution for air travellers.
Owing to the pandemic, the need for a digital solution that caters to public health is of crucial importance. By enabling the rapid tracing of the infection, the national authorities can be directed to take prompt action.
Some of these solutions are already in place in the UK, Spain and Greece
But to facilitate this further, there has to be political support to setup a high-performance digital platform. This platform will go beyond all borders and provide a more consistent passenger experience.
Michael Hoppe, Secretary General, BARIG, said, “In order to meet the current challenges posed by COVID-19, cooperation between states is imperative. Unfortunately, travelling public is currently still experiencing cumbersome manual and uncoordinated processes. Therefore, the international community has to develop a concerted strategy, as we cannot face this global crisis single-handedly without coordination across national borders. Localised, national procedures are highly inefficient and particularly lack transparency. A standardised, digital solution is, accordingly, the way to go.”
The representatives of the BARs are operating in Europe, including the executives from, Finland, Belgium, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, and the UK. All these representatives are calling for a collaborative approach in other areas as well.
Thus, apart from a digital solution, they are jointly campaigning for:
- The joint travel impact assessment of the COVID-19 situation within the EU and globally by the respective ministries of the states and institutions, as well as coordinated action on that front.
- The coordinated implementation of the ‘Take-Off Guidance’ Aviation Health Safety protocol developed by ICAO, EASA and ECDC.
- Clear and updated information for passengers on possible measures, always in consultation with the travel industry.
Hoppe added, “We strongly appeal to national governments and the EU to support the introduction of an international digital solution. Only by doing so can border restrictions be removed in the interest of both the people and companies. The scope of this issue must not be underestimated. The reconstruction of air traffic is crucial for economic recovery in Europe and the world.”