5 January 2021
Aeroporti di Roma and Alitalia have today begun using ICC AOKpass in a pilot scheme to digitise Covid-19 rapid antigen test results, carried out at the airport.
The testing will allow passengers bound for New York on Alitalia Covid-tested flights to present, upon boarding, a digital negativity certificate from a Covid-19 rapid antigen test, augmenting safety and saving time during travel procedures.
In December, ICC announced the first ever use of a digital travel pass by a national immigration authority to verify the Covid-19 status of inbound travellers, following the conclusion of a ground-breaking pilot in partnership with International SOS and the Government of Singapore.
The new Aeroporti di Roma and Alitalia procedure is simple: once the AOKpass app has been downloaded the onto the passenger’s mobile device and, after taking the test at Fiumicino airport, travellers will receive the result via a QR code that authenticates and securely stores the negative result on the device. Upon boarding the flight to New York, passengers will then be able to use their digital health credentials checked by boarding attendants scanning the QR code directly.
The digitisation of this process – in collaboration with the doctors of the USMAF of the Italian Ministry of Health – is a further step in creating new protocols for safe access to aircraft, a procedure which began in September, in partnership with the Region Lazio, with Alitalia Rome-Milan Covid-Tested flights and which continued in December with the opening of “quarantine free” flights from the US.
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “Digitally verifiable certification is a safer and more viable alternative to quarantine systems and paper certificates that are susceptible to counterfeiting or forgery. Adoption of the ICC AOKpass marks another milestone in our efforts to streamline and verify testing via a network of testing laboratories, airlines and immigration processes within a single technology.”
As an alternative to the self-isolation system, which is difficult to control and penalising for healthy people, in the coming months, passengers will increasingly undergo preparatory rapid or molecular tests before boarding, especially for long-haul destinations.
With the progress of vaccinations, there may soon also be the opportunity to show a vaccination certificate in order to board safely and without incurring limitations. The digitalisation of these processes launches today with the use of the ICC AOKpass and will be developed further via a range of health services and authorised travel passes.
“Leonardo da Vinci” is considered one of the safest airports in the world, to such an extent that it has obtained the maximum rating of 5 stars from Skytrax on anti-Covid health protocols, the Health Accreditation by Aci and has been chosen, for the third consecutive year by Aci Europe, as the best port in Europe precisely due to its virus containment measures.
All Alitalia aircraft are sanitised daily using highly disinfectant products and, thanks to HEPA filters and vertical circulation, the air on board is renewed every three minutes and is 99.7% pure.
“This new experimentation confirms ADR’s willingness to continue the path undertaken and, based on a maximum security airport, is aimed at defining new safe and innovative travel protocols,” said CEO of ADR Marco Troncone. “Now, our hope, on which we are strongly committed, is that the Covid-tested travel procedures launched at Fiumicino with the order of the Ministers of Health, Transport and Foreign Affairs dated 23 November 2020, will be extended to other countries and Italian airports, because we are convinced that this is the only way to guarantee the greatest safety of passengers and to enable the resumption of air traffic and international connectivity, which is essential for our country.”
“With the introduction of this digital process, Alitalia reaffirms its commitment to offer flights to and from Italy in full safety. We were the first company to introduce Covid-Tested flights, with the Rome-Milan route first, followed by the Rome-New York route”, said Alitalia CEO Giancarlo Zeni. “We hope that this initiative will also help to restore the confidence of travellers, recalling that aircraft are the safest means of transport, even during this pandemic period. Our instruments and the filters we use inside the aircraft make the air quality comparable to that of an operating theatre”.