Group works to return international air travel to normal

ByJeff Ehling KTRK logo
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Group works to return international travel to normal
It may seem like international travel is a long way from normal. One group has a plan to change that by using a smartphone app.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Countries around the world have shut down international travel due to fears over COVID-19, but there is a group working to make sure it returns soon.

A recent test of something called CommonPass may be the key to travel during the pandemic.

On a recent test flight from London to New York, United Airlines passengers received a rapid COVID-19 test before they boarded the plane.

If the results were negative for COVID-19, the information was stored on an app on their phones.

The passengers then scanned the phone at the gate and were allowed to board.

It lets the departing country and the country where passengers are arriving know that passengers are virus free.

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Right now, some countries require written documentation of a negative COVID-19 test for travel. This new system standardizes the process into one app, removes the paper work and the potential for abuse.

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"The way the CommonPass model works, only data from trusted labs and other health data sources are allowed to flow into the frame work," said Commons Project Foundation CEO Paul Meyer. "It's digital, so that means we know whether that information has been modified and (we) guard against that."

The system could allow countries to open up safe travel corridors between major cities. If this system is widely adopted by airlines, you might see this in Houston sometime next year.

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