RIYADH – Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced the Harmonising Air Travel (HAT) policy, a framework intended to create a single, trusted, and updated source of information on entry requirements for international travelers.
Developed in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the HAT policy helps travelers by clarifying the travel requirements in the post-COVID-19 pandemic. GACA and ICAO claim that the ongoing confusion among different sources discourages people from booking flights.
HE Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Duailej, President, GACA, said, “The [COVID-19] pandemic exposed how disconnected the world is. Our research shows that many people chose not to travel in 2021 – and will not travel in 2022 – because of confusing health requirements to get from country to country. The proposed Harmonising Air Travel policy will unify and strengthen our industry by enabling it to navigate future health crises.”
The proposed HAT framework establishes mechanisms for the management of health crises using digital communications tools and settling governance and coordination processes around a universal platform, such as a globally-recognized Digital Health certificate, to facilitate universal compliance while providing travelers with clear guidelines and requirements needed to observe during their journeys.
The announcement took place during the first day of the Future Aviation Forum, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia until May 11, 2022. The event features more than 120 speakers, with over 2,000 attendees and representatives from every continent. The forum focuses on passenger experience, sustainability, and business recovery post-COVID-19.
The HAT framework proposal will be formally presented at the 41st ICAO General Assembly, to be held later this year.
Featured image: HE. Eng. Saleh bin Nasser bin Alali Aljasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of transport, opens the 2022 Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. Photo: Roberto Leiro