ICAO publishes public key database for health certificates

The International Civil Aviation Organization has released a new data resource designed to help with more efficient and secure authentication of traveler health certificates, including vaccination information and test results, the agency announced. specialized agency of the United Nations.

Dubbed the Health Master List, the global directory includes ICAO-signed public key certificates. It is publicly available on the ICAO website and will be updated as more health proofs are issued and new public keys are required. A public key allows third parties to verify that a health credential is authentic and valid.

“Presentation of documentation related to Covid-19 health interventions has become commonplace since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many states initially issued appropriate health evidence for national use cases and/or regions,” said ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. in a report. “The result has been the deployment of a variety of different national or regional formats and the proliferation of travel restrictions due to low levels of confidence by border, immigration and health authorities in the validity of health documents. travellers.”

According to ICAO. There is no cost and all submitted public key certificates will be verified before being included in the list, following strict procedures similar to those established for the ICAO public key infrastructure.

“The Health Master List concept is based on the same principles as the ICAO Generic Master List now used to verify electronic travel documents,” Salazar said. “It will complement existing national and/or regional solutions and provide an essential international mechanism for sharing public key certificates in accordance with [World Health Organization] recommendations.”

The International Air Transport Association supports the creation of the directory, IATA announced on Tuesday. “For international travel today, it is essential that Covid-19 health passes can be effectively verified outside their country of issuance,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said in a statement. communicated.

IATA will participate in a pilot project associated with the ICAO Health Master List, in which private sector providers of solutions for governments to verify health credentials will also be able to access these keys. . This will help facilitate the broadest coverage of health certificates in their offerings as international travel continues to ramp up, according to IATA, whose participation is to support the rollout of the IATA Travel Pass.