Aviation groups urge EU leaders to set date for Covid Certification


European aviation groups have called on EU heads of state to prioritise preparations for a Digital Green Certificate for travellers and set a date for its appearance.

In a joint letter, Airlines for Europe (A4E), airports association ACI Europe and the European Regions Airlines Association (ERA) called for certificates to be ready for use across Europe by the end of June “at the latest”.

Representatives of EU member states agreed the technical specifications for a Digital Green Certificate today (April 22) after agreeing to fast-track proposals in March.

The European Commission hailed the agreement, by the ‘eHealth Network’ of member states as “a crucial step for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure” for certification, including of travellers, and called on member states “to ensure a roll-out across the EU by June 2021”.

The aviation associations said they were “encouraged to see the legislative process being fast-tracked”.

But they warned: “This is no guarantee that the Digital Green Certificates will either be implemented or become operational. This rests in the hands of individual countries and their plans largely remain unclear.”

Leaders of A4E, ACI Europe and ERA urged EU governments “to take the necessary steps . . . from a technical, administrative and legal point of view to be able to effectively start issuing Digital Green Certificates by June at the latest”.

They pointed to the need to ensure coordination travel requirements “both within the EU and externally”, noting the latest guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) raised “the possibility of waiving testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers”.

The associations reported: “Latest industry data shows a deepening crisis in the sector, with air traffic in a continuing downward spiral.”

They warned: “Summer 2021 represents a make it or break it moment with millions of EU tourism jobs supported by aviation hanging on the line.”

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