SDAIA and GACA sign an operational protocol agreement for areas of joint cooperation
August 18 2021
The Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (SDAIA) and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) signed today an operational protocol agreement, which aims to establish a general framework for areas of cooperation between the two parties, and includes contributing to facilitating travel procedures and verifying the eligibility of health travelers according to international best practices of civil aviation legislation to protect the rights of travelers and stakeholders.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence by His Excellency the President of the Authority, Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, and on behalf of GACA by His Excellency the President of GACA, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej, at the headquarters of SDAIA in Riyadh.
GACA also signed a memorandum of cooperation and support to link the health passport in the "Tawakklna" application of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence “SDAIA" with the International Air Transport Association "IATA", which includes aspects related to facilitating travel procedures according to international best practices, and accepting the passport platform. This is an initiative to digitize health certificates from reliable sources and accredited laboratories through cooperation with airlines, and cooperation on linking the “Tawakklna” application with the IATA application, as the Kingdom is one of the first countries in the world that succeeded in linking a government platform with an international platform. Gaca aims to supports the “Tawakklna” system and enhances its cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to reach integrated digital solutions that reflect the Kingdom’s position in the field of digital transformation, and encourage the return of air traffic and travel to and from the Kingdom. This in addition to the role of this initiative in the rapid recovery of air transport in the Kingdom and the world as well (tourism).
The memorandum was signed on behalf of GACA by the Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Operations, Sulaiman bin Ahmed Al-Bassam, and by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Kamel Hassan Al-Awadi.
For his part, His Excellency the President of SDAIA, Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, welcomed the existing cooperation between “SDAIA” and GACA which is in line with the directives of the wise leadership (may God support them). Furthermore, its support for all technical initiatives that support digital transformation to facilitate the lives of citizens and residents and visitors alike, as this contributed to the Kingdom being at the forefront of the world and the most successful in harnessing technology to confront the Corona pandemic and its repercussions, and to assure the whole world that the safety of human and wellbeing are at the forefront of its priorities.
His Excellency stressed that government integration between various government agencies has contributed to the success of technical initiatives, including this national product, the application of "Tawakklna", and achieving the desired impact on various economic and social levels, which is in line with the Kingdom's vision 2030. This trend enjoys the support and guidance of His Highness the Crown Prince (may God protect him). The Chairman of the Board of Directors of SDAIA, went on to say that this distinguished cooperation will successfully result in the linkage and integration between the IATA Travel Pass application and the “Tawakklna” application to activate the health passport, and for the Kingdom to become today one of the first countries in the world to succeed in linking IATA government platform.
His Excellency indicated that the success of the connection will contribute to supporting the efforts of government agencies in combating the Corona pandemic, by easily identifying the health status of travelers, and digitizing travel procedures to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
For his part, His Excellency the President of GACA, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej, explained that this cooperation with SDAIA comes within the organization of business, responsibilities, the level of services and setting a general framework for areas of cooperation between the two parties in the field of research and development, and benefiting from databases and digital technologies. This as well as raising the efficiency of the quality of life for users of these platforms and initiatives related to facilitating travel procedures.
His Excellency stated that GACA seeks to support the "Tawakklna" system and enhance its cooperation with the International Air Transport Association "IATA" to reach integrated digital solutions that encourage the return of air traffic and travel to and from the Kingdom and help improve the customer experience, whether traveling inside airports or in supporting logistics services that includes linking with other means of transportation and facilitating procedures to get to and from the plane, and covering an integrated and flexible trip for the customer.
Al-Duailej referred to the support of His Excellency the Minister of Transport and Logistics in implementing this initiative that links the “Tawakkalna” application with the IATA Health Passport application, as it is a forerunner in linking the IATA international platform with the local government platform “Tawakkalna”, with the aim of facilitating and automating travel procedures.
GACA is working with the International Air Transport Association to support private initiatives to restore international travel in a healthy and safe manner, and by working with national carriers where Saudi Arabian Airlines was a pilot partner in the development of the IATA passport issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
It is worth noting that the “Tawakkalna” application contributes to improving the travel experience in partnership with the relevant authorities, by automating and facilitating travel procedures by linking border systems to the “Tawakkalna” application and real-time verification of the health status of travelers when issuing the boarding pass, which contributed to ensuring the status of the health passport for travelers with high reliability, to ensure the safety of passengers, prevent congestion and reduce gatherings at the airport. This in addition to the availability of all information related to travel in the health passport, which is a unified electronic document to facilitate the traveler's journey.