A source familiar with the matter tells CNN that Pence gave his blessing to a “compromise solution” for contact tracing during a Friday meeting with airline executives.
Airlines had initially balked at the government’s demand that they collect detailed contact information on all passengers and distribute it to public health officials if requested. The airlines said it would be impossible to quickly overhaul the massive legacy computer systems that handle the industry’s vast booking networks.
The source tells CNN that Pence now supports the airlines’ proposal for a third-party app and website that would require passengers to input five points of data.
The industry group, Airlines for America, said in a statement after the meeting that it looked forward to implementing some initiatives to help relaunch the industry.
“We appreciate the collaboration and interest of the Administration since the onset of the pandemic,” the statement read. “We had a constructive conversation today with the Vice President and remain grateful for his leadership through this health crisis. We look forward to working with the Administration to identify and implement initiatives that help relaunch the U.S. airline industry, get people moving again and rebuild the American economy.”
Air travel overall is down about 80% from where it stood last year, according to Transportation Security Administration data. But it is steadily increasing: The 623,000 people the TSA screened Thursday were 23% of the 2.7 million the agency saw a year before, the agency’s busiest day since air travel cratered in mid-April.