Passengers flying internationally from airports all over Australia and New Zealand, today faced hours of delays after a global passenger processing system experienced a failure.
In some of Australia’s biggest airports, personnel had to perform passenger check-in manually for three hours before the system came back online.
The Advance Passenger Processing System, known as APP, handles mandatory reporting of passenger data for all international flights, according to Australia’s Dept. of Immigration and Border Protection.
Similar systems are in use in other global regions, such as the U.S.’s Advance Passenger Information System, also widely in use in Europe, according to provider.
The systems are designed to meet mandatory regulations for the secure collection, storage and electronic transfer of international passenger information. Such information is sent in advance of flight departure to government and border agencies for security screening.
It has been confirmed that all systems were back up and running after three hours of outage, and appears to have been a global issue.
It has been announced that a major project to install automated border control e-gates in 8 airports across Australia has been completed.
A total of 83 e-gates have been installed since the project began last year, and already more than 10 million travellers have successfully passed through.
The Australian government committed to the project to ensure border control processes were not only efficient, streamlining Advance Passenger Information processing and reducing the time taken to process passengers, but also enhanced border protection at the country’s international checkpoints.
Peter Dutton, the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection said, ‘This milestone delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment towards streamlined border control processes and enhanced border protection capability at our international airports. [This technology is] critical to improving our ability to accurately confirm the identity of travellers.’
Last month, the US Senate introduced the Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience Act (Cyber AIR Act). This move requires the FAA to introduce guidelines for the aviation industry in addition to the requirement of airlines to report any and every instance of cyber-attack to the government.
In a technologically-advancing age, cybersecurity in the aviation industry is becoming increasingly necessary, with potentially disastrous consequences on the table for failure to keep information management systems secure. Millions of pieces of mission-critical data, and personal passenger information is exchanged between agencies, government bodies and aviation businesses every day, and access to it is strictly regulated.
Providers of cybersecurity solutions for key infrastructure in airports and secure facilities all over the world deliver a wide range of products and technology to ensure industry standards are met and integration remains fully managed.
The National Migration Superintendent for Peru, Mr Boris Protozen and Richard Gil Kerlikowske, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to unite in the prevention of terrorism by agreeing to exchange secure flight passenger data.
The MoU, signed at the end of last month, highlights the commitment between the two organisations to fight to keep the borders of their countries, and flight operations secure. Under the Advance Passenger Information System, the Department of Homeland Security and CBP will receive secure data to allow advance passenger screening in real time.
Providers of Advance Passenger Information Systems (APIS) ensure that passenger data exchange occurs in a timely fashion to enable airlines and operators to adhere to strict mandatory conditions that surround the process, in terms of collection, storage and transmission of the data.
Peru joins an increasing number of countries around the world who are appreciating the benefits of monitoring the movements of persons of interest.
A new automated border control system is now in operation in the Caribbean at Curacao International Airport.
The new system will speed up passenger processing as the airport traffic increases significantly, with self-service gates and real-time passenger data checks, including background screening and API.
The system, provided by Vision-Box, implements an intelligent Passenger Flow system with graphical interfaces for a user-friendly experience.
Other providers of automated border control systems across the world are also experiencing a surge in requirement of self-service and automated passenger processing and screening systems as the need for greater security increases. Improving passenger experience is also high on the list of priorities for international airports on a global scale.
Following the recent attacks in Europe, the UK and Ireland have agreed that Advance Passenger Information (API) will now be shared for all travellers between the two countries.
With nearly 4.5 million travellers moving between London and Dublin last year, just on flights, the air route can be marked as one of the world’s busiest.
The move is welcomed by groups who have campaigned for greater attention to this route, which has been cited as a possible route for extremists to travel before moving on to other territory.
Frances Fitzgerald, Acting Justice Minister, said, “It is a critical issue, not just for Ireland, but for all member states that they are in a position to strengthen border controls through the sharing of information on suspect passengers prior to their travel from one jurisdiction to another.”
As terror threats continue to increase across the world, API provision is becoming a growing requirement, enabling governments and border agencies to screen passengers in advance of travel.
Providers of the Advance Passenger Information System, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviSec, ensure that aviation message handling is reliable, with guaranteed delivery and security.
The EU PNR transmission directive is in the news again, as EU parliament members are accused of ‘playing games’.
Earlier this year, the plans for the introduction of the EU PNR Directive continued to be hotly debated, yet the final drafts were agreed for the vote in the European Parliament. It has been announced that the plans are now subject to further delays following a mass vote against the initiative.
The announcement has created frustration amongst the lawmakers in Europe, who are eager to put an official plan in place to introduce what they are referring to as a ‘critical counter-terrorism tool’.
The controversy has arisen again around the breach of privacy of an individual’s personal information, as PNR data will be retained for airlines for five years, the first six months of which will retain personal identifying data.
This is not to say that information will be accessible by the public, but rather by a specially-created regulating body, specifically detailed to handle the sensitive information.
Passenger Name Records have been in existence for many years, originally being used to assist interlining passengers with baggage transfers. The new directive aims to use PNR information in a similar way to Advance Passenger Information, which is used to screen passengers in advance of international travel.
Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) has said that there has been a significant increase in Advance Passenger Information (API) during the last four years.
Their report, published earlier this month, notes an increase from 9,000 to approximately 1.5 million passenger data transfers of information for the advance screening of travellers using the country’s airlines.
The FIS handles the data for the use of the prevention of terrorism, both physical and cyber, and now screens all passengers arriving in Switzerland from designated countries using both commercial and charter flights.
The handling of personal passenger data should be carried out according to international standards, often via APIS, a world-recognised and accepted form of transmission. Providers of the Advance Passenger Information System are closely regulated and monitored to ensure regulatory procedures are maintained.
Malaysia’s Home Ministry has announced plans for the implementation of a passenger screening system based on the current U.K. and U.S. Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to upgrade current screening procedures.
With the growing threat of terrorist attack, and the recent bombings in Jakarta that killed eight people, the country’s officials recognise the benefits of advance passenger screening to prevent known extremists from entering the country.
A system known as the Advanced Passenger Screening System (APSS) is being discussed, and rumours are circulating that it could be developed with help from Interpol.
Malta’s Police Force’s Immigration Unit has completed five projects to enhance border security measures with the help of co-funding from European Border Funds.
The projects include the procurement of additional radios and biometric devices to assist in communications and comparison of passenger data with international no-fly lists. The new technology is designed to halt the passage of illegal residents, with an on-the-spot ability to screen information.
Furthermore, modernisation of the border control system has been focussed upon, with health and safety upgrades made, in addition to an upgrade of equipment.
Finally, Malta has introduced a system for the collection of Advance Passenger Information to strengthen border security. Many countries throughout the world are enhancing border control measures and providers are using the latest technological advancements to introduce stronger systems including eBorders technology.