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.
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.
As countries all over the world look to make improvements to passenger processing and border security, the Dominican Republic now joins them as the latest country to subscribe to the Advance Passenger Information System.
Rockwell Collins are to provide a new border control system for the Dominican Republic in a new agreement that includes secure airport messaging and DCS integration.
Rockwell Collins’ ARINC solutions have long been at the forefront of airport security, with products that range from information management and IT integration to turnkey automated border security systems including eGates.
As countries around the world join the fight against terrorism and strive to improve their border security, South Korea make changes following a test period that saw them refuse 157 travellers from Thailand.
Previously, South Korea received passenger data via APIS after flights had left the originating airport. Then, if any passenger was ‘flagged’, airlines would have to return them to the point of departure, causing delays and incurring expense.
Now, the changes suggest that South Korea will require Advance Passenger Information before tickets are issued. The information will be screened by the ministry and only after approval, will tickets be sold to the passengers.
A statement from the South Korean Ministry said that the aim is to ‘strengthen the aviation safety and border security by analysing the passenger information in advance.’
Following the successful implementation of automated border control gates at Prague airport in 2011, the Czech border police have agreed to expand the project, known as EasyGO.
The project expansion will involve the installation of ten more eGates in both arrivals and departures and will also involve an upgrade of the entire airport IT infrastructure which will include a new Terminal Control Centre and maintenance contract.
Using a Secunet system, Prague airport uses electronic authentication of ePassports, identity cards and uses facial scanning and comparison with electronic data.
Automated border control solutions are becoming commonplace across the world as countries strive to improve security.
Five airports across India have implemented an Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) in a bid to bring a halt to the smuggling problem by keeping track of ‘suspicious’ passengers.
Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports now have fully operational APIS implementation, effectively beginning the creation of the electronic database of passengers, crew and airline personnel.
APIS was given its first outing in India last year at Indira Ghandi International Airport and has now become more widespread following the success of the system there. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) made the decision, under the Finance Ministry, to extend the implementation to other airports in India after arrests were made and passengers apprehended.
Customs officials released a statement earlier this week, “So far the system has been generating important inputs and its leads have resulted in apprehension of passengers trying to smuggle in gold and other banned items.”
According to the statement, there have been 399 cases of gold smuggling reported at Mumbai International airport, 265 at Chennai and 171 at Delhi airports. There have been 90 cases of gold smuggling reported at Kolkata International airport, 36 at Hyderabad and 34 at Bengaluru airports during the same period.
It is hoped that the success of APIS demonstrated at Indira Ghandi International will continue at the other locations.
Keith Vaz, chair of UK Home Affairs Select Committee, has openly criticised the state of the UK immigration system in a report that warns the system is in ‘intensive care’.
The report comes after almost ten years of troubled services for the UK borders, including the e-borders scheme that never quite made it off the mark. Mr Vaz is concerned that the promise of exit checks at British ports in the form of departure lists, set to be introduced this spring will not be forthcoming as he commented within the report that the list ‘no longer looks likely’.
Mr Vaz’ concerns grow as he looks at the increased risk of illegal migration and security. Bemoaning the actions, or lack of them, of previous governments he said, “Successive governments have spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on the botched e-borders programme. Everyone who enters and leaves Britain must be counted in and out.” In 2003, plans were launched for the collection of Advance Passenger Information for those leaving the UK. API is received from airlines and operators bringing passengers into the UK, but there is a distinct lack of information about those that pass across our borders into Europe and beyond.
Mr Cameron argued that much is being done to halt the progress of illegal immigration and figures are being met. The debate continues.