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More about the provision of a secure platform for passenger data exchange | Business Aviation NewsThe 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.

More about passenger name record transmission | Provider of secure passenger data transferDavid Cameron has urged the European Parliament to approve a directive to enable Passenger Name Record (PNR) data sharing across the EU nations. The deal, which was agreed in principle last month, will, according to the UK Prime Minister, provide an ‘important tool in combatting terrorism and serious crime’.

PNR data contains passenger flight details such as names, seat numbers, ticket payment information and flight dates. Passenger data exchange is securely transmitted and permitted for use only for security purposes.

Providers of APIS for enhanced passenger processing | Business aviation newsThe Jamaican Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has announced the implementation of technology and improvements to facilities and services for customers has earned them entry to a shortlist for awards in this year’s Public Sector Customer Service Competition.

Part of the improvement program involved an introduction of Advance Passenger Information, which has greatly increased the efficiency of passenger processing in the country’s airports environments. According to Ms Lesline Chisholm, customer service director at PICA, the APIS upgrade has expedited passenger processing to the tune of an additional 200 per hour at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport, with Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay increasing their rate by 400 more passengers per hour.

In addition, the installation of self-service kiosks has reduced the burden on personnel, leaving better resources to assist those passengers with special needs.

Leading Global Providers of eAPIS SolutionsCanada’s Border Services Agency is working towards a U.S.-style Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) to protect its borders and is hoping for complete implementation by spring 2016.

A survey has been created by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) to assess how the new requirements will impact Canadian and U.S. pilots crossing the borders in a bid to make the transition as seamless as possible.

“This survey will provide statistical feedback to Canadian and US officials to find a solution that both addresses their goals and minimizes duplication,” said COPA Vice President of Operations Patrick Gilligan. “COPA is heavily involved in finding creative solutions to minimize the detrimental consequences that any additional requirements will have on our sector of aviation.”

The survey, which can be completed anonymously if required, will aim to assess the general ‘feeling’ of pilots conducting cross-border leisure and personal flights – whether they think that the implementation of a system will impact flight operations in a detrimental way.

The survey will also attempt to gain a general consensus about the introduction of a single portal for the transmission of pilot and passenger data to the Canadian Border Services Agency.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) are working with COPA to ensure that the implementation of an eAPIS mandate remains seamless.

“We’re really working to find a way to make this as transparent as possible,” said Tom Zecha, AOPA manager of aviation security. “We encourage AOPA members who cross the border—or even those who don’t but think they might someday—to complete the survey to convey the impact a duplicate system would have on cross-border operations.”

Biometric eBorders Solutions ProvidersLast week saw a deal signed with French biometric security firm, Morpho (Safran) and the UAE for a range of biometric eBorders technology solutions to be installed in the Emirates’ biggest international airports.

The first installations will take place at Abu Dhabi airport this year, followed by four other airports to create a fully integrated multi-biometric border control system across the UAE.

There will be 96 e-Gates and 94 e-Counters, which will help to expedite passenger processing with the inclusion of touchless fingerprinting, iris and facial recognition systems.

Biometric eBorders technology is a fast-paced industry, embracing enhancements and developing more efficient and effective ways to manage a growing passenger throughput. The need for solutions to manage international borders efficiently, yet maintain security is critical. As threats to national security increase all over the world, the pressure upon governments and border security agencies also intensifies.

Governments and agencies must be able to screen passenger information swiftly and data such as Advance Passenger Information must be transmitted securely. eBorders systems are able to handle critical aviation messaging in addition to the physical screening of passengers in airports.

Biometric eBorders solutions could be the answer to streamlining the entire border management system and must eventually be integrated on a global scale.

Providers of Advance Passenger Information SystemsKeith 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.

APIS & PNR Transmission Solutions ProvidersIndian airports will soon step up its efforts to control smuggling and track ‘persons of interest’ through its launch of Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) this month.

The APIS system has been developed by the National Informatics Centre with assistance from the Directorate General of Systems under the Finance Ministry and is set for launch at Indira Ghandi International Airport.

The system will operate in much the same way as the US and European APIS systems with the provision of an electronic database of all passengers and flight crew, with the addition of a manifest of all personnel entering and exiting the airport terminals.

APIS is designed to enable government and border agencies access to Advance Passenger Information which can then be screened to identify potential threats to national and international security. The system is mandatory in the US and is proving to be a great asset to agencies in the tracking of terrorist movements. APIS requirements are spreading around the globe as more and more countries take a stand in the threat of terrorism.

APIS providers have a responsibility to ensure that Advance Passenger Information is collected, stored and distributed securely, swiftly and reliably to be of the greatest use to agencies all over the world.

Worldwide Passenger Data Transfer ProvidersThe U.N. Security Council have called for new measures to help curb the movement of potential terrorists. Drafted by the U.S. the measures received unanimous approval from the Security Council, who intend to clamp down on funding and recruitment opportunities amongst the militant groups.

U.S. President, Mr Barack Obama said that it is believed that around 15,000 fighters have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State or Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliated group, from more than 80 nations. Speaking about the crisis at an unusual Security Council session, Mr Obama said, “The tactic of terrorism is not new. What brings us together today, what is new, is the unprecedented flow of fighters in recent years to and from conflict zones, including Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, Yemen, Libya, and most recently, Syria and Iraq.”

Strengthened steps will be taken to prevent suspected foreign terrorist fighters from entering their territories or passing through borders. Part of the plan is the widespread provision of Advance Passenger Information (API), currently mandatory in the U.S. and spreading throughout the world.

Mandatory provision of API, which includes passenger details, destination countries and methods of payment in some cases, can help governments and border agencies to track the movements of travellers, thus indicating potential high-risk passengers for further investigation. The resolution also includes a strengthening of the legal framework for international action by the suggestion of a passage of legislation that can give countries greater flexibility for the prosecution of suspected foreign fighters.

The U.N. have also encouraged member states to be more co-operative with information-sharing.

“Foreign terrorist fighters increase the intensity, duration and intractability of conflicts, and also may pose a serious threat to their states of origin, the states they transit and the states to which they travel,” the resolution said. More efficient methods of sharing information is what is called for to discourage recruitment, organisation and financing of terrorist movements and the aim of the resolution is to make this as difficult as possible.

Advance Passenger Information ProvidersIreland has called for a co-ordinated push in the EU to crack down on terrorism and organised crime, following a decision with Britain to share intelligence on selected flights.

Advance Passenger Information (API) from all ports should be shared across Europe, which, according to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, ‘is a tool of proven potential’.

It has been indicated through military intelligence and information supplied to the British Government by the Garda Special Branch that Ireland has been used as a base for regular visits to Iraq and Syria by up to 30 jihadis, which has led to increased surveillance efforts in a bid to track their movements.

The minister said that the strengthening of security of national and international borders was a ‘key element in protecting our citizens from terrorist threats’ and that API exchange was a ‘major boost towards achieving that objective’.

API is transmitted electronically to the governments and border agencies of destination countries. It is usually collected at the time of booking. The U.S. operate mandatory API collection, but as yet, the system is not mandatory in other countries, although many agencies are calling for the collection of passenger data across the world to keep borders secure with the advance notification of potentially high-risk passengers.

Advance Passenger Information System ProvidersAfter arresting 55 illegal foreign workers in three Metro Manila cities last month, the Philippines Bureau of Immigration is putting pressure on the Government to address Advance Passenger Information in a bid to quell illegal activities.

“We will also coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs to formulate measures in screening the subjects prior to issuance of entry visas to the Philippines,” said spokesperson Elaine Tan, likening the search for illegal foreigners, once within the metropolis to “finding a needle in a haystack.”

The provision of Advance Passenger Information would alert the border control agencies of such potential illegals before they arrive in the Philippines.

The arrests were made following an anonymous tip-off that workers were operating illegally on construction sites and in retail establishments. Elaine Tan confirmed that the workers would be deported if they fail to produce the relevant documents to support their employment status.