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.’
As airline passenger numbers continue to increase around the world, airports are making sound investments in apps to assist passengers with self-service and automated solutions to make the processes of check-in, security and baggage handling easier. Airports are realising that these investments are already paying off in increased passenger experience and in the increased efficiency for the airport operator.
Common-use check-in and bag drop desks have been operating in global airports successfully, and with an estimated 80% of passengers now checking-in online using smart devices and their desktops, the introduction of apps has further streamlined the entire process of checking-in. Airports are also able to provide additional travel information to passengers via these innovative applications, which is another way travellers are gaining even greater control of their journey, increasing passenger satisfaction significantly.
Large airport services providers, such as Rockwell Collins, deliver technological advancements that enable airport operators to achieve greater efficiency across the airport environment, with solutions such as automated check-in kiosks, bag drop facilities and more common-use applications that can be accessed directly from smart devices. The addition of ARINC ExpressDrop has given airports the opportunity to address off-site baggage handling, further adding to efficiency, and helping to reduce waiting and queueing times.
As air travel continues to increase by an average of 5% every year, self-service passenger processing innovations seem an obvious path for airport operators to take.
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.
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.
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.
David 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.
It has been announced that Abu Dhabi International is to upgrade the airport baggage handling system as a part of its initiative to expand passenger capacity.
A new baggage conveyor will be installed and infrastructure will be improved in order to handle an expected increase in passenger numbers over the next few years.
Siemens have been selected to install the new baggage handling system by the Abu Dhabi Airports commission and work is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2016.
Other providers of airport baggage handling systems across the world look to the latest technology to expand airports capacity, including the latest self-service check-in and bag drop desks from Rockwell Collins.
The UK’s Home Office has been openly criticised this week over the e-borders scheme, which was besieged by problems since it was launched in 2003, last year ending its current form, which proved to be completely ineffective.
The borders scheme, costing around £830 million originally intended to collect passenger data and perform analysis on all travellers arriving at and leaving the UK’s airports and seaports.
Many of the criticisms are regarding not only the spending acceleration of the project, but also its failure to meet its targets, with an estimated 20% of booking data being collected, compared to the 100% original target figure. Advance Passenger Information collection in September of this year was at 86%.
The original contract for the provision of the e-borders technology was cancelled, and a subsequent £150 million settlement was paid out-of-court.
While the system has been upgraded, the original e-borders scheme is way overdue, with an estimated completion date now set at around 2019, eight years past the intended deadline.
E-borders technology improvements all over the world are proving successful in the ability to track the movements of terror suspects and to minimise the risks to national security. The latest developments offer solutions using biometric data and self check in.
The UK Home Office maintain that despite the delays and problems with the implementation of the new e-borders system, all arrivals on UK shores are checked against national watch lists.