Although most EU states currently use PNR transmission, the European Commission have proposed a directive to allow consistent regulations and firm rules in the handling of personal passenger data.
PNR is the acceptable, abbreviated term given to Passenger Name Records, containing personal traveller information such as:
PNR information is collected by flight operators at the reservation and check-in levels and is stored in an airline’s Departure Control System (DCS). At the present time PNR data handling is not regulated in the EU and the European Commission recognises the need for the use of PNR data to tackle security issues and the threat of terrorism across Europe. To enable this, legislative measures are required.
More about Passenger Name Records.
The use of personal passenger data has been a highly debated subject since discussions began in 2011. The use of PNR to detect potential threats to a country’s national security is clear in that ‘persons of interest’ are immediately recognised. Much of the debate surrounds those passengers that are deemed ‘low risk'.
Currently the UK operate a system that requires the exchange of Authority to Carry Requests (ATC) in the form of Advance Passenger Information via the eBorders security system.
More information about Authority to Carry Requests.
The EU Commission proposes that:
More information about passenger data transfer.
Once received, the passenger data will begin a first-stage automatic process to assess travellers.
This must take place before arrival in the destination country, or before departure from the originating country or region, to enable the identification of passengers that may require further investigation or examination by the relevant authority.
Part of the directive states that automated processing of the PNR data must not be, if it is likely that an individual may be affected by a legal or human rights issue, the only basis for decision-making.
If specific PNR data is requested by an authority, (and only a relevant government or law-enforcement authority), each ‘Passenger Information Unit’ must assess and respond on a case-by-case basis, only providing the information related to a specific case.
The directive is still in the proposal stages and will not be launched until an agreement can be reached, although PNR data-sharing plans were finally approved by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Commission in July 2015, and the compromise text by the Council of the European Union in December 2015.
Now the compromise reached will enable the EU to begin the process of setting in place an effective, regulated PNR system that handles the fundamental rights of passengers respectfully and securely.
The EU has PNR transmission and processing agreements in place with the US, Canada and Australia for the assessment of international travellers.
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More about Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviSec.
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