EU aims for US-style passenger data plan for flights in 2009
The US-style passenger data recording system requires passengers to submit personal information to authorities for security checks.25 July 2008
BRUSSELS - European Union ministers agreed in principle on Thursday to set up a US-style passenger data recording system for commercial flights in the bloc, said French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.
Jacques Barrot, the EU's justice and home affairs commissioner, said the aim is to have the EU-wide system set up by the end of 2009.
The US system gives the data that airlines collect about their passengers such as their name, age, sex, address and credit card details to US authorities before they enter America. That allows them to do a security check on each passenger before the flights land.
After Thursday's meeting by EU interior and justice ministers, Alliot-Marie said EU governments still have to work out whether data will only be collected on foreigners aboard flights to the EU or whether it also should include data collected on EU citizens and on inter-European flights.
Barrot is calling for rules to ensure that each EU nation has a passenger data collection system to avoid suspected terrorists from finding a way into the 27-nation bloc undetected.
Britain and the Netherlands are currently testing such passenger data recording systems on their own.
[AP / Expatica]