Although the reliance on air travel in modern society has increased, there are still security risks that need to be addressed. In reaction to terrorist attacks, hijackings, and other security issues, governments have put increasingly strict security measures in place to ensure passenger safety. Airlines and governments use Secure Flight and Advance Passenger Information (API), two important security measures.
What is Secure Flight?
The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) created the Secure Flight programme to improve airline security by checking passengers against a watchlist of known or suspected terrorists. The programme, which was put in place in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, mandates that airlines operating in the US give the TSA passenger information for all flights arriving to, departing from, or flying over the US.
Before passengers check in for their flights, Secure Flight screening is conducted, and it involves comparing passenger data to the watchlist. If a match is discovered, the TSA is informed, and further screening procedures are carried out to evaluate whether the passenger constitutes a threat to national security.
What is Advance Passenger Information (API)?
A system called Advance Passenger Information (API) mandates that airlines give government organisations passenger information before a flight takes off. The information can be used to screen travellers against watchlists and spot potential security concerns. It comprises passport information, visa information, and other personal data.
The United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom are just a few of the nations that use API. The goal of API is to give governments the ability to recognise potential security threats before they enter their nation and take the necessary precautions to stop any security problems.
How do Secure Flight and API enhance airline security?
Secure Flight and API both aim to enhance airline security by providing governments and airlines with information about passengers that can be used to identify potential security threats. By screening passengers against watchlists and identifying potential security threats before they board a flight, Secure Flight and API help prevent security incidents from occurring.
Additionally, Secure Flight and API help to streamline the security screening process, making it faster and more efficient. By having passenger data in advance, security personnel can focus their efforts on potential security threats, reducing the time and resources required for screening.
While Secure Flight and API are crucial for enhancing airline security, they also raise privacy concerns. Passenger data, including personal information and travel details, is shared with government agencies and airlines, which some passengers may find intrusive.
To address these concerns, governments and airlines have put in place measures to protect passenger privacy. For example, the data collected is subject to strict data protection laws, and access to the data is restricted to authorised personnel only. Passengers also have the right to access their personal data and request its correction if necessary.
Secure Flight and API are important security measures used by airlines and governments to enhance airline security. By screening passengers against watchlists and collecting passenger data in advance, they help prevent security incidents from occurring and streamline the security screening process.
While they raise privacy concerns, governments and airlines have put in place measures to protect passenger privacy and ensure compliance with data protection laws. As air travel continues to grow in popularity, it is crucial that these security measures continue to evolve to ensure the safety and security of passengers.