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5 February 2017

Successful European Passenger Data Workshop in Brussels

Data and Big Data are hot topics, and our industry is on exception. For this reason, we organized a workshop in Brussels to tackle the data issue on a passenger level. With an audience of more than 100 attendees, this consisted of participants from

  •  21 countries from within and outside Europe 
  • 28 airlines (both IATA and non-IATA members) 
  • 8 industry associations 
  • relevant European authorities and agencies including EU Commission, EUROCONTROL, eu-LISA, Frontex and OSCE
  • international organizations including ICAO and WCO 

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IATA opening remarks and the EU Commission's keynote speech set the tone and the panels were an excellent platform to debate the existing and upcoming passenger data challenges in Europe. 

Current: 

  • countries still receive non-standard passenger data requests and/or with non-realistic deadlines 
  • airlines may face an increasing number of PNR data requests from EU countries in relation to the EU PNR Directive May 208 deadline 

Future: 

  •  in addition to existing API and PNR requirements, the EU Smart Borders package may involve a patchwork of data transfer requirements for airlines operating in the EU. Efficient approaches to cope with this should be looked into 
  • industry and authorities must keep working together on principles and approaches targeted at optimizing the passenger data transfer in a standard and cost efficient way 
  • relevant issues include 
    • future open standards and setting up a single window from the authorities' perspective 
    • initiatives such as IATA PNR Clearing House 
    • IATA One Order 

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Key takeaways from the workshop 

  • All stakeholders agreed that collaboration, especially between authorities and airlines, remain key to moving forward. This is even more relevant ahead of the European Passenger Data exchange European landscape, which will lead to a tremendous increase on requests from the authorities, and the EU agenda on Security (e.g. Smart Borders, PNR, etc.) 
  • Together with relevant authorities, the industry agreed that they need to keep looking into the future of efficient data transfer, including open standards usage, as well as existing industry practices (iAPI) 
  • Airlines exchange views with the European Commission about the challenges that implementing an Electronic Authorization System imply for airlines, particularly in view of the ETIAS implementation at EU level. Communicating with the general public and adherence to international best practices and standards were also outlined as crucial 
  • Cross-collaboration is critical to the effectiveness and success of Passenger Data Programs. This was further highlighted by the satisfaction survey which appreciated IATA's initiative to organize the workshop. The success of which would not have been possible without 
    • a broad and diverse audience with heterogeneous experience, views and perspectives, thereby enabling all attendees to have a holistic approach 
    • relevant topics, discussion and information provided 

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