Has your Government recently surprised you by asking about it? Did you or do you think that PNRGOV is actually some APIS, and thus, you are covered because you have it?
We have registered an increasing interest in PNRGOV among our customers and partners in the past weeks. Therefore, we decided to publish a short series of articles to inform you, set you on the right path, and get you going.
First, it is essential to realize that the PNRGOV is not the same as APIS. APIS or (eAPIS) stands for the (electronic) Advance Passenger Information System. APIS governs the provision of a certain number of data elements (identification details of the passport and basic travel information) from commercial airline and vessel operators to the computer system of the destination state. Required data conforms to specifications for UN/EDIFACT Passenger List Message (PAXLST) formats. Countries requiring APIS include e. g. Canada, Russia, the UK, and the USA.
On the contrary, the PNRGOV is a new messaging standard for transmitting Passenger Name Records (PNR) to governments, introduced by the European Union. The related EU PNR Directive for the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of terrorist offenses and serious crimes was adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2016, with the implementation deadline in 2018. By now, most EU member states have implemented the PNRGOV primarily with commercial airlines. Now, they have begun requiring business aviation operators to adhere as well.
The EU PNR Directive demands the EU member states to collect and process the PNR data of all international passengers traveling by air, even inside EU borders. Furthermore, it regulates how airlines and tour operators should manage and provide their PNR data to particular so-called national Passenger Information Units (PIUs).
You can imagine that building such an extensive service for submitting and syncing all passenger data, in a new format, to 27 different national entities constitutes a massive challenge. It means implementing and maintaining 27 dedicated data broadcasting services (usually computer message brokers and VPNs – Virtual Private Networks), seamlessly sending and updating all passenger data for all newly added or updated flights. Furthermore, each national PIU may use a different type or version of a message broker, a server, or a VPN standard. Hence, this new EU legal requirement translates into a costly and time-consuming, complex project.
To address these challenges, we carefully evaluated our options, keeping in mind our customers:
- how to introduce our PNRGOV service timely,
- how to assure security, stability, and reliability of this critical service communicating sensitive personal data, and, last but not least,
- how to achieve this mission affordably, keeping the implementation and running costs for our customers as low as possible.
As a result of our considerations, we decided to join forces with Streamlane, a team of experts helping governments worldwide secure their borders. Streamlane has worked, among others, with Police Luxembourg and the French Government to connect over 100 airlines, 230 airports, 30 crew systems, and 20 reservation and DCS systems.
Streamlane offers an advanced SaaS collaboration platform called GOVlink. Our single data link to GOVlink will enable our customers to distribute passenger data securely and reliably and thus to comply with the EU PNR Directive gradually in all 27 EU countries. The FL3XX system supports basic data exchange with GOVlink already today. We are intensively working on a more advanced solution to launch by the end of 2021, reaching a fully automated transmission service in the first quarter of 2022.
We will tell you more about our PNRGOV solution and how to subscribe with Streamlane in our upcoming article next week.