A meeting held between EU member states today has negotiated a mandate for two EU legislative proposals on the collection and transfer of advanced passenger information prior to travel.

The collection of advanced passenger information is a frequent requirement in aviation travel that means all passengers should share their physical travel document and flight information which helps streamline their travel and safety experience.

Updating the procedures of collecting this information is a priority for airlines and airports through the border authorities tracking eligible passengers and which genuine documents they obtain as part of the global strategy for immigration, fighting crime and preventing terrorism.

Emphasising the benefits for efficient travel that migrate illegal migration, Gunnar Strömmer, Swedish Minister for Justice, said:

“Better travel data collection will contribute to fighting crime more efficiently and help border guards stop illegal crossings, as well as making it easier to travel by air.”

The two regulations will develop and put in place a router that receives the API data transferred to it by air carriers, minimising risks of errors and misuse, and in turn share data with border and law enforcement authorities. The Council mandate reveals member state’s border authorities can combine API data with passenger name records (PNR).

API data will consist of traveller information such as name, date of birth, nationality, type of the travel document and seating and baggage information.

The authorities will now begin negotiations with the European Parliament, and reach an agreement on new rules as API requirements remain inconsistent across the EU.

According to 2019 figures from the International Civil Aviation Organisation, over one billion passengers travel in and out of the EU each year.

A consideration for the European Council is data quality; the commission gathered in Strasbourg in 2022 to propose changes to the collection and transfer of API for enabling external border controls.

The European Commission is one vehicle with a directive on requirements for the electronic Advanced Passenger Information system, with different member states formulating their variations of the requirements.

For travel within the Schengen Zone, citizens of the 26 member states do not require a visa but are obligated to share Personal Name Records (PNR) and by 2028, the European zone will formalise sharing API information as well to prepare border authorities, managed by EU-Lisa.