AEA Airlines push for legal clarity on passenger data
Following intense political discussion, the European Parliament today approved a new data transfer agreement with the USA, creating a robust legal framework for the exchange of airline passenger information.
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) has welcomed this development and is now calling on European regulators to act on requests from other countries.
“Europe’s network airlines commend the European Parliament for endorsing this agreement,” said AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus. “This new deal gives airlines flying across the Atlantic a clear legal basis for compliance with US data requests.”
Since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, airlines have received a growing number of data requests from governments around the world. The exchange of data between national agencies plays an essential role in the fight against terrorism, however airlines cannot legally provide ‘passenger name record’ (PNR) information until both sets of regulators have agreed on a clear data protection framework.
Now the EU-US agreement has been finalised, AEA is urging European regulators to act on approaches from at least 11 countries which are seeking access to European airline data as part of their counter-terrorism strategy.
“The EU has been sitting on these requests for far too long,” said Mr Schulte-Strathaus. “With every day that passes, European airlines are coming under growing pressure to provide this data, but they cannot and will not provide this information without the necessary legal framework. The EU must act soon or flights to these countries could be disrupted.”