Ireland to demand advance info about int’l passengers from airlines

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All airlines will have to provide advance information about passengers flying in and out of Ireland by the end of this May, reported local media RTE on Saturday.

The report quoted the Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan as saying that the new rule, which is proposed by him and has been approved by the government, is aimed at fighting terrorism and meeting the requirements of a new European Union (EU) directive called Passenger Name Record (PNR).

The PNR rules that all flights entering and leaving the EU countries must submit information about passengers in advance, and the new rule will have to be implemented among EU member states by the 25th of this May.

Flanagan said that Ireland has signed up to the PNR and will implement it as required by the EU.

He said that the proposed new PNR system is recognised across the EU as a key element in the fight against terrorism, adding that it will facilitate informed, coordinated and targeted action among member states and enhance national and EU security to protect the safety and lives of individual citizens.

The minister did not say what additional information is required from passengers apart from those stated in passport.

A spokesperson from Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner’s office said that the government will establish a Passenger Information Unit for the collection, processing and transfer of passenger information.

He said that the privacy of passengers’ information will be protected under data protection laws, and a data protection officer within the passenger information unit will be authorized to monitor and ensure compliance with the data protection regulations.

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