Air passenger rosters go to the Web

Air passenger rosters go to the Web

A federal Web site now under development by the Homeland Security Department's Customs and Border Protection Bureau would securely receive mandatory passenger lists for international airline flights.

'It's the first time we're allowing small carriers to submit information directly into our systems,' said James Jeffers, a program officer at Customs and Border Protection.

The Web site would feed the submissions to the Advanced Passenger Information System, designed after Sept. 11, 2001, to give federal officials time to deal with any high-risk passengers aboard international flights.

Passenger rosters use an electronic data interchange format known as UN/EDIFACT, for United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport.

APIS data currently travels over a value-added network or by e-mail. Customs has warned that e-mail is less reliable and secure. The bureau can assess penalties for missing or inaccurate data.

Tentatively scheduled to debut by year's end, the e-APIS Web site would serve as a central reporting location for small air carriers, which are more likely to use e-mail than their larger peers.

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