3M system eases compliance with security rule

 - January 29, 2010, 5:38 AM

A mobile handheld identification reader and requisite software introduced by 3M will give charter companies, general aviation and FBOs a method of validating and transmitting advance passenger information system (Apis) data for Customs and Border Protection passenger screening with forwarding to the Transportation Security Administration for vetting.

Rules recently instituted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now require submission of electronic notices of arrival and departure of international flights for private and general aviation, as well as electronic manifests of the passengers and crew.

The 3M Mobile Advance Passenger Information System Solution, which consists of the 3M mobile ID reader and new 3M Apis client/server software, helps operators meet DHS requirements with real-time functionality that accommodates the needs of the industry, the company said.

The proprietary 3M Apis client/server software can swiftly and accurately accommodate last-minute manifest changes, says 3M. The software offers support for both batch and interactive Apis processing.

The mobile reader processes OCR data and sends the collected information through cellular and Wi-Fi–allowing for a flexible mobile reporting system. The reader’s integrated touchscreen also allows manual entry of data.

The solution simplifies the Apis manifest submission process for users by collecting data via one swipe of the passport, ID card, visa or other security credential.
Without an efficient way to collect and transmit data, operators must manually enter a large amount of information for everyone on an aircraft. The software also stores data for easy recall, meaning that in many cases, no typing is necessary.

Failing to comply with the Apis requirement, or submitting inaccurate data, can result in a fine for the pilot–$5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for subsequent violations. By automating much of the data collection with the 3M system, operators can help ensure the accuracy of their data and its timely submission.

According to 3M, the system offers significant benefits to Part 135 and Part 91 operators. Charter operators can save time and ensure accuracy with the software. The portability of the mobile ID reader offers charter operators greater flexibility in capturing Apis data than previous options whether using interactive or batch modes.

For FBOs, the 3M solution offers accuracy and efficiency. The general aviation sector will benefit from a system that helps make meeting Apis regulations much simpler, said the company.