The new U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirement for aircraft operators to provide passenger manifest and aircraft information before departure for all international flights to and from the U.S. should be less of a chore thanks to a new electronic filing service offered jointly by NBAA and Arinc Direct Business Aviation Solutions. The electronic advanced passenger information system (eAPIS) allows operators to provide all the required information online and is fully approved by the agency as a means of compliance.
In addition to submitting data, operators can use the system to modify and store APIS data for future use via secure Arinc servers– a feature that is not available at the APIS portal of the border patrol’s own Web site. Users have access to real-time approval of their APIS transmissions and can make these applications for flights operated under both Part 91 rules and Part 135. Technical support for the system is available 24/7.
The eAPIS tool can be used by NBAA members for $25 per flight. In fact, existing Arinc Direct customers already have the eAPIS software with the necessary data drawn from the flight planning function of the system. “APIS requirements are not always easy to meet, and we want to assist our members to ease the stress of doing business in other countries,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
According to Arinc Direct business director James Hardie, eAPIS can easily be adjusted to meet new passenger information requirements being introduced by other countries. The company’s security division has said it is about to contract to help two undisclosed western European states develop their own APIS architecture. South Africa has committed to implementing APIS by June 2010, when it will host the soccer World Cup tournament.
Arinc’s engineering team is also working on developing ways to run the eAPIS functions on mobile devices. In the context of business aviation, this could be useful in situations where an operator and its passengers suddenly need to change travel plans and have to quickly meet the APIS requirements of their next destination.
Meanwhile, Arinc has yet to sign up a launch customer for its new Oi onboard Internet service, which it launched just ahead of the 2008 NBAA Convention. According to Colette Parks, Arinc’s satellite application director, the main obstacle in the business aviation market has been a delay in upgrading the Inmarsat Classic satcom systems so they are compatible with the group’s new I4 satellites. This upgrade is being tested and should be available beginning early next month.
Arinc (Booth No. 779), which is owned by the Carlyle Group, is celebrating its 80th anniversary.