The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is rebuffing allegations that business aviation is the weak link in European aviation security and poses a crime risk due to its exemption from the new EU passenger name record (PNR) directive that came into force in May.
“Business aviation is proud of its safety and security record, and we are pleased to work with the relevant authorities to maintain our standards to the highest degree possible while retaining the flexibility our business requires,” EBAA’s new secretary general, Athar Husain Khan, told AIN in response to reports this summer that business aviation’s exclusion of the new data collection rules is allowing criminal activity to fly under the radar.
EBAA members are complying with the legislation and supplying PNR data to the relevant authorities as requested, the Brussels-based body stressed. “Currently, we see that the national authorities use the data not to the best of their abilities, but we anticipate this will improve over time,” the association added.
The EU PNR directive requires air carriers to transfer the PNR of passengers on their flights to and from the EU to the authorities of the EU country where they depart or land. Member states can apply the PNR rules also to intra-EU flights or to selected intra-EU flights and they also can exempt business aircraft and private jet operators.
If a member country decides to exempt business aviation from PNR, it can choose to make the exemption applicable across the board or only to certain airports. The detailed information is for security reasons not revealed to the public, EBAA said, adding that business aviation, by its nature, tends to be more secure, flying smaller aircraft and thus having better knowledge of its passengers.