Tuesday, September 05, 2006

IATA: Transatlantic crisis coming

An article on the Airport Business website quotes the International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Giovanni Bisignani as saying that a crisis is looming for Transatlantic travelers because the U.S. and the E.U. are not in agreement about rules pertaining to passengers' personal security.

Here's the gist of the problem:
In June, the European Court of Justice ruled illegal the EU's approval for airlines to pass on to US authorities private data on passengers on flights bound for the US or making stopovers there. The US had introduced the rule for security reasons. The court gave the EU and the US a deadline of end-September to negotiate a new agreement, allowing the transfer of the data to continue till then.

If there is no agreement by Sept 30, the airlines will have a legal problem, as the transfer of private data will be banned in Europe but mandatory in the US. Bisignani said airlines should not be obliged to choose which national laws they should transgress.
Mr. Bisignani is urging Europe and the U.S. "to act swiftly to avoid a huge transatlantic crisis over the coming weeks, with potential legal chaos leading to many flight cancellations."

Source: IATA Warns of World Flight Chaos - Airport Business

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