New site will monitor private aircraft operators

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched a new Web site to collect advance information on passengers on private planes who intend to enter the United States. The data will be submitted under a new regulation that will be enforced voluntarily starting Dec. 18.

The agency created the Web site to help implement its new Advance Passenger Information System regulation that requires pilots or their designated agents submit manifests on passengers and aircraft at least 60 minutes before the aircraft begins its flight. The manifests include personal information on the travelers as well as notice of arrivals and departures for the aircraft.

CBP published a final rule on the regulation, as it pertains to private aircraft, in November.

The final rule goes into effect voluntarily on Dec. 18 and becomes mandatory on May 18, 2009, CBP said in a news release dated Dec. 12.

CBP slightly modified the final rule to accommodate concerns raised by the National Business Aviation Association with regard to pilots flying from remote areas where they do not have Internet access and are unable to use the Web-based system to submit their manifests, the association said in an undated statement on its Web site. Under the final rule, CBP will make exceptions to allow telephone and radio transmission on a case-by-case basis.

“While the final rule still requires the submission of passenger and aircraft information using the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System, the comments filed by NBAA led to changes that will assist operators in complying with the rule,” the association said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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