DHS Announces Efforts To Improve Private Aircraft Security

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced new efforts to further improve aircraft security in the United States. DHS is working to strengthen security associated with private aircraft by publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which will require more detailed information about arriving and departing private aircraft and persons onboard within a timeframe necessary to assess the risks that certain flights may pose to national security.

DHS is working through Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify and vet passengers and crew on inbound and outbound international private aircraft, generally defined as non-commercial flights.

“This rule is designed to further protect the nation by improving our ability to identify threats on flights to and from the United States,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “We have a similar rule in place that allows us to assess the risk of commercial aircraft passengers on these flights and we are now taking steps to expand that capability to include passengers on international flights by private aircraft.”

The NPRM, Advanced Information on Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States, expands existing regulations that will require pilots of private aircraft to provide electronic manifest data for all persons traveling onboard to the United States government one hour prior to departure to and from the United States by filing manifest data via CBP’s eAPIS system or an approved alternate system.

The NPRM would require operators of private aircraft to provide the following information no less than 60 minutes prior to departure from or to a foreign port or place: advance notice of arrival, complete passenger and crew manifest data and aircraft information to foster aircraft identification, tracking and communication.

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