Dubai to launch advance passenger info system
Dubai, July 6, 2014
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) plans to implement the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) by the end of this year or early next year after getting the final approval from the UAE’s Ministry of Interior.
The APIS, which was put on trial for a couple of years to test its efficacy, aims to raise the security at airports and at the same time reduce the time of passenger-checking procedures to less than 20 seconds.
The GDRFA-Dubai director general Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, said: "Big organizations require a progressive and ambitious administrative philosophy. The one that is capable of coping with the challenges and at the same time add to its growth and development."
"GDRFA-Dubai, which deals with millions of people every month from all the segments, follows the same principle. Our cadres are our true treasures," he stated.
Providing details about the APIS in an interview for the July edition of Manafez Dubai, the official bilingual newsletter of GDRFA-Dubai, Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, the deputy Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said the new system will be implemented to help airlines process their passengers’ personal and traveling details before their arrival in the UAE.
“The use of technologies like APIS also helps reduce complications and disparities in security-check procedures faced by passengers while dealing with different airport operators and airlines in different countries," he added.
According to him, the system will link airline companies that use Dubai International Airport with the GDRFA-Dubai in order to help them enhance their abilities to discover fake or expired documents, including passports and visas, before they transport the passengers to the UAE.
Maj Gen Obaid said the APIS was ready for implementation at national level and a final approval from the government is likely any time soon.
"The first phase of APIS will start with the First and Business class passengers of Emirates Airlines. Gradually, it will expand to include the Economy class passengers. At a later stage, the government will circulate guidelines to all the airlines to follow the suit and benefit from the APIS," he added.
The system is currently being applied in the US and some European countries. The UAE too needs to implement the API System at its airports, which was used by more than 90 million passengers in 2013.
In his welcome note, Maj Gen Al Marri said adoption of the state-of-the-art technology was crucial in achieving these objectives.
"But technology alone cannot help us in achieving the desired results until we work on improving our human resources," he pointed out.
"It is the human capabilities and skills, boosted by education and training, that can help us utilize the technology in the best possible way for the welfare of the country and its people," he added.-TradeArabia News Service