The implementation of the Advance Passenger Information-API system in Turkmenistan was discussed at a seminar organized by the representative office of the International Organization for Migration in cooperation with the OSCE. The seminar brought together law enforcement officials and the State Service «Turkmenhovayollary», as well as foreign experts who shared their experience and knowledge on the implementation of this system in national practice.
The introduction of the electronic passenger data exchange system API is a mandatory requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), of which Turkmenistan became a member from 1993. This system provides a more efficient registration of even a large flow of arriving passengers, at times simplifying and speeding up this procedure. The API contains passport data and other standard information about air passengers, as well as some details about the flight itself – departure and destination points, flight number, etc. Using the API system, the airline sends the complete list of passengers on board before departure from the departure point to the authorities of the country of destination, which allows the latter to check each arriving passenger in advance with the help of law enforcement databases and identify people in the high-risk group.
To implement the API system, first of all, it is necessary to make the appropriate changes to the legislation of the country, conclude memorandums of understanding with each airline operating in this country.
In addition to the legislative changes, the introduction of an API in Turkmenistan will also require a high level of interagency cooperation. The best practices of implementing the API in the world indicate that the most efficient systems operate in a single-window mode. This form of interagency interaction allows you to accumulate passenger data in a single database and process them most efficiently. Using this approach helps to optimize and speed up identity verification and passport control procedures at airports.
The use of the API is expanding. Currently the system is used in more than 70 countries. This is due to the desire of countries to increase the level of security of citizens’ movements, to improve and accelerate the process of passenger registration at arrival points.