KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – As part of ongoing efforts to enhance international travel security, AirAsia is to pilot INTERPOL’s I-Checkit system to screen the passports of all its prospective passengers against the world police body’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.
Once implemented later this month the pilot project will see AirAsia become the first airline to use I-Checkit during the passenger check-in phase across its entire international network, allowing passenger passport numbers to be compared against INTERPOL’s SLTD database which contains more than 40 million records from 167 countries.
I-Checkit will allow the airline to query the SLTD database but not gain direct access to it. With the pilot project respecting national legislation linked to data protection, no personal data will be transmitted to INTERPOL, with only the travel document number, form of document and country code screened against SLTD. Should a passenger’s passport register a positive match against the database, AirAsia has procedures in place that will refer the passenger to local authorities. INTERPOL's procedures would simultaneously be engaged to notify all relevant INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) worldwide.
INTERPOL's I-Checkit initiative with AirAsia is part of INTERPOL’s Turn Back Crime global awareness campaign designed to engage all sectors of society, including industry and the public, in preventing and fighting crime.
AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said: “AirAsia is extremely pleased to be the first airline globally to collaborate with INTERPOL to implement I-Checkit. The partnership we have created will result in improved passenger security and will support our desire to offer low fares, but with the added assurance that this system and partnership provides.”
The I-Checkit system will be deployed across all AirAsia international operations, covering a network of 100 airports across Asia and 600 international flights per day to more than 20 countries worldwide.
In the event of a positive match registered via I-Checkit, alerts for further verification will also be sent to INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau of the country that owns the travel document data, and to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.
"INTERPOL is very proud to be piloting I-Checkit with AirAsia. This will raise the bar across the industry for passenger safety and security by preventing individuals using stolen or lost passports from boarding international flights,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble during his visit to AirAsia operations at Kuala Lumpur's klia2 terminal.
"AirAsia has established the new standard for airline security by screening the passports of all international passengers against INTERPOL’s database."
"After today, airlines will no longer have to depend solely on countries screening passports to keep passengers safe from terrorists and other criminals who use stolen passports to board flights. Like AirAsia, they will be able to do it themselves as well," added the Head of INTERPOL.
Currently, less than 10 countries systematically screen passenger passports against INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Document database, with approximately four out of every 10 passports on international flights not screened against INTERPOL’s database.
"I am particularly pleased that Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, has committed INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Kuala Lumpur to support this INTERPOL-AirAsia initiative. Without the support of INTERPOL offices in countries where passengers using stolen passports are identified, this initiative would not be possible," concluded Secretary General Noble.
I-Checkit was created to fill this glaring security gap by allowing airlines to instantaneously check whether a person intending to board an international flight is using a passport registered with INTERPOL as stolen or lost. It takes less than 0.5 seconds to query INTERPOL’s database once a passport is scanned.
INTERPOL and Malaysia’s Department of Immigration have completed the successful testing of the screening of INTERPOL’s SLTD database by immigration officials at the border. Systematic screening of the passports of visitors will begin in June 2014.
Airlines wishing to participate in INTERPOL's I-Checkit pilot initiative should contact the I-Checkit team via www.interpol.int/Forms/I-Checkit