TSA issues final order to air carriers for historical reservation data

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Passenger name record data to be used in Secure Flight test program
National Press Release
Friday, November 12, 2004

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the issuance of the Final Order in the Federal Register on Monday, November 15, requiring air carriers to provide historical passenger name record (PNR) information to TSA for testing. The 30-day block of PNR data will be used to test TSA's new passenger pre-screening program, Secure Flight, which will work to prevent terrorists and others who pose a threat from boarding aircraft. The deadline for airlines to submit the data to TSA is November 23.

"TSA has created Secure Flight as another tool to further our mission to combat terrorism and protect the nation's air travelers," said Rear Admiral David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. "The data from the airlines will enable us to test the program's operating capacity and fine-tune it. This process will also provide an opportunity to ensure that privacy safeguards are appropriately addressed before moving to implementation."

TSA is requesting PNR data for domestic flight segments flown between June 1, 2004 and June 30, 2004. Air carriers may elect to exclude PNRs that contain information about flight segments between the European Union and the United States.

Under Secure Flight, TSA will take over from the air carriers, comparison of domestic airline Passenger Name Record (PNR) information against records contained in the consolidated Terrorist Screening Center Database (TSDB), to include the expanded No-Fly and Selectee lists.

Testing will be governed by strict privacy and data security protections. Historical passenger information provided for testing will be used in a limited test with commercial data to determine if passenger information is incorrect or inaccurate, and to help resolve false positive matches against TSDB records. TSA is firmly committed to maintaining robust privacy protections during the testing of these procedures.