PETALING JAYA: International passengers flying from Malaysia to countries with the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) should not be made to pay the RM35 “security” fee.
In a statement to The Malay Mail, International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Asia Pacific corporate communications assistant director Albert Tjoeng said the APIS programme is intended to strengthen national security and is the responsibility of the State.
“APIS is a national and not commercial goal and accordingly, the cost of implementation should be financed by the State,” he said.
Tjoeng also clarified that IATA has never pressured the Malaysian government to implement APIS at the country’s airports.
“IATA does not promote the implementation of APIS to screen travellers. However, where States decide to implement APIS at its airports, it should be based on international standards and guidelines published by the World Customs Organisation and the International Civil Aviation Organisation, both of which are supported by IATA.”
In our front-page report last Monday, it was revealed that international travellers departing Malaysia may have to pay RM35 more for security on top of the RM14 hike in airport tax.
Sources had told The Paper That Cares that this fee may be imposed to cover costs of maintenance and new equipment if APIS is implemented.
Designed in the United States, APIS is an electronic data interchange system that captures a passenger’s details, including full name, gender, birthdate, nationality, country of residence, travel document type and reference number and final destination.
The system is used to vet high-risk passengers, such as suspected terrorists and data gathered can be used to stop passengers from boarding an aircraft.
The US had initiated the system after the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C.
Source: mmail.com.my By ASRUL HADI ABDULLAH SANI