INTERPOL:  Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database and I-Checkit

Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database enables its National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and other authorized law enforcement entities (such as immigration and border control officers) to ascertain the validity of a travel document in seconds.

How It Works

Details of stolen and lost passports are submitted directly to the STLD database via Interpol’s I-24/7 secure global police communication system.  Only the country which issued the document can add it to the database.

Law enforcement officials at Interpol NCBs and other locations with access to Interpol’s databases through the I-24/7 system – such as airports and border crossings – can query the passports of individuals travelling internationally against the SLTD, and immediately determine if the document has been reported as lost or stolen so they can take the necessary actions.

Starting with a few thousand records from just 10 countries, the SLTD database has grown exponentially; at the end of 2014, it contained information on more than 45 million travel documents (passports, identity documents, visas) reported lost or stolen by 169 countries. 

The database was searched by member countries more than one thousand million times in 2014, resulting in nearly 72,000 positive responses, or ‘hits’.

To help identify and stop criminals from using lost or stolen travel documents long before they get to the airport or the border, Interpol has developed I-Checkit.  This initiative, currently in pilot phase, will allow private sector partners in the travel, hotel and banking industries to screen customers’ documents against the SLTD database when they book a plane ticket, check in to a hotel or open a bank account.

I-Checkit will give law enforcement an unprecedented insight into passport and travel activity that usually occurs beyond the reach of law enforcement bodies, thus enhancing their surveillance capabilities on a global scale.

At Amicus, we are vigilant to the ever changing world of Government and Law enforcement surveillance and security initiatives.


I-Checkit

 

Passenger name record(PNR) Data Base

In the airline and travel industries, a passenger name record (PNR) is a record in the database of a computer reservation system (CRS) that consists of the personal information for a passenger and also contains the itinerary for the passenger, or a group of passengers travelling together. The concept of a PNR was first introduced by airlines that needed to exchange reservation information in case passengers required flights of multiple airlines to reach their destination (“interlining”). For this purpose, IATA and ATA defined standards for interline messaging of PNR and other data through the "ATA/IATA Reservations Interline Message Procedures - Passenger" (AIRIMP). There is no general industry standard for the layout and content of a PNR. In practice, each CRS or hosting system has its own proprietary standards, although common industry needs, including the need to map PNR data easily to AIRIMP messages, has resulted in many general similarities in data content and format between all of the major systems.

When a passenger books an itinerary, the travel agent or travel website user will create a PNR in the CRS, which may be an airline's database or typically one of the global distribution systems (GDSs), such as AmadeusSabre, or Travelport (Apollo, Galileo, and Worldspan). If a booking is made directly with of the airline's CRS, the PNR is called the Master PNR for the passenger and the associated itinerary. The PNR is identified in the CRS by a record locator. If portions of the travel itinerary are not to be provided by the holder of the Master PNR, then copies of the PNR information are sent to the CRSs of the airlines that will be providing transportation. These CRSs will open copies of the Master PNR in their own database to manage the portion of the itinerary for which they are responsible. Many airlines have their CRS hosted by one of the GDSs, which allows sharing of the PNR. The record locators of the copied PNRs are communicated back to the CRS that holds the Master PNR, so all records remain tied together. This enables exchanging updates of the PNR when the status of the trip changes in any of the CRSs.

Although PNRs were originally introduced for air travel airlines systems, they can also be used for bookings of hotelscar rental, airport transfers, and traintrips.PNRs are now routinely shared with government agencies, such as customs and security or law enforcement agencies.

From a technical point, there are five parts of a PNR required before the booking can be completed.They are:

  • the name of the passenger
  • contact details for the travel agent or airline office.
  • ticketing details, either a ticket number or a ticketing time limit.
  • itinerary of at least one segment, which must be the same for all passengers listed.
  • name of the person providing the information or making the booking.

Other information, such as a timestamp and the agency's pseudo-city code, will go into the booking automatically. All entered information will be retained in the "history" of the booking.

Once the booking has been completed to this level, the CRS will issue a unique all alpha or alpha-numeric record locator, which will remain the same regardless of any further changes made (except if a multi-person PNR is split). Each airline will create their own booking record with a unique record locator, which, depending on service level agreement between the CRS and the airline(s) involved, will be transmitted to the CRS and stored in the booking. If an airline uses the same CRS as the travel agency, the record locator will be the same for both.

A considerable amount of other information is often desired by both the airlines and the travel agent to ensure efficient travel, including:

  • fare details, (although the amount may be suppressed, the type of fare will be shown), and any restrictions that may apply to the ticket.
  • tax amounts paid to the relevant authorities involved in the itinerary.
  • the form of payment used, as this will usually restrict any refund if the ticket is not used.
  • further contact details, such as agency phone number and address, additional phone contact numbers at passenger address and intended destination.
  • age details if it is relevant to the travel, e.g., unaccompanied children or elderly passengers requiring assistance.
  • frequent flyer data.
  • seat allocation (or seat type request).
  • special Service Requests (SSR) such as meal requirements, wheelchair assistance, and other similar requests.
  • "Optional Services Instruction" or "Other Service Information" (OSI) - information sent to a specific airline, or all airlines in the booking, which enables them to better provide a service. This information can include ticket numbers, local contacts details (the phone section is limited to only a few entries), airline staff onload and upgrade priority codes, and other details such as a passenger's language or details of a disability.
  • vendor remarks, which are comments made by the airline, typically generated automatically once the booking or request is completed. These will normally include the airline's record locator, replies to special requests, and advice on ticketing time limits. While normally sent by the airlines to an agent, it is also possible for an agent to send a VR to an airline.

In more recent times, many governments now require the airline to provide further information included to assist investigators tracing criminals or terrorists. These include:

  • Passengers' gender
  • Passport details - nationality, number, and date of expiry
  • Date and place of birth
  • Redress number, (if previously given to the passenger by the US authorities).
  • All available payment/billing information.

The components of a PNR are identified internally in a CRS by a one character code. This code is often used when creating a PNR via direct entry into a terminal window (as opposed to using a graphical interface). The following codes are standard across all CRSs based on the original PARS system:

  • - Name
  • 0 Segment (flight) information, including number of seats booked, status code (for example HK1 - confirmed for 1 passenger) and fare class
  • 1 Related PNR record ids.
  • 2 PNR owner identification (airline, CRS user name and role)
  • 3 Other airline Other Service Information (OSI) or Special Service Request (SSR) items
  • 4 Host airline OSI or SSR items
  • 5 Remarks
  • 6 Received from
  • 7 Ticketing information (including ticket number)
  • 8 Ticketing time limit
  • 9 Contact phone numbers

Advance Passenger Information System

The Advance Passenger Information System or APIS is an electronic data interchange system established by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

APIS governs the provision of a limited number of data elements (identification details from the passport and basic flight information) from commercial airline and vessel operators to the computer system of the destination state. Required information should conform to specifications for UN/EDIFACT Passenger List Message (PAXLST) formats.

Beginning in May 2009, private aircraft pilots must also provide the necessary information to the CBP. The regulations were put into effect in December 2008 with a 180-day voluntary compliance period.

eAPIS (electronic APIS) is a public website (https://eapis.cbp.dhs.gov) which allows small commercial carriers to transmit data to the CBP electronically.

When travelling to or from certain countries, passengers are required to provide advance passenger information (API) before they check in or they will be unable to fly.These countries include

  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Canada
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Maldives
  • Mexico
  • Republic of Korea
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Lucia
  • Spain (except for Schengen zone passengers)
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The required information consists of:

  • Full name (last name, first name, middle name if applicable)
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Country of residence
  • Travel document type (normally passport)
  • Travel document number (expiry date and country of issue for passport)
  • [For US travellers] Address of the first night spent in the US (not required for US nationals, legal permanent residents, or alien residents of the US entering the US)

Automated Targeting System

The Automated Targeting System or ATS is a United States Department of Homeland Security computerized system that, for every person who crosses U.S. borders, scrutinizes a large volume of data related to that person (see below), and then automatically assigns a rating for which the expectation is that it helps gauge whether this person may be placed within a risk group of terrorists or other criminals. Similarly ATS analyzes data related to container cargo.

These ratings take many details into account, such as country of origin, how travel to the U.S. was funded, and the visitor's driving record. Other more mundane details also factor in, such as where the person is sitting on the flight and what they ordered for their meal.

The existence of such a system was first discovered by the public in November 2006, when a mention of it appeared in the Federal Register. The system was first implemented in the late 1990s, and was significantly expanded shortly after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.