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Czech police to check air passengers’ data

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Prague, July 10 (CTK) – The Czech government approved the establishment of a special police unit to check the data on passengers in air transport, which will have 14 police officers next year and 42 by 2021, on the basis of an EU directive on Monday, the Interior Ministry has said.

The EU agreed on its directive, sometimes called PNR (Passenger Name Register), last spring.

Thanks to the data from airlines, the security forces are to be able to track down risk passengers in a faster way.

The EU countries are to meet the rules by May 2018 at the latest.

“The establishment of the unit is a step in the right direction,” Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said.

“Thanks to information on passengers from air carriers and their possible sharing with other law-enforcement bodies we will be able to combat terrorism in a more efficient way,” he added.

He said the sharing of information within the EU and other countries such as the USA and Australia would enhance the security of Czech citizens.

The police unit will process the data from reservation and clearance system of airlines and the information is to be shared by the individual countries.

The data on the passengers are to be used for the checking of passengers before the departure from or arrival to the Czech Republic.

The analysis of the information on the passengers is to help with the struggle against terrorism and other crime.

The data on the passengers will be in the system one to two days before the departure and immediately after the end of their flight.

The unit will report to the National Organised Crime Centre. It will cooperate with other police bodies, customs authorities, secret services and the military police.

Last year, over six million people were travelling via Czech airports from the countries outside the EU and in the opposite direction.

It is presumed that in its full operation, the special unit will check roughly 13 million data a year and the figure might rose to around 20 million passengers by 2021.

The initial costs of the pilot system and purchase of equipment for police equipment is estimated at 130 million crowns.

The state is to pay another 20 million crowns a year for the maintenance and operation of the information system.

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