Airline records are essential in fight against terrorism- Hayes

Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes has called for new EU laws to be introduced that would oblige airlines to give police in EU countries the data of passengers in order to help fight terrorism. Passenger Name Record (PNR) data is information provided by passengers and collected by airlines during reservation and check-in procedures.

“Since 2011 the EU have been debating this issue. Concerns about data protection and privacy have been to the forefront of the debate. Currently information on passengers is only provided to police for international flights.”

“Given the times we are now living in I believe it is essential that this procedure is followed for all flights. Safety and security is paramount. It makes no sense that data analysis should be limited to international flights only. Flights between EU Member States are as relevant. A PNR system is only useful if it applies to all flights.”

“As things stand the use of PNR data is not currently regulated at EU level. Ireland does not use PNR data for security and law enforcement purposes. We do not have a system for gathering PNR data from airlines. However this would change if agreement is reached at an EU level.”

“Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has been in continuous contact with me on this issue and has left me in no doubt that Ireland has consistently supported the proposed EU Laws. We cannot delay on a vital tool in the fight against terrorism for much longer. We must give police and security services across the EU the help they need to keep us safe” concluded Mr Hayes.

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