The new system will be implemented to help airlines process their passengers’ personal and travelling details before their arrival in the UAE.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has announced that it will implement the Advance Passenger Information System (Apis) by the end of 2014 or early next year pending the final approval of the Ministry of Interior.
Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, said: “Big organisations require a progressive and ambitious administrative philosophy. The one that is capable of coping with the challenges and at the same time add to its growth and development. GDRFA-Dubai, which deals with millions of people every month from all the segments, follows the same principle. Our cadres are our true treasures.”
Providing details about the Apis in an interview for the July edition of Manafez Dubai, the official bilingual newsletter of GDRFA-Dubai, Major-General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, said: “Under the directives of Lt.-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, the new system will be implemented to help airlines process their passengers’ personal and travelling details before their arrival in the UAE.”
Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, is the chairman of the higher committee for the project, and Major-General Al Marri is the vice-chairman.
“The ministry had assigned GDRFA-Dubai to oversee the project since the launch of its concept in 2009. The Apis, which was put on trial for a couple of years to test its efficacy, aims to raise the security at airports and at the same time reduce the time of passenger-checking procedures to less than 20 seconds. He said: “The use of technologies like Apis also helps reduce complications and disparities in security-check procedures faced by passengers while dealing with different airport operators and airlines in different countries,” he added.
“The system will link airline companies that use Dubai International Airport with the GDRFA-Dubai in order to help them enhance their abilities to discover fake or expired documents, including passports and visas, before they transport the passengers to the UAE.”
Apis is ready for implementation at national level and a final approval from the government is likely any time soon, Bin Suroor added revealing that the first phase of Apis will start with the First and Business class passengers of Emirates Airlines. Gradually, it will expand to include the Economy class passengers. At a later stage, the government will circulate guidelines to all the airlines to follow the suit and benefit from the Apis.
The system is currently being applied in the US and some European countries. The UAE too need to implement the system at its airports, which was used by more than 90 million passengers in 2013.