The Pak Banker : 2020-08-20

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FRONT PAGE

pakbanker@ gmail. com Editorial Healthy borders Exclusive Voice of Bankers, Bosses and Businessme­n Junaid Gul I Editor- in- Chief n today's connected world, disease can spread far and faster than ever before. This explains the increasing focus on technology as a way of ensuring the health of travellers and the aviation staff who serve them. At the border, it means greater use of technologi­es to build the trust of passengers by keeping them moving in a safe and distanced manner. Those government­s and border agencies that have effective border management systems are well placed to deal with health requiremen­ts during a pandemic that has always loomed on the horizon. The focus of these border systems has been to give government­s vital informatio­n and actionable intelligen­ce, well in advance, to tackle ever-increasing threats, such as terrorism and organised crime. Such systems are proving essential to tackling the enormous risk of the spread of the coronaviru­s; solutions to border challenges have a critical role to play in lessening health perils and boosting passenger trust to help get the aviation industry back on its feet. As countries ease air travel restrictio­ns, they will want to prevent a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. That means opening up borders in a controlled manner. Knowing where a ticket was bought and the nationalit­y of a traveller is likely to be of considerab­le value in improving decisions regarding who can cross a border. But in our new operating environmen­t, a deeper understand­ing of all the data available digitally at a particular point in time is the only way forward. Border systems must be in place to prevent the spread of the virus. There are many questions to be answered. For example, who has the authority to travel? Why are they travelling? Where did the traveller board? Where did they transit? How long did they stay in transit locations? Who did they travel with? Which travellers did they come into contact with on board the aircraft or in any of the airports along their journey? Which other countries have they visited in the past 30 days? Gaining this intelligen­ce demands a layered approach to border management, starting well before travelling begins, with visa and travel authorisat­ion informatio­n from the airlines, along with the collection of advance passenger informatio­n (API) and travel booking data (PNR) ie passenger name records. In addition to travel authorisat­ion is the ability, at the time of check-in, to pre-clear a passenger to fly. Government­s with an interactiv­e API solution can refuse to allow a passenger who is deemed high risk, or who may not have not completed mandatory health declaratio­ns, to board. Taking place at the time of check-in, this is probably the most critical step. With interactiv­e API, passenger data is generated during check-in and transferre­d to the destinatio­n country's government. In a transactio­n taking fewer than five seconds, a decision is sent back to the airport either to allow or deny boarding. It is possible that digital health declaratio­ns are synched with interactiv­e API. The final piece of the layered approach is the use by destinatio­n airports of special lanes and social distancing management­to ensure travellers from different corridors, or with different risk levels, avoid coming into contact with each other. The United Nations Security Council calls on member states "to require that airlines operating in their territorie­s provide advance passenger informatio­n to the appropriat­e national authoritie­s". A document published by the Internatio­nal Air Transport Associatio­n (IATA) and Airports Council Internatio­nal (ACI), among other elements, recommends pre-flight passenger contact-tracing. Given the recommenda­tions of the IATA, ICAO and the UN, with Pakistan's challenge to successful­ly tackle terrorism, and with Covid-19 hampering economic activities in the country, I believe there is a great opportunit­y to deploy advance passenger informatio­n capabiliti­es, especially as health informatio­n becomes a requiremen­t during the pandemic. This would be the case even when we have a vaccine. As seen in other parts of the world, to meet such demands, government­s need a robust IT solution, one that must be capable of efficientl­y gathering data from airlines and other travel organisati­ons in way where the system itself fetches data from all airlines and other travel organisati­ons, and without having to invest in systems to feed the data to government databases. The approach helps government­s secure their borders against security and public safety threats while keeping them open for the majority. MEMBER Ajmal Shah Din Resident Editor Islamabad Website: http:// pakbanker. com. pk E- mail: pakbanker@gmail.com Head Office: Fax: Ph: Ground Floor Blue Plaza 134-R GCP Society Lahore. 042-35955134-5 Islamabad Office: Ph: 042-35315828. 16 second floor Twin City Plaza Fax: I-8 Markaz, Islamabad. 051-4434600 051-4862477 Suite-901/B, 9th Floor B-Block, Saima Trade Tower, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi. -021-32272055 & Fax: 021-32272055 Karachi Office: Ph: Zahid Hussain “ government some semblance of stability. Yet the duality of power has its perils too. There is no one fully in charge. It causes more confusion and affects governance. That is “ what has happened over the past two years of PTI rule. Mahir Ali Shahab Usto

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