The Belgian federal government approved legislation in December to collect personal data about passengers taking international trains, buses, cruises and, of course, flights. However, the government had to ask the permission for each of these sectors first, and engage in talks with them separately.
The privacy watchdog has now approved the most important part, the one concerning air traffic. Jambon spokesman Olivier Van Raemdonck says "everything has been discussed thoroughly" with the aviation sector. He claims it will still be possible for passengers to book last-minute flights, despite the obligation for air companies to have all passenger information available 48 hours before take-off.
Air companies will have to supply concrete data about how passengers made their reservation and when to the Crisis Centre of the Interior Office. In order to make no mistakes, they have to do this a second time, when everyone has already boarded the plane and when nobody is allowed to alight.
What the Home Office will be informed of in more detail
The tour operator will pass on to the government...
- your name, address, date of birth
- your contact data
- seat number
- reservation date
- method of payment
- which tour operator
- complete flight route
What tour operators won't pass on:
- your origin
- religious beliefs
- political ideas
- health issues
- sexual orientation
The measures should come into force in a years' time
Each year, some 15 million passengers are seen departing from Belgian airports. The government wants to be able to monitor in particular those whose names have been listed in data banks on heavy crime, illegal migration and terrorism.