Establishing an Advance Passenger Information (API) System in Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, 4-5 September 2019, International Organization for Migration (IOM) – the UN Migration Agency, Mission to Turkmenistan and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has jointly organized a national workshop on establishing an Advance Passenger Information (API) system in Turkmenistan.
API is an electronic system through which biographical data from a traveler’s passport and flight details are collected by airlines and transmitted to the relevant national authorities at the border before the departure or arrival of a specific flight. API is a standard obligation required from all states by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) starting from 2017 with the approval of ICAO’s Amendment 26 to ICAO Annex 9. Turkmenistan is a full member of ICAO from 1993.
Current workshop brought together representatives from all national agencies involved in passenger processing, including national police and intelligence service, national customs administration, migration service, airport security officers, Parliament, Ministry of Justice as well as international technical experts and IT specialists from the USA, Slovenia, UK, Switzerland. Moreover, IOM and OSCE API experts, international and national airlines, IATA representatives participated at this event and shared with their experience in implementing and using API systems.
The objective of the event was to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the features, functions and benefits of API, and practical insights about the administrative, technological and operational procedures related to implementing and operating an API system. “API data can provide different benefits to border management and aviation security”, – stressed the representative from the “Turkmenistan airlines”. “Processing passenger data will be essential to the identification, detection and interception of foreign terrorist fighters and other serious criminals”, - marked one of the international participants.
This workshop is one of the series of events related to API system organized by IOM. Previously IOM has conducted comprehensive review of Turkmenistan’s regulatory framework relating to introduction of API and provided the recommendations on necessary revisions, as well as initiated series of study trips to learn the best international practices on API implementation strategy. IOM is committed to continue working with the Government of Turkmenistan on introduction of the API in the country and plans to organize the series of activities aimed at increasing the capacity of national authorities in technological and operational procedures for implementing a passenger data program.