View Full Version : ANO to avoid breach of Data Protection Act

1st Oct 2006, 09:38

Flights from UK 'escape US bans'

Flights from the UK will not be affected by the EU-US row

Passengers flying from UK airports will not be affected by a EU-US row over US demands for information on passengers, the British government has said.
The Department of Transport (DoT) said it had taken out an air navigation order, so planes flying to the US would escape potential American landing bans.

It means airlines can pass information to the US without running into legal trouble under data protection laws.

The action came as a deal between the EU and US remained in doubt.

A DoT spokesman said: "We took out an air navigation order so planes could have a legal basis for data transfer while the EU-level talks are ongoing.

"It's a patch, if you like."

Planning ahead

Paul Charles, Virgin Atlantic's director of communications, said the British government had good foresight to put the legal patch in place.

"They took it on that if there was not a deal between the EU and the US then this patch could take effect.

"It means airlines can carry on as normal as if the argument had never occurred, and the agreement was not about to run out.

"It means airlines can go on providing the passenger data that the US require without facing possible legal action."


European and American officials had been holding talks to resolve the dispute on the transfer of airline passenger data before it ran out on Saturday.

The row began in May, when the European Court of Justice ruled against a deal set up following the 9/11 attacks.

Under this agreement, European airlines agreed to supply the American authorities with detailed information about passengers flying into the US.

The two sides had until Saturday to replace the deal, with the Americans warning it may fine airlines or deny them landing rights if they refused to provide such data.

The US government believe the information is vital in their fight against terrorism and called for even more access to information.

2nd Oct 2006, 03:15
Good news. It makes a change for our government to do something sensible and pragmatic. I thought they'd lost the ability!