What does API mean?
A growing number of destination countries oblige the airlines that fly to them to transmit passenger data before an aircraft lands in one of them. Usually, these legal regulations encompass the transmission of data on the passengers' identity and travel documents (passport, visa).
As a rule, an airline does not have these data, so it must collect them shortly before an aircraft departs, which increasingly is being done by means of the so-called 'machine-readable zone' in the new travel documents.
Collection of the data is done solely for immediate transmission to the authorities of the destination country.
Extension of the API obligation in the European Union is planned over the next few years.
Supplementing of API data in the case of Canada
In addition, Canadian law obliges airlines that fly to the country to supplement the data transmitted within the framework of API by those stored in certain fields of the reservation record (PNR) of the passengers involved. Canada and the European Union concluded an agreement to implement this legally prescribed transmission.
The European Union's supervisory authorities for data protection confirmed that the data transmission provided for in this agreement was compatible with EU data protection regulations.
The agreed content of the reservation record (as far as it is available) has been transmitted since the end of April 2006 as a supplement to the standard API data.