MANILA, Philippines - Malaysia's AirAsia will be the first airline to use Interpol's I-Checkit system, which will screen passports of all its prospective passengers against the world police body’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.
AirAsia, which will implement the pilot project this month, will integrate I-Checkit with its own check-in systems during the passenger check-in phase across its entire international network.
Passenger passport numbers will be compared against Interpol's SLTD database which contains more than 40 million records from 167 countries.
Under I-Checkit, the airline may query the SLTD database but will not gain direct access to it.
To address concerns over privacy, no personal data will be transmitted to Interpol. Only the travel document number, form of document and country code will be screened against SLTD.
If a passenger’s passport gets a hit against the database, AirAsia has procedures in place that will refer the passenger to local authorities. Interpol's procedures would simultaneously be engaged to notify all relevant Interpol National Central Bureaus worldwide.
"AirAsia is extremely pleased to be the first airline globally to collaborate with INTERPOL to implement I-Checkit. The partnership we have created will result in improved passenger security and will support our desire to offer low fares, but with the added assurance that this system and partnership provides," AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said in a statement.
The I-Checkit system will be deployed across all of AirAsia’s international operations, covering a network of 100 airports across Asia and 600 international flights per day to more than 20 countries worldwide.
"INTERPOL is very proud to be piloting I-Checkit with AirAsia. This will raise the bar across the industry for passenger safety and security by preventing individuals using stolen or lost passports from boarding international flights,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble,
At present, less than 10 countries systematically screen passenger passports against INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Document database. Approximately four out of every 10 passports on international flights are not screened against INTERPOL’s database.
I-Checkit was created to fill this glaring security gap by allowing airlines to instantaneously check whether a person intending to board an international flight is using a passport registered with Interpol as stolen or lost. It takes less than 0.5 seconds to query Interpol's database once a passport is scanned.