All airlines must provide the required info on their travellers with the Indian authorities. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Aircraft operators in India must share travel-related information about passengers who are going to travel in and out of the country at least 24 hours before the flight’s departure, the Indian media has reported, citing an update from the Ministry of Finance.

The move, aimed at preventing law offenders from fleeing the country, will also check any illicit trade such as smuggling. The information will be shared with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)-established agency, National Customs Targeting Centre-Passenger (NCTC-P) for conducting ‘risk analysis of passengers’.

The CBIC, which comes under the Finance Ministry, issued a gazette notification in this regard on Monday titled ‘Passenger Name Record Information Regulations, 2022’.

Every operator is now required to register and provide passenger details in a prescribed format to NCTC-P “not later than 24 hours before the departure time; or at the departure time – wheels off,” said the notification.

“It is for prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of offences under the Act. It is also for law enforcement agencies and government departments, as required, in India and abroad.”

Detailed info

This passenger info will include details like PNR; date of reservation and issue of ticket; available frequent flyer and benefit information (like free tickets, upgrades); all available payment/billing information (like credit card number); travel itinerary for specific PNR; travel agency/travel agent, said the notification.

It will also include “split/divided information (when one PNR contains a reference to another PNR); ticketing information, including ticket number, one-way tickets; baggage information; seat number; any collected advance passenger information that is initially captured by an air carrier within its PNR, such as passport number, date of birth and gender) and all historical changes to the PNR.”

For each act of non-compliance to these regulations, aircraft operators would have to pay a penalty of a minimum of Rs25,000 (Dh1,155) and a maximum of Rs50,000 (Dh2,311).

No role for passengers
Passengers do not have a role in providing any additional information while booking tickets to travel from the country. “The airline operator would have all the information required by the government of India,” said a source from India’s aviation sector. “However, the handing of potentially sensitive information to the government could spark privacy concerns in other countries.”