Aug. 12, 2022

The European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA) recently endorsed a new timeline for the implementation of its Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

This change will affect the way carriers process visa data and authorization before third-country travelers enter European member states.

The electronic EES that will replace manual passport stamping in a progressive transition is now scheduled to begin in May 2023. Passports will continue to be stamped for three months, allowing carriers to visually check passports in case the carrier interface cannot check the EES traveler. Passports will no longer be stamped after three months and the progressive transition concludes after nine months.

ETIAS is expected to be activated in November 2023. The online information and authorization system meets pre-travel and pre-boarding requirements for third-country travelers who don’t need a visa to travel to a European state. Operators must be able to verify ETIAS authorization within 48 hours before the scheduled departure.

Citing the appropriate EU Border Code, a “carrier” is defined as ““any natural or legal person whose profession it is to provide transport of persons.” NBAA, along with the Canadian and European Business Aviation Associations, is coordinating with the eu-LISA agency to understand the exact nature of how business aircraft operators will be affected.

“NBAA continues to work with eu-LISA to understand the applicability, expectations, and impact of the new EES program on business aviation as the program’s details evolve or solidify,” said Brian Koester, CAM, director of flight operations and regulations.