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Regulatory Hot Topics

New EU, UK Passenger-Entry Registration Requirements Are Coming

Industry Challenge

Two eu-LISA passenger entry programs will launch in 2024. A similar program will launch in the UK in 2024 or 2025.

NBAA Response

NBAA is coordinating closely with the European Business Aviation Association, Canadian Business Aviation Association and relevant EU agencies involved to ensure smooth implementation of the eu-LISA programs, as well as the British Business and General Aviation Association to monitor the rollout of the UK ETA program.

Operators planning to fly to Europe later this year should be aware of new passenger-entry systems for 26 countries in the Schengen Area. The new systems will be managed and overseen by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA). The Entry/Exit System (EES) and European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will verify passenger details prior to entry.

EES is expected to be operational in the third or fourth quarter of 2024 and ETIAS is expected to follow about six months later. The European Commission is expected to provide specific launch dates after a July meeting.

Rick Snider, director of contracts and compliance at Flight Pro International, explained the systems will roll out in two phases. Phase one implements EES, with entries and exits processed electronically, versus passport stamps. This phase will have little impact on U.S. travelers to Europe since they are typically visa exempt.

Phase two rolls out ETIAS, which is similar to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa waiver program.

All air carriers must comply with the new systems. While Part 91 operators are not necessarily required to participate, experts say it might be best to register for the systems.

“Registering for the system and submitting manifests can help ensure your passengers have what they need and won’t be denied entry upon arrival.”

Rick Snider, Director of Contracts and Compliance at Flight Pro International

NBAA’s Director of Flight Operations and Regulations Brian Koester, CAM, said, “Our communications with the eu-LISA carrier group indicate that office doesn’t expect Part 91 operators to participate, in part due to advocacy from NBAA and other industry partners.”

Adam Hartley, product owner in global regulatory services at Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., discussed the “private” flights outside the regulation’s scope, according to the eu-LISA carrier group. The concern early on is a possible disconnect between eu-LISA expectations and local customs offices.

“Operators that have already started this path to register and develop processes to comply should continue,” Hartley said. “This is not something you can stand up with short notice.”

Experts advise exercising good change management and determining other areas of your operation that should be addressed. “Everyone entering the Schengen Area will be using this system, regardless of whether the operator registers to submit manifests,” Snider added, encouraging Part 91 operators to register and plan to use the systems.

The United Kingdom has launched a similar program requiring an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for Qatari and Jordanian nationals. It’s expanding to all passengers entering the UK in late 2024 and 2025. The British Business and General Aviation Association remains engaged with government agencies as they continue to determine the details of the program.

Review NBAA’s resources on passenger entry requirements in Europe at nbaa.org/eu-entry.

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