Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Airline Safeguards Against Pandemic

Federal officials concerned about avian influenza want airlines to collect personal information about domestic and international passengers to help track a potential epidemic. Dr. Marty Cetron, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Director of Global Migration and Quarantine, said, "What we're asking for is the authority to collect the information in the context of modern travel on airlines. There are just a number of cases where acting quickly with electronic access to passenger information is going to make a lot of difference." The CDC wants to be able to easily find, notify and recommend treatment to airline passengers who have been exposed to avian influenza as well as such diseases as plague, dengue fever or SARS.

The CDC plan calls for airlines to obtain the following passenger information: name, address, emergency contact numbers and flight information. Airlines would have to keep the data for 60 days and transmit to CDC within 12 hours, if asked.

(Assocoated Press)

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