Current policy requires that airlines' data be sent afterward. The Transportation Security Administration will begin an operational testing period this fall using data from air carriers who volunteer to participate.
The new early sharing of passenger information is intended to give authorities more time to identify and remove suspected terrorists from flights, the department said. The department also published a proposal to expand passenger pre-screening initiative to domestic flights.
"This information will better identify individuals who may pose a known or suspected threat to aviation or national security," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement. "These programs will improve the passenger experience by establishing a more consistent vetting process and better resolution for misidentified passengers."