This is an advisory issued by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA of Switzerland in relation to the transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data.
View All

Transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data

1. As of 25 May 2018, the air carriers operating from Switzerland are committed to transfer passenger name record (PNR) data to the EU member States to which they operate. This transfer is required by the Directive (EU) 2016/681 on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (, the corresponding national implementation laws in the EU member states and is made in respect of the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection.

2. Passenger Name Record (PNR) data is information provided by passengers and collected by air carriers for enabling reservations and carrying out the check-in process. It is a record of each passenger’s travel requirements held in carriers’ reservation and departure control systems. It may contain a wide range of information, such as dates of travel, travel itinerary, ticket information, contact details, travel agent, means of payment, seat number and baggage information, as listed in the Annex I to the Directive (EU) 2016/681. This information is transmitted to the so-called Passenger Information Units (PIU) of the EU member states where a flight departs and arrives. The PIUs are authorized to analyze and proceed them in order to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute serious crime and terrorist offences. They are also authorized to transfer the PNR data to their competent authorities, to the corresponding PIUs of the other Member States and to Europol.

3. Every passenger has a right to protection of their personal data, rights of access, rectification, erasure and restriction as well as rights to compensation and judicial redress as laid down in the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (art. 15) of the Directive (EU) 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision ( (art. 12-17).