Rockwell Collins Aviation Messaging Glossary of Terms

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Airline Passenger Data

Some form of airline passenger data is usually collected at the point of making a reservation with an airline, either online, at the airlines’ desk at the airport or with a travel agency. Airlines may store or transfer passenger data for either flight operational purposes or for providing enhanced air transport security for government authorities.

There are two common forms of passenger data:

  • Passenger Name Record
  • Advance Passenger Information

The applications of AviSec for airline passenger data.

Passenger Name Record data collection and transmission

Airlines and travel agents capture Passenger Name Record (or PNR) information during flight bookings in order to facilitate the exchange of passenger reservation information.

PNR was originally introduced to assist with interlining – when passengers travel on a multi-leg journey that involves changing aircraft and/or airlines and the removal and transfer of passenger baggage.

The collection of PNR data was also made essential in order for government authorities to monitor and control flights into, out of, and over their territories. PNR data includes:

  • Passenger name
  • Airline or travel agency identification and telephone numbers
  • Ticketing information – ticket number, name of the person booking the ticket and at least one segment of the itinerary

The PNR information of every passenger is often stored in the airline Computer Reservation System (CRS) and must remain secure.

More about the Passenger Name Record (PNR).

Advance Passenger Information mandates for enhanced aviation security

Advance Passenger Information (API) is different from PNR and is an enforceable, mandatory requirement in a growing number of countries across the world for users of both commercial and private aircraft. Failure to adhere to the regulatory conditions of participating countries can result in severe fines for the airline and boarding refusal for the passenger.

Advance Passenger Information (API) of travellers is captured by airlines before departure, or is provided by the passenger when booking is carried out online and must be transmitted within a window of between 30 minutes and 12 hours before departure, depending upon the conditions set by the destination country or regulator.

Part of mandatory regulations is also the secure transfer and handling of API data. The industry-standard method of transmission is via an Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to government authorities, departments or border agencies as part of the air transport security measures put in place for safer worldwide travel.

Find out more about air transport security.

How is API screened for air transport security?

API airline passenger data is transmitted securely to the relevant recipient for screening. The data includes:

  • Passenger name
  • Passport number
  • Nationality, or country of birth
  • Country of passport issue
  • Gender

Additional information may occasionally be required such as:

  • Payment method
  • Itinerary details

Once received, the airline passenger data is checked against a country’s ‘no-fly’ lists, or databases containing the details of ‘persons of interest’ to the authorities. Border agencies or government departments use the data to determine the movements of potentially high-risk passengers. The system also expedites the processing of low-risk passengers, which brings instances of ground-delays to a minimum.

API data in the UK is screened in a process called the ‘Authority to Carry Scheme’.

More information about Authority to Carry requests.

AviSec messaging to enhance the efficiency of passenger data exchange

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviSec leverages the powerful AviNet network to ensure swift and timely delivery of secure flight passenger data all over the world. Operating over a robust, proven system architecture, ARINC AviSec offers airlines and operators a guaranteed solution to ensure compliance on a global scale.

With industry experience and the backing of more than eight decades of aircraft communications history, Rockwell Collins’ ARINC is the clear choice for the reliable, secure exchange of airline passenger data.

arinc emea line

See also:

Airline Security Data
Passenger Data Exchange
Advance Passenger Information (API)
Advance Passenger Information System (APIS)

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