Rockwell Collins Aviation Messaging Glossary of Terms

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Passenger Data Transfer

Passenger data transfer is the exchange of passenger information between two locations. In aviation these are usually an airline’s Departure Control System (DCS) and a government body or border agency. The two most common forms of passenger information are:

  • Advance Passenger Information (API)
  • Passenger Name Record (PNR)

API and PNR are transmitted electronically in a secure environment, often via Type B messaging, and exchanged by airline CRS and DCS and government departments or border control agencies for the purposes of passenger screening for aviation and national security.

More about API and PNR.

How is passenger data collected?

The collection of passenger data occurs during the reservation and check-in processes and is gathered electronically in the form of PNR data or Advance Passenger Information.

Passenger Name Records information includes:

  • Passenger name
  • Travel agency or airline identification data
  • Ticketing details – number or time limit
  • Travel itinerary – at least one segment

Sometimes additional information is required, such as payment and contact details.

Advance Passenger Information consists of:

  • Passenger name
  • Passport number
  • Gender
  • Country of passport issue
  • Nationality

Why is passenger data transfer necessary?

Passenger data is used for security purposes to screen passengers before they travel and is often a mandatory requirement in an increasing number of countries all over the world. Failure to comply with passenger data transfer requirements can result in fines for airlines and grounding of aircraft, leading to costly delays.

Border agencies and government departments use passenger data in order to identify potential threat to a country’s national security. There are strict guidelines for the governance of passenger data transfer and in 2015 the EU will issue terms for the creation of ‘Passenger Information Units’ throughout member states specifically to ensure the integrity of the Passenger Name Record remains intact.

Find out more about the proposed EU PNR Directive.

Since the tragic events in New York of 9/11, aviation security has tightened considerably and passenger data transfer is a mandatory requirement for all international and domestic travellers within the U.S. borders. Failure to comply with these regulations results in fines of up to $5000 for which airlines are responsible.

Find out more about aviation security.

How is passenger data exchanged?

The issue of passenger data exchange is debated all over the world in terms of data privacy. As such, the handling of information must remain secure and there are strict procedures in place within which passenger data transfer must operate.

Advance Passenger Information is transferred electronically, often within an Advance Passenger Information System, acceptably referred to as APIS. The APIS program, internationally recognised as the industry-standard, processes the airline passenger data interchange between the partner computer systems of the exchanging countries, ensuring the integrity of the secure flight passenger data.

More information about APIS in our Advance Passenger Information Guide.

How can Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviSec help?

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviSec offers airlines and agencies a secure and reliable platform to handle airline security data, delivering 100% security. AviSec handles more than 23 million mission critical transmissions every day for over 3,000 customers and operates over the proven AviNet network, trusted for more than 50 years of aviation message handling.

With transparent pricing and billing, flat rate messaging and individually tailored plans to suit your requirements, ARINC AviSec promises a high-performance solution and guaranteed compliance at a manageable cost.

arinc emea line

See also:

Advance Passenger Information System
Passenger Data Exchange

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