The Federal Council is instructed to submit a draft amendment to the Federal Law of 21 December 1948 on Aviation (LFG) to create the legal basis for the processing and disclosure of personal data, including personal data requiring special protection and personality profiles, by airport operators and, where applicable, their contract processors.
Where appropriate, the Federal Council is coordinating its work with that related to its national counterterrorism strategy adopted in 2015. In addition, in the event that the revision of the Federal Data Protection Act (FADP) is adopted, the Federal Council will submit a draft authorizing airport operators to carry out profiling as defined in the future FADP and to disclose certain data from such processing to specific third parties.
The airport operators are considered federal bodies within the scope of their operating concession. Consequently, they may only process and disclose personal data with a legal basis. The processing of data requiring special protection or personality profiles requires a basis in a law in the formal sense (Art. 17 and 19 FADP).
Airports must process various data to ensure the safety of passengers, aviation personnel, operations and infrastructure and to monitor access to the security-controlled area, investigate incidents and accidents and record violations of the operating regulations by flight personnel or to handle passenger processes such as check-in, transfer to the airside area and boarding. This data processing is based, among other things, on Article 107a LFG, Article 122a et seq. of the Ordinance of 14 November 1973 on Aviation (LFV), Article 4 of the DETEC Ordinance of 20 July 2009 on Aviation Safety Measures (VSL) and binding standards or recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or EU law. Based on the VSL, the Federal Office of Civil Aviation has issued the National Aviation Security Program (NASP), which contains a comprehensive concept of security measures, including the possibility of video surveillance, but also, for example, the processing of biometric data. However, neither the VSL nor the NASP forms a sufficient legal basis.
In addition, there is currently a lack of corresponding legal foundations in the area of the disclosure of personal data to federal and cantonal security bodies, airlines and companies that provide handling or passenger support services. However, these data disclosures are necessary for the smooth handling of airport processes. The new legal basis is always limited in scope to the information that the data recipients absolutely need to fulfill their tasks.
The provisions should also allow for the processing and disclosure of particularly sensitive data and personality profiles. The airport operators as well as their contract processors must be able to process these special categories of data in order to fulfill their tasks.
The draft revision of the DPA abolishes the concept of personality profile and introduces the concept of profiling. If the draft revision is adopted, the legal basis in the LFG will have to be adapted and “personality profile” will have to be replaced by “profiling”. This instrument is significant for the management of passenger flows and offers airports the opportunity to provide a high-quality service to their guests.
Finally, the Federal Council coordinates its work, particularly with regard to counterterrorism policing measures, with the work related to its national counterterrorism strategy.