Moti­on SPK‑N (19.3965): Legal basis for the pro­ces­sing and dis­clo­sure of per­so­nal data by air­port operators

Moti­on SPK‑N (19.3965): Legal basis for the pro­ces­sing and dis­clo­sure of per­so­nal data by air­port operators

Sub­mit­ted text

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.



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