PNR directive challenges for airlines and tour operators

Leading up to the enforcement of the PNR directive on May 24, 2016, many airlines and tour operators were scrambling to get resources and processes in place so they could meet the requirements. Unfortunately for some, the passage of time hasn’t made compliance any easier. Here is an overview of some of the main challenges airlines and tour operators are facing as they seek to maintain PNR directive compliance on a daily basis.

What is the PNR directive?

The Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive is a piece of security legislation that was enforced by the European Union in order to make it easier to identify travelling terrorists, criminals and trace criminal networks travelling in and out of the EU. The directive requires that airlines, tour operators, and other relevant service providers share passenger data with authorities in advance of all international flights entering or departing the EU.

PNR challenges for airlines and tour operators

Collecting and processing data in time
Under the PNR directive, airlines are not only required to provide passenger data to Passenger Information Units (PIUs) in each of the 28 EU member states. They are also required to deliver this data 24 hours in advance of flight departure. This is particularly challenging since airlines and tour operators often receive booking data at the last minute, and airlines have little time to process it according to requirements once collected. Additional time is lost when tour operators pass data along to airlines in a mismatched, difficult to manage format.

Fulfilling report format requirements
Once data is collected and processed, airlines must produce the report that they hand over to the member state PIUs. Since airlines cannot produce the required report format from their Departure Control System (DCS), a new system has to be developed to enable the data files to be structured in a way that meets reporting requirements. This is further complicated by the fact that some PIUs leave the format up to the airlines, while others have specific format requests.

Meeting increased resource demands
For many airlines, compliance with the PNR directive has entailed an additional investment of resources in IT and personnel. And this investment stretches far beyond initial implementation. Costs related to daily data collection, management and reporting are ongoing. Airlines without an efficient airline passenger management system in place suffer the most.

How to overcome PNR challenges

Luckily, there are solutions to these challenges. In our white paper, “The Ultimate Guide to PNR Gov Compliance” you can learn what you need to do to overcome each of these challenges and significantly reduce the daily burden of PNR compliance.