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The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) is responsible for aviation development and the supervision of civil aviation activities in Switzerland. The FOCA is part of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) and is charged with ensuring that the high safety standards in civil aviation in Switzerland are maintained, and with pursuing a policy of sustainable development.
The EU legislation, which is in force in Switzerland, increases the level of compensation airlines must pay to passengers denied boarding, and introduces new rights to compensation and assistance in the event of cancelled flights and long delays, as well as extending coverage to passengers on charter and domestic flights.
Airlines are reliable for damages on passenger luggage up to a some of 1 131 Special Drawing Rights (SDR). This is applicable worldwide if an airline company is based in Switzerland or the EU.
All foreign airlines wishing to operate flights to and from Switzerland require a licence issued by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA). Inspectors of the FOCA carry out random checks at Swiss airports in order to determine whether foreign airlines comply with the applicable standards. Airlines that have been refused permission to fly to and from EU or EFTA member states and apply for new landing rights in Switzerland will not receive a licence from the FOCA.
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