Senators urge FAA to ensure that our aircraft and ground support equipment are not vulnerable to cyberattacks


Washington (November 16, 2016) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calling on the agency to adopt robust regulations to ensure that aircraft and ground support equipment are not vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to aninvestigation conducted by Senator Markey of twelve airlines and two airplane manufacturers, airlines may experience frequent attempted cyberattacks and infiltrations, but cybersecurity testing by airlines is conducted unevenly and by different parties. Further, while there is collaboration – though inconsistent – with government agencies, information sharing about cybersecurity threats, attacks, and protections across the industry may be uneven.


“As the steward of our nation’s aviation safety, it is the FAA’s responsibility to ensure that our aviation sector addresses cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats,” the Senators write in the letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “As the Administration comes to a close and completes some remaining key priorities, we urge the FAA to initiate a rulemaking to ensure our aircraft, ground support equipment, and operations and maintenance practices are protected from cyberattacks.”


A copy of the letter to the FAA can be found HERE.


In April, Senator Markey introduced the “Cyber AIR - Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience – Act” to require the disclosure of information relating to cyberattacks on aircraft systems and establish standards to identify and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities to the United States commercial aviation system. The bill also seeks a report to study cybersecurity vulnerability of consumer wi-fi on planes.