Category Archives: AIRPORTS

Rep. John Katko to FAA: Take steps to prevent cyberattacks on airplanes

Katko1-on airport security image

U.S. Rep. John Katko is calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to address concerns that airplanes are vulnerable to cyberattacks after a Government Accountability Office report found a hacker could access the plane’s controls using its wireless Internet system. 

The GAO report said the FAA has taken action to protect its air traffic control systems, but the agency will continue to face challenges because it hasn’t implemented a model to help identify cybersecurity threats. And while the GAO acknowledges that the FAA has taken some steps to develop such a model, it hasn’t dedicated the funding or time needed to finalize the plan.

A co-requester of the report, Katko, R-Camillus, said GAO’s findings are “troubling.”

“This report exposes an enormous vulnerability in our system — that any traveler could gain unauthorized access to cockpit avionics systems from the cabin,” Katko, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said in a statement.

“Nearly 14 years since 9/11, terrorists have adapted both to our airport security protocols and to the modern communication systems used in aircraft systems, requiring us to be agile and resourceful in ensuring airport and in-flight security.”

In its report, the GAO recommended that the FAA should assess the cost and time needed to develop a cyberthreat model and add the Office of Aviation Safety to the agency’s Cyber Security Steering Committee.

The GAO also advised that the FAA should develop a plan to implement revisions to federal cybersecurity standards.

“In light of the significant threats we face, I urge FAA to quickly implement the GAO’s latest recommendations to eliminate these vulnerabilities and prevent cyberattacks on aircrafts in flight,” Katko said.

According to the report, the FAA agreed to two of the recommendations. But the agency said the Office of Aviation Safety “is sufficiently involved in cybersecurity” and won’t be added to its Cyber Security Steering Committee.


Henry Sapiecha

Public hearing into proposed Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement facilities

Public hearing into proposed
Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement facilities

The Public Works Committee is conducting a public hearing into the proposed facilities, infrastructure and airfield requirements for the Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement Capability Project (AIR7000 Phase 2B).The project being examined by the Committee will provide the facilities, infrastructure and airfield works to support the new aircraft. The works will take place at the main operating base, RAAF Base Edinburgh (SA), the forward operating bases, RAAF Bases Darwin (NT), Pearce (WA) and Townsville (Qld), and HMAS Stirling (WA).Works are expected to begin in October 2015 at RAAF Base Edinburgh and HMAS Stirling, with works at the forward operating bases planned to commence in 2018. All works are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The estimated cost of the project is $707.9 million, excluding GST.Public Hearing Venue: Education Development Centre, 4 Milner St, Hindmarsh, SA
Date: Thursday, 29 January 2015
Time: 2.00pm to 3.00pm

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Full details on the project are available on the Committee’s website:

NB the Public Works Committee is neither involved in the tendering process nor the awarding of contracts. Enquiries on those matters should be addressed to the Department of Defence.

For interview: Contact the office of Mr Graham Perrett MP, Deputy Chair, on (07) 3344 2622.

For further information, including the public hearing times, and copies of submissions when they become available, please visit the Committee website or contact the Committee Secretariat on (02) 6277 4636.

Media release date: 28 January 2015


Unattended Bag Prompts Evacuation Of O'Hare Terminal

A new leaked CIA document from WikiLeaks reveals a few government secrets that could be useful for travelers this holiday season. In it, the CIA explains how to avoid a secondary screening at the airport if you’re traveling abroad.

The basic tips: Don’t bring too many new items in your luggage (sorry, Christmas gifts); don’t be nervous and visibly sweating; don’t change your itinerary within a day of your flight; don’t be weird about passport screening procedures; and make sure your luggage isn’t disproportionate to your purported reasons for your trip, which could mean how it’s packed or how fancy the stuff on the inside is.

The documents also contains security procedures from around the globe, shining a light on what other countries look for in a passenger profile. Turkish accents in Iraq get you an almost automatic screening. In Israel, lone male travelers with backpacks often get secondary screening, while lone travelers from China elicit concerns of illegal immigration from Chilean authorities.

In addition, Austria and Singapore have Russian agent watch lists at the ready, and Colombia is on the lookout for Iranian and Venezuelan spies. Portugal keeps an eye out for travels from Western Africa and any of its former colonies, fearing illegal immigration. Cambodia fears terrorists from around the Arab world, while Saudi Arabia is suspect of travellers from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Palestine, and Syria. And in the Seychelles, there’s plenty of fear of Nigerian drug trafficking.

Read the whole report here.

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Henry Sapiecha