The entire civil aviation system operates with trust, a responsibility that is at the core of everything the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) does, and it depends on the secure and reliable flow of information between all of these parties, an effort that The Internet has revolutionized through its information management on a global scale. Some of the new and emerging “participants” in the aviation system, such as drones, air taxis, and commercial space operations, were born digital and rely on the Internet for their basic operations. Aviation information must flow securely between parties and must be accurate and unaltered. But the Internet was never designed with these requirements in mind. It only guarantees that information can flow between any two points via any route, but does not make any guarantees about the reliability of those routes or that the information cannot be changed while in transit. This, combined with the fast-paced, technology-focused approach of new entrants colliding with the slow, methodical approach of legacy aviation, is why ICAO is developing an International Aviation Trust Framework (IATF). ). Historically, aviation has used meticulous and specially designed systems to exchange information between parties. In the early days, this was necessary simply because there was no global communications infrastructure. The benefits were that these custom systems met all of aviation's unique safety and operational needs and ultimately resulted in a perfect sky, where anyone could fly anywhere. Solutions to these reliability issues currently exist, but they are not aviation-specific, and without a standardized approach to how they are implemented, the aviation system will ultimately end up with a disjointed patchwork of systems that cannot easily communicate with each other, despite be built on the basis of the same technologies. “Not only does this separation increase the complexity and cost of connecting these systems, it can also impact security and expose aviation to new cyber threats that have never been considered before,” said Michael Goodfellow, Technical Officer, Global Interoperable Systems. , at the ICAO Air Navigation Directorate.
This is where the Trust Framework is needed, which is why ICAO provides an ideal forum for aviation stakeholders to come together and agree on a common destination that all stakeholders, new and old, can aim for, regardless of their deployment speed. This work leads to the development of harmonized standards and procedures that enable seamless exchanges of information between all parties, so that we can keep our skies fluid. “To address these unique challenges, ICAO is working with experts from around the world with different areas of expertise to develop an information management framework to ensure that information flowing over the Internet is done securely. ICAO is also developing policies and practices for the digital signature of information in order to guarantee that it has not been altered during its transit through the Internet”, said Paulo Da Silva, head of Global Interoperable Systems in the ICAO Air Navigation Directorate. . These efforts, which are aligned with the ICAO Aviation Cybersecurity Strategy and Action Plan, provide the foundation for stakeholders to use the power of the Internet to communicate on a global scale while meeting the needs unique and specific to aviation in regards to information security and administration. “The next step in the process is to identify and implement steps to operationalize the IATF across all stakeholders. This is a unique and challenging role for ICAO," said Anton Kornetskiy, Technical Officer for Global Interoperable Systems, at the agency's Air Navigation Directorate. He added that in this regard, they will work with the governing bodies, member states and groups of experts, to determine the most appropriate path to follow.
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