Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FAA Advisory Meeting Will Include Aircraft Cybersecurity

The FAA published a meeting announcement in today’s Federal Register (80 FR 52839) for a public meeting of their Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) on September 17th, 2015 in Washington, DC. At this meeting the ARAC will receive status updates from a number of working groups, including the Aircraft Systems Information Security/Protection (ASISP) Working Group.

The ASISP was formed in February of this year and tasked with providing “recommendations regarding Aircraft Systems Information Security/ Protection (ASISP) rulemaking, policy, and guidance on best practices for airplanes and rotorcraft, including both certification and continued airworthiness.”

This meeting is open to the public, but there is limited seating so you should confirm your attendance with Renee Pocius (email Renee.Pocius@faa.gov). There have been provisions made for attending the meeting by telephone and Ms. Pocius should be contacted to make the arrangements for that as well. There will be a public comment period at the meeting. Coordination with Ms. Pocius for presenting an oral statement should be made by September 10th. Physical copies (25 each) of written statements may be provided to Ms. Pocius prior to the meeting or brought to the meeting.


It is not clear at this time whether the ASISP update will include any actual recommendations for regulatory actions. Given the short amount of time that the Working Group has been in operation, I would be surprised if this was anything more than a list of areas of potential concern and an idea of how much longer it might be before a recommendation was provided to the full Committee.

It is a shame to see that the FAA is still stuck in the 1960’s. The requirement to deliver 25 physical copies of written statements is archaic in the extreme. Most Federal Agencies use the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.Regulations.gov) for the purpose of submitting written statements for meetings of this sort. This ensures that not only can the Committee members and staff have ready access to the documents, but the public has such access as well. And don’t even get me started about the failure to provide even a toll free line for the telephone bridge access to this meeting, much less an electronic connection. No wonder the Agency is having problems trying to modernize its traffic control systems; it has not bothered to modernize its administrative procedures.

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