Regarding “U.S. issues hacking security alert for small planes” (July 30): This Associated Press story missed or mischaracterized some key points about small-airplane security.
First, the article pointed to a recent Department of Homeland Security notice, implying it was focused only on cybersecurity concerns for small, “general aviation” aircraft. The notice applies to all aircraft, from airliners on down.
Second, the story failed to fully explain that, for the stated breach scenario to occur, an individual would need to actually board an aircraft, dismantle its avionics system, locate a certain, small piece of technology and effectively disable it.
The reason such a relatively complex scenario hasn’t unfolded — and the reason Transportation Security Administration audits have never found general aviation airplanes to be a security concern — is that the industry has always made security a top priority, with a host of measures that harden aircraft from threats.
An Airport Watch program includes a toll-free number to report issues directly to the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots carry tamper-resistant, government-issued identification, and passengers on many general-aviation flights undergo strict background checks. The government cross-checks records for flight personnel and monitors aircraft sales to find suspicious activity.
Ed Bolen • Washington, D.C.
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association