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Friday, February 5, 2016

FCC, DOT Establish Working Group to Assess Security of Commercial Communication Onboard Aircraft

Juliet Van Wagenen

[Avionics Today 02-05-2016] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S.  Department of Transportation (DOT) have agreed to establish a Federal Interagency Working Group to more effectively collaborate on issues, including the safe and secure use of consumer communications onboard domestic commercial aviation flights. This agreement builds on the productive, collaborative interagency coordination efforts in recent years as aviation communications safety and security concerns have emerged.

The DOT’s FAA and the FCC will co-chair the working group, with the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau coordinating efforts within the FCC. The working Group’s primary mission will be to harmonize policy and regulatory activities regarding safe and secure communications onboard commercial aircraft, while maintaining the independent policy-making responsibilities of each agency.

In addition to FAA and FCC subject matter and regulatory experts, federal government representatives from law enforcement, intelligence, defense, national and homeland security agencies will participate in the working group to identify, analyze, discuss, and make recommendations regarding steps that are needed to ensure the continued safe and secure use of consumer communications technology onboard domestic commercial aircraft. The group will also invite other relevant federal government entities to participate, as appropriate, and will keep these organizations informed of significant conclusions.

The working group will meet on a quarterly basis or at other times as circumstances dictate.

 

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