Press Releases

ACI World addresses crucial issue of cybersecurity at ICAO Assembly

Cybersecurity is a real risk for aviation requiring resilient systems and efficient defenses

Montreal, 26 September 2019 – At the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly today, Airports Council International (ACI) World has called for international cooperation, joined up governance, and coherent and practical policies for addressing cybersecurity risks.

Cybersecurity has become a real risk for the aviation sector, requiring resilient systems and robust and efficient defenses. While ACI is working with airports to promote best practice, the sector needs a clear ICAO vision and strategy that considers safety, security and operations working across all disciplines.

ACI has presented a Cybersecurity paper to ask that the Assembly:

  • support the ICAO Aviation Cybersecurity Strategy which has been drafted by the Secretariat Study Group on Cybersecurity (and presented to the Assembly )
  • require that ICAO work with States and industry to develop an action plan in support of the strategy
  • recognize the immediate need for a multi-disciplinary approach to cybersecurity
  • request ICAO to rapidly complete an assessment of the current governance structure for cybersecurity, with serious consideration for a Panel responsible for cybersecurity that considers security, safety, resilience and operational continuity issues together, and
  • request that Council involve the industry as well as States when defining policy, a strategy, plans and standards for aviation cybersecurity.

A cybersecurity panel could bring a greater range of expertise and experience on the topic of cybersecurity and create working groups to dedicate more time and resource to the development of guidance materials, programmes, capacity building, assistance and training.

“Cybersecurity threats are a serious concern for the aviation sector and are expected to increase in number and impact for the foreseeable future,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.

“It is therefore essential that aviation stakeholders establish a programme of cyber resilience and maintain robust and efficient cybersecurity defences. All businesses, including airports, are at risk from cybersecurity threats, whether they have a straightforward set of systems or the most sophisticated IT digital transformation programmes.

“There is a clear need for international cooperation, joined up governance, and coherent and practical policies to address cybersecurity, coupled with practical solutions for information sharing, oversight, capacity building and training.

“The current siloed approach does not effectively address the issue; a clear ICAO vision and strategy and joint working across all disciplines is needed that considers safety, security, operations and resilience.”

Notes for editors

  1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2019, ACI serves 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1200