The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published its 2024 regional aviation safety plan, which sets out priorities, risks and mitigation measures. The European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) highlights information security risks and cybersecurity threats as a strategic priority. EASA expects pilot programs and dedicated training to be delivered throughout 2024 and 2025 to mitigate the threats. In addition, an ‘EASA Cybersecurity Lab’ will identify and test threat scenarios and demonstrate them in a contained environment.
The plan also sets out a commitment to issue a report that assesses the safety impact of security measures implemented on the ground and in flight. The report is expected to be completed in 2025.
On health security, the plan’s objective is to minimize the impact of pandemics on commercial air transportation. Key areas for short-term development include the assessment of passive and active disinfection means, validation of new materials and air filtering technologies. The EPAS notes that risks associated with various disinfection and cleaning methods implemented by operators is a growing concern to aircraft manufacturers. For example, EASA says there is a need for the risks of material degradation and potentially reduced fire resistance under prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light or aggressive chemicals to be assessed.
To help reduce the risk of disease transmission during the travel experience, restore public trust and facilitate future responses to public health emergencies, the EPAS includes details of a research project focused on improving filtration systems, recirculation systems and cabin airflow, including individual air supply nozzles.
Other security concerns covered in the EPAS include conflict zones and socioeconomic factors. In addition to security risks, the plan includes the air safety threats and mitigation measures relating to climate change, artificial intelligence trustworthiness, ground handling services, position errors, unmanned aerial systems, data quality, and the integration of new technologies.