Leonardo and Aeroporti di Roma develop security ‘smart hubs’

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The Italian aerospace technology company Leonardo is to create security ‘smart hubs’ out of the assets managed by Aeroporti di Roma (AdR), the operator of Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports.

The partners will develop joint projects in the fields of cybersecurity, surveillance, monitoring, communication and decision support for critical infrastructures and urban air mobility. Particular reference has been made to the development requirements of ground infrastructure and air traffic control.

The agreement is partly based on Leonardo’s technological and market development roadmaps identified in the company’s Be Tomorrow – Leonardo 2030 plan, which is intended to create long-term sustainable growth. The agreement is also based on AdR’s Sustainability and Innovation strategy, which aims to address national airports’ current challenges through partnerships.

Leonardo and AdR will collaboratively develop a service to collect and process information, which will then be analyzed through artificial intelligence at the security operation centers (SOC) in Chieti in Italy and Bristol in the UK, to identify specific risk profiles of the airport hub. Cyber intelligence services will also be implemented to prevent attacks, understand attack characteristics and verify the degree of infrastructure security.

Subsequently, with Leonardo’s cyber range platform, a digital twin of the Rome airport hub will be created to simulate attacks, study the appropriate methods of reaction and train personnel on the operational structures. With regard to surveillance, monitoring, communication and decision support systems, Leonardo has handed over the X-2030 platform to AdR to collect and integrate security information from diversified sources and coordinate interventions.

The Global Ranger IoT and asset tracking solution will become part of this transition. Alongside this, Leonardo will implement the deep learning Ganimede web platform, which analyzes video sources, and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solution to remotely control and supervise transport infrastructures.

Finally, for urban air mobility, Leonardo and AdR will develop infrastructure and interface requirements to study ground air traffic control and in-flight operations regulation. The companies will also work with the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC) on a national roadmap of urban and advanced air mobility. With this, the partnership intends to launch the first connections to Fiumicino in 2024 and position itself as an international player in the development of land infrastructures with vertiports.

Marco Troncone, chief executive officer of Aeroporti di Roma, commented, “The agreement signed with Leonardo stems from the common vision of two large companies to create a system that identifies innovative, sustainable and truly effective solutions that are able to effectively contribute to the sustainable and digital transition of the aviation sector for the benefit of the country. For some time now we have strongly accelerated innovation and digitalization, areas in which – together with sustainability – we aim to be forerunners and to implement solutions of excellence.”

Alessandro Profumo, the CEO of Leonardo, said, “For Leonardo, the agreement with AdR means combining the distinctive skills of two players of excellence as it is creating a technological partnership with AdR for secure digital transformation. We are proud to provide our advanced solutions in the aerospace, defense and cybersecurity sectors to AdR to strengthen and promote innovation, digitalization and environmental sustainability of the airports for the first Italian airport hub.”

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