Aviation: Association Harps on Cyber Security Competence

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Mr Ishaya Dung, President of the National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE), has stressed the need for competence in cyber security to protect and boost air services.

Dung made this known at NAAE’s 2019 Annual General Meeting with the theme ‘Satellite Based ADS-B Technology and the Relevance to ATSEP Job’ in Abuja.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a primary technology supporting the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Next Generation Air Traffic Control System, which will shift aircraft separation and air traffic control from ground-based radar to satellite-derived positions.

The president, who lauded the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for including the cyber security competency-based training for ATSEP, urged the government to promptly implement the recommendations for secure and efficient air transportation in Nigeria.

“We consider our profession as a key link in the aviation safety chain; therefore, we are working assiduously hard and now focusing on competencies on cyber security which has become a major threat.

“International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association (IFATSEA) raised concerns over cyber-attacks in the CNS/ATM domain with her working paper `WP 105’ presented during the recently held 40th ICAO Triennial Assembly.

“ICAO approval for cyber security to be included in the competency based training for ATSEP in document 10057 was a remarkable achievement in the best interest of safety.

“We call on our authorities in their characteristic manner to promptly follow up and implement these recommendations for a more secure and efficient air transportation in Nigeria’’.

The president said with the expected rise in air passenger traffic and air traffic, training was imperative and necessary for optimal performance of ATSEP jobs.

“It will interest you to know that the latest ICAO long term traffic forecasts indicate that both air passenger traffic and freight traffic are expected to be more than double by 2023.

“Characterised by a 4.3 per cent annual growth rate for passenger traffic and 3.9 per cent for freight traffic,“ he said.

According to Dung, the Annual General Meeting is an avenue where stakeholders come together to brainstorm and share ideas on ensuring high availability, accuracy, continuity and resilience of the service rendered in the country.

He said “we also consider our welfare and take time to socialise to refresh ourselves and brace up to the challenges that lie ahead, because many factors, including but not limited to evolving digital technologies, present their own challenges for the ATSEP.

“Programmes for modernising the air navigation infrastructure in both CNS/ATM are well underway across the globe, such as: Smart Digital Control Tower, Open ATM Systems, Space-Based Very High Frequency (VHF) and Artificial Intelligence for speech recognition and conflict resolution.“

Mr Uwem Ekanem, Chief Executive Officer, Ibom Airport Development Company Limited, in his speech, commended the organisers of the AGM, noting that any association conducting its 19th AGM has stood the test of time and prevailed.

Ekanem, who was represented by Mr Ettebong James, Chairman, National Association of Air Traffic Engineers Uyo Chapter, said ATSEP which comprises engineers from sister agencies like Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) among others, shows a `cross-pollination of ideas’.

He acknowledged the efforts of the association in moulding competent engineers through exposure to current technology trends in the aviation industry.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that NAAE is a body charged with the promotion of safe, efficient, effective and economic air navigation in Nigeria.

The body is duly registered and has membership across some key aviation agencies namely: NAMA, NCAA, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) and Ibom Airport Development Company (IADC).

NAN also reports that ATSEP is responsible for the provision of required Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management Services, which are enablers to ensure performance-based navigation in any given airspace as stipulated by ICAO.


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