Montreal-based UN aviation agency tried to cover up 2016 cyberattack

In November 2016, the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was hit by the most serious cyberattack in its history, and internal documents obtained by CBC suggest key members of the team that should have prevented the attack tried to cover up how badly it was mishandled.

The cyberattack left not just ICAO vulnerable, but made sitting ducks of its partners

As the United Nations body that sets standards for civil aviation around the world, ICAO is the gateway to everyone in the aviation industry, so an uncontained cyberattack left not just ICAO vulnerable, but made sitting ducks of its partners worldwide.

The documents obtained by CBC suggest the hacker was most likely a member of Emissary Panda, a sophisticated and stealthy espionage group with ties to the Chinese government.

Read entire post Montreal-based UN aviation agency tried to cover up 2016 cyberattack | Debra Arbec | CBC

Taking responsibility: Communicating in a crisis

Protecting your reputation after an incident is the ultimate challenge for any airline. If done right, the company’s reputation could emerge even stronger.

Talking about the cause of the incident is not possible until a thorough investigation is complete. But the airline must cooperate with the authorities and help victims and their families. Taking ownership of the response by acknowledging the incident and talking about what the airline is doing in these areas should therefore be the prime focus.

Legal liability or blame can wait,” insists John Bailey, Partner and Managing Director, Ketchum Singapore. “What matters most is who will step up and try to make a bad situation better? Companies that don’t take responsibility—like BP after the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill—will find it hard to gain forgiveness or avoid reputational damage.

Read entire post Taking responsibility: Communicating in a crisis |

6 airplane foods you should avoid, according to food safety experts

While on-board meals are held to strict safety standards, the risk of bacteria can be greater in the air due to the lag time between when the food is prepared and when it’s served, according to airline food safety expert Jean Dible.

In the restaurant industry, food is cooked and served without delay,” Dible says. “In the aviation industry, food is prepared at a catering company and then packed in insulated containers and trucked to airports to be put aboard the aircraft.” That can make it difficult to control the temperature of the food.

Incorrect holding temperatures is the number one reason for food-borne illness on a worldwide basis,” Dible says.

To play it safe, here are six types of foods she and other experts suggest you avoid when you’re dining above the clouds.

Read entire article 6 airplane foods you should avoid, according to food safety experts | Megan Leonhardt | CNBC

New (e-)takeoff for aviation industry

New technologies, from robotics to machine learning, are ushering in a period of rapid change and development. While the aviation industry is working to reap the benefits of this industrial automation, standards, especially those of ISO/TC 184/SC 4, will play a key role in ensuring a smooth flight path – but only if they can keep up.

Ever since Icarus boldly strapped on his wooden-framed wings made of feathers and wax and took to the skies, human beings have been defying gravity, designing and creating all kinds of contraptions and devices to get themselves airborne.

Finding solutions to these challenges calls for cost-­effective, fast and flexible new production processesHubris, along with solar power, did it in for Icarus, but these days, the likes of Elon Musk, founder and chief designer of SpaceX and creator of Tesla, and Jeff Bezos, founder of and Blue Origin, are blazing new trails in the skies, driven by their vision and a sense of adventure, and propelled by the new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

These modern-day Icaruses can afford to think big, and their successes, trailblazing endeavours and projections are splashed across the media. Of course, the aerospace and aviation industry has been pushing boundaries for years. From the first commercial air flight in 1914, demand for air travel has grown exponentially. As a result, the industry has had to seek new ways to design safer, faster, lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

> Read entire article New (e-)takeoff for aviation industry | Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis |

Bristol Airport hit by ransomware blackout

Normal service was finally resumed at Bristol airport yesterday after two days of ransomware-related outages caused a blackout of flight information screens.

Staff were forced to hand-write regular updates on whiteboards to provide passengers with crucial information on flight arrival and departure details, while additional airport staff were deployed to help answer questions from anxious travelers.

A post on the airport’s official Twitter feed on Friday had the following:

We are currently experiencing technical problems with our flight information screens.  Flights are unaffected and details of check-in desks, boarding gates, and arrival/departure times will be made over the public address system. Additional staff are on hand to assist passengers.

> Read entire article Bristol Airport hit by ransomware blackout | Phil Muncaster | InfoSecurity

Norway’s plan for a fleet of electric planes

In July 2018, Norway’s transport minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen and Dag Falk-Petersen, the head of the country’s airport company Avinor, took a very special flight together.

In front of the press they squeezed into the cockpit of a two-seat plane made by the Slovenian company Pipistrel. With Falk-Petersen at the controls, the pair took a short flight lasting a few minutes around Oslo in an Alpha Electro G2.

The flight’s novelty is partly explained by the aircraft’s name; it’s entirely powered by electricity. Battery-powered aircraft have made the leap from fantasy to drawing board to production. But it’s just the start. Solvik-Olsen and Falk-Petersen weren’t just flying this plane for a lark; it was to underline one of Norway’s most dramatic plans to cut down on its carbon emissions in the decades ahead.

By 2040, Norway intends all short-haul flights leaving its airports to be on aircraft powered by electricity.

> Read entire article Norways plan for a fleet of electric planes | Stephen Dowling | BBC

EcoServices’ flight to eco-friendly skies

Keith Root, Environmental, Health & Safety Manager at EcoPower, explains how ISO standards – ISO 50001 and ISO 14064-3 – are helping to provide a solution.

It all comes out in the wash. And unfortunately for the environment, this is exactly what used to happen with the washing of jet engines when compressor cleaning spilled wash water containing minerals, metals, oils and other contaminants on to the ground.

EcoServices is one company that is helping to make a difference by not only investing in new technology, but also by taking coordinated action to implement new operating procedures, as EcoPower’s Keith Root explains.

Read entire article EcoServices’ flight to eco-friendly skies | Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis |

Business Recovery

Business continuity in airline sector is a concept which is generally overlooked by the airline managements.

Published on News of Bahrain

The principle of Business Continuity (BC) has been created in order to ensure that business and operation would go on normally during any disaster. And it is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident. This involves defining critical processes and procedures that are required to continue operating the core business functions during and after a disaster.Business continuity is fast evolving to become a critical and strategic decision for any organisation. The bigger the organisation, the bigger is the requirement for business continuity. Previously the organisations were not providing enough time and effort in planning for the extended disruptions due to misconceptions that either they will never face any disaster or if they ever face any disaster they will be able to recover the damages trough comprehensive insurance covers.

The reason why the insurance cover is not adequate is that the insurance is normally covered for the physical (tangible) assets which have a book (dollar) value, while the biggest asset of any organisation is its business processes and frameworks. These business processes are generally developed and tuned over a period of many years and is not something which can be brought off-the-shelve.

Transportation in general and airlines in particular is a unique sector with a specialized set of requirements, challenges and opportunities. Business continuity in airline sector is a concept which is generally overlooked by the airline managements.

Read entire article Business recovery | DT News Bahrain

To Pay or Not to Pay: Airbus Faces Dilemma as Bribery Probes Loom

Airbus SE is being forced by French courts to pay millions of dollars to partners who it alleges used corruption to broker aircraft deals in strategic countries.

Published on Bloomberg Technology | By Ania Nussbaum and Gaspard Sebag

In one case, the manufacturer was made to settle an outstanding $825,000 bill from a go-between that helped secure sales in China even after Airbus said it had evidence the business relationship was “tarnished” by corruption, according to an unreported ruling released earlier this month.

Airbus argued this “called for suspending all payments.”

The court proceedings have put Airbus in a seemingly contradictory situation. The planemaker is under investigation for paying bribes to secure overseas contracts and says it’s cooperating and turning over evidence from an internal investigation. But judges have stymied the company’s efforts to cut off brokers who it suspects have facilitated questionable payments.

Court says planemaker failed to prove corruption by partners, as a result, Airbus faces court orders to pay intermediaries.

Read entire article To Pay or Not to Pay: Airbus Faces Dilemma as Bribery Probes Loom | Bloomberg Technology

Why intelligent supply chains will rule the world

Global freight transport is a key component in the trade of goods and materials, but new demands on the transport network are creating fresh challenges for data.

Transport companies are endeavouring to meet those new demands, but are they successful? Discover how an adaptive, intelligent supply chain – built around standards – accelerates innovation and drives change.

Imagine an advanced interconnected freight transport network that connects goods safely, quickly and cost-efficiently, a network that makes different modes of transport easier to use than ever before, and provides reliable, predictable and accessible information to enable moving a product from A to B to reach its final destination.

An adaptive intelligent supply chain built around standards accelerates innovation and change!

In today’s congested world, most would agree that the e-logistics related to movement of goods is a growing field, and one that will not plateau. Companies are seeking faster and better ways to get product to market and on consumer’s shelves or in their driveways. At the same time, many would agree that demand frequently outstrips the available capacity of transport infrastructure. There can be few companies that have not experienced sporadic load disparities, slow freight movement, or high transport expenses.

Global growth

Every product in our homes and offices got to the shop shelves as a result of efficient, safe and rapid transport, sometimes in the same city, at other times from across the globe, and often using multiple modes of transport such as rail hubs, air freight and land-based services. The movement of freight is changing in ways that could barely be imagined a few generations ago and at a pace that is faster than any in recorded history.

To better understand the impact of global freight movement, consider this. The freight industry transports trillions of dollars’ worth of goods every year to every corner of the globe and back, through an increasingly interconnected and interdependent global freight supply chain. In 2015, world trade in goods was valued at about USD 16 trillion, according to the UNCTAD report Key Statistics and Trends in International Trade 2016, the latest analysis of trade-related issues by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Each seaport and airport is connected to road and rail networks with intermodal dwelling times, reflecting the multimodal nature of most freight journeys.

The monster atomic bomb that was too big to use

On the morning of 30 October 1961, a Soviet Tu-95 bomber took off from Olenya airfield in the Kola Peninsula in the far north of Russia.

The Tu-95 was a specially modified version of a type that had come into service a few years earlier; a huge, swept-wing, four-engined monster tasked with carrying Russia’s arsenal of nuclear bombs.

The last decade had seen enormous strides in Soviet nuclear research. World War Two had placed the US and USSR in the same camp, but the post-war period had seen relations chill and then freeze. And the Soviets, presented with a rivalry against the world’s only nuclear superpower, had only one option – to catch up. Fast.

Tu-95 Bear bomber
The Tsar Bomba was carried to the drop zone by a modified version of the Tu-95 ‘Bear’ bomber

On 29 August 1949, the Soviets had tested their first nuclear device – known as ‘Joe-1’ in the West – on the remote steppes on what is now Kazakhstan, using intelligence gleaned from infiltrating the US’s atomic bomb programme. In the intervening years, their test programme had surged in leaps and starts, detonating more than 80 devices; in 1958 alone, the Soviet tested 36 nuclear bombs.

But nothing the Soviet Union had tested would compare to this.

The Tu-95 carried an enormous bomb underneath it, a device too large to fit inside the aircraft’s internal bomb-bay, where such munitions would usually be carried. The bomb was 8m long (26ft), had a diameter of nearly 2.6m (7ft) and weighed more than 27 tonnes. It was, physically, very similar in shape to the ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ bombs which had devastated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a decade-and-a-half earlier. The bomb had become known by a myriad of neutral technical designations – Project 27000, Product Code 202, RDS-220, and Kuzinka Mat (Kuzka’s Mother). Now it is better known as Tsar Bomba – the ‘Tsar’s bomb’.

Tsar bomba
This mock-up of Tsar Bomba show’s the weapon’s enormous size

Tsar Bomba was no ordinary nuclear bomb. It was the result of a feverish attempt by the USSR’s scientists to create the most powerful nuclear weapon yet, spurred on by Premier Nikita Khruschchev’s desire to make the world tremble at the might of Soviet technology. It was more than a metal monstrosity too big to fit inside even the largest aircraft – it was a city destroyer, a weapon of last resort.

The Tupolev, painted bright white in order to lessen the effects of the bomb’s flash, arrived at its target point. Novya Zemlya, a sparsely populated archipelago in the Barents Sea, above the frozen northern fringes of the USSR. The Tupolev’s pilot, Major Andrei Durnovtsev, brought the aircraft to Mityushikha Bay, a Soviet testing range, at a height of about 34,000ft (10km). A smaller, modified Tu-16 bomber flew beside, ready to film the ensuing blast and monitor air samples as it flew from the blast zone.

Source: BBC

Read entire post grey

ICAO’s flight plan takes off

Air transport has become essential to our global society. In fact, it would be difficult to envisage a world without aviation. Here, Fang Liu, Secretary-General of ICAO, looks at the industry’s recent developments and unveils the plans to tackle the future.

Air travel around the world has seen a marked change in the way the aviation industry functions. From its inception, when flying was considered a risky proposition, air travel has now emerged as the preferred means of transportation for long distances between major cities.

The number of passengers passing through the world’s airports has grown while the real cost of flying has fallen by 60 % over the last 40 years, making it more accessible to more people. During the same period, aircraft have become more energy-efficient and quieter.

In the midst of all this, technology and strict compliance with standards have helped the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to weather the storms and ensure continuous improvement in air transport safety and security. Can this be sustained given the growth in air traffic and environmental pressures?

ISOfocus caught up with ICAO’s Secretary-General, Fang Liu, to discuss how air travel has transformed over the years. Here, Fang Liu looks at how the industry has met the challenges of the recent past and unveils ICAO’s new measures to meet the challenges of the future. Above all, she explains why collaboration and partnership with ISO is of such vital importance in building a resilient global security framework.