In the course of 2018, more than a thousand commercial aircraft have been equipped to offer WiFi to passengers. Approximately one third of commercial aircraft currently provide in-flight connectivity to passengers who are willing to stay connected 35,000 feet above the ground. Although some uncertainty remains regarding the most suitable technology, frequency equipment, and service provider, the overall trend is one of pushing the entire airline industry toward connectivity.
The way aviation has evolved since its beginning can be compared to human evolution. Since the first scheduled commercial passenger flight in 1914, the structure of commercial aircraft, such as the fuselage shape and engine number/type, has undergone great evolutionary steps. The core structure of an aircraft, which is what actually allows the aircraft to fly, has reached a stable state, and changes have become much less visible, involving the use of different materials or changes to the wing tips. An outstanding effort is now made to improve aircraft reliability, making breakdowns predictable by adding an enormous set of sensors that generate tremendous amounts of data. The airplane has completed its physical transformation and is now undergoing a subtler transformation into a more intelligent entity. Similarly, in human evolution, Homo erectus (erect man in Latin) preceded Homo sapiens (wise man) – before developing more advanced cognitive skills, humans had to learn to stand. The connectivity era can thus be seen as an advanced phase of aircraft evolution.
Despite the surge in connectivity and the expanding number of connected applications, aircraft evolution is continuing to progress. Connectivity has brought about a new era with new leads to be explored and new challenges to be faced. Cybersecurity is seen as one the biggest challenges to be encountered in the 21st century. Unlocking the potential of connectivity opens a Pandora’s box of a variety of cyber-threats.
The aerospace industry has always taken calculated risks and put passenger safety first. CyberInflight was created in early 2019 to provide guidance to aerospace professionals in this evolving landscape, providing them with comprehensive answers and explanations in cybersecurity. CyberInflight is the only company of its kind to combine market intelligence and technical expertise to help its customers to pick optimal solutions. Through its in-flight cybersecurity research program, CyberInflight is a pioneer in the demanding field of aerospace cybersecurity.