GAMMA partners complete four-year cyber R&D programme

11 January 2018
The GAMMA consortium explored future cybersecurity solutions for air traffic management. Source: Getty

The Global ATM Security Management (GAMMA) consortium has completed four years of research and development (R&D), by testing seven prototype solutions for air traffic management (ATM) cybersecurity in three validation exercises.

The EUR14 million (USD16 million) GAMMA project was co-financed by the European Commission under its 7th Framework Programme. Leonardo led a team of 19 organisations in eight countries. Among the partners were Tier I contractors Airbus, Boeing, and Thales; Milan airports operator SEA; and air navigation service providers ROMATSA (Romania) and ENAV (Italy).

GAMMA stemmed from the need in Europe to address new ATM threats and vulnerabilities arising from the increased reliance on automated and interconnected technologies, as seen in the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme.

The aim behind GAMMA was to develop solutions to these emerging vulnerabilities, backed up by practical proposals for implementation within the context of SESAR. While SESAR and NextGen address ATM security on a system engineering level with security risk assessments, few ATM-specific security solutions have been developed.

GAMMA sought to address this void with a structured risk assessment, followed by development and targeted validation of prototype solutions. Project partners began with a comprehensive analysis of cyber risks affecting existing ATM systems, using security risk assessment (SECRAM) methodologies laid down in SESAR. This laid the foundations for new cybersecurity architectures, on which the seven prototypes were based.

The GAMMA concept of operations includes three levels of security management: local, national and European (the latter being represented by the European GAMMA Co-ordination Centre). The GAMMA vision also enhances the scope for co-operative management of ATM security, while maintaining compatibility with the European ATM framework defined in SES. Indeed, speakers at the final GAMMA event, held by Leonardo in Rome on 15 November 2017, repeated calls for a less nation-centric and more Eurocentric approach to aviation cybersecurity.

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