Last week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) agreed to establish a Federal Interagency Working Group to more effectively collaborate and coordinate with other relevant agencies on issues that intersect their respective domains, including the safe and secure use of consumer communications onboard domestic commercial aviation.
Today GBTA issued this statement about the new Working Group:
“The formation of this working group is a significant milestone in the necessary efforts to address the changing risks associated with expanded use of broadband capabilities in commercial aviation. The Global Business Travel Association has been working closely with agency officials and Hill staff urging federal agencies to proactively assess the safety and security of enhanced cell phone usage and high speed broadband access on planes. We advocated for the need for interagency efforts to guard against siloed activity in examining short- and long-term security threats.
We are pleased that our concerns have been recognized and acted upon. GBTA will continue its efforts to ensure the business traveler remains safe and this interagency working group will be key to this mission. GBTA will assist the working group in any way that we can to ensure the safety and well-being of travelers is considered before moving forward with the implementation of new technology.
We must continue to not just ask ‘can we do this’, but we must also ask ‘should we do this?’ – especially as it relates to matters that impact one of our most important assets – a safe and secure aviation system.”