Flight Attendants Support Legislation Calling for Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft

Boston, MA (April 7, 2016) — As the Senate debates the FAA Reauthorization Bill, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced new legislation, the Cyber AIR Act, calling for cybersecurity standards for commercial aircrafts. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) has advocated for two years for the need to assess potential vulnerabilities of expanded technology onboard.

“We promised to Never Forget our heroes or the lessons of September 11, 2001. This drives our action as first responders to maintain the safety and security of aviation,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. “Senator Markey has a consistent record of standing with us to keep our promise. We commend him for introducing this legislation to assess potential threats and vulnerabilities of expanded communications onboard commercial aircrafts. This is a small investment to protect millions of lives traveling in our skies every day. All of us are responsible for the duty of care for all passengers and crewmembers.”

This bill follows AFA’s work to bring together direct stakeholders, from intelligence to military to private, to assess these potential vulnerabilities.

“As technology rapidly advances to keep passengers and planes connected, we must ensure that the airline industry is vigilant in protecting its aircraft and systems from cybersecurity breaches and attacks,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “The Cyber AIR Act directs the FAA to establish comprehensive cybersecurity standards and will mandate that all airlines disclose cyberattacks to the federal government. We know that terrorists and others that mean to do us harm will try to exploit any loophole or technological advance in our transportation systems, so we must continually bolster the standards and practices of the airline industry to ensure the safety and security of passengers on board commercial aircraft.”

 AFA’s “Never Forget” legislative and regulatory campaign, launched in 2014, stresses coordinated agency and stakeholder communication as a key component of aviation security.


The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 70 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us atwww.afacwa.org.


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