FAA’s NOTAM system hacked… – Opinion

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The FAA’s NOTAM system was hacked…

The Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) hack only exposes the weakness of centralized government…

FAA’s NOTAM system hacked…

FAA’s NOTAM system hacked…

The only thing that the recent Southwest Airlines debacle teaches us is that people get really pissed off when they can’t fly. Our overzealous media, trying to take down a major corporation, advertised this to the entire world; we all listened and our enemies listened as well.

Now the FAA’s computer has been hacked and all we are doing is informing our enemies.

FAA’s NOTAM hacked…

FAA’s NOTAM hacked…

The warning system went down and what was the government reaction? Typically, it was to close the entire system. What the FAA did by closing the entire system was inform our enemies of our vulnerability.

The Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) is simply a warning system. NOTAM is convenient and nice to have but what happened Wednesday morning should educate us on the need for decentralization. It also informs us, in rather clear terms, that centralized systems are vulnerable to attack and if attacked the damage can be monumental.

Why would we want to centralize commercial air operations with NOTAM?

FAA’s NOTAM system flaw exposed...

FAA’s NOTAM flaw exposed…

It’s dumb and it’s something that might be tried in China or another centralized economy. But we can’t be a centralized economy and the reason we’ve grown to own the most vibrant air travel industry in the world is because of deregulation and free-market innovation.

While I wouldn’t go so far as closing down the FAA because of their overreach and bumbling, if one of their computer systems goes down, they ought not to be able to close the entire industry. The way things work now

Air traffic should be regulated, monitored, and warnings should be issued, but airlines are entirely capable of operating safely, without relying on the federal government.

The FAA should investigate, regulate, and potentially fine airlines, but they should NOT stand in the way of commerce when nothing has happened; they morning they closed the system, there were no disasters or noticeable problems. But in the case of Wednesday, what happened was totally the fault and negligence of the FAA.

The airlines can and always have monitored the weather and airport conditions. Since the telephone and especially since the internet, were invented airlines have been checking on conditions. The bottom line, profit, depends on making good decisions.

Did the NOTAM system do anything to help the situation in December?

FAA's NOTAM issue is revealed...

FAA’s NOTAM issue is revealed…

The travel industry experienced a days-long holiday travel meltdown. Of course the snow and ice and weather was an Act of God, but now there is evidence that the NOTAM provided little information and the information that was provided was actually counter-productive.

I’m not certain the NOTAM is as effective as the FAA claims. To me, NOTAM all seems like a system created so the FAA and the federal government can claim they are indispensable.

NOTAM might be just another ineffective government boondoggle. WBAP AM Radio in Dallas-Fort Worth sent a reporter to DFW airport around 30 minutes after the ground stoppage and the American airlines counter personnel responded, “That’s news to us. We aren’t aware.”

FAA's NOTAM hack was shown to be...

FAA’s NOTAM hack was shown to be…

This brings to light something I’ve noticed since the 1990s. People just ignore idiots in the government. And seriously, don’t serious-minded businessmen and corporations often ignore the government?

Look, if NOTAM warnings aren’t missed, if the system goes down and no one really notices, then why is it needed?

NOTAM is nice and it does add to the safety of air travel, but it’s CLEARLY not indispensable or absolutely needed.

What could be done? The airlines operate a reservation system and a passenger service system that does a wonderful seamless job of integration between partner airlines, allowing them to share fares and customer and booking information and even to allow them to make connections between

Why can’t the airline create and operate a warning system that is cheaper and more effective than what the FAA is forcing on them?

What is the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM)?

The NOTAM system was behind the chaotic outage that grounded flights all across the U.S.

The FAA said in a statement that it was working to restore its Notice to Air Missions System, but until it was fully operational again, flights across the national airspace would be affected. This is insane and an abuse of power. Too much power and money are in Washington DC and while they pretend to be helping, Wednesday the FAA where clearly counter-productive.

What happened to Wednesday?

Domestic departures were expected to be paused until at least 9:30 a.m. ET., but at around 8:55 a.m. ET the FAA lifted the ground stop.

Flight tracking site FlightAware showed more than 1,300 delays and almost 50 cancellations across the U.S. just after 8 a.m. ET.

Was the FAA’s NOTAM hacked? 

I’ve seen hard evidence the FAA computer was hacked and the hackers knew the FAA’s course of action would be to shut down the air industry. And expect are asking themselves, if corporations are required by law to divulge computer hacks, then why don’t operations-interfering regulators have to do the same? If they were hacked would the FAA ever admit it? No.

Probably the most dishonest and manipulative woman in Washington DC, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a tweet that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the FAA’s system outage and that there was no evidence of a cyberattack. Technologists in my company scoffed at the notion the FAA wasn’t hacked.

What is a NOTAM and why are they vulnerable to hacks?

Hackers: Exposing the NOTAM issue at the FAA...

Hackers: Exposing the NOTAM issue at the FAA…

A NOTAM is a memo sent to workers involved with flight operations—like airport ground staff and pilots—alerting them to an abnormality within the United States National Airspace System.

If access to NOTAM wasn’t required to fly, the NOTAM computers wouldn’t be the target of foreign hackers. If the lack of NOTAM didn’t destroy the industry for hours at a time, the hackers wouldn’t be empowered to destroy the industry for hours at a time.

The notices are sent out when flight operations personnel need to be alerted to essential information that isn’t known far enough in advance for it to be publicized via usual communications channels.

The notices inform staff, in real-time, about the abnormal status of the airspace, as well as changes to any procedures, services or hazards in the National Airspace System.

Until Dec. 2021, the notices were known as Notices to Airmen. The FAA changed the name to make it “inclusive of all aviators and missions.”

So what should the FAA have done Wednesday?

Business as usual. They should have informed the airlines that the NOTAM system wouldn’t be available and then they should have stepped out of the way.

Go to the JournoNews site
Author: Lincoln Steffens

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