"Eurocontrol absolutely has to keep up with the latest technologies – so as to deliver the best possible services to our stakeholders."
The organisation tasked with delivering air traffic management for 41 of Europe’s states, Eurocontrol, has recruited Thales to strengthen the cybersecurity of its information as it digitises its services.
The shift to a digitised system is being made by Eurocontrol to improve passenger safety and security but is also likely to help cope with the increasing demand for air travel – something that until now has largely been completed with a paper-based system.
The Thales system will enable Eurocontrol to bolster security for passengers by developing technology that detects cyberattacks early and mitigates cyber risk to prevent attacks, using one of Thales's five Cybersecurity Operations Centres to provide round-the-clock monitoring.
Eurocontrol, which handles around 10 million flights annually, said it is making the overhaul to the digital system to “develop, maintain and support” its operations and underpin the "Digital Transformation of European air traffic management”.
“Eurocontrol absolutely has to keep up with the latest technologies – like machine learning, artificial intelligence, probability modelling, blockchain – so as to deliver the best possible services to our stakeholders,” said the intergovernmental organisation’s director general, Eammon Brennan.
Thales (@thalesgroup) will also operate a separate agreement with fellow technology company, Cegeka, which will support the French company as it helps Eurocontrol manage a smooth transition from its legacy Waterfall system to its new digital one. The Belgian company will provide advanced information technologies to help create state-of-the-art software.
Laurent Maury, vice president of critical information systems and cybersecurity at Thales, said cybersecurity is a key component of the systems its customers use today, especially in aerospace. “With the increase in cyber risks, these two contracts with Eurocontrol represent a major step forward in making Europe’s skies safer and a further example of the implications of the digital transformation for any large company or organisation.
Eurocontrol said in a statement that it made the decision to divide the contracts because having more than one company on board allows access to greater agility and more profound experience; a diversified offering in regards to technological innovation; better opportunities in the pooling of resources; and a speedier interaction with its customers.
If you’d like to learn more about other technologies that have been developed to safeguard the passengers and staff that are involved in the transport industry, why not download Transport Security World’s latest industry guide – Understanding the key threats and trends in transport safety and security – published in conjunction with its sister title, SmartRail World.
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