560XL Receives Special Conditions for Cyber Protection

 - November 26, 2018, 8:47 AM

The STC for Garmin's installation of its G5000 integrated avionics system in the Cessna Citation 560XL will be contingent on meeting  “special conditions” designed to prevent computer hacking, viruses, and other electronic security breaches. These are similar to the special conditions imposed by the FAA on other G5000 installations, including those in the Cessna, Sovereign+, X+, Latitude, and Longitude, the Learjet 70/75, and Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400. Similar special conditions apply to most new airplanes and those being retrofitted with modern flight decks. 

The Model 560XL, as modified by Garmin, will incorporate a design feature that will allow internal connections to previously isolated data networks that are connected to systems performing functions required for the safe operation of the airplane. Consequently, the FAA said a potential exists for unauthorized persons to access the aircraft control and information domains, presenting “security vulnerabilities related to the introduction of computer viruses and worms, user errors, and intentional sabotage of airplane electronic assets.”

Because existing regulations do not cover this type of system architecture or electronic access to airplane systems, the FAA had to establish special conditions to ensure that the security of the airplane’s systems and networks is not compromised by unauthorized wired or wireless internal access. According to the FAA, these special conditions contain additional safety standards necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that of existing airworthiness standards.