Welcome to ICNS 2016

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Dr. Michael Schnell

Dr. Michael Schnell

It is my pleasure to personally welcome you to the 16th Integrated Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance (ICNS) Conference!

Flying is one of the safest ways to travel. Interestingly, although true, there is actually very little security technology involved in our current ATM/CNS system. The primary elements of our CNS technology are still analog and open without any form of dedicated security technology. Today, we rely on respective operational procedures and the human-in-the-loop to counteract security attacks.

But times are changing. Global ATM modernization is on its way with large programs in Asia, Europe and the U.S. The goal is to improve ATM procedures to cope with increasing air-traffic in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. As a consequence, our CNS system is undergoing a paradigm shift – from analog to digital technology and from stand-alone to networked systems with a high degree of automation. The future CNS system will be an interconnected system of systems with human interaction enhanced and replaced to an increasing extent by automation.

This makes our ATM/CNS system susceptible to cyberattacks. As in other industries, where digitization, networking, and automation have already been introduced, aviation has to be aware of the new threats. This year’s ICNS conference puts a special focus on cybersecurity by choosing “Securing an Integrated CNS System to Meet Future Challenges” as its theme. A dedicated cybersecurity plenary and a very strong cybersecurity track for technical papers emphasize the conference theme.

The conference opens on Tuesday with a keynote address by the distinguished Ms. Kristen Burnham, Vice President, Program Management Organization at the Federal Aviation Administration. Our well-established first day plenary, “Global ATM/CNS Modernization,” will be chaired jointly by Mr. Steve Bradford, FAA, and Philippe Merlo, EUROCONTROL. With contributions from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, it will be a real global plenary this year. The second day will start with the plenary, “International Standardization,” chaired jointly by Ms. Anna von Groote, Technical Program Manager, EUROCAE, and Al Secen, Vice President Aviation Technology and Standards, RTCA. With panelists from AEEC, ICAO, FAA, and EUROCONTROL, our co-chairs have set-up an exciting plenary covering all main standardization bodies.

The second part of Wednesday morning will be devoted to our interactive workshop entitled “How Drones are Changing the World We Live In.” The workshop panelists are from FAA, research (DLR), and companies who already successfully operate drones. We look forward to an interesting and exciting discussion between panelists and audience.

On Thursday, we begin with the plenary, “Cybersecurity,” jointly chaired by Natesh Manikoth, NextGen Chief Scientist and Technical Advisor for NAS Software, FAA, and Patrick Mana, Project Manager, Centralized Services, EUROCONTROL. The panelists from FAA, EUROCONTROL, Government, and Industry will discuss different strategies to respond to cyberattacks, including possible ways to transfer strategies from other industries to aviation.

We very much appreciate your attendance and participation in ICNS 2016 and would like to invite you to use the various opportunities for networking during our morning breaks, lunches, and evening events. Be sure not to miss Mr. Mike Harrison’s talk, “From Ideas, through Innovation, to Market – What Popular Science Tells Us about Aviation,” on Tuesday evening during the exhibitors and sponsors reception. And expect an exciting Wednesday evening event with fantastic food and entertainment.

Let me conclude with a big “Thank You” to all who have helped with this conference. We greatly appreciate the financial support of our sponsors and exhibitors. They make sure that our conference fees can be kept at a low level. Our plenary and workshop chairs as well as all our panelists deserve high recognition for offering their expertise on CNS programs and plans and for their willingness to discuss important policy issues with our audience. Our authors of the technical papers are the heart of the conference. They give insight into ongoing projects and latest research results with their outstanding presentations during the afternoon technical sessions. Last but not least, special thanks go to the ICNS Executive Committee, one of the best groups of team players I have ever worked with.

Michael Schnell
Conference General Chair, 2016 ICNS

View the 2016 Agenda