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Editorials from Finnish Communications and Transport Agency Traficom

    Digitalization and Cybersecurity as Enablers Digitalization and cybersecurity are complex, multidisciplinary domains and crucially important enablers of civil aviation. Because of this, they are often challenging to approach and understand. In the broadest context, both disciplines simply enable people to air travel safely in a given schedule. However, both can, in the worst case scenario, seriously impact operational capabilities and capacities leading to weakening safety or security of flight. Even environmental issues are indirectly impacted. For example, sufficient cybersecurity enables us to leverage full potential of digitalization allowing us to develop more environmentally friendly operational concepts. In order for the global civil aviation ecosystem to continue evolving cyber securely, increasing attention is needed on how the existing strong and good basis of civil aviation safety and security management from global ICAO level down to regional -, state - and organizational levels can best be utilized in the fields of digitalization and cybersecurity. Digitalization and Cybersecurity in Aviation Security and Safety Digitalization delivers many opportunities in our society. In civil aviation it has great potential to bring benefits on designing new flight procedures or even completely new operational concepts. Implementation of new systems in an interoperable, safe and secure way requires vast amount of international cooperation and must be a joint effort between the States and the industry. In assuring that the aviation remains trusted in in the constantly evolving cyberspace, ensuring safety, security and interoperable way of utilizing digitalization may sound relatively simple. However, reflecting these objectives through all the Annexes to the Chicago Convention will need thorough consideration. As with everything in civil aviation this is a team sport and our joint responsibility. ICAO has several important ongoing and becoming initiatives in this area. Trust Framework Study Group (TFSG), Secretariat Study Group on Cybersecurity (SSGC) and soon Cybersecurity Panel (CYSECP), just to name a few. The Convergence of Environmental Issues and Cybersecurity As mentioned earlier, it is quite interesting to extend the context of cybersecurity to the environmental issues. New operational methods or concepts onboard an aircraft and on ground in supporting functions, always require steps to be taken in technology. Digitalization is in the heart of these technological developments which create opportunities to improve broadly the operational efficiency of civil aviation. However, digitalization in sustainable way requires that the changing risk landscape is comprehensively and sufficiently managed. In that, up-to-date cybersecurity provides a way to govern, process and manage these risks. Managing risks in a consistent and transparent way builds and increases the required trust that is fundamental in the digital civil aviation world. Progress to meet the objectives in the civil aviation digitalization and cybersecurity will greatly assist managing the challenges on the increasingly important environmental side of the civil aviation. Together we will success. Writer: Chief Adviser Tomi Salmenpää, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom
    In modern society global air transport is often taken for granted. The mobility of people and goods is a necessity. Especially in long distance travel air transport overpowers other transport modes and has enabled current globalisation. For the Nordic states, air transport is particularly important. Our geographical location at the edge of Europe and partly surrounded by sea areas makes fast air transport connections imperative. Society has occasionally been awakened to realise that well functioning air transport connections cannot be taken for granted. Short or larger scale interruptions, caused for example by ash clouds or COVID-19 have highlighted their importance. Air transport copes and recovers. During COVID-19, the global aviation community has turned out to be able to fast and efficiently cooperate in order to find necessary solutions and implement them. We have gained lots of valuable experience of what is working and what needs to be improved. Current safety level is no quarantee for future. With many decades of systematic work, commercial air transport has achieved its current so-called ultra safe level. That work must be continued. As a business, commercial air transport is based on maintaining passenger confidence. Passengers tend to take aviation safety for granted. Maintaining that trust is a vital condition for business. However, it is essential that the aviation system and the professionals working within it see safety as a reward to be earned by continuous daily work. Air transport has so far coped well during situations challenging confidence such as big accidents or acts of terror. The global aviation community has reacted, learnt and improved its functions. Global toolbox for safety management Global air transport is a complex system of systems. The safety level of another continent or state - no matter of their size - is connected to the safety level of the others. The only way to manage that extensive entity is to work with a risk and performance based approach. Robustness, efficient use of resources via cooperation and coordination is essential. The Nordic states have always been active partners in global cooperation for aviation safety. They also work closely together with these issues. Finland sees this as a possibility to utilise and benchmark the good work done by others and is willing to share its own experiences and results. This is mutually beneficial for all. Safety management systems are an essential tool globally, in states and in aviation industry. At all levels, safety management covers safety policy, responsibilities and procedures, safety risk management, safety assurance and safety promotion. The system is like a machine, in which safety information is a fuel, good and confidential safety culture is a lubricant and the end product is safety. The parts like proactive risk assessment help us to target right kind of mitigations to risks. Management of change helps to pre-identify possible impacts of planned changes and to react to changes coming unnoticed or suddenly from the operational environment. Safety performance monitoring against our objectives tells us whether our safety work is effective. We have to know what the current, good safety level is based on. Otherwise we don't know whether the end result is because of our efforts. Aviation safety consists of flight safety, security and cyber security, the latter being linked with the previous ones. Safety is a status where the aviation system is well functioning from safety point of view. This can be achieved by constant learning from what went well and from what went or could have gone wrong. Both unintentional threats like weather phenomena, human errors or unplanned information system error and intentional threats like cyberattacks can put safety system to test. Safety margins and resilience are working as a safety shield against them. By using margins and increasing resilience we ensure, that individuals and organisations are able to cope also in surprising situations and maintain safe operations. Digitalisation with its many benefits plays a more and more bigger role in aviation system safety and often reduces human errors. However, digitalisation is yet one extra tool in the toolbox. Programming, applications and user interfaces requires human contribution. Human factors with their strengths and weaknesses can be seen in end products. Also a human-machine interface plays a bigger role in aviation safety. The way forward with lessons learnt and open mind The global aviation community passed the COVID-19-induced safety test. It proved existing safety management structures and tools functional. With strong cooperation and continuous improvement we develop our work and assure aviation safety also in COVID-19 Return to Normal Operations phase and in the future. It is better to take along a mixture of caution and vigilance with long-span view to carefully improve existing structures and courage to be reformed when necessary. Finland as well as the other Nordic states are willing to take part in this continuous effort. Writer: Chief Adviser Heli Koivu, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom
    Clean nature and the environment have always been central to the Nordic countries and their people. Conversely, our location in the northernmost corner of Europe makes air transport vital in order for us to reach each other and other parts of the world. Climate and environmental issues are here to stay at the forefront of the aviation agenda, and they are as urgent as ever. Climate change affects all regions around the world, and the effects will be accentuated in the northern regions. The Nordic countries have worked together for several decades on climate and environmental issues. N-ALM (Nordic Working Group for Environmental Issues in Aviation) was set up by Nordic aviation directors and had its first meeting already in 1991. The cooperation that started 30 years ago continues to be active between Nordic ministries, CAAs, airports and air carriers within the N-ALM framework. National, regional and international action is needed According to the Government Programme, Finland will be carbon neutral by 2035. The targets for reducing emissions from transport must be in line with this goal. To this end, the Government of Finland adopted a resolution1 on 6 May 2021 that confirms measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and the priorities for international cooperation. Emissions from aviation will be reduced by renewable fuels, energy efficiency and pricing, and there are 23 different measures under these themes. In the global context, the success of CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) is very important for the ICAO and other actors in the aviation sector, which are under increasing pressure to reduce emissions. Finland, as well as other Nordic countries, has committed to voluntarily participate in CORSIA from its inception. We have actively contributed to the implementation of CORSIA and the promotion of its efficiency. Particular emphasis should be placed on the quality of emission units, the avoidance of double counting and the widespread introduction of the system among ICAO Member States. Raising awareness and competence will play an important role in the implementation of CORSIA in ICAO Member States during the voluntary phase of the system. To promote this goal, Finland, for example, organised a regional ICAO CORSIA seminar in 2019. As vital as CORSIA is for our climate efforts, we also need to increase our efforts towards cutting emissions within the aviation sector itself. There are many promising projects involving new technology. Hybrid aircraft, electrification and hydrogen solutions are the future, but capitalising on that will take time – time which our climate does not have. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) hold much promise. Effective policies to promote them are required at the national, regional and global level. The Finnish Government has decided to aim for a 30 per cent share of sustainable aviation fuels in 2030, through a blending obligation. To gain greater influence, Finland would warmly welcome action to achieve a global qualitative, and ultimately quantitative, objective on sustainable aviation fuels as well. Finnish companies have significant know-how and production capacity for sustainable aviation fuels. Neste's sustainable aviation fuel production capacity at the Porvoo, Rotterdam and Singapore refineries is estimated to be, through ongoing investments, at about 1.5 Mt by the end of 2023, which is the largest production volume of an individual company in the world in light of current information. ST1 Oy is building a refinery in Gothenburg capable of producing 0.2 Mt of sustainable aviation fuels or other transport renewable fuels. Some other companies also have refineries producing renewable diesel in Finland, either in operation or planned, which could also be utilised in the production of aviation fuels. In addition, technology related to synthetic electric fuels (PtL, Power to Liquid or PtX, Power to X) is being developed in Finland by e.g. Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in cooperation with Finnish companies. Future decisions are made now Much has already been done and is currently under work, but we need to be even more ambitious, aiming at achieving carbon-neutral aviation. There is strong momentum towards agreeing to a long-term aspirational goal (LTAG) at the next ICAO General Assembly in 2022. Finland's goal is to agree on an ambitious LTAG for international aviation to reduce CO2 emissions and agree on the means to achieve it. A global goal would send a signal that the aviation sector is willing to decarbonise. It would also bring down costs in a more predictable way and promote a global level playing field. An ambitious LTAG would help aviation return to more sustainable growth. We need to show nothing less than unity and ambition. Let's fly again – more sustainably than ever! Writers: Chief Adviser Helena Waltari, Chief Adviser Katja Lohko-Soner, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom

About Finland


The Åland Islands, an autonomous province of Finland, are located at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. Nearly one-third of Finland lies north of the Arctic Circle. The area of Finland, including 33,551 km2 of inland water, totals 338,145 km2. Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland.

Finland Stats

26 023 895 in 2019

5 376 940 in 2021

Arriving and departing passengers

251 738 in 2019

91 704 in 2021

Movements in major airports

(Departures and arrivals)

1 478 in 2019

1 462 in 2021

Aircraft on national register grand total

FCL:6715, AML:699 ATCO:294 in 2019

FCL:7063, AML:876ATCO:294 in 2021

Total number of certified personnel

24 in 2019/2021

Number of airports

(excl. private airfields)

232 001 in 2019

177 305 in 2021

International cargo traffic

in tonnes

421 000 in 2019/2021

FIR size (in km2)

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