Industry News

charter a jet

The Most-Chartered Flights for Private Business Jets

Flying in a private jet is a luxurious experience. The exclusivity and class that comes with flying in aircraft with few seats, no crowds, and numerous on-board amenities is nearly unmatched. Therefore, many corporate executives purchase or charter private jets for business purposes.

An outstanding number of flights on private jets occur every day, but if you’ve never been fortunate enough to fly in one, you probably wouldn’t realize that they’re an extremely common form of travel. But who is traveling on these jets and where are they going?

Who’s flying?

Despite the frequency of private aviation, most people who travel by private jet don’t actually own the aircraft. Private jet chartering is more popular. Business executives or individuals with money to spend can rent jets and fly to and from their destinations without any long-term investments.

As for the owners, this affluent group of aircraft collectors tend to be involved in a few distinct sectors of business, including finance, banking, investment, oil, and gas.

United States travel goes between hubs

Some of the most popular travel departure spots and destinations within the United States are major cities that offer travelers an abundance of activities, food, entertainment, and of course, business opportunity.

Knowing the owners of private jets tend to fall into the finance sector and other business executives may opt to charter a private jet, it makes sense that these few cities are some of the most traveled.

  • New York — The Big Apple should be no surprise on this list. As one of the United States’ most popular destinations for financial and investment business, the city also has interesting things to explore outside the office. Travelers depart and arrive in New York often, heading to or from other popular urban hubs like Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Miami.
  • Los Angeles — Sometimes considered the New York of the West Coast, LA is another no-brainer destination for corporate executives. Many corporate offices are in the LA area, making it a popular place to depart from to visit national branches or clients.
  • Las Vegas — Las Vegas is an adult playground, filled with both fun events and business conventions and meetings to attend. Flights between LA and Las Vegas are among the most popular in business aviation.

Other popular departure and destination locations in the U.S. include Miami, Chicago, and Houston.

Global travel continues to grow

Outside of the U.S., global business aviation is also booming. International flights may be more common for major corporate executives who own their own jets, but overseas markets are also popular.

Flights between London, Paris, and Nice are quite popular. Additionally, the use of business jets in Asia has multiplied in recent years, particularly in major business centers like Hong Kong.

If you are interested in joining those who often fly coast to coast in a luxurious private jet, contact an experienced aviation broker to learn more about the industry, set up a charter flight, and look into purchasing a new aircraft of your own.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to charter a jet? We can assist with that, too. Charter a private jet online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.
Air Traffic Control Tower

ADS-B Could Be the Catalyst for Mass BizJet Retirement

The clock is ticking for thousands of aircraft in the United States that have not yet gotten the necessary upgrades to meet the compliance standards of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a new surveillance technology used for air traffic control. The January 2020 deadline is fast-approaching, but many aircraft owners are unsure of whether to make the leap.

The cost of upgrading to meet the new program’s standards can be steep, particularly for older aircraft that lack much of today’s modern tracking technology. Few options for selling jets and values that sit far below the cost of compliance may force many jet owners to retire their aircraft.

What is ADS-B?

ADS-B is a new air traffic surveillance system implemented by the Federal Airline Administration (FAA) to replace radar technology. The system has been designed to improve safety and efficiency in the air, reduce costs, and minimize the environmental impacts of flying. ADS-B is the FAA’s attempt to modernize air traffic control and improve the safety of pilots and their passengers.

Beginning January 2020, all aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B Out systems to fly in most controlled airspace. ADS-B Out provides the ability to transmit flight data to air traffic controllers and other aircraft equipment with ADS-B In, the counterpart system.

ADS-B In is not required for compliance, but the FAA encourages it to allow pilots to utilize all the benefits of the system, including weather and traffic pattern updates.

Air Traffic Control Monitors

Options for owners

Although upgraded tracking systems stand to benefit the aviation industry, the FAA-mandated compliance requirements are troublesome to many aircraft owners, particularly those who own smaller aircraft such as private jets.

Cost is the major issue. For older aircraft with outdated systems, the cost of upgrading to ADS-B standards could cost owners $90,000 or more. This cost includes the need for new transponders, GPS receivers, antennas and other equipment. Newer jets may be able to trim these costs significantly, but the expense may still outweigh the value of some smaller jets. Downtime expenses are also a factor for jet owners that lease their aircraft out as a revenue stream.

The cost of not upgrading may be just as steep. Without being ADS-B compliant, aircraft will not be allowed to fly in controlled airspace. This puts a damper on many aircraft and their capabilities. If jets need to fly into this airspace regularly, the owners face a difficult choice: upgrade or retire.

Selling old aircraft at this time isn’t easy. With the FAA deadline looming over their heads, aircraft buyers are thinking to the future and purchasing already compliant aircraft. This leaves aircraft owners with the option to scrap their jets to earn back some of their investment.

If you are the owner of a private aircraft that is not yet ADS-B compliant, now is the time to weight your options. If you choose not to upgrade, you may still be able to sell your aircraft, so call an experienced aircraft broker and learn more about your options in the market.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.
tax changes

Tax Changes and Business Jets: What You Need to Know

Owning business jets has long been a goal of company executives due to the prestige and convenience associated with private aircraft. Now, thanks to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), jet ownership may become a reality for many more businesses.

The TCJA altered several existing tax laws, including many provisions regarding income tax deductions and depreciation. Previous tax law was somewhat favorable to buyers and owners of business jets. Owners attempting to sell and purchase a new model were given opportunities to avoid taxable gains. Additionally, purchasers of new aircraft were able to write off some of the aircraft expenses upfront.

The new laws may be both favorable and not to the business aviation industry. One of the major changes is allowing more businesses to take the leap into private jet ownership.

Changes to aircraft write-offs

Under the old tax law, new aircraft were eligible for a bonus deduction of up to 50 percent in the year of acquisition, followed by five or seven years of depreciation on the asset. The old law also allowed depreciation on pre-owned aircraft but followed a slower schedule.

Under new law, buyers may have the ability to write off 100 percent of the cost of new or pre-owned aircraft in the first year of ownership. This law applies to aircraft purchased after September 27, 2017, through January 1, 2023.

This change is huge, largely because of the ability for buyers to purchase and write off a pre-owned aircraft — especially when it wouldn’t otherwise be economically feasible.

Elimination of “like-kind” exchanges

The second major change to the aircraft tax law is the elimination of “like-kind” exchanges when selling and purchasing an aircraft. Previously, owners were able to mitigate taxable gains from selling aircraft if they purchased similar aircraft afterwards.

The TCJA eliminates this like-kind exchange model. All gains from the sale of an aircraft must now be claimed and taxed as determined by the income tax bracket.

This change is drastic but offset by the 100 percent expensing on new and pre-owned aircraft.

What these changes mean for business aviation

These new law changes make business aviation slightly different for corporate executives who currently own or wish to own a private aircraft.

Thanks to 100 percent expensing, executives are now able to purchase more expensive jets than they could before. Additionally, companies that didn’t have the option to purchase under the old tax law can now purchase either new or pre-owned jets with less difficulty.

Business jet owners must be wary, however, restrictions still exist on the new depreciation laws. The jets’ operating expenses must be reasonable for the company’s size, and aircraft must be for business use only. Entertainment expenses are disallowed, even if they are related to business activity.

Those interested in purchasing business jets under the tax law change should be cautious about whether specific aircraft will qualify for the exemption. Speak with a qualified broker to learn more about how tax law can impact your buying and selling decisions.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Jet Maintenance Robots: Shaping the Future of BizAv Compliance and Safety?

In an era largely recognized as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, robotics is playing a pivotal role in making work easier. In nearly every industry, robots are performing repetitive tasks or complementing human workers in doing these jobs quicker, better, and at a lower cost.

In the aviation industry, engineers are designing and deploying robots of all types to make critical maintenance easier. Let’s take a look at a few of the tried and true robots in the field today and how they’re helping maintenance crews so jet owners can take to the skies with peace of mind.

Maintenance drones

Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) drones were the first robots to take the field in the aviation maintenance industry. In 2015, unmanned aircraft developer Blue Bear Systems Research deployed a drone to thoroughly inspect the exterior of an airliner for inclement weather damage. Since then, several other MRO drone manufacturers have entered the market driving drone capabilities forward.

MRO drones work by flying predetermined paths around jets, using a high definition camera to show inspectors a crisp visual of the aircraft’s surface. Using drones has the potential to reduce inspection times from as long as six hours down to about two. This not only enables faster repairs but also repeatability in the inspection process.

The future of MRO drones is also exciting. Developers like Blue Bear and Output42 are aiming to create drone software that further maximizes inspection capabilities based on individual jet types. This includes prerecorded inspection flight paths and the ability to automatically detect damage, such as that from hail or bird strikes.

robot arm jet repair

Engine maintenance robots

A jet engine is a complicated mechanical engineering marvel and repairing one is no small task. Aside from being inherently complicated, jet engines are also totally enclosed and must be removed from jets for repairs and maintenance. Famed automaker and engine innovator Rolls Royce is looking to change this through the power of robotics.

In conjunction with the University of Nottingham and Harvard University, Rolls Royce has developed a series of swarm robots to tackle jet engine maintenance. Measuring just 10 millimeters in diameter, these robots are injected into a jet engine to provide visual feedback on the contents of the case and its many components.

Phase two of this initiative will involve a maintenance team installing a bore-blending robot within the engine and deploying it remotely for engine maintenance. Using remote controls, an inspection team will be able to execute minor maintenance without ever opening the engine compartment.

Other robotic assistants

As technologies continue to evolve in the robotics field, engineers are exploring more and more iterations of helper robots. Examples like Invert Robotics’ climber robot show the abilities of robots to adapt to jet maintenance crew needs, providing everything from terrain maneuvering assistance to high-definition video transmission.

Regardless of what form jet maintenance robots take or what service they’re able to provide, they’re reducing the time, cost, and margin of error for jet maintenance. Results are better inspection standards, more efficient maintenance, and safer jets extending to private and business aviation.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

How Are Tariffs Affecting the U.S. Private Jet Industry and China’s Burgeoning BizAv Market?

A fervor over trade between the United States and China has been rising since August 2017 when President Donald Trump originally signed a memorandum on China to target what he believes are a variety of unsavory business and trade practices. Now, almost exactly a year later, the president’s proposed tariffs are beginning to go into effect alongside China’s own retaliatory taxes. A trade war appears imminent, and it could have a major impact on private and business aviation in both countries.

Trade tension and aviation

High on the list of goods China taxed are aircraft — specifically aircraft weighing between 33,000 pounds and 99,000 pounds. A drastic tax hike of 25% on these larger jets includes Boeing’s 737: a bestseller to growing governments and individuals in countries seeking to improve their aviation capabilities, like China. Smaller private aircraft would also be subject to the tax, including Gulfstream’s G650 private jet.

In a nutshell, tariffs from both sides will likely make it more difficult for U.S. jet manufacturers to find international buyers while also making it more difficult for other countries to expand their aviation programs.

Unless the growing trade tensions between the U.S. and China deescalate, they could possibly shape the future of both the U.S. aviation manufacturing market and China’s burgeoning BizAv sector.

Impact on the private jet industry

Tariffs specifically aimed at the U.S. aviation industry are likely to hit manufacturers hard. In fact, U.S. trade data shows “the United States exported $15 billion worth of aircraft to China in 2016,” according to the Business Insider article.

As increased trade prices come down the pike, Boeing and other jet makers may be forced back to the negotiating table when it comes to prices or, worse, have customers suspend or cancel orders in the wake of inflated costs. China’s retaliatory tariffs on aviation represent a sizable barrier for international jet sales.

To make matters worse still, peripheral tariffs — particularly those on steel and aluminum — are weighing heavy on aircraft manufacturers. These tariffs could also hamper future orders within the private jet industry. According to an outlook report by Gulfstream, two of its upcoming models scheduled for delivery to China this year — the G500 and the G600 — fall directly into the taxed weight range. In fact, all Gulfstream models except the smallest, the G280, fall within the tariffed weight range.

How China’s BizAv sector could suffer

As the cost of jet production rises in the U.S., manufacturers often have no choice but to pass costs on to buyers. And, as China remains one of the largest U.S. jet purchasers, tariffs will likely come full circle.

As China looks within for answers to its growing demand for more jets, few answers make themselves apparent. State-owned aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) offers a C919 aircraft as an alternative to Boeing’s 737. However, it offers no real solutions to the demand for business or private jets. This, coupled with a lack of financing and difficulty establishing production supply chains, puts COMAC at a disadvantage from the get-go when it comes to fulfilling China’s high demand for aviation solutions at any scale.


All told, China’s inability to produce aircraft at scale domestically means it still relies heavily on U.S. manufacturers. With prices rising over tariff exchanges, China is being forced into a BizAv slowdown.

Where do we go from here?

It appears the simplest way to restore balance to both U.S. aircraft manufacturers and China is to end tariffs on both sides. However, until this becomes reality, aviation sector trade slowdowns seem inevitable. More prospective private jet owners may seek to invest in the used jet market, causing it to tighten further.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

3 Examples of the BizAv Internet of Things at Work

The Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding across industries as the prevalence of big data is allowing analysts to leverage information and improve just about every aspect of the way things work. Aviation is no exception. With so many variables involved in air travel, the IoT is paving the way for our understanding of optimization across the board.

Flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) programs are becoming more robust, relying heavily on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies to manage their broad scope. This has, in turn, led aviation insiders to adopt intelligent wireless access points (WAPs) and in-flight connectivity (IFC) in their jets. Together, this digitization of essential systems has opened the door for IoT in aviation.

3 examples of the BizAv IoT at work

Reliance on legacy systems and the capital-intensive nature of the industry as a whole have made IoT adoption slower in the BizAv field than in many others. However, many innovations are beginning to take hold. Here are just a few:

  1. Crew assistance — Fly-by-wire technologies have been in place since the 1970s and have dramatically improved flight safety and efficiency. However, pilot presence, which means making sure cockpit personnel have all the insights they need before, during, and after takeoff, is still invaluable.
  2. Big data maintenance — Another GE venture, Taleris™, is a company leveraging IoT technologies to vastly improve maintenance for jets of all types. One of a growing number of companies like it, Taleris utilizes a series of sensors and beacons throughout an aircraft’s many vital systems to collect and analyze data to minimize unscheduled maintenance and delays.
  3. Flight path optimization — Predetermined air corridors and flight paths offer certainty once a jet is in the air. But BizAv IoT tech is making it possible to safely adapt and adjust routes midflight. More than just air-to-ground communications, the IoT is enabling air-to-air data communication so pilots can anticipate and avoid intersection points, keeping jets safely in the air on the shortest possible trajectories to their locations.

And these are just the IoT innovations on the jets themselves! Smart airports and customer-facing technologies are moving the industry ever closer to interconnectivity where big data may someday optimize the entire private flying experience.

See a problem, solve a problem

As the industry broaches the cusp of BizAv IoT innovation, insiders may quickly realize the true power of big data insights. When they do, the floodgates could open for even broader adoption and innovation. Just as it’s doing for manufacturing, offices, and utilities, the IoT is bringing efficiency, accountability, and automation to aviation, improving existing fly-by-wire technologies and enabling insights throughout.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

HondaJet Announces Elite Light Business Jet

Founded in 2006, it was only two and a half years ago that HondaJet gained type certification for its first aircraft. However, the relative newness of the company has not hindered sales. The HondaJet has earned rave reviews and had the most sales of any jet in its class in 2017. Following hard on the heels of its success, the company announced its sophomore project — an upgraded business jet called the HondaJet Elite — in Geneva just before the 2018 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in May. It was here where attendees received the first look at the newly certified aircraft.


Extended range and enhanced cabin comforts

The new Elite achieves an extended range of 17% more than the original HondaJet model, which translates into a range of just over 1,430 nautical miles. This makes the aircraft capable of flying distances as great as those from Denver to New York City or Shanghai to Tokyo. Additionally, the press release touts a new “noise attenuating inlet structure” that lines the engines to cut down on high-frequency noise. The jet will also include some smaller luxuries, such as the industry’s first speaker-less in-cabin audio system, a galley with a coffeemaker, and a belted lavatory. The jet will be available in three different color schemes: Ice Blue, Ruby Red, and Monarch Orange.

Pilot benefits

The cabin and exterior are not the only parts of the HondaJet Elite to receive upgrades. Designers equipped the jet with the Garmin® G3000 avionics suite, which is highly automated for optimal safety. New features include automatic planning for performance, runway lengths, and gradients. The new interface also includes an angle of attack function to assist the pilot in maintaining stability. In fact, the whole Elite cockpit was designed to be comfortable, responsive, and intuitive.


Aptly named

As its name would suggest, the HondaJet Elite stands out among other similar business jets in many ways. The HondaJet Elite is the fastest and highest-flying jet in its class. It is also the quietest, emitting less noise pollution to protect the regions it flies over. Additionally, it boasts the highest fuel efficiency of all similar jets, making it more environmentally friendly and more economical to fly than its competitors. If previous HondaJet sales are any indication of the Elite’s success, the queue for orders is already growing.

While the HondaJet Elite is a smaller aircraft, this light jet is one of the smallest and most agile classes of private passenger aircraft. If you are in the market for a smaller luxurious aircraft, it could be hard to go wrong with this new arrival.

Unsure of the size or type of aircraft you need? A professional aircraft broker can help you through the process, ensuring you get the right jet for your needs. At L & L International, our expert jet brokers are available to assist you in purchasing the perfect jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at, call us anytime at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Bombardier Introduces New Global 5500, 6500, and 7500

Bombardier has long been a leader in the private aircraft industry. For 50 years, the company has offered elite and innovative designs, ultimately creating one of the most comprehensive fleets in the industry. 2018 appears to be no different. In fact, Bombardier is celebrating the introduction of its three newest members: The Global 5500, 6500, and 7500. Each brings with it exclusive luxuries and top-notch technology.


Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect with each new jet.

  • Global 5500 — As the company announced in late spring of this year, Bombardier anticipates the Global 5500 to enter service in late 2019. Featuring brand-new Rolls-Royce Pearl engines, the jet boasts top-notch fuel efficiency and, in turn, a reduced environmental footprint. Promising to continue the Global’s reputation for a smooth ride and long range, the 5500 features the next-generation Global wings and has a range of up to 5,700 nautical miles, up from the 5,200-nautical–mile range of the Global 5000. The Vision Flight Deck boasts the first business aviation application of a combined vision system, integrating infrared and synthetic vision. As for the passenger experience, Bombardier has integrated cutting-edge technology, including the first 4K-enabled cabin and Ka-band technology, connecting passengers fast and keeping them in touch no matter where they are.
  • Global 6500 — Similar to the 5500 in many respects, the Global 6500 promises many of the features you would expect from a Global jet, including the same patented Nuage seats and 100% fresh air as the Global 5500. Additionally, the 6500 will also boast an increased range, with a reach of 6,600 nautical miles. It will have the ability to connect London to Hong Kong and is the farthest-reaching jet in its class. In addition to sharing the new safety, comfort, and efficiency technology of the 5500, the Global 6500 includes many added comforts. The new jet will have the widest cabin in its class, offer the first en-suite standing shower, and come fully equipped with new cabinets and appliances in the deluxe kitchen.
  • Global 7500 — Unlike the 5500 and 6500, which should enter into service in the latter part of 2019, the Global 7500 is making its way into the market this year. The largest and longest-range in the world, this model is a rebranding of the 7000, which debuted in November 2016. Bombardier announced this change after the jet’s flight tests revealed an unprecedented range of 8,861 miles, according to the Robb Report article. The 7500 will be the first jet with Bombardier’s much-anticipated Nuage seats and comes in a variety of floor plans and features four separate living spaces. Bombardier plans to begin delivery of the 7500s later this year, following FAA certification, and the Bombardier completion center in Montreal received delivery of the first customer-owned 7500 in June.

Bombardier has always been a reliable provider of cutting-edge private and business jets, and this year’s additions are no different. If you are in the market, these new aircraft models promise to be tops of their classes, and your options don’t end there. Bombardier jets include excellent options for every traveler and, with their history of quality, if you can’t wait for the release of these newest models, a preowned Bombardier could be a strong option for your next business or private jet.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring your private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at or call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Taking the Boom Out of Supersonic Flight

While supersonic flight is nothing new, the ability to travel faster than the speed of sound has been absent from the aviation industry for 15 years. Recently, however, jet industry insiders have renewed their interest in supersonic travel. But what’s been stopping them?

The greatest hindrances to supersonic flight are regulatory and economic. U.S. regulations prohibit supersonic flight over land because of the boom the planes create when they break the sound barrier. At the same time, the demise of the Concorde — the only successful commercial supersonic jet in history — was due in part to excessive operation costs. Despite these odds, select companies feel they can face these challenges with success in both commercial and business supersonic flight, and investors believe them.

Top contenders for the next generation of supersonic travel

Several companies are working to make supersonic jet travel a viable option. A California-based unit of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, received a $247.5 million NASA contract for Low Boom Flight Demonstration. Under this contract, the defense giant will build and test a supersonic aircraft called the X-plane. They expect the experimental design to bypass the sonic boom and, instead, make a sound only as loud as a car door closing. NASA hopes reducing the noise of supersonic travel will lead to changes in over-land travel bans and open the doors for supersonic routes across the U.S. Per the contract, Lockheed is scheduled to deliver the commissioned demonstration aircraft to NASA in 2021.

Other companies are boasting of tech developments that will surpass the Concorde in speed and cost efficiency. Tech startup Boom Supersonic has received more than 75 pre-orders for its supersonic passenger aircraft, the XB-1. The company claims the XB-1 will fly at up to Mach 2.2, more than twice the speed of sound and faster than any aircraft in history. Boom is also claiming that ticket prices will be comparable to today’s typical business class fares. The scheduled delivery for XB-1 jets is in 2023.


But could private jets beat them to it?

The business jet industry is also seeing new companies bring their designs to the table. One major competitor is Spike Aerospace, which is claiming that elite engineering and design will make its S-512 jet both fast and luxurious for the most discerning passengers. The S-512, like the XB-1 jet, is due on the market in 2023.


Another startup, Aerion Supersonic, is making big promises of its own. Aerion leaders have made it clear they intend to offer the first viable luxury supersonic jet on the market, though they set their release date for 2025.


Focusing on flights over the mainland

Most of the aviation experts behind these projects are looking toward flying the Concorde’s original overseas routes. However, the joint project between Lockheed Martin and NASA is coming at the issue from a different perspective. While the Low Boom Flight Demonstration contract has a longer and slower timeline, the goal is to create an aircraft that can fly at supersonic speeds without the disruptive sonic boom. The long-term plan for the X-plane includes flight tests over U.S. cities to monitor the noise levels it creates with the hope of eventually reopening the discussion of flights over land. This would be big news for the business jet world, introducing the possibility of flying from coast to coast in just a couple hours.

While the promise of supersonic flights in five years sounds tantalizing, experts are reticent to trust the timelines. At the same time, the financial and technological landscape looks promising for anyone hoping to travel faster than the speed of sound.

Are you looking for the best way to travel in the meantime? The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Cybersecurity: A Look at Today’s BizAv Threats

Today’s business jet owners as well as their crewmembers and passengers are demanding inflight connectivity rivaling that which they enjoy every day on the ground. Connectivity in the air is no longer considered a perk but, rather, a necessity. However, with increased connectivity comes the same security issues everyone everywhere is facing: Our data, communications, and networks are vulnerable to an increasing variety of threats and privacy issues.

Business aviation and internet security

At a recent Aero Club of Washington, D.C., meeting, Alan Pellegrini, president and CEO of Thales USA, manufacturer of electronic systems for aviation, told attendees that, the more connected aircraft become and the more devices that are added to this intricate web of connectivity, the more vulnerable our aircraft become to safety, security, and privacy threats. According to the Avionincs article, “There have already been hacks of aircraft and aviation-related systems, including in-flight entertainment systems, data communications between pilots and ground-based controllers, and airline operations systems that in one case in Europe caused flight cancellations.”

Disruptions in private aviation systems can and do have tremendous economic and social impacts. That’s why aviation has long been a target of terrorists. In fact, Russian hackers attempted to break into U.S. civilian aviation systems in 2017 as part of a larger attack on the electrical grid. While the attack did not escalate past early stages, it illustrates industry vulnerability.

One big trend in cybercriminals targeting business travelers is malicious actors gaining access to sensitive business information and using this inside information for illicit stock trading. In one incident, hackers compromised a hotel’s computer network and stole access codes as well as network credentials that allowed them to search for valuable business information.

In addition, cyberattacks on airborne private aircraft are already occurring, usually from attackers on the ground. And offering unsecured Wi-Fi to flight crewmembers and passengers can actually make this type of hacking easier due to hackers’ ability to connect as well.

Another complicating factor involves the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment. While ADS-B is said to be the next generation of air traffic control technology, it compromises privacy by broadcasting unique International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) addresses and Flight IDs, making them available to those with the proper receivers. This is a reason some owners are resisting compliance with the ADS-B regulations, which will be mandatory as of January 2020.

Protective measures

Companies and individuals involved in business aviation need to take steps now to ensure they are not victims or even unwitting enablers of security attacks. Be aware of who, why, and how hackers might want to break into your systems. Conduct a security audit of your facility and processes to assess how tight your security is. Understand how you control physical and virtual access, what types of monitoring are in place for your users and systems, and where vulnerabilities may exist in your processes and systems. Train your flight crewmembers on security best practices such as avoiding open Wi-Fi networks and protecting access credentials.

Many flight department managers are hiring IT security experts to harden their systems against security breaches and keep up with the continually evolving threat landscape. It’s important to have a detailed action plan so you and your crewmembers are prepared in the case you discover a vulnerability or breach. Yours should address how to limit its impact and recover quickly as well as outline backup equipment and processes in case of critical failures.

Security is a wide-ranging and ever-changing but vitally important aspect of private and business aviation. Keeping your aircraft, flight crew, passengers, computer systems, and data safe and secure requires continuing education, secure systems and practices, and constant vigilance. That’s the price for a strong, economically viable business aviation operation that can withstand today’s ever-present cybersecurity threats.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet.

You can reach our sales specialists today at, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.