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Special Conditions: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GVII-G500 Airplanes; Isolation or Protection of Airplane Electrical-System Security From Unauthorized Internal Access

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Final special conditions; request for comments.


These special conditions are issued for the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (Gulfstream) Model GVII-G500 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is a digital systems architecture requiring isolation or protection from unauthorized internal access. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.


This action is effective on Gulfstream on July 15, 2016. We must receive your comments by August 29, 2016.


Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-4237 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to​, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at​.

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at​ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Varun Khanna, FAA, Airplane and Flightcrew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1298; facsimile 425-227-1320.

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The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.


On March 29, 2012, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation applied for a type certificate for their new Model GVII-G500 airplane. The Model GVII-G500 airplane will be a business jet capable of accommodating up to 19 passengers. It will incorporate a low, swept-wing design with winglets and a T-tail. The powerplant will consist of two aft-fuselage-mounted Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

Type Certification Basis

Under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Gulfstream must show that the Model GVII-G500 airplane meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-129.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model GVII-G500 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, Model GVII-G500 airplanes must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. The FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Model GVII-G500 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature: A digital Start Printed Page 45969systems architecture requiring isolation or protection from unauthorized internal access.


Networks, both in safety-related and non-safety-related applications, have been implemented in existing commercial-production airplanes. However, network security considerations and functions have played a relatively minor role in the certification of such systems because of the isolation, protection mechanisms, and limited connectivity between these networks.

To provide an understanding of the airplane electronic equipment, systems, and assets, these special conditions use the concept of domains. However, this does not prescribe any particular architecture.

The aircraft-control domain consists of the airplane electronic systems, equipment, instruments, networks, servers, software and hardware components, databases, etc., which are part of the type design of the airplane and are installed in the airplane to enable the safe operation of the airplane. These can also be referred to as flight-safety-related systems, and include flight controls, communication, display, monitoring, navigation, and related systems.

The airline-information-services domain generally consists of functions that the airplane operator manages or controls, such as administrative functions, cabin-support functions, etc.

The passenger-information-services domain consists of all functions required to provide the passengers with information.

The Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane design introduces the potential for access to aircraft-control domain and airline-information-services domain by unauthorized persons through the passenger-information-services domain; and the security vulnerabilities related to the introduction of viruses, worms, user mistakes, and intentional sabotage of airplane networks, systems, and databases.

For electronic systems-and-assets security in these domains, the level of protection provided against security threats should be based on a security-risk assessment, noting that the level of protection could differ between domains and within domains, depending on the security threat. For each security vulnerability and airplane electronic asset, Gulfstream should identify in which domain the asset will be addressed.

In addition, the operating systems for current airplane systems are usually and historically proprietary. Therefore, they are not as susceptible to corruption from worms, viruses, and other malicious actions as are more-widely used commercial operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows NT, because access to the design details of these proprietary operating systems is limited to the system developer and airplane integrator. Some systems installed on the Gulfstream Model GVII-500 will use operating systems that are widely used and commercially available from third-party software suppliers. The security vulnerabilities of these operating systems may be more widely known than are the vulnerabilities of proprietary operating systems that the avionics manufacturers currently use.


As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane. Should Gulfstream apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.


This action affects only a certain novel or unusual design feature on one model series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register.

The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
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The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

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The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane.

Isolation or Security Protection of the Aircraft Control Domain and the Airline Information Services Domain From the Passenger Services Domain

1. Gulfstream must ensure that the Model GVII-G500 series airplane design provides isolation from, or airplane electronic-system security protection against, access by unauthorized sources internal to the airplane. The design must prevent inadvertent and malicious changes to, and all adverse impacts upon, airplane equipment, systems, networks, or other assets required for safe flight and operations.

2. Gulfstream must establish appropriate procedures to allow the operator to ensure that continued airworthiness of the Model GVII-G500 series airplane is maintained, including all post-type-certification modifications that may have an impact on the approved electronic-system security safeguards.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 7, 2016.

Michael Kaszycki,

Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 2016-16638 Filed 7-14-16; 8:45 am]