Biometric Access to Training Devices as a Security Protocol in Flight Training

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Brian Dillman
Renee Hendricks
Michael Petrelli
Stephen Elliott


Aviation Security, Security Threats, Biometrics, Biometrics Access Control, Finger-vein Reader, Flight Training Devices, Flight Simulation Devices


Mechanical locks and keys are conventional access control devices utilized for both flight training devices and training aircraft, but keys can be copied, locks can be bypassed, and in the case of electronic flight training devices, unqualified instructors or students may utilize the equipment, possibly causing the equipment to fail. The faculty in the Aviation Technology Department at Purdue University performed this study to determine if biometric usage is a feasible and secure method in operating a flight training device and eventually securing an actual aircraft versus the older lock and key method. A Finger-vein biometric reader was installed onto a Frasca Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) and the software was installed such that identification had to be made prior to the program being able to initialize. The data collected from the survey includes information such as user interface issues and conditions which affect the failure reads such the placement of the flight instructor’s finger on the biometric device.


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