It’s A Newsy Week: AIX, Boeing, Inmarsat, Panasonic, and More!
As we approach Aircraft Interiors Hamburg we are seeing a lot more industry news hitting the airwaves. Let’s start by taking a peak at what to expect from AIX and PEC next month.
AIX & PEC
Polly Magraw, Event Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “Since AIX launched in 2000 it has firmly established itself as the event that sets the agenda for the aircraft interiors sector. At this year’s event we’re thrilled to welcome more than500 exhibitors including 55 new companies showcasing innovations to some 20,000 attendees expected throughout Passenger Experience Week. This outstanding year on year growth has led to the event becoming a firmly established event in the aviation calendar. We are excited to announce the growth of CabinSpace Live, a theatre style series of seminars where the industry can discuss key topics and gain inspiration from industry leaders within the IFEC and MRO sectors. The Passenger Experience Conference, part of the wider Passenger Experience Week, remains a central attraction and key event for delegates who want to get a comprehensive understanding of industry’s current trends and challenges. The packed programme for this year’s conference is rich in thought-provoking and insightful content with speakers coming from both inside and outside the aviation industry.”
AIX Overview: This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) takes place in Hamburg, Germany from 4th-6th April 2017. We are, as always, excited to welcome over 500 showcasing companies to the Messe with 55 new exhibitors, many of whom will be in the IFEC zone. This rapidly expanding zone is now the world’s largest event dedicated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity and content and service providers making it a must-see for visitors to the show. With such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show from the supply chain, technology and products industries and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, the event once again promises to be extremely thought-provoking and insightful.
CabinSpace Live, a theater style series of seminars where visitors can learn and be inspired on a variety of pressing issues within the IFEC, Interiors and MRO sectors will also be taking place again this year. The event provides a fantastic networking opportunity for delegates to discuss key topics and gain inspiration from industry leaders and disruptors within the IFEC and MRO sectors.
Aircraft Interiors Expo also incorporates the 11th annual Crystal Cabin Awards, which takes place on the evening of Tuesday 4th April, with seven award categories that celebrate the most innovative ideas in cabin design and technology. The winners ceremony takes place at 13:00 within the CabinSpace LIVE seminar theater on Wednesday 5th April.
PEC Overview: New to this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) is the Airline Breakfast Forum. This is an exclusive event for airline attendees which will kick off with an inspirational keynote speaker from Disney and will offer content that delegates would not experience at other conferences. The event is an opportunity for airline executives to network and debate with their peers about the issues most relevant to improving the passenger experience in their business and to share best practice insights. The discussion will be led by an industry-expert moderator and the key issues for the agenda will be decided in advance by a poll of the participant airlines.
This year’s PEC program features in-depth breakout sessions, focusing on a different element of the passenger experience and providing attendees a further opportunity to discuss the industry with their peers. The sessions will be split into three streams running in parallel; Generating Revenue, Comfort and Wellbeing, and The Connected Journey. The new focus of these breakout streams, reflects an increasing convergence of interest among different airline departments.
It will host more than 50 speakers from both inside and outside the industry. Speakers confirmed include; Delft University of Technology, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide, Gogo, American Airlines, Plug and Play.
Have you heard about the latest air traffic management research by Inmarsat who is provider of global mobile satellite communications? A new study by Helios and Inmarsat reveals that satellite communication has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits. One single Air Traffic Control benefit mechanism, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely, was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. More importantly, satellite communication (satcom) in the cockpit has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits, according to a study released today by Helios and Inmarsat (ISAT.L). Satcom application reference here is the use of voice and data services via satellite to communicate with aircraft outside the range of conventional ground radar and Very High Frequency (VHF) stations, such as over oceanic regions. It is typically used for air traffic control and airline operations. The inaugural study, conducted by Helios, valued the benefit of satcom to airlines between 2001 and 2016. It found that one single Air Traffic Control (ATC) benefit mechanism – reducing separation minima, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely – was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. Thanks to satcom, planes can now fly within 30 nautical miles of each other because of safe, reliable communication and tracking; previously aircraft were required to maintain a separation of 100 nautical miles. This allows aircraft to fly closer together and means more planes can fly in a given airspace, which is particularly beneficial over the busy skies of the North Atlantic. If an aircraft is not equipped with satellite communication capability, it must maintain the 100 nautical mile separation, and is not permitted to fly in certain areas. Increasing airspace capacity also leads to more aircraft being able to choose optimum flight levels, saving time and fuel.
The US$890 million saving is a major part of the US$1.1 billion total ATC saving identified by the study. Other benefits that satcom provides to ATC include:
- Individually-tailored flight plans that save time and fuel
- Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure, which allows airborne rerouting of aircraft when data indicates a more efficient route is available, for example due to a change in weather conditions
- Tailored arrivals, where arrival times are planned to allow an ideal descent route and to avoid holding patterns
- Procedures in some oceanic regions to allow aircraft to climb or descend through an altitude that is already occupied by another aircraft
A further US$1.9 billion is saved thanks to the ability of aircraft to communicate with their Airline Operations Centre (AOC). AOC applications use real-time information to help airlines improve flight safety or provide a more efficient service at a lower cost. Delay management and scheduling is improved, fleets and flight crew can be better managed, maintenance can be taken care of and turnaround time on the ground is reduced. Traditionally AOC communication is provided by the exchange of simple text messages between the pilot and the controller. As satcom bandwidth capacity increases, bringing broadband connectivity to the cockpit, there will be an explosion of IP-based AOC applications, allowing airlines to further optimize flight operations and fleet management. For example, an aircraft’s health can be constantly monitored, and any maintenance issue signaled ahead to the ground crew so parts and maintenance staff are ready as soon as the aircraft lands. Until now, most maintenance information was delivered upon landing, with potential for delaying speedy resolution of an issue.
Broadband connectivity will also help with urgent ATC demands, as our skies see ever more traffic. By 2030, there will be more passengers in the sky each year (7 billion) than there are people on the ground right now. They will fly in 40,000 aircraft, the majority of which will be connected.
Further, the Helios study looked at benefits over oceanic regions, but it also highlights how satcom can complement existing ground-to-air data communications over land too. Savings over continental regions could equal those over the oceanic regions. For example, in the congested airspace of Europe, the Iris Precursor project has been established by the European Space Agency with support from Inmarsat and other aviation companies. It uses satcom to allow precise ‘4D’ flight path control, which optimizes flight speed and descent profiles. It is designed to dramatically reduce delays, particularly around large hubs.
Also, in case you didn’t know, Inmarsat pioneered cockpit data with the launch of Classic Aero back in 1990 and is today the leading service provide with 95 per cent market share. SwiftBroadband-Safety, its new IP-based broadband platform for the flight deck, brings aircraft connectivity to new levels. Always-on, always-secure high-speed broadband in the cockpit delivers much faster communication and a host of new safety and efficiency applications.
The recent lawsuit by CoKinetic against Panasonic caught our eye and Panasonic told IFExpress: “Panasonic Avionics Corporation (“Panasonic Avionics”) vigorously disputes the allegations made in a lawsuit filed today by CoKinetic Systems Corporation in the Southern District of New York. The allegations are without merit and Panasonic Avionics intends to contest the suit. This lawsuit involves a dispute around the commercial terms of a long-standing business relationship between CoKinetic and Panasonic Avionics. The timing of this suit is suspicious. As recently as October 2016, CoKinetic issued a press release praising its 10-year relationship with Panasonic Avionics. If, as the suit alleges, Panasonic Avionics has engaged in a “decades-long” effort to damage CoKinetic’s business, why did the company make such a public statement? It is important to note that CoKinetic’s counsel in this action, Todd Higgins, is also a former CoKinetic executive himself, which suggests a personal motive for bringing this lawsuit. Panasonic Avionics will seek the immediate dismissal of the suit.”
Boeing marked a milestone today as the first 737 MAX 9 made its debut in front of thousands of Boeing employees. The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of Boeing’s industry leading 737 MAX family, with a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nautical miles. The airplane now begins system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line. Once completed, the airplane will begin flight testing in the coming weeks – the final phase of verification of the operational characteristics and overall performance of a new airplane. The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to customers in the second quarter of 2017. The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and discussions continue with customers on growing the family.
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 3,600 orders to date from 83 customers worldwide. While the video provided on Boeing’s website is a sales pitch, it is worth the watch.
- Robot Aircraft Assembly: And speaking of Boeing, if you want to see how Boeing is using robots to assemble aircraft, you don’t want to miss this video: Boeing: Mechanic and Machine: Boeing’s Advanced Manufacturing Improves 777 Assembly
- Solid State Battery Invention may improve safety for batteries everywhere.