The concept of real-time aircraft tracking has become a global issue over that past few years. Needless to say, aircraft position data has become a focus for ICAO and the airlines. Many hardware manufacturers are stepping up and generating solutions that utilize, in many cases, existing connectivity. Panasonic has one such a product and we thought our readers would find it interesting because it utilizes existing installed hardware.

IFExpress had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Jeff Rex, Director, Panasonic Avionics Corporation about the new non-transponder-based aircraft position tracking service on offer.

1.Please name and describe the ground and airborne products involved in the Panasonic’s tracking solution.

Our global tracking system is based on Panasonic’s Global Communications Services (GCS) and FlightLink™ satcom solutions. By adding the AirMap application to either of these satcom solutions airlines can meet the normal and abnormal tracking requirements proposed for the GADSS.

Both flight tracking solutions provide a non-transponder-based aircraft position report available even in extreme remote and oceanic areas of the globe, either over Ku or a dedicated Iridium satellite data link. Each aircraft is monitored in real-time through a web-based tracking tool, called AirMap.

2. There are 3 issues we see – location data acquisition, transmission of the data (satcom, we presume), and ground handling of the data. Can you outline each solution?

Aircraft position and identification data from either our FlightLink or GCS solution is sent to our ground based servers. AirMap is the graphical interface that provides a visual representation of the aircraft’s flight path, altitude, and location. It allows airlines to view and interact with this tracking data. It also generates alerts to support the GADSS requirements as well as satisfying other operational needs. The tracking interval is completely customizable to an airline’s requirements and is manually adjustable. When combined with the core satcom system, the application also offers support for voice and text messaging in the event that an airline’s ground operations want to communicate with the aircraft.

For existing FlightLink and GCS satcom users no additional on-board equipment is required to activate Panasonic’s flight tracking solution. The only incremental costs are those associated with introduction of the AirMap application into the airline operations center.

3. Which is the lowest cost solution?

We are letting customers know that if they have eXConnect or FlightLink, then they can have flight tracking for only an incremental fee.

4. The US FAA is working on this problem and has some recommendations. Does the Panasonic solution agree with their needs?

eXConnect and FlightLink both meet the ICAO’s GADSS concept of operations. The standards and recommended practices specifications for both normal and abnormal tracking are still in development, and Panasonic will adjust our products as needed once released.

5. What are other valuable uses for Panasonic’s solution(s)?

FlightLink is a complete end-to-end solution that includes multi-function atmospheric and GPS sensors, dedicated two-way satellite communication system and ground-based data management and quality assurance. It is compatible with all aircraft types and the communication architecture provides a two-way information exchange at any altitude, and even over the poles. In addition to flight tracking, FlightLink enables incredibly accurate and high-resolution weather forecasts, real-time icing reports, turbulence reports, and improved operational support for airlines through AOC communications to and from an aircraft.

eXConnect is our global Ku-band broadband connectivity service. It covers 99.6% of all air travel hours and is installed on 1250 aircraft that fly routes all across the globe. Like FlightLink, it offers a two-way information exchange at any altitude. However, like all non-Iridium satellite solutions, it is not available over the poles. eXConnect is used for both passenger Wi-Fi and television services as well as for operational efficiency applications unlocked by the power of the connected aircraft. For instance, it enables real-time engine monitoring, telemedicine, live updates to EFBs and much more.

6. Is the solution, or portions of the solution, flying today?

Our existing FlightLink and GCS satcom users will require no additional on-board hardware to use Panasonic’s flight tracking solution. The only incremental costs are those associated with introduction of the AirMap application.

The current generation of AirMap tracking solution was launched in June 2016 and is currently being trialed by three airlines.

Read the press release on this product.


More IFEC & Aviation News:

A) Each year, turbulence incidents cost airlines approximately $100 million due to crew and passenger injuries, unscheduled maintenance, operational inefficiencies, and revenue lost while planes are out of service. In fact, studies have shown that aircraft encounters with turbulence are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the commercial airline industry. The Weather Company, an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM) has announced a groundbreaking deal with Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO) that will enable the delivery of real-time turbulence reports and alerts directly to pilots, dispatch and other operations personnel. Mark Gildersleeve, president of business solutions at The Weather Company, announced today at The Weather Company Aviation Conference that Gogo will be implementing Weather’s patented Turbulence Auto PIREP System (TAPS), a turbulence detection algorithm, on their aircraft-based communications server. The TAPS software will reside on Gogo’s server, which provides access to the necessary data generated by the aircraft to create reports of turbulence intensity. Gogo’s US-based air-to-ground and global satellite communication network is used to send the reports for immediate action in flight operations and weather forecasting. This is the first time a non-traditional system on the aircraft will be used to help enhance flight safety. Traditionally, flight operations personnel, pilots and aviation meteorologists received coded verbal reports with limited information on flight conditions, also known as PIREPS. Due to multiple reasons, including a lack of cockpit data connectivity, pilots were not able to get real-time updates. Using the Gogo network, pilots in the cockpit will now be able to access real-time turbulence reports and forecaster created alerts through Weather’s flight planning and operations applications and aircraft communication displays.

“Leveraging Gogo’s expanded fleet of aircrafts, The Weather Company can quickly share real-time turbulence data directly with pilots and dispatchers, thereby improving crew and passenger safety,” said Gildersleeve. “It is a great example of the Internet of Things in action, where we are collecting massive amounts of data very quickly and then using that insight to provide guidance to all flights that will be traveling through impacted air space.”

“In this increasingly connected world, it’s no longer just about passenger connectivity, we have to consider all the other ways we can leverage the available technology to enhance the overall flight experience and improve safety – such as a connected aircraft,” said Andrew Kemmetmueller, vice president of connected aircraft services, Gogo. “Our ability to provide access to real-time data through our network will help pilots and operations teams improve flight planning, and ultimately, help airlines deliver the best in-flight customer experience throughout a flight.” In addition to real-time alerting, Weather will be able to leverage the TAPS reports to continually improve turbulence forecasts, the skill of Weather’s overall forecast model, and the WSI Total Turbulence solution. Some customers of WSI Total Turbulence have seen a reduction in turbulence injuries and unnecessary turbulence-induced maintenance inspection by about 50% each. The reports will also empower Weather’s team of 40 aviation meteorologists to alert clients of weather-related safety risks globally. The Weather Company, an IBM Business, is the world’s largest private weather enterprise, helping people make informed decisions – and take action – in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate, personalized and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers and thousands of businesses via Weather’s API, its business solutions division, and its own digital products from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com). The company delivers up to 26 billion forecasts daily for 2.2 billion locations.

B) GOGO was selected by Delta Private Jets to equip its fleet of >70 business jets with Gogo Biz 4G inflight connectivity for 2Q17. Check out the full press release here.

C) We note that the Iran/Boeing airplane deal at $25B will include new versions of the B737, B777-300ER’s, and B777-900’s. A deal with Airbus includes some 73 wide bodies and 45 single ails worth an estimated $27B!

D) This study may explain aircraft Wi-Fi usage… be sure to check it out!

E) Take the time to watch this movie on Boeing’s patent for their solar airplane, it is great and unusual!

F) Thompson Aerospace is in the news!

  • DPJ is first FAA-certificated Part 135 air carrier to add Gogo Biz 4G service to fleet

Erlanger, KY and Broomfield, CO | June 15, 2016– A first-of-its-kind fleet-wide agreement between Delta Private Jets, Inc. (DPJ) and Gogo Inc. (GOGO) will soon deliver a 4G inflight experience to DPJ’s customers.

DPJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines (DAL), plans to equip its fleet of more than 70 aircraft with Gogo Biz 4G to provide a superior service to passengers. The new service will enable a reliable 4G experience – including services such as Gogo Vision, providing the latest movies, TV, flight tracker, weather reports, and additional features; Gogo Text & Talk, allowing passengers to call and text with their personal smart phones and mobile numbers; streaming video and audio; as well as face-to-face conversations with a user’s favorite applications; email with attachments; web browsing; and more – on a proven network in the continental U.S. and large portions of Alaska and Canada.

Delta Private Jets is the only private jet company affiliated with a major commercial airline – an unmatched competitive advantage in a fractured marketplace. Providing this unique technology offering is one in a series of enhancements that DPJ will be introducing to ensure a seamless, comfortable and convenient experience for customers from takeoff to landing.

“We are excited to bring this technology to the discerning customers who turn to Delta Private Jets for their specialized travel needs,” said David Sneed, Executive Vice president and Chief Operating Officer of DPJ. “We are also proud to further differentiate our company by becoming the first to offer Gogo Biz 4G on a fleet-wide scale. After careful evaluation of the available options for inflight connectivity, it was clear that only Gogo could deliver a robust experience on a proven network.”

Gogo is the leading provider of inflight connectivity and wireless in-flight entertainment solutions to the global aero market. The new agreement builds upon its successful relationship serving Delta’s commercial fleet and represents the first multi-aircraft adoption of Gogo Biz 4G in the private aviation sector.

Gogo Biz 4G leverages Gogo’s existing air-to-ground network and technology which has already flown hundreds of thousands of hours aboard thousands of business and commercial aircraft. The Gogo Biz 4G equipment package incorporates dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi service and a host of other features – all from a single, lightweight box.

Following the successful completion of the initial phases of flight testing, Gogo Biz 4G remains on track for launch in the second quarter of 2017.

“Our goal is to deliver a robust 4G experience inflight,” said John Wade, Gogo Business Aviation’s Executive Vice President and General Manager. “After thorough testing on our existing network at altitude, including air and ground congestion, we are confident Gogo Biz 4G’s performance will meet the expectations of Delta Private Jets and delight its customers.”

Chengdu, China | June 16, 2016– Chengdu Tianfu Software Park, one of the largest tech parks in China, selected Envee Inflight Entertainment Co., Ltd, as an example of the extraordinary start-up companies to excel in China. Envee Inflight Entertainment is based in the Chengdu Tianfu Software Park and provided insight into how they were able to provide inspiration to other start-ups.

“Inflight WiFi is unexplored territory in China, which will see great opportunity as satellite connectivity technology and ground-air connectivity technology are realized, and the inflight WiFi are approved by Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to conduct pilot programs.” According to Wu Xin, General Manager of Envee Inflight Entertainment Co., Ltd., conventional internet is already saturated with leading companies in many industries – monopolies are even beginning to emerge. In contrast, inflight WiFi is still in its early stages of exponential growth and is likely to open up a new chapter in the industry.

While investigating and seeking numerous projects and opportunities between 2007 and 2010, together with one of his college classmates, Wu created a high-tech company focused on the research and development of mobile internet projects in Chengdu Tianfu Software Park: “I met Xi Wenda, who had been studying in the US. With our backgrounds in internet and aviation, we reached a consensus on the direction of inflight entertainment.”

As stated by Wu, such consensus came from some of their own experiences as airplane passengers. “As on-ground internet continues to be updated every day, even every hour, outdated and slow-to-be-updated content, such as games and music, continue to be used in our aircraft. Furthermore, internet access is not available on domestic flights in China.”

“Foreign companies have long had a monopoly on the development of inflight entertainment systems and their standards. However, we discovered inadequacies in their localization of R&D of aviation entertainment software. As a result, the passengers are forced to passively accept onboard entertainment and are unable to interact with it. They are simply unable to meet passengers’ needs.” Wu and his team believe that inflight WiFi will definitely become a trend: “Certain passenger groups may have special requirements, such as social interaction, information and entertainment in addition to WiFi access. We originally intended to meet the requirements of even more passengers by tapping into the inflight entertainment segment.”

Wu then established Envee Software (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. (predecessor of Envee Inflight Entertainment Co., Ltd.) with his partner at Chengdu Tianfu Software Park: “At the time, the global inflight entertainment system market was monopolized by two high-tech companies from Canada and India. We wished to break foreign monopoly, develop a nationwide aviation industry and provide passengers with superior aviation entertainment services through continued innovation.”

As they found their way into the arena of inflight WiFi, however, Wu and his team would eventually uncover many challenges: “Most of civil aircraft in China are purchased from Boeing, Airbus and other foreign manufacturers, so our software needed to obtain authorization from specific hardware device manufacturers before being installed on the aircraft.”

According to Wu, after over a year of communication, development and testing, Envee Inflight Entertainment finally fulfilled safety requirements from hardware device manufacturers of inflight entertainment systems – Panasonic and Thales, and acquired clearance to develop the relevant software. It became China’s first company in the industry to obtain such approval.

“Panasonic and Thales provide entertainment systems for Boeing and Airbus aircrafts, and account for 80 to 90% share of the global market,” said Wu Xian. With software authorization from Panasonic and Thales, Envee Inflight Entertainment seized the opportunity to begin development based on their entertainment systems: “With the proper credentials for this industry, we are now able to increase our coverage as Panasonic and Thales expand to different markets.”

“I firmly believe that the future of inflight WiFi lies in the software revolution,” said Wu. Currently, select hardware device manufacturers in the industry monopolize many resources, but with the best possible software, change is possible: “What we saw on the aircraft were options tailored for foreigners and they were usually very complicated. Some of them did not conform to the tastes of Chinese passengers. We hope to cater to Chinese audiences and focus on the user experience, with games like “Fight the Landlord,” mahjong, gobang, and reversi. We also made interactive 3D editions of the “Palace Museum,” “Temple of Heaven” and other attractions to enable passengers to access advance information on the attractions they will be visiting. All of these are ways in which we provide entertainment content.”

Wu believes that opportunities and challenges coexist in inflight WiFi. Those who embrace challenges and take advantage of opportunities will survive: “The challenge is that nobody has ever done this in China – we cannot simply introduce a foreign model into China. It’s important for us to stand on solid ground and move step-by-step. Only then can we truly change and even become leaders in the industry. Inflight WiFi is likely to become a revolution in the services provided by China’s civil aviation industry, and this is our opportunity. It’s an imaginative and fascinating market waiting to be exploited.”

There are now 360 million passengers transported by China’s civil aviation industry each year. 2.5 hours of flying per capita amounts to 900 million flying hours per year. Moreover, by Airbus’s estimation, China will become the world’s biggest aviation market over the next decade. Overall, China has become the world’s biggest internet market, surpassing the US. Its netizens and business opportunities are unmatched by any other country. The combination of these two factors makes the inflight WiFi business infinitely profitable.

  • Next-gen passenger management platform ensures a premium experience at every step

Riyadh | June 20, 2016– Sky Prime Aviation Services, a leading Saudi private aviation services company, is to deploy SITA’s next-generation passenger services system (PSS) to manage its new VIP flight service being introduced to its premium passengers.

Targeted at the region’s premium traveler, the success of the new service relies heavily on providing the very best customer service each step of the journey, from the moment a passenger makes a booking to when they leave the aircraft.

SITA has worked with Sky Prime to understand the aviation group’s new flight program to ensure the group is able to deliver a world-class passenger experience. Leveraging the functionality of the Horizon® Passenger Management and Distribution solution, SITA will provide a broad portfolio, ranging from a leading-edge mobile platform which allows passengers to book and manage their flights directly from their smartphones and tablets to ensuring a smooth and on-time departure. All systems are interconnected in real time to one database, providing instant access to any required service.

SITA recognizes that a successful journey starts with the first step. iTravel® and Reservations make it possible for passengers to book and manage their flight through a variety of channels – via a call center, website or mobile application – delivering a uniform experience across all platforms. Horizon® Loyalty will enable Sky Prime to provide tailored treatment to each of their VIP customers while seamlessly integrating their loyalty program with the service’s reservations and departures systems.

A memorable passenger experience is dependent on the smooth passenger operation. Here the Horizon® platform will help Sky Prime manage every aspect of their passenger operation and ensure quick and efficient boarding and departures through SITA’s Departure Control Services. At the same time, Horizon® Weight & Balance will support planning by centralizing and streamlining Sky Prime’s operational processes on the ground, improve safety and enable greater fuel efficiency.

Salem Abaid Al Muzaini, CEO of Sky Prime, said: “As Saudi Arabia’s leading private aviation operator, we have customers that demand the very best experience from the moment they make their booking to when they leave the aircraft. SITA has recognized our unique requirements and through the Horizon® platform are able to provide a solution that positions Sky Prime as the best aviation services company in the region.”

Ibrahim Saleh, SITA Vice President Sales for Middle East & North Africa, said: “Our Horizon® platform is used by more than 100 airlines across the globe. Yet its flexible infrastructure is able to meet the unique requirements of each airline, no matter what their operating model or size. This has allowed us to help Sky Prime position themselves as the region’s best private aviation operator.”

Sky Prime provides a wide range of services including in-house maintenance and technical support, ground support and consultancy services as well as aviation project and airport management.

United Kingdom | June 15, 2016– Dawson Media Direct is delighted to welcome aboard its new Managing Director, Paul Rayson. Mr Rayson will succeed the company’s outgoing MD John Howe, who retires next month.

Rayson joins DMD from a fixed term contact position on the Executive Leadership Team of Flightglobal, the authoritative source of news, insight and expertise for the global aviation community. In that role he worked internationally with airlines, airports and government bodies, having previously held leadership positions across the aviation, aerospace, publishing, consultancy and logistics sectors. He brings a wealth of highly relevant experience to the job and the specialist knowledge needed to lead DMD in its ambitions for the coming years.

“DMD has challenging but entirely achievable development plans”, said Rayson today, “with the fuller integration of its global print and digital services into one seamless multimedia solution. I’m confident my experience with both formats and the main market sectors we serve can help guide completion of that dovetailing process, and I’m happy to inherit from John a strong management team with unrivalled expertise in airline media of every kind.”

Paul Rayson went on to pay tribute to his predecessor, who has run the company for the past 17 years: “Over that time John has successfully positioned DMD for the digital age whilst keeping a strong focus on its core business in physical newspaper and magazine provision; and he has grown us from a UK operation to a truly global one, with service centres from Hong Kong to New York to Istanbul, and beyond. John Howe has been a longstanding leader for DMD, and an outstanding one, and he richly deserves a happy retirement.”

Mr Howe added: “I am leaving DMD in good hands and in good shape – ready to face the challenges ahead in our ever-evolving industry. I joined a company serving airlines in the UK only, and airlines remain the lifeblood of our business, but as we globalised we built new relationships too, with rail operators, airports and airside lounge operators all around the world. That has opened up really exciting opportunities for Paul and the team to develop, and I wish them very great success with it.”

  • Immfly, the first profitable in-flight digital platform in Europe performing in Iberia Express full fleet, and currently installing in Volotea’s A-319, enters the long-haul market on board XL’s A330 fleet

Barcelona, Spain | June 15, 2016– From October on, XL Airways, the French airline operating flights mainly to long-haul destinations, will install Immfly’s on board solution in their Airbus A330 fleet, serving the carriers daily flights to North America, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. Being fully operational by December 2016, this is the first time that the digital platform will be accessible in long – haul aircraft, branded as XL Cloud.

“We are impatient to propose this new service to our passengers”, says Laurent Magnin, CEO of XL Airways. “Entertainment is an essential part of the inflight experience. XL Cloud is a response to this expectation and is completely in line with our concept of travel personalization”. Jimmy M. von Korff, co-founder of Immfly, also welcomed the news “we are delighted to be partnering with XL Airways, which represents our first long-haul project and the opportunity to perform in a new environment, where passengers have an average of 8 hours to enjoy entertainment content and discover more insights about their destination.

Passengers that meet Immfly can use their personal mobile devices to access an onboard Wi-Fi network. Once connected, they are able to enjoy a wide variety of content from newsfeeds and magazines to documentaries, kids channels, music and sports videos. The frequently renewed catalog (on each flight for the press) will include free content and a premium offering, available for a fee. In-between programs, passengers will be able to follow the progress of the flight and learn more, not only about their destination but also the areas they fly over. French and English destination guides will be available for download.

“The XL Airways’ A-330 need to include up to 6 wireless access points in order to cover the higher density of connected users and to allow all travellers to connect simultaneously”, says Alfredo Ibáñez, CTO at Immfly. “Making our product ready for long- distance aircraft is a new challenge that will encourage a significant growth opportunity for our product.”

Moreover, this new step brings the Barcelona based company, Immfly, closer to their objective of becoming the travel industry’s favorite on-board monetization partner, reaching 100 million connected passengers by 2018.

Immfly is leading the development of on-board digital platforms within Europe, helping airlines to strengthen their customer loyalty by increasing their “Net Promoter Scores” amongst passengers and encouraging the creation of new ancillary revenues through the sponsorship and e-commerce available on the platform.

(IFExpress Readers: It is fairly obvious which image above is the SITA robot, Leo. (the middle image). However, in searching for a good robotic image for this week’s story, we came across a number of pictures that caught our interest (and imagination) as you can see above – PLW)

While we had some fun with the concept of airport robots, the folks at SITA are very serious about the future of robot technology in use with aviation – in this week’s case, airport baggage handling. We talked with Stephane Cheikh from SITA Lab who answered a number of questions we thought our readers might find interesting. While the future is rather unclear as to the use of robots in aviation solutions, handling passenger baggage appears to be one logical application. So, we asked a few folks at SITA and their communication people about LEO. Leidar’s Charlie Pryor told IFExpress when we asked the question about the application: “It’s really part of a bigger story about automation throughout the airport. And it is very much a trial at this stage, albeit an interesting one of course.”

Here are a few questions we asked of Stephane:

1. IFExpress: Let’s get started with robot power, we assume it is charged via wall power during the night and via alkaline or lead batteries while in use?

“Leo runs on two lead batteries which can last between 24 to 48 hours depending on the type of operations required. The robot is programmed to autonomously return to its base station to get charged when it’s running low on battery power.”

2. IFExpress: Please describe the way a human interacts with the robot?

“Leo does not directly communicate with passengers. In the case of Geneva Airport Leo was positioned outside the terminal building. Touching Leo’s Scan&Fly bag drop interface opens the baggage compartment doors to allow passengers to place their bags inside. After the passengers have scanned their boarding passes, the tags are printed and can be attached to the bags. With the bags loaded and tagged, the compartment door closes and Leo displays the boarding gate and departure time.”

“Leo then takes the bags directly to the baggage handling area where they are sorted and connected to the correct flight while the passenger heads straight to the gate, bypassing the check-in hall. Being a fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot, Leo is able to transport bags from the point of bag drop to where they are handed over to be injected into the baggage handling system.

The doors of the robot can only be reopened by the operator unloading the baggage in the airport. For the purpose of the proof of concept at Geneva Airport, the baggage robot was monitored at all times.”

3. IFExpress: Please describe how it finds its way to the required destination? I presume robot speed is fixed?

Using GPS technology, Leo is programmed to follow a specific route from where the bag drop takes place to where the bags are handed over and injected into the baggage handling system. The robot’s speed is fixed but is able to stop if it detects passengers passing in front of it.”

4. IFExpress: Will airport inside destinations required any new facility construction?

“SITA hopes to continue further trials and proof of concepts to probe how robots such as Leo can be incorporated into airports. This will vary from customer to customer.  SITA continues to work with the industry to ensure that the baggage robot is able to meet the requirements of our airport customers.”

5. IFExpress: Has an approximate cost/price been determined of the robot?

“Leo is still a proof of concept and as such SITA is unable to provide a cost or price.”

6. IFExpress: Please describe and detail the human/movement sensors and protections?

“The robot has two laser-based sensors: one in front and one at the back of Leo. The robot is programmed to stop when the sensors detect an object either in front or behind. Sometimes if an object is close but still a safe distance away, the robot will decelerate until it is free of the object and then re-accelerate.
Leo also has an obstacle avoidance mode where it will go around an object – within certain thresholds.”

7. IFExpress: If I were an airline or airport, why would I want this device/system in my airport?

“During the trial at Geneva Airport, Leo demonstrated how, by taking the bag drop process out of the terminal building, the number of trolleys and bags in the terminal could be significantly reduced.

Leo also provides an early glimpse into the future of baggage processing and handling being explored by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, bags will be collected, checked in, transported and loaded onto the correct flight without ever having to enter the terminal building or be directly handled by anyone other than the passengers themselves.”

8. IFExpress: Are there any rough technical specs available?

“As Leo is still in a developmental stage, we are not able to disclose more details than what has already been provided above.”

9. IFExpress: How would an airline or airport contact SITA/manufacturer of the robots if they wanted to test out a system?

“Airlines or airports can reach out their SITA representatives in their respective regions or contact us through the www.sita.aero website.”

(And yes, this is not an IFEC story per se; however, we wanted to check in on the future of robot technology in our business. Interestingly, SITA has been working the robot solution for some time now and, who knows, it may even be on an airplane in the future… and you may get your future headsets from one – Patricia Wiseman, Editor)


IFEC News:

1:  Here is a news release from Gogo about their new relationship with Aeromexico: Today, Gogo partner Aeromexico announced the launch of a pilot program to provide complimentary in-flight access to Netflix. Netflix members onboard select Aeromexico flights within Mexico, Central & South America will be able to stream the best programming available in the skies, including hit series Orange Is The New Black, Club de Cuervos and Chef’s Table, on their phones, tablets, and laptops at no cost starting on June 17th and through October 17th 2016.

The “Netflixabordo” experience is made possible by our next generation 2Ku satellite wifi system, which offers passengers a ground-like experience, including the ability to stream video.”As the first airline to launch with Gogo’s new 2Ku technology, we couldn’t be more excited to help Aeromexico bring this great new passenger experience to life,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s regional president. “Gogo’s industry-leading 2Ku technology is enabling passengers to connect using any Wi-Fi enabled device and experience all of Netflix’s hit series just as they would at home.”

“Passengers on aircraft equipped with the new Gogo 2Ku technology will be notified by the Aeromexico in-flight team that they can access high-speed WiFi. Clients can then open their browser and login for free. Passengers will then be prompted to either login to their existing Netflix account or to create a new, 30-day free trial account, after which they will then be connected to the Netflix service up in the air, just like they would on the ground. Existing account holders onboard Gogo 2ku Aeromexico aircraft will be able to access Netflix at no additional cost through October 17th, while new members can sign up to enjoy a 30-day free Netflix trial – good for use both in the air, on Aeromexico 2Ku-equipped aircrafts, or on the ground.”

Gogo told IFExpress: “Netflix offering is available to everyone flying that has an account. For those passengers that might not have an account, they are able to sign up for the free 30-day trial to take advantage of this partnership. In terms of bandwidth, we are confident that 2Ku can handle the amount of people on an aircraft that will choose to stream.” – Morgan Painter

Here is another release you might find interesting – Gogo Inc. Announces Launch of $500 Million Senior Secured Notes Offering – Jun 9, 2016

2:  IFE manufacturers might just have to consider a new baggage use for a totally new application – World’s First Passenger Drone to Begin Testing

3:  You might want to check out the 35th DASC in Sacramento CA, Sept 25/29, and here are just a couple reasons: MA1: Modern Avionics Architectures – Tim Etherington, Rockwell-Collins and MM2: Aircraft Systems, Safety and Cyber-security: RTCA DO-326A guidance – Laurent Fabre, Critical Systems Labs –www.dasconline.org

4:  Here is a new IFE & Connectivity Show in the US – IFE and Connectivity USA. And, it is co-located with Innovative Aircraft Seating – USA, June 27 – 28 in Seattle, WA!

5:  From an article in ArsTechnica on creating VPN lists, we found this interesting comment – “The best use case for consumer VPNs is local network security, especially on public Wi-Fi networks in airports, hotels, cafes, and even on airplanes (especially since GoGo has been caught issuing fake HTTP certificates for YouTube, which could expose all user traffic—including users’ YouTube passwords—to the inflight broadband provider).” Here is the story