Air Senegal becomes the newest airline to use SITA’s Horizon

Kigali | November 13, 2017–Air Senegal SA has become the latest airline in Africa to introduce SITA’s passenger services system (PSS) to manage every aspect of their operation – from reservations and pricing to ticketing and departure control.
The airline is one of a growing number of carriers on the continent that have turned to SITA to provide technology solutions to better manage their passenger operations. Already 15 airlines and ground handlers in Africa use SITA’s Horizon® Passenger Management and Distribution solution while 100 airlines and ground handlers around the globe have used it to board more than 123 million passengers and check in 158 million travelers each year.

Horizon offers the most comprehensive, integrated range of passenger management services available today. Its infrastructure is built on a flexible platform of core systems required by every airline, allowing each carrier to customize the system to meet their specific business requirements and to accommodate future growth.

Air Senegal, the west African country’s new national airline, has turned to SITA to provide a full suite of services – including reservations, ticketing, airfare distribution and departure control – that will support the launch of the airline’s first flights later this year.

Philippe Bohn, CEO of Air Senegal, said: “We have an ambition to establish Air Senegal as a key carrier in West Africa and make our presence felt across the continent. In order to achieve this ambition, it is important that we have a passenger management system that takes care of every aspect of operating the airline and delivers a smooth experience for our passengers every step of the way. SITA is a key partner in providing this technology and we are in the process of implementing this solution ahead of our launch flights later this year.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “The air transport industry in Africa is emerging as a major growth market in terms of passenger growth. Our presence and experience on the continent, together with the real business value offered by Horizon, has placed us in an ideal position to support both the continent’s emerging and established airlines, using a passenger management platform that can accommodate airlines of any size, fleet or operating model.”

SITA Lab publishes research findings

London | November 8, 2017– SITA Lab, the research team of the air transport industry’s IT provider SITA, today revealed the learnings from research it carried out with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport into ‘smart contracts’ residing on a blockchain.

Blockchain has been heralded as a transformational technology for many industries. While several use cases have been identified for the air transport industry, the opportunity of using ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data by airlines and airports is one which promises real benefits. SITA Lab today issued FlightChain, a paper outlining the findings of its research conducted with its airline and airport partners.

The air transport industry is highly-connected and there is a need for ‘single source of truth’ for various data used by different stakeholders. Control of shared data is a key concern for all. Blockchain offers potential to share data in a controlled way. SITA recognizes, however, that there is a need for research so the industry can take the right approach, to ensure governance, standards, compliance, security and more.

This research project was initially established by SITA Lab with Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (HAL) and International Airlines Group (IAG) with Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport participating. Called FlightChain, it was devised to investigate a single source of truth for flight data.  The “flight data problem” is a well-known issue in the industry – namely, there is no single source of the truth and the data that does exist, is not easily accessed by all parties.

While there are many cases of airlines and airports collaborating to share flight data, this data still resides in separate silos. When there are flight delays, this results in differences between passenger apps, airport FIDS, airline agents. FlightChain ensures all stakeholders have the same information.

Jim Peters, CTO, SITA, said: “Our FlightChain project has demonstrated that blockchain is a viable technology to provide a single source of truth for data for airlines and airports, specifically for real-time flight information. While there are other technologies available for sharing data, the use of blockchain, and smart contracts in particular, provides ‘shared control’ and improves the trustworthiness of the data. This research with our partners shows the potential of blockchain for sharing data across the air transport industry.”

FlightChain was established as a private permissioned blockchain (implemented on both Ethereum and Hyperledger-Fabric) that stores flight information on the blockchain, using a smart contract to arbitrate potentially conflicting data. British Airways, Geneva Airport, Heathrow and Miami International Airport provide flight data that is merged and stored on the blockchain. During this project more than two million flight changes were processed by the smart contract and stored on FlightChain.

Stuart Harwood, Heathrow Automation and Innovation, HAL, said: “Heathrow’s participation in FlightChain with SITA Lab has been very valuable. We are still early in the blockchain technology cycle and more research is required but FlightChain has shown the opportunities for shared control of data with our industry partners.”

Peters, added: “In a real-world network, it will be important to manage the changes to the smart contract as it affects all participants. Industry bodies such as ACI and IATA, working with SITA as the neutral IT provider to the air transport community, could be involved in the establishment of the contract. In fact, we can imagine a future where industry standards are written directly as smart contracts instead of published as PDF documents.”

Glenn Morgan, Head of Digital Business Transformation at International Airlines Group (IAG), said: “Now we’ve proven the technology, we are really excited by the opportunities that blockchain can create in the industry. We will work with IATA and ACI to ensure the best practices are in place.”

The research paper published today details key lessons learned regarding governance, smart contracts, system security and system performance, scalability and reliability. Along with a view on the use of public versus private blockchain networks for the air transport industry.

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flydubai’s network in Russia to grow to 11 points served by 47 weekly flights

 Dubai | October 25, 2017–

Dubai-based flydubai today announced the start of its new daily flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) from 29 November. This will increase the airline’s frequency to the Russian capital to double daily with the existing service to Vnukovo International Airport (VKO).

flydubai first started operating to Moscow in 2014 and has grown its network in Russia to 11 unique points.  Makhachkala, Ufa and Voronezh being the latest additions with operations commencing in October 2017. Along with these newest points on flydubai’s network the airline operates direct flights to Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow (VKO), Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg.

Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said: “We are excited to be offering our passengers more options to access two different points of the Russian capital. The launch of our new daily flights to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is based on the increase in demand for more affordable and reliable direct links to the UAE and beyond.”

The airline, which recorded a 45% growth in passenger numbers to Russia in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and is the first carrier to operate direct flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport from the UAE. The airport is one of the three airports serving the city of Moscow, along with Domodedovo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport, and is one of the largest airports in Russia.

Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) for flydubai, said: “Russia continues to be a very important market for flydubai. We have been committed to opening up underserved markets and adding frequency based on demand across our network.  Our commitment is demonstrated by the increase of our operations to 11 points and 47 weekly flights to the Russian market. We are also looking forward to increasing our frequency to 52 weekly flights from mid-December which provide our passenger with more convenient timings and options for travel to and from Dubai.”

flydubai operates flights to more than 95 destinations in 44 countries offering passengers from Russia greater opportunity to connect onwards on the flydubai network to popular routes like Male (Maldives), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Zanzibar (Tanzania) via Dubai’s aviation hub. Business Class and WiFi are available on flydubai’s flights to Russia.

Early this year, the UAE Cabinet granted citizens of the Russian Federation entry visa on arrival valid for 30 days for the first time, renewable one time only for another 30 days, which has contributed to the increase in passenger numbers from Russia as per Dubai Airports reports.

Flight Details

Flights between Dubai (DXB) and Sheremetyevo (SVO) will start on 29 November 2017 with flights on sale from 25 October. flydubai’s FZ 917/918 will operate daily between Dubai International, Terminal 2 and Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Business Class return fares will start at AED 5,050 and are inclusive of all taxes and 40kg checked baggage. Economy Class return fares from Dubai to Sheremetyevo will start at AED 1,250 including 7kg hand baggage.

Flights can be booked through flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), Contact Centre in Dubai on (00971) 600 54 44 45, the flydubai travel shops or through our travel partners.

Euro Air Transport IT Summit, Hamburg | October 18, 2017–The air transport industry has cybersecurity as a top priority with 95% of airlines and 96% of airports investing resources into major cybersecurity programs or pilots over the next three years. Yet research released today from global IT provider SITA shows there is still room for improvement with only one third of boards at airlines, and a fifth at airports, having fully integrated cybersecurity into their business plans.

Speaking today at a gathering of European air transport industry leaders, Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, highlighted that while cybersecurity is the number one priority for almost all airlines and airports, it demands more attention and must be higher on industry board agendas.

Dalibard said: “Recent global cyber attacks demonstrate the risks and the need for a proactive approach. The air transport industry is highly connected and reliant on partners. We must work as a community to fight the global threat to cybersecurity. While we are pleased to see a 46% increase in the number of airlines prepared to deal with major cyber threats over the past year, there is still more to be done. The industry should move from dealing with common cyber threats to being prepared for major ones. As the technology provider owned by industry members, SITA is committed to invest in, and lead, the community effort to maximize cybersecurity. Together we can ramp up the industry’s defenses and ensure we remain one step ahead of any threat.”

SITA has conducted in depth research into the level of cybersecurity maturity at airlines and airports in the fight against this global threat. The results show that there are very high levels of security awareness among staff at airlines (82%) and airports (85%). This year, beyond cybersecurity protection, the industry is focusing on threat detection and response management. Already CIOs at 69% of airlines and 47% of airports are implementing security events and correlation monitoring, while security incident response management is being put in place at 77% of airlines and 60% airports.

Dalibard added: “Airlines and airports are building their critical defenses and preparing to deal with common threats but we must all bring it to the highest level and integrate cybersecurity at executive and board level. Together we must identify, detect and react to cyber threats and protect the industry’s assets from attack.”

Having identified the challenge, SITA earlier this year partnered with Airbus to address the air transport industry’s distinct concerns and created a unique CyberSecurity Aviation Security Operations Center (SOC). It acts like a cyber control tower with an integrated combination of processes, people and technology to detect, analyze, respond to, and report on cybersecurity incidents.

Markus Braendle, Head, Airbus Cybersecurity, said: “The air transport industry has unique cybersecurity challenges because of the varied and increasing use of smart end points across a largely distributed infrastructure. Digital transformation is enabling the air transport industry to deliver better services to its customers, but raising its threat exposure. Together SITA and Airbus CyberSecurity bring expertise and solutions to help airlines and airports monitor their digital assets to detect and respond to incidents.”

The SOC is part of a broader portfolio of SITA products and services that help airlines and airports identify threats and protect against, detect and respond to cyber attacks.

SITA also operates the Community Cyber Threat Center, a security information sharing service run on behalf of SITA’s more than 400 air transport industry members. It enables actionable information on cyber threats to be shared in a timely manner among key industry stakeholders.

These initiatives are part of SITA’s commitment to lead the air transport community fight against cyber threats and to improve the integration of cybersecurity into business plans at board level at airlines and airports.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.

SITA technology will allow airlines at one of the world’s biggest airports to track bags at every step

Istanbul | October 9, 2017– İGA, contractor and designated operator of Istanbul New Airport, has appointed SITA to implement its innovative baggage tracking solution at what will be one of the world’s largest airports, allowing airlines to meet IATA Resolution 753’s baggage tracking requirements from day one.

The airport, due to open in 2018, will have capacity to accommodate 90 million passengers a year. Upon completion of all four phases, the passenger capacity will reach over 200 million passengers annually and will be required to track more than 75,000 bags an hour. The potential for bags to be mishandled in such a busy environment will be significantly reduced with SITA’s baggage solution by providing information on where every single bag is on its route through the airport.

SITA’s baggage solution provides the IT infrastructure that makes it possible for airlines to track bags at key points in the journey, including check-in, transfer and arrival. Airlines will also be able to receive updates on where their baggage is at each step of the journey, allowing them to comply with IATA Resolution 753.

Yusuf Akçayoğlu, CEO of İGA Airports Construction said: “We fully understand that having the right technology will be essential to the successful operation of the new airport and future-proofing it for decades to come. It is also critical to ensuring our passengers fully benefit from our new, world-class facilities by providing innovative systems that make the journey through the airport enjoyable and effortless. We are confident that we will conclude this cooperation successfully.”

Ersin İnankul, CIO of İGA Airports Construction said: “In building a new facility, we have the opportunity to implement technology or capacity to accommodate new technologies. One of the technologies that will become a must-have is baggage tracking to meet the June 2018 deadline of Resolution 753. As a service to our airlines, we have partnered with SITA to implement the technology to meet the requirements from day one of operation.”

Jihad Boueri, SITA Vice President Airports for Middle East, India and Africa said: “Baggage is one key area where technology is improving the passenger experience. Increasingly airlines and airports are helping to relieve the anxiety of waiting for bags to arrive by providing real-time information on the status of their bags to passengers. At the same time, by understanding where a bag is at any point in its journey, airlines will be able to act proactively to ensure that a bag is correctly allocated to a flight, ensuring it arrives with the passenger at their destination.”

SITA’s Baggage Report 2017 showed that baggage management by airlines globally improved again in 2016 as the industry focuses on technology investments. According to the report, the rate of mishandled bags was 5.73 bags per thousand passengers in 2016, down 12.25% from the previous year and the lowest ever recorded.

As airports strive to find new ways to optimize operational processes and operating margins, the power of intelligent data analytics is presenting a new business opportunity for airport management. vb dashboxTM is a new Vision-BoxTM application that leverages operational data streams to transform everyday passenger data into meaningful business intelligence.

Lisbon, Portugal | September 6, 2017– Throughout the past decade, modern international airports have faced mounting challenges, from ensuring regulatory compliance, reducing traveler risk, enhancing passenger safety, facilitating flow capabilities, and optimizing its operating margins in a highly competitive industry. While the multiplying numbers of electronic passenger clearance touchpoints are easing some of these pressures, the amount of raw data these systems provide to authorities are exposing a new business opportunity for a more efficient and expedient airport environment.

In announcing the release of vb dashboxTM, Vision-BoxTM, the worldwide leader in passenger experience and border control solutions, is addressing this opportunity with a powerful new application that reshapes and reframes the way airports manage real-time passenger data intelligence streams, transforming them into a holistic airport passenger travel and behavioral information data center. vb dashboxTM accomplishes this by improving the everyday decision-making process, operational performance, and cost control of airport management by enhancing the granular detail of the information streams and providing practical tools to drill-down into metrics and key performance indicators of all airport and passenger data.

Integrated into the OrchestraTM Management Platform, the new and innovative web- based vb dashboxTM analytics application is designed to harness, analyze and give meaning to this raw data, giving all airport stakeholders the ability to manage and communicate business challenges more effectively and achieve better operational results. Together with OrchestraTM, vb dashboxTM extends the overall value of Vision-Box’s biometric solutions portfolio by offering an aggregated informational view of the entire airport walkthrough process, giving stakeholders a detailed view of passenger metrics and displaying the data in smart, penetrating graphics, available on all laptop, tablet and mobile platforms.

vb dashboxTM optimizes this viewing experience by allowing users to customize their personal performance flow analytics display. The visualization is customized using a widgets library, offering the user the capacity to create a tailored and personalized dashboard suited for individual data needs and offering particular insights into airport operations. This provides a live operational monitoring of the entire passenger clearance process with remote process control and a holistic view of data in clear, easy-to-read, interactive, and real-time charts.

The simple to use, browser-based, drag-and-drop interface uses a highly responsive design that gives any non-technical user an effective and dynamic experience, instantly responding to changes in parameters by applying different filters to assist in narrowing down the results to get to the core of the smart data. This can include business intelligence parameters, technical solution performance and passenger flow statistics among a myriad of other capabilities.

Highly secure, vb dashboxTM utilizes a privacy-by-design role-based control of the analytics and management of the data, with access and visualization restricted to authorized users. With 24/7 access to in-depth quality data intelligence, including passenger trends, solution performance, and full operational control across multiple locations and devices, vb dashboxTM offers key stakeholders the ability to share files and charts across the business network via robust reports with powerful filtering and drill-down capabilities.

“Vision-Box’s mission has always been to assist stakeholders in the aviation sector to achieve a higher level of airport operational efficiency while providing a safe and effective product, reduce risks, and improve operating costs”, says Miguel Leitmann, Vision-BoxTM CEO. “With this powerful new analytical tool, Vision-Box is delivering on this mission in giving airport authorities the ability to leverage their data into actionable business intelligence and optimize their processes through better utilization of information.”

The vb dashboxTM powerful integrated tools enable airport authorities to harness intelligent data capabilities to drive operational processes and business decisions. The availability of real-time data overview enables authorities to stay on top of complex passenger relationships and processes, providing a live real-time system performance overview to drive better decision making, real-time corrective actions, operational and quality of KPIs, plus much more, with seamless data analytics.

Cyber security, cloud services and passenger self-service top three priorities for air transport industry

Geneva | September 5, 2017– Airlines and airports are estimated to spend nearly US$33 billion on IT this year, according to the SITA 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights released today. And they are focusing their technology investments on similar priorities. Top of the agenda for CIOs at both airlines and airports, are investments in cyber security and cloud services. In addition, they are prioritizing investments in passenger self-service.

SITA’s research of the world’s airlines and airports shows that IT spend remains strong. Airlines’ spend as a percentage of revenue will rise to an estimated 3.30% or US$24.3 billion[1] in 2017. For airports, the rise is to an expected 5.05% for this year or US$8.43 billion. Looking ahead to 2018 over 70% of airlines and 88% of airports are expecting IT spend to increase or remain at the same levels as today.

As IT spend increases, both airlines and airports agree that the number one priority for their investments is cyber security. Nearly all of them – 95% of airlines and 96% of airports – plan to invest in major programs or R&D on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. This shows alignment across the industry on the importance of investing in this area.

Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said: “The air transport industry is going through digital transformation and focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers; making it more efficient; and improving the passenger experience. Cyber-attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry so building solid defenses is essential. Cloud services provide important efficiencies which play a key role in keeping costs down. Investments in self-service improve passenger satisfaction as they welcome the independence and efficiencies it delivers.”

Gutlin continued: “When it comes to IT investment, airports and airlines are aligned to provide better, more secure service to customers. The interdependencies built into air transport systems mean investments and improvements in all these areas, by airlines and airports alike, will continue to contribute to a strong global industry.”

Antoine Rostworowski, Director, Airport Customer Experience and Technology, Airports Council International (ACI), said: “SITA’s research, which was co-sponsored by ACI, reveals valuable insights for our industry. It is encouraging to see the alignment of investment priorities among airports and airlines, which reflects the collaboration between ACI and IATA on best practices. ACI and IATA have joint initiatives such as Automated Border Control, end-to-end baggage tracking (Facilitation), Data Exchange, Common-Use (Airport IT) and Smart Security. Industry partners such as SITA and others are also involved in these initiatives to make airports more efficient and to improve the passenger experience.”

Cloud services are another top investment priority with 95% of airlines and 85% of airports planning to invest over the next three years, continuing an upward trend that SITA has recorded since 2015. The third key area of investment that was highlighted by both airlines and airports is to provide extra self-service options to passengers.

Airlines are focusing on providing mobile services. Today the vast majority of airlines provide check-in (73%), boarding (70%) and flight status notifications (68%) via mobile and by 2020 more than 97% plan to do so. A key area of growth will be providing real-time flight updates over social media which will jump from 31% of airlines doing so to 92% in the next three years.

Providing a seamless experience is key to the airlines. In total, 94% rate streamlining services into a single app as a priority, with 58% rating this as a high priority. Mobile app capabilities and usability are developing quickly and an increasing number of airlines plan to use mobile as a customer service tool, including at times of disruption.

At airports, self-service processes at check-in, bag drop and boarding are increasingly popular with passengers and 89% of airports are investing in these processes. Airports operators have a keen focus on improving the journey through the terminal and are looking to new technologies such as the Internet of Things, beacons and sensors, to support their goals. SITA’s insights show that 80% are investing, or planning to invest, in these technologies over the next three years. Nearly three quarters, 74%, are investing in way-finding solutions and 68% in solutions to improve personalization for the passenger.

SITA’s IT Trends are well established as the global benchmark research for the air transport industry. Senior IT executives at the top airlines and airports took part in the research earlier this year. The 2017 results once again provide a clear insight on the air transport industry’s IT strategic thinking and developments.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights were released today and are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.

With vacations and pre-show quietness, our IFExpress search and discovery for news and industry input is lightweight this week; however there are some stories that we found so lets get started with a couple of news pieces from Rockwell Collins – and no, we have no more on a potential UTC buyout.

Rockwell Collins
The company will showcase business aviation solutions for the Latin American market, including flight deck, connectivity, cabin and service solutions at the 15th Annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Expo, from Aug. 15-17.

“This year we are showcasing even more of our business portfolio at LABACE to meet the needs of our customers in the region,” said Fernando DosSantos, director of sales and marketing, Americas for Rockwell Collins. “We are committed to increasing our footprint here in Brazil with broader avionics, cabin, service and connectivity offerings.”
At the company’s exhibit (booth #2016), experts from Rockwell Collins will be available to discuss the following key offerings:

  • Venue cabin management system: Our leading, most reliable and innovative cabin management system on the market, now equipped on more than 1,000 business aircraft cabins
  • Stage content service: Total content delivery solution that enables passengers to stream media, including digitally-protected movies and TV shows, to their personal devices from an easily refreshed, robust onboard server through wireless access points
  • CASP: Three levels of service, all delivering superior customer support, budget predictability and consistent aircraft availability for all the Rockwell Collins components on board your aircraft
  • ADS-B Out compliant solutions: Regulatory agencies across the globe are mandating implementation ADS-B Out, as well as other airspace mandates, as part of overall airspace modernization programs. ADS-B technology enables aircraft to continuously broadcast GPS derived aircraft position, heading and velocity information to ground stations connected to air traffic control

Next, TCS World Travel has installed Rockwell Collins’ CabinConnect wireless in-flight connectivity system on its custom-configured Boeing 757, operated by TAG Aviation. The fully operational system was launched on August 9, 2017 when 50 guests departed for a 23-day trip across Eurasia. “Our brand is about redefining luxury travel by providing highly personalized, enriching experiences for our guests from the comfort and convenience of our private jets,” said Shelley Cline, TCS World Travel president. “We chose Rockwell Collins for cabin connectivity because we needed a dependable solution that will keep our guests connected almost anywhere in the world.”

Through the new service, TCS World Travel guests can use an aircraft-provided iPad or their own devices to check email or browse the internet in flight, as well as access news, sports and weather information with a reliable connection that is similar to the quality and speed they experience when on the ground. The TCS World Travel system includes Rockwell Collins’ Airshow Mobile for Browsers, a 2D moving map system that keeps pace with guests wherever they fly. “Rockwell Collins was able to customize the system to interface with our onboard lecture system,” continued Cline. “This allows our guests to receive a live presentation from a travel expert about an upcoming destination that is broadcast to interested guests via the provided onboard iPads.”

“As a leading aircraft communications and service provider, we worked closely with TCS World Travel to understand their individual needs and requirements, and were able to outfit their aircraft with an operational system in just seven months,” said Alexis Hickox, head of Business Development, Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “Bringing together our aviation expertise with our knowledge of the Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) network has enabled us to provide TCS World Travel with a service that is very much in line with their mission of creating unforgettable travel experiences for their guests.”

Astronics
Astronics Corporation , a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Astronics PECO, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation fuel tank access doors (FTAD) for the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. In addition, Astronics PECO received a follow-on award for its FTAD product for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new 787 and 777X fuel tank access doors will utilize the latest in fuel tank door structural materials and designs for carbon fiber composite wing technologies. The doors will be manufactured by Astronics PECO in Clackamas, Oregon. These awards are in addition to a previous award in which Astronics PECO was selected to provide passenger service units (PSUs) for the 777X.

SITA
Lanseria International Airport is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines. Using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter. In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units. Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service. Using SITA’s Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, the airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey. The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

US MOBILE
A US wireless carriers going to launch unlimited access in aircraft from 120 countries and with some 20 airlines, so they say. We understand unlimited pricing of $10/ month for inflight Wi-Fi and with global coverage! The founder noted, ”Customers will also enjoy in-flight connectivity on all the major airlines at a more affordable price than what the airlines and other comparative services are offering. This Unlimited Wi-Fi plan is a game-changer when you travel abroad. Instead of paying for international roaming, which can be quite costly, you have a whole network of hotspots ready to be used anywhere in the world.” Stay Tuned!

Aircraft Interiors Expo – Long Beach CA.
In February, Reed Exhibitions and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) announced a long-term strategic co-location agreement for the fall expo event in co-ordination with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). This year’s event will take place from 26-28th September 2017 at the Long Beach Convention Centre, California, and is the only fall event dedicated to the Passenger Experience Industry. The events will welcome more than 300 exhibitors from a wide range of renowned companies exhibiting at AIX Long Beach and APEX, including Acro Aircraft Seating, Avio Interiors, Diehl, Gogo, Inmarsat, Isovalta, Panasonic, Geven, Thales to name just a few. Over 30 unique airlines such as; Etihad Airways, American Airlines, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and many more from across the world are already confirmed to attend with many more expected to register in the run up to the show. Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibitor Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “To have virtually all of the exhibition space already sold is testament to the growing popularity of the fall event dedicated to the passenger services industry. “AIX Long Beach brings together APEX, IFSA and AIX into a powerful partnership and to have generated so much interest already gives us great confidence that it is quickly becoming established as the must-attend event for the passenger experience industry in the fall.” The co-located passenger experience event is the largest in the fall, showcasing the latest innovation, technologies and products in the industry, such as galleys, lighting, cabin management systems, IFEC and passenger services.


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SITA enables Miami Airport app users to quickly tap and clear immigration and customs

Miami International Airport (MIA) is the first airport in the world to bring the convenience of Mobile Passport Control, the fast entry process into the USA, into its own airport app experience. US citizens and Canadian visitors arriving into Miami can now use the MIA Airport Official app to submit details to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and simply receive a barcode on their phone to present for clearance.

This convenient service, developed by global air transport IT provider SITA and certified by US CBP for Mobile Passport Control, speeds up the entry process into the USA. As an integral part of MIA’s official app, the new mobile service builds on the personal travel assistant experience already being offered to Miami’s passengers.

“The goal of our mobile app has always been to put as many services as possible in the palm of the traveler’s hand,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “Now, with the help of SITA’s innovative technology, in addition to easily finding your way to all you need at MIA, North American passengers can now also breeze through passport control with the same customer-friendly travel app.”

Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other US airport. It is America’s third-busiest airport for international passengers, with more than half of its 44.6 million passengers on international travel.

SITA offers the service as an SDK (software development kit). The SDK has been authorized by CBP for airports, airlines and other travel app providers to incorporate the entry process into their own mobile app.

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “We are very pleased to be a technology partner with MIA as they become the first to incorporate the convenience of US CBP Mobile Passport Control into their airport application. Passenger satisfaction increases when technology solutions, like SITA’s, make it easy for passengers to manage their journey using just one convenient application on their own smartphone or tablet.”

SITA’s innovative design ensures the CBP requirements are met, which reduces the certification process for app developers. It enables eligible travelers to use an airport or airline’s app on their mobile device to submit their passport information and answer CBP inspection-related questions prior to CBP inspection. The convenient service does not require pre-approval and is free to use.

Today the SDK from SITA is available to any international airport in the USA or any airline flying passengers to the USA. SITA is also in discussions with other governments who are looking to digitize their landing card, customs and border clearance procedures. Providing such services via mobile devices enables direct communication with travelers which supports secure pre-clearance and helps streamline the passenger journey.

After a successful tendering process launched in December 2016, Vision-Box is now ready to unleash one more world-premiere: a ground-breaking Automated Border Control solution will be delivered, further securing the country’s borders and providing a seamless biometric-driven experience to arriving passengers.

Canberra, Australia | July 27, 2017–Vision-Box has today entered into a contract with the Australian Government to deliver the world’s first automated ‘contactless’ traveller clearance processes for people arriving in Australia by air at all international airports.

This contract was celebrated in the scope of the Seamless Traveller program and will expand Vision-Box’s successful presence in Australia initially sustained by its important work on the project that began in 2015 after the Australian Government selected the company to provide biometric border control SmartGates at all Airports’ departures.

This three-year contract will deliver the next generation of Automated Border Control passenger-processing technology. Vision Box’s latest innovations will assist the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection to collect and verify biometric data from all passengers arriving at Australian International Airports.

It will also deliver a new capability that will enable known travellers to self-process through the border without the need to physically use a passport (contactless), entirely relying on facial recognition technology.

Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder of Vision-Box said that “This contract represents an unparalleled milestone in the history of automation at the border, since it is the first time a government will implement biometric identification through contactless services. We are permanently investing in R&D to bring innovation at the service of more secure and frictionless border control solutions. By selecting Vision-Box, the Australian Government once again puts its trust onto us, to build their leading ambition, which is an amazing recognition to our commitment to society in this respect. This is the result of our long-term dedication and the teamwork we have been able to nurture with the DIBP, and I am very proud of what our people have achieved for our customer and how they feel being part of something bigger: making the world a better place”

New SITA services includes South Africa’s first self-bag drop and mobile boarding

Johannesburg, South Africa | July 26, 2017– Lanseria International Airport is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines. Using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter.

In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units. Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service.

Using SITA’s  Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, Lanseria International Airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey.

The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

Gavin Sayce, Chief Operating Officer of Lanseria International Airport, said: “Our passengers and airlines have always valued the ease of use when travelling through Lanseria International Airport. The investment in new technology – together with new infrastructure such as the multi-storey parking we are building – is aimed at maximizing this convenience. We want this airport to remain the airport of choice for both airlines and their passengers.”

Lanseria International Airport, north of Johannesburg, has established itself as a favored low-cost hub for passengers to quickly and conveniently connect to South Africa’s other main cities. FlySafair recently joined Kulula and Mango in operating flights from Lanseria to Cape Town, Durban and now George. The airport handles over 2 million passengers a year and the existing passenger terminal is being extended to accommodate more airlines and flights.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “Our research shows that an overwhelming number of passengers prefer to use technology rather than a human interaction when in the airport. They value the control and convenience that self-service options such as self-bag drop and mobile boarding provide. This is the case with Lanseria International Airport where passengers are accustomed to a smooth passage through the travel steps.”

Lido/Flight User Group Conference 2017: Lufthansa Systems’ customer event focuses on interaction, information and cooperative development

Raunheim | May 31, 2017– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it will present the first Integrated Flight Support prototype, the future core module of its new Lido/Flight 4D product generation, at this year’s Lido/Flight User Group (LUG) Conference. The conference will offer an insight into technical innovations related to the flight planning system as well as an opportunity for intensive interaction among the 170 product experts and customers attending. The LUG Conference is taking place from May 31 to June 1 in Paris, the headquarters of this year’s partner airline, Air France.

“Integrating different systems is an essential aspect of modern flight planning. Flight data is very dynamic. To get an overview of the current situation in the air, everyone involved needs the same sources of information. Airports, air traffic control and customer systems should be able to exchange data in real time. This is the only way for employees on the ground and on the flight deck to make right decisions based on the same information,” said Philipp Barzen, Head of Product Strategy Lido/Flight at Lufthansa Systems.

The core features of the Lido/Flight 4D flight planning solution are the integrated and continually updated aeronautical database and the optimizer. The system calculates the most suitable route for each flight based on all flight-related data, taking into account weather conditions and the current airspace situation including any restrictions. By migrating to the new product generation, customers will benefit from a modern architecture offering even better integration of relevant data from adjacent systems, a modern graphical user interface and display, 4D optimization and extensively automated flight planning and control processes.

Lufthansa Systems is taking an agile approach to the further development of Lido/Flight 4D. This means that customers are continually involved in the process. In addition to the two big annual customer events – the LUG Conference in the spring and the LUG Forum in the fall – the Lido/Flight-Team is holding workshops and gathering feedback on new features. The second release of Lido/Flight 4D R6.2.0 is planned for the fall of 2017 and will include improvements to crew briefing and route optimization. This is followed by another important milestone in the spring of 2018, a technical release with a complete migration to Linux. The prototype, which provides a glimpse into the future of Lido/Flight 4D, goes even further: It shows the new interface as well as other new functions, such as integrated navigation maps from Lido/Navigation.

“Along with the integrated map display, we are expanding our strategic cooperation with the Lido/Flight and Lido/Navigation product teams to create even better applications for pilots,” Barzen said. One example is the new Lido/mBriefing app, a mobile briefing solution with a direct interface to the Lido/mPilot mobile navigation solution.

During the LUG Conference, product experts will explain the new features of Lido/Flight 4D to customers in various sessions. They will also talk about the technical prerequisites for migration and discuss training concepts. Lufthansa Systems is thus taking a holistic approach to flight planning optimization and supporting its customers in the areas of further development and migration.

The product known previously as Lido/Flight has performed successfully in the market for more than 20 years. Since 2015, Lufthansa Systems has been working intensively on developing the new Lido/Flight 4D generation. Around 120 airlines with a total of more than 6,000 aircraft are currently using the flight planning solution from Lufthansa Systems. More than one half of all flights in Europe are calculated using Lido/Flight 4D. In various comparative analyses based on thousands of flight plans, Lido/Flight was able to reduce fuel costs by an average of 2 percent, cut flying times by 1.9 percent and save 1.6 percent of air traffic control fees compared to its competitors. Thanks to this savings potential, Lido/Flight 4D will pay for itself after an average of about one year.

2017 Air Transport IT Summit – Barcelona, Spain | May 24, 2017– SITA, the IT specialist that is transforming air travel through technology, today rolled out several community innovation demos with an eye toward the future at this year’s Air Transport IT Summit. These forward-looking innovations are part of SITA’s 2016 multi-million investment across five main focus areas to explore new solutions to some of the air transport industry’s most pressing challenges.

The five areas are; new baggage tracking capabilities to meet IATA’s Resolution 753; identity management to enable secure and rapid passenger flow through airports; the facilitation of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC); an industry-wide disruption warning system; and enhancing cyber security across the industry.

Demos shocased included the innovative WorldTracer Ground Delivery Baggage Tracking App which allows airlines to track delayed bags until they reach their final destination and Travel Identity of the Future, a new approach to identity management to enable secure and rapid passenger flow through airports. The multi-million dollar community innovation investment is over and above SITA’s continued investment in new products. It is aimed at looking further into the future of promising technologies or new ways of doing things that could have a big impact and significant benefit to the air transport community.

In addition, SITA announced seven new member benefits to enhance nine offers made available in 2015. The offers, exclusive to SITA’s 400 plus members, consist of free trials and preferential contract terms for services. These include SITA’s Mobile Boarding Pass API, which gives airlines flexibility to easily create and distribute mobile boarding passes and SITA’s sophisticated baggage services BagConnect and WorldTracer Tablet. Members can also benefit from free consultancy services for SITA’s cloud services and Horizon solutions along with preferential terms for messaging services SITATEXT Online and the new MessageIntelligence Archive.

Jappe Blaauw, President of the SITA Council, said: “SITA is a member-driven organization and these offers are designed to offer value and support in the areas that we know our 400 plus members are interested such as improved baggage management, driving the adoption of mobile self-service and taking advantage of cloud services. These exclusive offers will allow our members to quickly evaluate and adopt new and efficient technologies across the air transport industry.”

The Air Transport IT Summit, which is attended by more than 400 air transport industry professionals, also provides SITA with the opportunity to recognize its valued members. Working with its air transport industry partners to define next-generation technology for more than 65 years, SITA recognized numerous milestone members including 60 years of partnership with Air Serbia, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines and Qantas Airways. And 50 years of partnership with Adria Airways, Arabian Airlines, Libyan Airlines, Meridiana Fly, Saudi Arabian Airlines and United Airlines.

First payment solution to support secure payments on common-use platforms now available

Brussels, 2017 Air Transport IT Summit | May 24, 2017– SITA has launched the first payment solution which addresses the need for airlines to be able to accept payments securely at airports when using a shared IT infrastructure. SITA AirportConnect Common Use Payment Service enables payment transactions by multiple airlines on a single payment terminal. Importantly, this is possible with any, and all, of the departure control systems the airlines choose to use.

Airlines use common-use or shared IT infrastructure at airports around the world and this ground-breaking solution has been developed by SITA to support airlines that wish to accept payments at common-use check-in desks, kiosks and bagdrop areas for baggage fees, upgrades and other ancillary charges. SITA’s new solution uniquely combines point-to-point encryption (P2PE) technology, with Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant chip card payment terminals, applications and processes, to allow multiple merchants to use the same terminal while meeting PCI security standards.

SITA has implemented this service with a major European airline at a common-use airport where rigorous testing proved the effectiveness of the encryption technology for chip, magnetic stripe and contactless card payment transactions.

SITA’s common-use payment service meets the unique operational challenges of airlines. It allows airlines to share the same point of sale (PoS) and PIN entry devices (PEDs) at the airport, while continuing to use their preferred payment service providers and banks. This maximizes the benefits of the airline’s existing commercial relationships. Importantly, the service is also designed to minimize fraud risks by implementing encryption with EMV card readers and provides support for a secure payment solution aligned with credit card brand approvals.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “This new service, integrated with our SITA AirportConnect platform, allows airlines, airports and other air transport industry stakeholders to accept credit card payments in a common-use environment in line with Payment Card Industry standards. Our service features point-to-point encryption to provide a powerful, flexible solution for all stakeholders to ensure the protection of customer data.”

P2PE in SITA AirportConnect Common Use Payment Service delivers significant benefits including making account data unreadable by unauthorized parties. It “de-values” account data because it cannot be abused – even if stolen. In addition, P2PE can simplify compliance with PCI DSS (Data Security Standard) requirements for airlines and airports by reducing the number of addressable requirements during a PCI security assessment.

SITA AirportConnect Common Use Payment Service further enhances the community values that are central to common-use across the industry. It is the culmination of work with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Common Use Working Group in collaboration with various payment industry leaders, including Verifone, Thales and Smart Technology Solutions.

Peter Galvin, Vice President Strategy at Thales e-Security said: “Thales’s extensive expertise and leadership in the payment security market, enriched by our long-standing partnerships with leading payments processing vendors, allows us to help innovators such as SITA deliver the high levels of performance and security required for payment processing.”

The payment terminals available as part of SITA’s service are capable of supporting PCI compliance requirements for an airline’s passenger credit card data handled through SITA’s CUTE/CUPPS/CUSS system. PCI compliance certification, however, still requires an end-to-end security review by each airline of its own full payment process.

Initially available for SITA AirportConnect workstations, the service will be rolled out to support SITA’s common-use kiosks and bagdrop stations over the coming months.

Autonomous, mobile kiosks will move themselves to where they are needed in the airport

Geneva, Switzerland | May 22, 2017–  SITA Lab, which explores the future of technology in air travel, has unveiled KATE, an intelligent check-in kiosk that will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed, promising to relegate check-in queues to the past.

Using various data sources – including flight and passenger flow information – KATE can identify where additional check-in kiosks are required to reduce passenger queue times at check-in. KATE uses existing SITA data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API.

Multiple robotic kiosks can be automatically or manually deployed simultaneously and in formation to assist passengers, providing airports and airlines greater flexibility in managing peaks in passenger flow. The kiosks can also communicate through a Cloud service to ensure that the right number of kiosks are at the right position when needed, making them highly responsive to changes in the airport. A design patent application for the kiosks is currently underway.

Renaud Irminger, Director of SITA Lab, said: “The peak and troughs in the flow of passengers presents a challenge to many airlines and airports and we have been approached by many customers requesting a solution. They want kiosks which can be easily deployed when and where they are needed. Building on SITA’s successful AirportConnect® Open platform, and our previous work with robotics, KATE leverages new technologies to provide operators much more flexibility and efficiency in the way they will use their kiosks in future.”

SITA’s cutting-edge robotic kiosk makes use of geo-location technology to find its way through the airport. KATE will use Wi-Fi to connect to vital airline and airport systems, dispensing with the need for cabling or other fixed attachments. This allows the kiosk to move around freely across the airport terminal, using obstacle avoidance technology to avoid bumping into people or things.

KATE and her fellow robotic kiosks will automatically return to their docking stations when they are low on power or need to be resupplied with boarding passes or bag tags.

One of the key benefits of SITA’s autonomous kiosk is that it can be deployed anywhere inside the airport as well as other offsite locations such as train stations. This is particularly relevant during periods of disruption – such as weather delays or flight cancellations – where additional kiosks can be moved from landside to airside to check-in large numbers of rebooked passengers. KATE provides passengers access to her easy-to-use interface to check-in and print bag tags.

KATE follows in the footsteps of LEO, SITA’s fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot launched at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit in Barcelona, Spain last year.

KATE, SITA’s autonomous kiosk, will be on display at this year’s Air Transport IT Summit taking place in Brussels, Belgium from May 23-24, 2017.
Watch KATE in action in the following video clip: https://youtu.be/oQ69r-2VX-I

Washington | May 2, 2017– Exhibiting at Connect:ID, Vision-Box has unveiled a new integrated Biometric Exit solution which allows border authorities to efficiently collect the necessary information to assist in identifying persons of interest based on accurate identity verification and rules-based monitoring of travel patterns.

With the tremendous growth of the number of travelers and national entry and exit points, many countries are vulnerable to illegal immigration, identity fraud, smuggling, or trafficking. All the while legitimate travelers line up in long queues to get to their families, reach their holiday destination or to get to their business meetings. At a time when security threats haunt international borders around the world, one of today’s greatest challenges is to find a pragmatic balance between security and facilitation.

An effective immigration system requires an end-to-end process that collects exit data and correlates it with entry data. The goal is to ensure that a traveler cannot depart using someone else’s identity or have someone depart on his or her behalf. Without biometrically verified exit data, there is no meaningful way to accurately determine whether foreign nationals have overstayed his or her visa. The challenge is to collect and match relevant data in a reliable and efficient manner.

Exhibiting at Connect:ID, in Washington, Vision-Box has unveiled an integrated Biometric Entry-Exit system which allows Border Authorities to efficiently collect the necessary information to assist in apprehending illegal immigrants and over stayers based on accurate identity verification and rule-based monitoring of travel patterns. Building upon the company’s renowned innovative approach to integrated Border Management and Traveler Facilitation, the system features a powerful orchestration platform connecting different land, air and sea border immigration systems with traveler- centric self-service touchpoints for biometric verification at every national Entry-Exit point.

An Entry-Exit system is, however, only as strong as its weakest link. As such, the physical touchpoints used by passengers must comply with appropriate specifications. The most recent self-boarding gate technology launched by Vision-Box paves the way for the highest standards in on-the-move matching accuracy and efficiency against biometric systems of record while adhering to pragmatic security protocol focused on facilitated travel. In the new paradigm, the creators of the first eGate in the world have taken it to the next level, seamlessly merging previously disparate processes into harmonized, efficient passenger facilitation with the benefit of biometric authentication.

“The successful future of integrated border control relies on stakeholders collaboration, engaged in the joint management of a privacy responsible ecosystem with the passenger at the epicenter, guaranteeing a sustainable, safe and effective entry/exit process, unleashing the power of biometrics to the next level”, stated Jean-François Lennon, Vice President for Global Business Development and Sales of Vision-Box. The company will be demonstrating the technological basis for the new Biometric Entry-Exit solution at stand #506.

IFEC’ers, it is almost here – AIX 2017 that is – and we cannot wait. Over the next few issues, IFExpress will be providing a ‘sneak peek’ from a few AIX vendors. Additionally, we have a ‘Special Story’ for the AIX Show Edition – stay tuned and read on!

Aircraft Cabin Systems

ACS is very busy these days with the design on their second-generation 12.1” retractable monitor. Even though their first-generation model was highly accepted in the marketplace, “We are constantly striving to give our customers what they want” says Richie Sugimoto (shown above) including a very robust design offering high value. Customers have appreciated the overall simplicity of the unit, including the lighter weight and less moving parts providing a quieter unit in operational mode. Most importantly, customers love the ease of installation when upgrading their aircraft from older monitors. These units are offered for both the Airbus and Boeing series of aircraft. They are designed for AC power and with HDSDI video input, provide a clear, crisp quality picture. The first-generation retractable monitors utilize a patented, mechanical design developed by Mr. Yukio Sugimoto and was developed to be a mechanical plug-and-play attachment to either the existing B737 PSU’s or for the Airbus planes.

ACS has also been working on a new design of 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) Modular Monitors. This new design concept allows the support of customizable input/output modules, allowing for the unit functionality with a wide variety of IFE systems. This unique design concept can meet the industry multiple demands with adding additional or different modules. This design is in the testing phase and expect production to release product to the marketplace in Q2. Available screen sizes range from 27” up to 75”.

All products are designed and manufactured in their Redmond, WA facility that is an AS9100 Certified facility. ACS will be at the upcoming AIX show in Hamburg, if in the area, stop by and see all of the new technology they are working on at stand 2C30 to discuss your needs.


digEcor

This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg will be unprecedented for Chief Executive David Withers and team as far as depth and breadth of solutions and in an increased presence both in size of booth and team in the IFEC zone, Hall B4 at stand 4E20. digEcor having recently expanded their sales team to include additional resource in the Middle East and Africa Region with the appointment of Eduardo Protasio, (from EuroAtlantic Airways) a new appointment for Asia Pacific in Stu McGraw commencing 27 March (previously QinetiQ and Virgin Australia) as well as Jorge Mompo’s appointment (previously Lumexis) as Sales Director of the America’s since AIX 2016. Headed by VP Global Sales, Paul Thorpe, digEcor are looking forward to what this will mean for the developing growth of the company and are looking forward to introducing this new team to visitors this year.

digEcor has been busy these past 12 months and has a handful of announcements to make at AIX 2017 they are keeping close to their chest. The GLIDE embedded system is making headway in the market as well as the continued success of digEcor’s passenger power for 2.1A USB and 110V power solutions, including pre integrated solutions with innovative seat vendors. Since AIX Hamburg 2016 digEcor has launched four new product lines including Passenger Service Solutions, LED Cabin Lighting, Cabin Management and digEcor’s own Moving Map.

digEcor’s mission to enable all airlines to create an extraordinary travel experience is still personified through their modular, flexible and tailored approach to meet the needs of airlines and vendors alike. The Integrated Flight Experience portfolio is still the only fully integrated system from one single vendor available today comprising GLIDE Embedded and Portable IFE, In-Seat Power, LED Cabin Lighting, Passenger Service Solutions, Cabin Management, Wi-Fi to stream content, ENGAGE application for crew, Tape Replacement and Content Services.

digEcor is showcasing this experience at AIX this year by cabin for Economy, Premium, Business and First class. In partnership with Avio Interiors, Geven Spa, Skypaxx, Thompson Seating and Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems, digEcor is primed to educate visitors by cabin or product, depending on the interest.


FTS New Brand Logo Identity

This past week, FTS proudly launched their new company logo. Here is what they had to say:

Over the past two years, FTS business has grown and evolved. In line with our expansion globally, across U.S. and Europe, as well as the addition of new exciting product range, it’s time for a change!

With a sharp and crisp font and brighter blue used, it is a modernized look which reflects our core values – constantly innovating, cutting-edge technology and revolutionize the business.

Being a newcomer, FTS strives to revolutionize the IFEC industry with new business ideas, innovative product offerings and high quality hardware.

We do not follow the norm. We set ourselves apart. This is what we strive for and we are excited to share that with you.

Our new logo will have its first appearance in AIX 2017.

Check us out and see you at booth 2E34!


AIX

Twenty One products and ideas are in the finals of the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards, the world’s most renowned prize for innovation in aircraft interiors. From a parking guidance system for cabin baggage to a lavatory mirror that displays on-board video and information as if by magic, the finalists’ submissions include innovative ideas for pretty much every aspect of the cabin – revealing today how we will be flying in the world of tomorrow. In the field of “Cabin Concepts” in particular, the giants are lining up for a showdown: Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are all hoping for a trophy in the same category. With 85 shortlist entrants from 21 nations, the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards have been more popular and more international than ever before in their 11 years of history. The seven winners of the coveted Crystal Cabin Award trophies will be announced on the first evening of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (4 – 6 April, 2017) in Hamburg, Germany.


Boeing

Boeing and CDB Aviation Lease Finance (CDB Aviation) announced an order for 30 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The order, valued at $3.3 billion at current list prices, was previously unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website. Based in Dublin, Ireland, CDB Aviation operates as a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co LTD (CDB Leasing) (HKEX stock code:1606). With registered capital of $US50 million and a fleet of over 200 aircraft, CDB Aviation has over 10 years’ experience in the business and is one of the largest and most influential Chinese-owned aviation leasing companies.
And while we are on Boeing, keep your eye on the new midsize airplane demand for the companies next new plane. Boeing expects to launch a new larger B737 beyond the B737 MAX by the end of 2017. Also expect it to fall below the B787 passenger payload. The so-called B797 will probably seat from 200 to almost 300 passengers over a range of some 4300 to 5300 nautical miles – in the older B767-200 payload-range footprint. Single vs twin aisle is a big deciding factor as well as competition with their existing B737 fleet and it’s growth. Here is more reading for your airplane interest

Customers Press Boeing To Launch New Midsize Widebody Aircraft Soon | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week

Boeing’s Plan For Bigger 737 MAX Meets with Industry Doubts 

Boeing’s talking with airlines about a ‘797,’ and they like what they hear | The Seattle Times

The Boeing 737 MAX Is the Most Underrated Plane of All Time — The Motley Fool


SITA

SITA, recently announced the formation of the Secure Journeys Working Group to address today’s airport security threats in the USA and to work towards creating a secure and efficient passenger experience throughout the airport. The launch of the Secure Journeys initiative is in response to the current security climate and recent attacks on non-secure areas of the airport, including the Brussels airport bombing and Fort Lauderdale airport shooting. Members of the working group cite these incidents as examples that demonstrate the need to rethink the approach to getting passengers through the airport quickly and safely. The newly extended group will address growing challenges, including:

  • Moving passengers and baggage more rapidly through non-secure areas of the airport, such as check-in and baggage claim areas;
  • Reducing and effectively managing security wait times to reduce lines of people in non-secure areas;
  • Incorporating biometrics for passenger screening authentication;
  • Addressing ways in which identity management solutions can be used along with data analytics to reduce the growing concerns around the insider threat.

Bad Aviation Joke: A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’ OK, the worst science joke then: Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

Waterloo, ON | March 16, 2017– NAVBLUE, representing the RNP Implementation Synchronised in Europe (RISE) project Consortium, was pleased to accept the Performance-Environment Award at the Single European Skies award ceremonies, held last week at the World ATM Congress in Madrid.

The Single European Skies Awards were established to recognise initiatives that raise awareness of and motivate Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation as a means to cultivate more efficient European skies through improved accessibility and safety of airports while still enhancing the flight efficiencies that promote social and customer benefits.

The “Performance-environment” category selected the RISE project because of its success in demonstrating, in real world environments, the benefits of performance-based navigation (PBN) in providing shorter approaches and optimized descent profiles thereby reducing fuel burn and CO2 emissions, while providing tracks avoiding noise sensitive zones.

The RISE project excelled at demonstrating its success in several criteria including, contribution to increasing capacity and safety of ATM systems, potential to be replicated over the ATM network; contribution to reducing the impact of air transport on the environment as well as its benefits for both citizens and passengers

The project included a wide range of activities, from the design of more than 40 PBN procedures, validation of these procedures on Full Flight Simulator, to training of the Air Traffic Controllers and flight trials conducted over ten participating airports.

The results from the extensive flight trials conducted by RISE partner airlines and ANSPs in France,Greece,Cyprus and Portugal enable wider implementation of RNP in Europe. The collaborative spirit of the RISE project also brought together a number of airlines with a similar philosophy towards developing PBN, demonstrating the benefits of deploying these operational techniques in a synergistic approach along with helping to expand their implantation at other airports.

Through questionnaires completed by Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and flight crews and through flight data recordings, the project received very positive feedback and has been deemed to be a tremendous success that is bringing to the industry numerous safety enhancements, environmental benefits through reduced fuel consumption and noise disturbances while also providing greater airport accessibility.

The RISE Project is a two year SESAR demonstration project that was led and co-financed through the SESAR Joint Undertaking; it was managed by NAVBLUE, in collaboration with multiple stakeholders including: four air navigation service providers (ANSPs) – DCAC (Cyprus), NAV Portugal, DSNA (France), HCAA (Greece) –, three airline operators – Air France, Novair and TAP Portugal and numerous participant airlines including Aegean, EasyJet, Emirates and Air Corsica.

Above all, the RISE project demonstrates that through collaboration and cooperation between aviation industry stakeholders, working towards a common goal, can lead to outstanding results.

Investment to help SITA deliver new geo-location technology to airports and airlines

Geneva | March 1, 2017–

SITA, the air transport IT provider, has completed a strategic investment in dynamic mapping company LocusLabs, helping drive innovation for the benefit of the entire industry while supporting SITA’s own investment in innovation.

The investment also supports SITA’s continued focus on developing and delivering common-use geo-location technology which allows passengers to identify services using location. This solution, which merges mapping with a wide range of location data, allows airports and airlines to use the same dynamic maps and data but tailor them to their own requirements.

This additional funding will help LocusLabs further enhance its mapping capabilities, which is already in use at several major international airports as well as by airlines.

Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer at SITA, said: “SITA has a clear focus to fast track innovation on behalf of the air transport industry and provide new technology that makes air travel easier at every step. These investments complement our own research and development at SITA Lab, by investing in complementary technologies that add value to our overall portfolio.

“LocusLabs is a perfect example – its geo-location capability adds real value to SITA’s cutting-edge airport app and opens new possibilities to enhance the passenger experience using location.”

LocusLabs provides the world’s most accurate and up-to-date indoor maps for airports and is used by SITA to power its mapping functionality for its Day of Travel airport app, already in use by international airports globally, including Miami International Airport and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. These graphically enhanced, vector-based maps, have built-in navigation functionality to guide travelers to their boarding gate or other airport locations. Rich content including images, attributes, keywords and other metadata enable easy discovery of points of interest, retail stores and other amenities at the airport.

LocusLabs CEO and Co-Founder, Campbell Kennedy, said: “While LocusLabs’ mapping technology continues to help millions of passengers find their way through airports globally, technology continues to change rapidly and we need to keep pace to remain relevant. Future smart buildings and augmented reality applications are the new frontier for maps and with the support of SITA, both as an investor as well as a technology specialist in the air transport industry, LocusLabs can bring these technologies to fruition.”

APEX/IFSA
The other day, we got a note from Robin Applebaum, APEX Marketing Communication Director we thought you might like to see: “I wanted to reach out to you today with some exciting news from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA). This morning, APEX and IFSA announced a more tightly aligned relationship to better serve the global airline industry. This step will help to further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience; and will help IFSA to grow globally as the pivotal airline association of the catering and in-flight services market. While both APEX and IFSA will remain fully independent, this alliance triggers additional collaboration in the planning of association co-locations and events, joint working groups, reciprocal guest board member attendance at board meetings, as well as now having a common Chief Executive Officer serving both associations.”

When we asked for more background info, she responded: “As I am sure you are aware, APEX and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA), have had a long established ‘sister-association relationship.’ Last week’s announcement only serves to further align the two groups. As part of this strategic relationship, APEX will be leveraging IFSA to represent the foundation of the association’s catering and services sector. “This will not only help the association to grow its footprint, but will also further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience. For IFSA, aligning with APEX will help them to expand its reach globally, build additional strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, and establish itself as the industry’s global representative of the growing catering and in-flight/onboard hospitality market.”

“Additionally, the inclusion of more catering and service elements at APEX events will attract greater numbers of senior airline decision makers who oversee this sector as well as IFE by offering a greater diversification of products, services and information. As demonstrated at APEX EXPO in Singapore, this type of approach yields an increase in potential customers for event exhibitors and other vendor participants. Finally, it will help to better position APEX events against the backdrop of assertive for-profit show competition.”


Gogo
“To celebrate the fleet-wide upgrade to their new JAL SKY NEXT product, the airline will start offering free Wi-Fi on all equipped domestic flights from February 1, 2017 till August 31st 2017. Connectivity is provided through Gogo using our satellite Internet technology. You’ll find the SKY NEXT product on select 777 -300, 777-200, 767-300 and 737-800 aircraft. JAL was our first international customer, and we’ve been honored to partner with them since 2014 on connectivity and entertainment for their domestic passengers.

This promotion from JAL is just one of the latest to offer Gogo products and services free to their passengers. Last year, we partnered with T-Mobile to provide free Wi-Fi to their subscribers, and most recently, Alaska Airlines rolled out their Free ChatTM product which lets passengers access popular chat apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on their smartphone.

In addition to connectivity promotions, we also provide the technology allowing airlines to offer free wireless entertainment to their customers. The product, called Gogo Vision, streams movies and TV shows from our airborne server to most mobile devices, laptops and tablets. Movies and TV shows from Gogo Vision can now be found on more than 2800 aircaft on some the largest airlines in the world. Today, many of Gogo’s airline partners are offering all or some of the content free to passengers.”


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers.

Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.

“We think this is an exciting time for the Satcom market. With more and more operators and executives finding it essential to conduct business and stay in sync with the home office while traveling, we hope reducing airtime charges will encourage more aircraft owners to invest in installing Satcom systems in their aircraft,” says Kremsreiter. Satcom systems work everywhere (except at the poles) so in addition to increasing productivity, Satcom hardware increases the aircraft’s value and worldwide marketability when it comes time to sell.


SITA
Airlines and airports are investing in technologies to help predict and prepare for future events. This is according to The Future is Predictable, a report published today by air transport IT provider, SITA. It outlines how efforts are being made to tackle the estimated US$25 billion[1] cost of flight disruptions to the air transport industry by harnessing artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, predictive analytics and other progressive technical capabilities.

SITA’s analysis reveals that predictive tools using artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are likely to be adopted by half of airlines and airports over the coming five to 10 years. However, a few front runners are already trialing predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining. These efforts are mainly focused on initiatives that will provide passengers with more relevant information about their journey to create more seamless and personal experiences.

During 2017, SITA Lab will be validating delay predictions with airlines and airports and expects to complete up to five trials with its industry partners. The next stage will be to incorporate its delay prediction algorithm and disruption warning feeds into SITA’s services to the air transport industry. In the report, leading airports and airlines share their experiences including Gatwick Airport where a seamless passenger experience from curb to gate is the goal. Here several different areas of airport activity are tracked to measure performance and move towards predicting it.

As artificial intelligence develops the importance of maintaining the human touch is not lost on the airlines and airports. Indeed, the combination of people and artificial intelligence is described as transforming the travel experience. The science of artificial intelligence is developing quickly and airlines and airports are turning to the academic community to help them with predictive tools to tackle disruptions. SITA’s report discusses research that is being carried out with scientists from Binghamton University, State University of New York; University of Nottingham as part the European Union-funded consortium PASSME; Carnegie Mellon University; Oxford University’s Data Science Laboratory in the Mathematical Institute and University College London School of Management.

The Future is Predictable combines SITA’s global industry experience and studies with commentary and case studies from airports and airlines that are investing in the latest research and technologies.

Check out the full press release here.
For further details download SITA’s full report – The Future is Predictable


Phitek
New Zealand-based audio equipment and technology developer Phitek Systems has been sold to New York-listed Amphenol Corp, providing an exit for a number of domestic VC investors. Phitek’s previous backers include Direct Capital-managed TMT Ventures and Stephen Tindal’s K1W1 investment vehicle. TMT, which has been invested since 2005, has a direct 27 per cent and a 14 per cent holding shared with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. Meanwhile, K1W1 owns 39 per cent. Phitek designs and supplies aircraft in-flight entertainment interconnect products for the commercial aerospace industry. You can read more here.


Lufthansa Technik
Luftahansa Technik has announced a two-in-one solution (TIOS) antenna radome for the Boeing 737-700 and -800. The antenna, installed on the vertical stabilizer to reduce drag and positively affect the aircraft’s center of gravity, will make it possible to install Ka-band antennas to provide high-speed internet, TV connections and a high-definition camera. The radome is up to 200 lb. (100 kg) lighter than the original and is FAA validated and has an EASA Supplemental Type Certification. You can find satellite communication options, products, services and companies in MRO Links, MRO-Network.com’s searchable directory.

TIOS – Two antennas under one radome – YouTube


Notes

  • Rich Salter told IFExpress: “Re: data transmission via light (LiFi), I just signed on to Moderate a session at AIX’ Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on April 3 in Hamburg. It is the Tech Horizons session (last one of the day) in the Connected Journey track, and one of the presenters is Prof Harald Haas of Edinburgh who is founder of PureLiFi  – and he coined the term “LiFi” too.”
  • Richie Sugimoto reports that Aircraft Cabin Systems has just received Certification of ISO9001 and AS9100 – Congratulations!

More Stuff

Automated border solution helps reduce wait times for passengers at Italy’s fastest-growing airport
Bologna, Italy | January 31, 2017– Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport is to speed up the immigration process for passengers from the European Union who hold a biometric passport with the introduction of new self-service immigration control technology from air transport IT specialist, SITA.

Using world-leading facial recognition technology to confirm that the passenger is the passport holder, SITA’s iBorders® BorderAutomation ABCGates will provide passengers with a smooth “walk-through” experience. The automated border control gates (ABCGates) confirm that the passenger has an authentic, valid passport and is authorized to enter the country while fingerprint verification is also provided to further enhance security when required.

With an average processing time of under 20 seconds, this process enables eligible passengers to use self-service facilities to reduce wait times and optimize passenger flow through the airport. The ABCGates allows more than 10,000 passengers a day to clear immigration at the airport using this latest technology.

Nazareno Ventola, CEO of Aeroporto di Bologna, said: “Today passengers increasingly demand more self-service options across their journey that help provide a quick and seamless journey through the airport. SITA’s ABCGates help us meet this demand while ensuring we can accommodate an increasing number of travelers, particularly during peak arrival periods.”

In 2016 Bologna Airport was the fastest-growing airport among Italy’s 15 busiest airports, with more than 7 million passengers last year. Streamlining the immigration process on arrival with the deployment of the ABCGates will allow the airport to accommodate more passengers during busy peak periods.

Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe, said: “Not only do passengers value the convenience of self-service technology but it helps airports improve the passenger flow through the airport. Our ABCGates are a good example of how we have worked with airports across Italy to provide ease-of-use while supporting the country’s ability to manage its borders, keeping them safe and secure.”

SITA is a world leader in providing border control technology with about 30 governments globally using SITA’s iBorders® systems and capabilities to keep their borders secure and transform their border security operations. Bologna is the fourth airport in Italy to introduce ABCGates to fast track immigration.

The joint initiative to transform Princess Juliana International Airport into a seamless end-to-end self-service passenger journey has progressed to phase two with the launch of Vision-BoxTM biometric Automated Border Control eGates.
Lisbon | January 23, 2017–On one of the premier vacation paradise jewels of the Caribbean, Sint Maarten, the joint initiative of Princess Juliana International Airport N.V., Immigration and Border Protection Services, the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM), and Vision-Box has been heavily engaging in transforming the airport into a world class Passenger Experience.

This commitment to reinvent and modernize Princess Juliana International Airport continues with phase two of the project with the upgrading of the airport’s passenger
immigration infrastructure, now employing Vision-BoxTM self-service biometric Automated Border Control eGates intended to modernize the process, improve the security of the identification procedure, and expedite passenger flow at one more stage of the passenger journey across the airport.
vb i-matchTM ABC eGates have now integrated the recently announced seamless passenger journey designed by Vision-BoxTM, joining the already existing vb i-matchTM security checkpoint eGates installed in the first phase of the project. Together, these solutions are streamlining identification processes for departing passengers, when entering airside and clearing immigration.

Chief of the National Police Force of Sint Maarten Carl John states that, “The main goal is to introduce an integrated passenger experience program that seamlessly streamlines the identification, verification, validation and enrollment processes in such a way that it positively enhances passenger flow, while maintaining the highest level of security for travelers.”

The enthusiastic arrival of biometric ABC eGate technology at SXM Airport means that, after successfully entering airside using vb i-matchTM security checkpoint eGates, passengers crossing the border will be able to complete the entire immigration process in just a few seconds using a customer-centric self-service touchpoint – vb i-matchTM ABC.

Once at the eGate, the passenger will first scan their ePassport, where facial biometric information from the echip is scanned and matched with a live facial image capture of the passenger. Once all identification and safety checks have been successfully conducted, the passenger is allowed to clear immigration. At the forefront of modernizing the immigration clearance procedure is cutting-edge fraud detection and self-clearing biometric identification capabilities, using an advanced eGate security algorithm authenticating the passenger’s ePassport and identity through multiple fraud and security operations, which take just a few seconds.

Newly appointed airport ambassadors are there to greet and guide travelers in the use of the eGates, additionally to the support of a passenger-centered, expertly designed User Interface, oriented towards the success of the operation! Additionally, every passenger transaction is closely monitored by an immigration officer using vb inspectorTM, a monitoring system giving the officers immediate information on each passenger’s identity and transaction status, detecting identity fraud, leveraging biometric and biographic information during real-time checks of intelligence and criminal databases, and instantly alerting border officers in case of an emergency.

Planned for later in 2017 as part of phase three is the addition of vb orchestraTM, a robust and unifying management suite that will give SXM Airport, Immigration and
Border Protection Services, and the KPSM a complete overview and control of the entire passenger flow infrastructure and security network. OrchestraTM will give airport and security management officials an effective tool for the proactive monitoring and risk-based assessment of passengers. This software engine gives officials the ability to enhance operational security, while optimizing the passenger experience through flow metric reporting and business rules configuration.

The full realization of SXM Airport, Immigration and Border Protection Services, KPSM, and Vision-BoxTM’s collective vision for a full self-service airport of the future will come to fruition with the installation of Vision-BoxTM’s Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) platform, thus delivering to all stakeholders the full benefits of an Entry/Exit system further boosting the internal security of the airport. The API/PNR is also slated to go fully live at the end of 2017.

Jean-François Lennon, Vice-President for Global Business Development & Sales of Vision-BoxTM highlights that “It has been an amazing journey. With the latest generation
of passenger identification technology in place, Princess Juliana International Airport will soon be ready to benefit from a game-changing asset made possible by a robust
orchestration platform and an API/PNR framework: the power of anticipation. The identification of travelers in advance will allow for effective situational awareness, for the detection of potential risk situations and for the activation of preventive measures, as well as offer a range of opportunities to leverage data, in a privacy- responsible matter, towards more secure, agile, and efficient processes.”

We started the first installment of our 2016’s predictions review in last week’s issue, so here is Part 2, or the wrap-up, from last year’s crystal ball – you can see how we did:

A) Beacons:
While last year we wrote about the future of beacon technology to be used in airports and on baggage, the market did not grow as quickly as we anticipated and this was due to a lot of factors. The following quote from tnooz sums it up pretty well: “As airports still search for use cases with value, and there is no generally accepted platform for this technology and its applications, the adoption is consequently slow.” Standards are the issue but we are happy to report some airlines are evaluating the technology.

Here is what we wrote last January:
“We have shown a number of beacon devices in pictures from the IFE trade shows but basically we are talking about mobile location, mobile intelligence or mobile sales communication devices. These are small battery free or line powered devices that communicate with your device over Bluetooth (4.1) and Wi-Fi. The folks at SITA have been developing a lot of airport related solutions and it remains to be seen when they will come aboard planes. Developed at Apple, the iBeacon Registry is their effort to get this technology started in airports and here are their services: It allows beacon owners (airlines, airports or 3rd parties) to manage their beacon infrastructure and track where they are placed in an airport. The technology enables airports to monitor beacon deployment to prevent radio interference with existing Wi-Fi access points. It provides beacons owners with a simple mechanism to set the ‘meta-data’ associated with beacons. Also, it has an API for app developers who want to use these beacons for developing travel and other related apps.”

Notes SITA: ‘The aims of the registry are to promote the use of beacons in the Air Transport Industry and reduce the cost and complexity of deployment. This can be achieved with the following design goals:

  • Promote shared beacon infrastructure to reduce cost and complexity of deployment.
  • Introduce standard beacon types and data definition to encourage reuse.
  • Provide a simple to use API to discover beacons and get meta-data about beacons.
  • Provide tools to airport operators and beacon owners to visualize and track beacons.
  • Be vendor agnostic – the service should work with beacons from any vendor.”

While airport beacon technology has not taken off as well as we expected we provide this current list of the technology and its’ applications, and the further use of wireless devices used to find things.

B) Security:

“This topic is massive and we will cover it for many times and years to come but we wanted to share one thought from an online article we read – ‘People were reported to be ‘almost universally’ the biggest weakness in information security, ahead of technology and processes..” We note, of the respondents that reported to have an insider threat or policy, 70% offer employee training to minimize risk it said “The company employs intelligence teams that study different aspects of communications, user activity, social media, suspicious activity and other details,” said one respondent. “We’re seeing a lot more hands-on training, employee monitoring, and testing to address the issue,” said Ari Kaplan, security researcher. In fact, this human focused trend will be the number one item at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, the show of new gimmick things, one venue stood out: “#1 Say Goodbye to Cool, Hello to Security and Safety. At CES we have come to expect the latest new shiny gadgets but this is the beginning of change. The world is changing and aviation will be focused on this subject this year. Just consider how many folks touch technology that plugs into planes!”

If anything, we underestimated how big this subject was to become in our aviation lifestyle. The folks at Transparency Market Research noted that the total commercial aviation market is predicted to climb to $29.3 Billion by 2021 from $25.3 B in 2016 – roughly half of the market will be Avionics retrofits, but they note: “The use of modern commercial avionics systems also makes aviation vehicles more susceptible to online hacks.” Thus, our interest in security.

Another perfect example of interest growth is the increase in security related web links we save in our browser. In the beginning of 2016 we had 9 links identified – today we have 64. While we can’t begin to identify the many stories related to security failings at airports and from airlines and aviation hackers last year, this subject will get bigger and bigger – with a possible unacceptable number in 2017 – some possibly being potential horror stories.

C) Virtual Reality:

We noted VR last year: “Don’t get too excited about virtual reality for aircraft applications. In fact, here is the view from Rick Merritt in EE Times who seems to agree: “Some people will claim virtual and augmented reality will be the next big thing in the run up to the debut of a handful of major platforms in the spring. But by fall the heat will start to fade as consumers, chilled by their high price tags and underwhelming performance, give a pass on them as gifts for Xmas 2016.”Some airlines have been flirting with the concept of VR for a number of years and have even featured the technology in their airline lounges, but we believe this technology has a long way to go before it can migrate successfully to the airborne environment, especially if motion sickness is taken into consideration.”

It also begins to look like augmented reality might have a better inflight usage and acceptance this year. As an example the airline might transmit data to augmented devices to place information on glasses or phones like location, airspeed, whatever. However, The industrial market for augmented reality, and the logistics and manufacturing AR markets in particular, will soar by more than 400% in 2017, according to a forecast by ABI Research but it is hard to see IFEC applications, at least in lower classes, except those brought aboard by passengers.

D) Other:

Lastly, we noted in Other last year: “We probably don’t need to say it but Economy Class will get more crowded, competition will drop air fares as competition ‘crams’ up – possibly a new ‘mini or micro’ class, there should be more mergers as more airlines take on the Delta World concept, deals and freebies will exist for the frequent fliers while the rest of the travelers will pretty much just exist inflight (if that’s possible) you will need better pre-boarding ID, Airbnb and Uber concepts will tempt a new US airline concept but the idea will be killed (this is a tough one in the US), and in the end VR may be needed after all to blunt the reality of coach or class.”

We think we did pretty well last year and next week we will do a little predicting again and you will see what predictions our reader have too!


Boeing:
Boeing delivered 748 aircraft in 2016 (490 737s; nine 747s; 13 767s; 99 777s; 137 787s) vs a record of 762 in 2015 (495 737s; 18 747s; 16 767s; 98 777s; 135 787s).

Boeing booked orders for 848 aircraft in 2016 (701 737s, 18 747s, 26 767s, 23 777s; 80 787s) vs 878 in 2015 (666 737s; six 747s; 49 767s; 58 777s; 99 787s), net orders totaled 668 in 2016.

Boeing ended 2016 with a backlog of 5,715 aircraft (4,452 737s; 28 747s; 93 767s; 442 777s; 700 787s), down from 5,795 in 2015 (4,392 737s; 20 747s; 80 767s; 524 777s; 779 787s) – 550 737, 17 B747, 26 767, 17 777, and 58 787.

Technically, Boeing fell 80 planes short of their goal in 2016 – their lowest year orders since 2010 – and plane sales just may slow down in 2017 as well. However, Boeing does have a total of 5,715 jets on order.

Editor’s Note: Airbus is expected to announce the delivery of up to 688 planes, according to industry rumors, as their announcement is expected January 11th. If they announce 259 orders in Dec they could beat Boeing’s 668. Expect some surprises!


Rockwell Collins:
Rockwell Collins has acquired Pulse.Aero Limited, a UK-based company specializing in self-service bag drop solutions and airline applications, to enhance the company’s passenger processing services for airports and airlines. This acquisition further expands Rockwell Collins’ Information Management Services strategy to enable the connected aviation ecosystem.“As passengers seek to take more control of their travel experience, this acquisition expands our portfolio of self-service passenger processing solutions, enabling us to streamline and simplify the passenger journey through a fully connected airport,” said Dave Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. Pulse.Aero’s products and services will be integrated into the Airport Systems portfolio of Rockwell Collins’ Information Management Services business. Rockwell Collins and Pulse. Aero have worked together on several successful deployments, including Dublin Airport, where new self-bag drop units were installed, reducing queue times and improving customer service.


Valour Consultancy Study:

A new paid study is available from Valour, but here is what they say about it: “The connected aircraft represents a paradigm shift for airlines and many are now in the early stages of deploying various applications. Several have begun to embrace staged increases in electronic flight bag (EFB) capabilities often starting with one or two apps that they can later build upon, according to a new study from UK-based market intelligence firm, Valour Consultancy. The report – How the Connected Aircraft fits into the Internet of Things – thoroughly details the raft of connected aircraft applications airlines are exploring in the hope of realizing considerable cost savings and/or ancillary revenue gains. It finds that the benefits of eTechlog, eCabin Logbook and enhanced flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) programs using quick access recorder (QAR) data are becoming better understood, while aircraft health monitoring solutions are being enriched by the infusion of increased data flows from previously disparate sub-systems and other information sources on and off the aircraft. Though certain airlines are further along in their connected aircraft strategy than others, there are many challenges to be overcome, says report author, Craig Foster. “Suppliers have invested millions in developing differentiated offerings and this lack of standards has resulted in concern and confusion about investing in the wrong technology. Second, there exists little in the way of tangible metrics that show how quickly a return on investment (ROI) may be achieved from connected aircraft applications. Third, there is a perception that the act of harnessing vast amounts of data results in magical value with some undoubtedly having overstated the reality of what is possible”. Download the whole story about the study in the link above or you can contact Craig for more information at: craig.foster@valorconsultancy.com

OAG Punctuality League 2016 reveals exceptional data from Hawaiian, Delta, Detroit International and more

Key Findings:

  • Hawaiian Airlines was the most punctual airline in 2016, with an average on-time performance (OTP) of 89.9 percent.
  • Delta Air Lines finished third among all North American airlines and first among the major carriers with an average OTP of 84.3 percent.
  • United Airlines jumped past American Airlines among major U.S. carriers with an OTP of 80 percent.
  • While only four low cost carriers ranked among the top 20 airlines overall, Southwest Airlines finished fifth among all North American airlines with an OTP of 81 percent.
  • U.S. airports dominated the rankings, finishing 2016 with eleven of the top 20 airports in the major category.
  • Detroit International Airport finished as the best-performing major North American airport and third best across the globe; Salt Lake City International Airport finished second in the large airport category globally.
  • Tokyo Haneda International Airport continues to be the pinnacle of airport OTP, taking the top spot in the major airport category for the second year in a row, despite handling the fourth most airline seats of any airport in the world.


Chicago, Illinois | January 4, 2017–
OAG, the global leader in air travel intelligence, has released the results of the OAG Punctuality League 2016, the industry’s most comprehensive annual ranking of on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s airlines and airports. This year’s data saw many U.S. airlines and airports thrive, with nine airports ranking among the Top 20 in the world within the major airports category (airports with more than 20 million passengers in 2016).

“Airlines and airports continue to place an emphasis on OTP, as travelers consistently value on-time performance as a significant factor when booking travel”
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The OAG Punctuality League is derived from the most comprehensive airline schedules database in the world and is the most transparent global benchmark for the world’s airlines and airports.

Among the biggest winners were Hawaiian Airlines, which took the top spot in the airline OTP rankings, finishing 2016 with an OTP of 89.9 percent. Finishing the year as the most punctual airline represents a major jump for Hawaiian, which improved from ninth place last year. Delta Air Lines also jumped a spot from 2015, moving up to third among U.S. airlines and maintaining the top spot among major carriers.

Among U.S. airports, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) took the top spot and finished third in the global rankings with an OTP of 85.4 percent in what was an exceptional year for airport OTP domestically.

“Airlines and airports continue to place an emphasis on OTP, as travelers consistently value on-time performance as a significant factor when booking travel,” said John Grant, senior analyst at OAG. “U.S. airports continue to stack up very well against their global counterparts, with eleven airports among the top 20 and both Detroit International and Salt Lake City International (SLC) finishing in the top two spots in their respective categories.”

In 2016, low-cost carrier (LCC) rankings remained mostly stable. Only four LCCs ranked in the top 20 of the overall airlines category. Southwest maintained its spot in the top 10 in the LCC category, finishing seventh with an OTP of 81 percent. JetBlue moved up from 18th to 15th in this category, with an OTP of 75.3 percent, but dropped out of the top 10 among North American airlines. The most punctual LCC overall was Monarch Airlines.

Among major carriers in the U.S., United Airlines overtook American Airlines this year, jumping up three spots in the rankings. The three largest carriers in the U.S. all ranked among the top 10 in North America, with Delta leading the pack at 84.3 percent (3rd), United at 80 percent (6th) and American at 78.4 percent (8th).

In addition to the nine U.S. airports in the Top 20 in the Major Airport category, eleven finished in the Top 20 of the Large Airport category, which is characterized by airports that handle 10-20M seats per year. One of the biggest movers was Portland International Airport (PDX), which jumped from outside the Top 20 in 2015 to seventh place in 2016, with an OTP of 85.1 percent. Every airport that made the Top 20 in these two categories boasted an OTP of greater than 80 percent.

Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) tops the rankings for on-time performance in 2016 in the Major Airport category. This is the second year in a row the airport has achieved this distinction — a considerable accomplishment for an airport which is among the largest and busiest in the world.

From a database of approximately 54 million flight records, OAG produces the annual benchmarking report which defines “on time” as within 14 minutes and 59 seconds of scheduled arrival/departure time.

For more insights from the OAG Punctuality League 2016, download a copy of the full report.

  • SITA Airport Management solution initially to be installed at airports in Portugal, France and Cambodia

Paris, France | December 20, 2016– VINCI Airports will be implementing SITA’s multi-airport Airport Management solution across its global network of airports, starting with 22 airports in Portugal, France and Cambodia. This operational unification will help the airport group deliver new efficiencies and synergies across its global network of airports.

VINCI Airports, a top five global player in the international airport sector, manages the development and operations of 35 airports: 13 in France, 10 in Portugal, 3 in Cambodia, 2 in Japan, 6 in the Dominican Republic and Santiago airport in Chile. Served by more than 170 airlines, VINCI Airports’ network handles more than 130 million passengers annually. To support its fast international expansion, the group has turned to global IT provider SITA to help optimize its airport operations by leveraging the most advanced integrated technology.

For SITA, this is the biggest and most diverse deployment of its Airport Management solution yet, demonstrating SITA’s ability to deliver the technology across numerous airports and countries. VINCI Airports will use the technology to streamline operations around the world by introducing common tools in the network. These will include new airport operational databases (AODB), resource management systems (RMS) as core modules, with the addition of complementary systems as needed, such as flight information display systems (FIDS), and passenger and capacity optimization systems.

Nicolas Notebaert, CEO VINCI Concessions and Chairman VINCI Airports said: “Given that we operate in airports that are geographically spread out and diverse in terms of size and markets served, we needed a solution that brought some commonality in the operational systems used by our airports yet was able to accommodate the unique requirements in each location. SITA understood our requirements and provides a fit-for-purpose solution.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President Europe, said: “SITA’s global reach means we are able to not only support VINCI Airports’ operational requirements today, but also their future growth plans no matter where they choose to expand and operate. Our experience in more than 1,000 airports around the world means we understand the challenges and opportunities of using cutting-edge technology to manage an airport.”
As part of the rollout, SITA’s AirportResource Manager system will provide VINCI Airports with the tools to manage equipment and staff in real-time, giving the airport operator more flexibility to effectively optimize and deploy resources to address changes across airports. SITA will also introduce its business intelligence portal, AirportPulse, which will provide VINCI Airports’ teams the ability to monitor, predict and manage daily airport operations. They will have a dynamic view of the airport passenger flows, allowing them to quickly respond to any changes on the airport floor.