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.
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!
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 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
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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
- 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!
- The death of IFE? The death of in-flight entertainment? American Airlines scraps screens and tells fliers to bring their own
- Cabin networks and Wi-Fi feature in Crystal Cabin Awards 2017
- Is this starting to smell funny? Delta Halts U.S. Flights as Another Computer Failure Strikes – Bloomberg
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:
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.
- SAMSONITE – TRACK&GO | Accent Systems
- 10 Airports Using Beacons to Take Passenger Experience to the Next Level | Beaconstac
- Tracking Beacons In Samsonite Bags To Help You Find Lost Luggage Using A Smartphone App : TECH : Tech Times
- Why airports are slow to install beacons – Tnooz
- Airlines And Airports Commit To Beacon Technology
- Lost luggage less likely with new tracking systems – Elliott
“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.
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 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 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: email@example.com
OAG Punctuality League 2016 reveals exceptional data from Hawaiian, Delta, Detroit International and more
- 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”
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.
Adelaide | November 22, 2016– Adelaide Airport, Australia’s fastest-growing international airport, has selected SITA to provide smart new passenger and airport operational technology. The airport’s eight million passengers will enjoy new self-service bag drop and check-in kiosks, while SITA’s day of operations technology will ensure optimized airport operations.
SITA has provided technology to Adelaide Airport for more than ten years and the new five-year contract includes a move to common-use self-service (CUSS) which allows passengers to use self-service for any airline, at any check-in kiosk or bag drop point. In total SITA will provide 32 check-in kiosks and 14 bag drop units.
As part of the technology investment for the future, Adelaide Airport will use SITA’s AirportPulse. This day of operations technology includes a business intelligence portal which provides end-to-end visibility of what’s happening in the airport at strategic and operational levels. Data is pulled from all common-use infrastructure to analyze, report and benchmark passenger movements, providing a deep understanding of relevant activities and providing intelligent reporting to effectively manage the allocation of shared resources.
Vince Scanlon, Executive General Manager, Planning and Infrastructure, Adelaide Airport Ltd (AAL), said: “As the gateway to South Australia, we at Adelaide Airport want to deliver exceptional outcomes to our customers, partners, shareholders and community. SITA is providing us with world-class technology that will improve the experience at the airport. Passengers will enjoy efficient bag drop and check-in while the data collected will turn information into knowledge and allow us to focus on what matters for improved performance.”
The increased focus on using data to enhance operations will allow Adelaide Airport to be proactive and predict and identify imminent adverse conditions before they happen. AirportPulse makes sense of data to drive operational efficiencies and improve customer experience.
Ilya Gutlin, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “SITA has been Adelaide Airport’s technology partner for over a decade and during that time we have worked with the team to contribute to its growth and success. Over the coming years we will continue to seamlessly transition Adelaide to the latest innovative technology that supports the vision of Adelaide Airport becoming a top tier business center in the Asia Pacific region.”
Adelaide Airport’s annual passenger numbers are rising and it forecasts more than 18 million passengers by 2034. This growth comes with the investment in the Adelaide Airport Business District. This development is set to transform the airport into a full-fledged business district acting as the business gateway between the world and South Australia.
- AirportResource Manager allows the airport to optimize deployment of 300-plus employees in real-time
Dortmund | November 15, 2016– Dortmund Airport is set to introduce a new operations solution from global IT provider SITA that will allow the airport to optimize the deployment of its 300-plus workforce, ensuring that employees are always in the right place at the right time.
Using SITA’s AirportResource Manager, the airport operator will streamline its operation through intelligent and proactive decision-making, leveraging tools for planning, staff rostering, real-time scheduling and management as well as reporting. Overall this will deliver more accurate and flexible long-term and real-time workforce planning.
The technology also allows employees out in the field to access and update information using mobile devices as well as update in real time the statuses of their tasks. This will ultimately save costs and improve productivity across the airport operation.
Udo Mager, CEO of Dortmund Airport, said “Airports are extremely dynamic environments and having the ability to have the right person in the right place is crucial to a smooth, friction-free operation, benefiting both our employees and passengers. SITA’s technology provides us with a clear picture of which tasks are assigned to which staff member and therefore management can quickly make decisions and respond to developments in the airport as they occur.”
Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe said: “Technology is central to cost-effective and efficient airport operations while helping to improve the overall passenger experience. This is clearly illustrated by the deployment of AirportResource Manager at Dortmund Airport which will streamline the workforce planning function, allowing the airport to maximize their resources through smart, real-time planning, saving costs, improving efficiency and enhancing the airport journey for passengers.”
Dortmund Airport has long turned to SITA to provide its technology needs. Over the past decade SITA has supported the regional airport with several technology solutions, including Common Use Terminal Equipment and Common Use Passenger Processing Systems used across the airport.
- Frost & Sullivan awards SITA ‘2016 APAC Airport IT Solutions Company of the Year’
Singapore | October 13, 2016– Frost & Sullivan today recognized SITA as the Airport IT Solutions Company of the year in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region for the third time in seven years. The award highlights SITA’s leading role in the air transport industry across APAC, where it provides solutions to 70% of the region’s top 20 airports.
Frost & Sullivan was particularly impressed by the technology SITA has developed to provide a smooth end-to-end passenger journey through the airport. The four key elements highlighted were SITA Smart Path™, which uses biometrics to give passengers a walkthrough experience from check-in to the aircraft door; self-service technology, including kiosks, bagdrop and boarding gates; hybrid check-in/bagdrop desks, that can be used by agents and passengers alike and SITA’s Day of Travel app, that gives passengers the right information at the right time, wherever they are.
A key highlight was SITA’s airport operational expertise. Real time and predictive data is needed by airports to better anticipate, plan and control operations. SITA’s Day of Operations, and its Airport Management solution which is used at more than 150 airports in 48 countries, enable airlines to assign assets and resources more effectively and balance operational efficiency with business results.
Anston Tan Yong An, Industry Analyst Best Practices, Frost & Sullivan, said: “SITA sits right at the heart of the air transport industry. It stands out among its peers in its ability to deliver world-class technology solutions to the airport sector globally and across the Asia Pacific region.
“SITA’s product portfolio is supported by a management that understands aviation and is consistently able to deliver to their customer’s requirements and expectations. It has helped more than 1,000 airports globally operate more effectively while improving the overall passenger experience. And it can always be counted on to deliver unmatched service.”
Ilya Gutlin, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “APAC is a fascinating region for the air transport industry. We provide our solutions in the fastest-growing and largest airports in the world, and we tailor our offering to some of the smallest as well. This award from Frost & Sullivan is yet another accolade for our SITA team members throughout the region, who maintain a relentless focus on innovation and service excellence.”
Seoul, Korea | July 14, 2016– Asiana IDT, the IT service provider and affiliate of the Kumho Asiana Group based in Korea, today announced a partnership agreement with global travel technology provider SITA. Together the partners will deliver world-class solutions and customer services to airlines and airports in Korea and across Asia.
SITA is the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology. This strategic partnership will see its extensive portfolio of solutions for passenger management, cargo, government, and communications and infrastructure services provided to Asiana IDT’s airline and airport customers. SITA’s technology solutions will be fully backed by the extensive regional expertise of Asiana IDT.
As part of the agreement all customers will also benefit from SITA Global Services. This 24/7 customer services organization is unique in the air transport industry having a single global team of 2,000 people spread across the world and available ‘on the ground’ for SITA customers.
Han Chang Soo, President and CEO of Asiana IDT, said: “This new partnership with SITA will allow us to provide our airline and airport customers with the perfect blend of Asiana IDT’s regional expertise and SITA’s renowned global solutions and delivery of world-class customer service. This is the ideal combination for Korea’s air transport industry which is looking to expand its international business and to operate on a global level.”
Ilya Gutlin, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “South Korea has a clear focus on developing its tourism industry so it is appropriate that SITA has partnered with Asiana IDT during the 2016-2018 Visit Korea Year program. Together we can support the airlines and airports of Korea to use world-class technology to transform the passenger experience and innovate for the future of the Korean air transport industry.”
Asiana IDT’s parent company, Kumho Asiana Group is one of the largest conglomerates in the Republic of Korea, with affiliated companies and subsidiaries in aviation, construction, transport, logistics, manufacturing, civil engineering, finance and leisure sectors. Subsidiaries in the aviation industry include Asiana Airlines, Air Busan, Asiana Airport and the new low cost carrier Air Seoul, which is due to begin operations over the coming months.
- SITA’s shared infrastructure AirportHub™ now available at 300 airports worldwide
2016 Air Transport IT Summit, Barcelona, Spain | May 26, 2016– SITA, the air transport industry communications provider, today announced that 300 airports in more than 100 countries across the world, are now equipped with SITA AirportHub™. This unique shared infrastructure allows airlines to connect all their applications and IT systems at an airport quickly and easily. It removes the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers and adds flexibility and agility to route management.
Airports are the center of the industry’s communications and are becoming ever more connected. By 2030, 18,000 airline communication connections will be needed at the world’s airports. The number and size of airports is also rising; 500 new airports – a 30% increase over today – and a 40% capacity growth in existing airports. The challenge the industry faces with this expansion is have reliable, secure, high performance communications – consistently across the world’s airports – for airlines, ground handlers, maintenance companies, other airport tenants and the airports themselves.
SITA AirportHub is an airport-wide shared connectivity platform that ensures airports can provide their airlines, ground handlers and other tenants with secure and reliable bandwidth, including wireless connectivity to access off-airport applications. Today, it is at 300 airports and provides 3,000 connections across the world.
Matthew Billings, Chair of Membership Committee, SITA and VP Technology Services at Virgin Atlantic, speaking at the Air Transport IT Summit being held in Barcelona, said: “SITA’s investment in the AirportHub infrastructure over the last number of years is of huge benefit to the entire air transport community. Now airlines can use AirportHub at 300 airports across the world – from Beijing to here in Barcelona.
“SITA AirportHub makes opening new routes much quicker and easier. When airlines are connecting their systems at an airport they can now do so within a matter of weeks not months. This streamlined approach is efficient and cost-effective. Many airlines are keen to work with their airport partners who don’t already have SITA AirportHub in place to consider its adoption.”
Dan Ebbinghaus, Senior Vice President, Communications and Infrastructure Solutions, SITA, said: “All airlines need high levels of connectivity on demand. Wherever they fly, and whether they are low cost, hybrid or flag carriers, the need is the same. As our airline members have experienced, SITA AirportHub provides this securely and efficiently.
“The rollout of AirportHub across the world’s airports is multi-year investment by SITA on behalf of the airline and airport community. Our plan over the next three years is to have AirportHub at 700 sites reaching 80% of airlines’ international destination airports. This will dramatically expand our coverage transforming the communications infrastructure at the world’s airports.”
SITA AirportHub helps to reduce the total cost of ownership through secure shared infrastructure and global community solutions. It makes connections between all stakeholders at the airport – airlines, governments, ground handlers, commercial operators and other partners – efficient and cost-effective. In addition to cost savings through shared, short lead time to connect and common-use infrastructure, there are vast savings in the time and effort of sourcing from local telecom companies, managing multiple suppliers and having to cope with long lead times.
The 300 airports already taking advantage of SITA AirportHub are located in more than 100 countries. These range from remote and regional destinations serving less than a million passengers to the largest international hubs of the world which together manage hundreds of millions passengers every year.
We continue this week with some interesting people and products we saw during AIX in Hamburg at Astronics and Rockwell Collins.
When you were at AIX you surely would have seen the latest ‘lightweight’ inseat power system from the folks at Astronics. What really caught our attention was the weight of the ‘Direct Current Power Supply’ itself – but we will save that data for the Astronics spokesperson, Ken Adwan, Senior Business Development Manager, who told IFExpress: “The DCPS is actually capable of supporting (30) USB outputs operating at 2.1 Amp simultaneously. The zone-based DCPS, which provides DC power to the seats weighs in at 3.8 lb. (nominal). The result is that a typical narrow body system, providing (175) total High Output USB Power ports to the passenger seats will have a shipset weight and price that are 30% to 40% lower than a traditional seat-based power supply architecture. That system would be comprised of a total of (8) zone-based DCPS units.” (Be sure to check out the high level system graphic for the USB UltraLite system and data sheet for the P/N 1375-2 DC Power Supply Unit (DCPS).) What really caught IFExpress’s attention was the statement on the data sheet: “Power conversion efficiency greater that 85%,”…and that has to be some kind of record for an airborne AC to DC converter. Typically they run about 80% or less!
“Hi there, I’m Jeff Sare” was our first introduction to the new Vice President, Sales & Marketing Air Transport Cabin Solutions Commercial Systems at the Rockwell Collins booth. IFExpress was told: “We were really impressed with Jeff when he was a consultant to Rockwell Collins and we brought him on board to help out the IFEC efforts. Jeff brings a wealth of industry knowledge about in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions, an area of growing interest for airlines to keep up with fast-changing passenger requirements,” said Scott Gunnufson, Vice President, Commercial Sales, Marketing and Support at Rockwell Collins. Further, from the Rockwell Collins news release about Jeff; “For more than two decades, Sare has served in a number of leadership roles in the air transport in-flight entertainment (IFE) and connectivity marketplace, from IFE manufacturers and connectivity providers to airline marketing. In his new role, Sare will lead a sales and marketing team focused on Rockwell Collins’ complete portfolio of PAVES IFE and connectivity solutions that meet the passenger engagement needs of any airline, including seat-centric IFE, broadcast and wireless IFE, high-speed broadband connectivity, moving map and passenger services systems,” stated the company. We note, Jeff is a very pleasant, easy to talk to person and we encourage folks in our industry to say hello.
During the interview, we asked where the IFE industry is heading and Jeff indicated the following: “IFE seems to have stabilized. We are seeing appropriate and significant growth in both wide and narrow body aircraft markets. At the same time, IFE Wi-Fi growth is also explosive. The demand for connectivity and some control over your environment is on fire. There is a demand for end-to-end connection to the passenger. Further, new technology opens up new opportunities. B-2-B is driving innovations that help airlines manage their business. Our customers are the airlines… full stop!”
“Rockwell Collins’ inseat video has gone into service line fit at both OEMs. In-seat availability is running near 100%. In fact, Biman Bangladesh launched in late November 2015 and they are flying at 99.98% – the .02% was a pinched wire,” said Sare.
We also asked about IFE in the aviation ecosystem and Mr. Sare went on: “There are two business case studies worth mentioning: What Apple did was to build an entire ecosystem that explained their vision for the iPhone and what it could do – think apps here,” he noted. “Further, Tesla is doing the same in the automotive industry.” The company sees that solution, and Jeff implied that Rockwell Collins will take advantage of their IFE solution, and with their acquisition of ARINC, will leverage the aviation communication platform. He went on to say: “There are fourteen thousand commercial aircraft, some five thousand business jets, one thousand airports and some three hundred and sixty airlines in this environment… Rockwell Collins sits in the middle of this aviation ecosystem.” We get it!
We should also note that Rockwell Collins was awarded an Airbus supplier trophy for “Cabin BFE Supplier Support in 2015” at Aircraft Interiors and the team was rightfully proud of their efforts in winning. The awards followed Airbus’s supplier support rating process, which drew in-service feedback from more than 133 of Airbus customers worldwide.” The news release also said, ‘Rockwell Collins, which was also top ranked in the category last year by Airbus customers, was credited for its ability to continuously provide reliable equipment and complementary technical support, its effectiveness of operational support services and finally, customer feedback on cost of ownership.”
If you didn’t get the big picture, one of the big Rockwell Collins focuses is on data. They note: “By 2030, the number of active air transport and business aircraft is expected to grow to 85,000 (Editor’s Note: Given that today there are around 30,000) – with 80 percent of those equipped with new information-management systems. These developments are making a seamless secure and integrated aviation ecosphere a reality.” Aviation and information, two pre-separated words, now have a reality that Rockwell Collins see’s as a future reality. The flow of data along with the future is where Rockwell Collins is placing their bets. Here is a list of future information solutions they see:
1. Intuitive, information-enabled flight decks and aircraft that use data from on-board and external sources to provide new levels of analysis and awareness for pilots, airlines and manufacturers
2. Cabin solutions that change the paradigm from passenger entertainment to passenger engagement while helping airlines achieve their goals
3. Airport operations that streamline passenger processing, increase efficiencies and enhance revenue
4. A robust and flexible network that pairs bandwidth to manage information across the aviation ecosphere with the necessary security to keep our passengers and our airspace safe.
5. A future airspace that leverages the flow of shared information to address the congestion of today with a new model of aircraft and airspace management.
So, if information is the future of aviation data, then they expect massive amounts to infect our aviation space – Massive Amounts! This includes maintenance, scheduling, freight, airplane performance, and much more in networks on and off the aircraft. Rockwell Collins has four Principles when it comes to handling all this data:
Principle 1. Match the Right Data With the Channel.
Principle 2. Interoperability Matters.
Principle 3. Make the Best Use of Data.
Principle 4. Peace of Mind is Paramount.
We also wish to point out the paramount importance of security, and when this subject is addressed by Rockwell Collins, they say: “As systems become increasingly interconnected, interdependent cyber security has become a growing concern in civil aviation. Network security threats are diverse and persistent; a large part of the data that traverses private aviation networks is sensitive and relates to passengers’ reservations.”
They go on: “In this environment, security is essential Today, private aviation networks like those from Rockwell Collins are outfitted with multiple firewalls and security mechanisms to ensure that the security of critical communications is airtight, and that policies and protections align with IATA security rules and mandates. As we explore new channels of communication to meet the needs of the information age, we must ensure that they can support those same levels of security at every moment of transmission.” We couldn’t agree more.
Further they state: “But peace of mind goes beyond ensuring messages are protected at every point of transmission – it’s also about ensuring the information arrives at its intended destination in a timely manner. Even as our industry embraces new technology like ACARS over IP and standardized, web-based applications like XML Web Services, we believe the curation of message delivery is a critical component of information management – knowing exactly where a message is at any given moment, and if something goes wrong, where that error occurred and what backups are available to ensure the message arrives at its destination.”
In conclusion, Rockwell Collins notes: “In aviation’s information age, an ever-increasing volume of data streams across the sky and around the earth. Developing faster ways to transmit, store, process and access that information – leveraging the latest ground- and satellite-based communications technologies – will be necessary to ensure our industry can take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.” Stay Tuned In on this one as aviation data will be taking a big uptick of storage and connectivity in the future… for almost every reason!
- If you have not been following TMF Associates Blog, you might start here: TMF Associates blog » The exploding inflight connectivity market?
- You might want to watch “The Age of Aerospace,” a multi-piece aviation documentary sponsored by Boeing… now on YouTube
- If you are planning on attending EXPO Asia and APEX in Singapore at the end of October, be sure to check out the ‘View Location Map‘… and bring your credit card because the Ferrari dealership is a short walk away!
- If you are in charge of airline food, you probably want to see what foods are trending in favor and declining. Here is a good source of info: Google Food Trends Report. And yes, it might be true in your kitchen as well!
- We got an interesting email recently that went: Per the following link, I have a few questions:
In answer to the above we found the following:1. China will become the “single-most important market” for plane-leasing companies over the next five years, Domhnal Slattery, chief executive officer of Dublin-based lessor Avolon Holdings Ltd., said in an April Interview.2. Coy as ever, Cook’s somewhat cryptic remarks naturally led to an avalanche of speculation, particularly given rumors that Apple is developing its own electric car. Other commentators took the position that Apple’s investment was simply an old-fashioned way to curry favor with the Chinese government. (Check out the full article here)
- I wonder if Airbus also invested in BOC’s aircraft leasing firm?
- Does an investment in BOC give Boeing an advantage when selling airplanes into China? (Duh!)
- Is this the cost of doing business, i.e. selling airplanes, in China?
- Agreement paves way forward to a future-proof airport
Valletta | May 11, 2016– Malta International Airport has entered into a strategic partnership with global air transport IT specialist SITA which is geared towards boosting the airport’s operational excellence and putting it at the forefront of technology in the aviation industry.
The partnership – which came into effect from May 10, 2016 – will allow Malta International Airport to focus on strategic investment and innovation as SITA takes over the airport’s day-to-day ICT operations. The partnership will help improve ICT service levels, optimize airport operations and enhance the overall passenger experience.
SITA’s experience in managing large-scale ICT transformation programs around the world will be extended to Malta International Airport, and support it in integrating ICT at the heart of its growth strategy over the long term.
Malta International Airport welcomed 4.62 million passengers in 2015 and is expected to grow by more than 2% this year. The company has also unveiled an ambitious investment program which includes a €28m terminal expansion. Work on Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to commence later on this year.
Alan Borg, CEO of Malta International Airport said: “We recognize that developing our ICT infrastructure is fundamental to our future growth. In light of this, we are delighted to be partnering with SITA, the market leader in this industry, and look forward to working together on a digital blueprint to meet our future demands.”
Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe said: “As a global supplier of end-to-end solutions to the broader air transport industry, we are in the unique position of being able to support the full gamut of airport, airline, and government systems found in airports today. This allows us to take our service to the industry a step further, by managing the end-to-end ICT infrastructure for airports while guiding their future investment to ensure cost savings and improved service delivery.”
Abu Dhabi, UAE | January 5, 2016– Abu Dhabi Airports has partnered with global IT provider SITA to introduce its latest technologies across Abu Dhabi International Airport’s (AUH’s) three terminals. The technology transformation is part of Abu Dhabi Airports’ preparations for AUH reaching a capacity of 45 million passengers by 2017.
The investment in SITA’s latest innovations will bring the airport’s entire IT infrastructure in line with the systems that SITA is already implementing in the new Midfield Terminal Building, currently under construction. These new technologies will help improve the airport’s operational efficiency while providing a seamless passenger experience across all terminals.
As part of the five-year contract, SITA will provide a range of advanced and fully integrated airport systems. One of these includes their Airport Management solution which will allow Abu Dhabi Airports to proactively manage the operation of AUH by providing real-time information from across all facilities. This will enable the operations team to plan for events before they happen, while ensuring resources are fully optimized.
Other key products from SITA include AirportConnect® Open, which enables airlines to share check-in areas, kiosks and boarding areas while still having access to their own data, and BagManager which allows bags to be tracked in real-time, providing a clear status on any bag no matter where it is in the baggage system.
In addition to these three systems, passengers will also enjoy new automated boarding gates and flight information display systems.
Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to experience double-digit passenger growth and therefore we are investing in new airport facilities that will allow us to accommodate the forecast future increase in passengers. In order to achieve this we require a trusted technology partner, such as SITA, to provide one-stop, integrated IT solutions across the airport.”
Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa, said: “We have long admired Abu Dhabi International Airport’s ability to meet the rapid growth it has experienced over the past few years without compromising the great service offered to passengers. We have worked alongside the team at the airport to provide the technology to manage everything from check-in and airport management systems to self-boarding gates, across the existing terminals. Abu Dhabi Airports has recognized the value we bring as an IT partner who can deliver not only improved operational efficiency, but also an enhanced passenger experience.”
Abu Dhabi International Airport currently serves over 103 destinations in 56 countries and in 2014 accommodated over 20 million passengers.
- Strategic Agreement Enables Access to Boingo Wi-Fi Networks in 35 Major U.S. Airports
Los Angeles and Overland Park, Kanasas | April 30, 2015– Boingo Wireless, the leading DAS and Wi-Fi provider, and Sprint today announced a multi-year Wi-Fi agreement, enabling access to seamless and secure Boingo Wi-Fi networks in 35 major U.S. airports. Leveraging Boingo’s industry-leading network technology, connecting to Wi-Fi will become as easy and safe as cellular.
Sprint devices within proximity of a Boingo hotspot can automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network seamlessly, providing service at the fastest speeds available, be that cellular from Sprint or Wi-Fi from Boingo. The auto-authenticating Wi-Fi connections are available at no additional charge to all Sprint customers with capable devices, and usage while connected to Wi-Fi does not count towards a customer’s monthly service plan. Sprint and Boingo conducted successful market trials with millions of Sprint handsets, which demonstrated the consumer benefits of effortless authentication onto Boingo’s network.
“With Wi-Fi being the world’s largest wireless ecosystem, we view it as a highly complementary layer to our network,” said Stephen Bye, Sprint CTO. “By enabling customers to move seamlessly between secure Wi-Fi and cellular, our customers will have a better mobile experience in more locations, all while lowering their cost of data usage.”
The Sprint network improves daily and the company continues to invest in solutions that deliver the consistent reliability, capacity, and speed that customers demand. As service expands to additional Sprint handsets, customers with Passpoint-enabled devices can be connected to Boingo’s “Passpoint Secure” networks at airports nationwide. By utilizing Boingo’s “Passpoint Secure” networks, customers can enjoy a simpler mobile experience with seamless Wi-Fi authentication and WPA2 enterprise-grade encryption technology.
“Boingo’s relationship with Sprint removes the traditional barriers between Wi-Fi and cellular service,” said David Hagan, Chief Executive Officer for Boingo Wireless. “Sprint is a market leader with the integration of Wi-Fi and cellular, which is a very customer centric solution to provide an always-best-connected experience through either network.”
Sao Paulo, Brazil | March 5, 2015– More airline passengers in Brazil carry a smartphone than in other parts of the world. The SITA-ATW Passenger Survey reveals that 85% of passengers in Brazil carry smartphones compared to the global average of 81%. A significantly higher percentage of these passengers use apps from airlines, airports and travel agencies compared with passengers from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, making Brazil’s passengers among the most connected in the world.
SITA, which provides technology to airlines and airports around the world, conducted its research across 15 countries with nearly 6,300 participants. The results show that passengers in Brazil are using technology to enhance their journey. More than half of passengers who carry smartphones are using airline apps on a regular basis, 43% use travel agency apps and 38% use airport apps.
When it comes to booking their flights, passengers in Brazil are also picking up their smartphones and tablets faster than their counterparts in other parts of the world. Some 43% of them regularly use their smartphone to book flights, this compares to the global average of 31%. In Brazil, 42% take advantage of the larger screen and regularly use tablets to book flights. This use of mobile technology is set to continue to rise – when asked which channels they would use more for tickets and services, if all equally available, 60% of passengers said smartphone apps and 53% tablets.
Mauro Pontes, SITA Vice President, Brazil, said: “Airline passengers in Brazil are turning to technology to improve their journey. They are the pioneers across the Americas, when looking to the future we see that more of them expect (64%) to use smartphone apps for check-in compared to other countries in the region. The rate expected in Mexico is 61% while only 43% the USA.”
More than half of passengers in Brazil (55%) regularly use a smartphone app for flight information. This is higher than in other regions in both Mexico (44%) and the USA (46%). In the unfortunate case of flight disruptions, passengers in Brazil are also turning to their mobile technology to ease the experience.
Pontes added: “Airlines should take note that in the case of disruptions, such as a flight being cancelled, 64% of passengers expect to get a message via a mobile app, while 58% expect a call to their mobiles and 54% an email. This demonstrates the opportunity for airlines to leverage technology to support communications during these challenging periods.”
- 100% of airports in China investing in social media and mobile services to improve passenger experience
Shanghai | November 6, 2014– Airports in China are focusing their IT investments on improving the passenger experience and introducing new self-service options including bag-tag printing, self-boarding and self-bagdrop. This increased attention to the customer experience has also seen the airports embrace new media with 100% of them investing in passenger services via social media and mobiles by 2017.
This is according to the SITA/ACI Airport IT Trends Survey which was announced today. The research results represent the views of the top 20 airports in China which serve more than 60% of all Chinese airline passengers.
May Zhou, Vice President, SITA China said: “The extensive airport expansion and passenger growth, currently being experienced in China, are major challenges. Airports however are stepping up to these challenges and investing in IT to improve the passenger experience. There is now a real focus to improve the customer experience. We see airports investing in passenger services, and 100% of them are investing in social media and mobile services to provide an efficient and personalized journey.”
The survey shows that the massive growth in passenger numbers in China – up 9.7% in 2013 to 745 million – is leading to further investments in self-service to help improve performance and speed of passenger handling throughout the airports. More than half (53%) of airports consider passenger processing as the most important priority for IT investment. In total, 65% of airports in China are investing in major self-service programs and a further 29% are running pilots.
Investments in common-use self-service kiosks continue, with 35% planning to use them for check-in, while 35% plan to install them for other uses. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of China’s airports are implementing bag-tag printing. Another area of significant development is self-boarding, which 35% of airports have implemented, up from 8% in 2013.
Behind the airports’ investment into new media is a strong desire to develop more personalized customer service through direct interaction, and China’s airports are succeeding here. More than half (53%) rate their social media investments as performing well, or above expectations, for customer loyalty. In particular, airports are using mobile and social media to communicate with passengers in times of disruption. By the end of 2017, 94% of airports in China will have implemented real-time notification via social media and mobile.
Some 85% of Chinese airports surveyed said their total IT expenditures would either increase or stay the same in 2014. Much of this spend will be on infrastructure to support airport development in anticipation of future passenger growth. More than half (54%) are investing in IT for airport terminal expansions, 50% for new terminals and 44% for refurbishments.
- More than 2,100 travelers share expectations and experiences – calling out mobile, self-service and personalized travel information as critical to their satisfaction
San Jose and Boston, USA | September 23, 2013– Airports and airlines are clearly focused on improving the travel experience. But are the investments they’re making having the desired impact? Based on new research reports — for both airlines and airports — of 2,160 travelers just released from FlightView, the day-of-travel information company, the answer is a resounding “no.”
“Improving technology and infrastructure are massive undertakings for any airport or airline, but as we move further into an era of mobile and self-service dominance, these capabilities will become especially vital from both the travelers’ and providers’ perspective”
“WiFi is and has been the highest priority for travelers, yet satisfaction levels have remained largely the same — with approval for airport WiFi actually decreasing by 4 percent, and improving for in-flight WiFi by a little more than 1 percent, since this time last year,” said Mike Benjamin, CEO of FlightView. “With more travelers using smartphones at the airport, and 82 percent using them in-flight – improving WiFi is absolutely critical to improving the overall travel experience.”
Talking Holograms, Sleeping Pods and Massage Stations Cool… but Lack Broad Appeal
Despite all of the hype, only 8 percent of those surveyed find value in virtual assistant holograms – which cost airports ~$20 to $30 thousand each. Fewer than 16 percent care about massage stations, and only 30 percent are interested in sleeping pods.
“Meeting customer expectations requires asking before implementing,” said Benjamin. “In this case, some airports have spent upwards of $100 thousand on innovative extras that travelers could take or leave, when what they really want are services that support their connected lifestyles.”
Case in point: When asked which amenities travelers would like to see airports and airlines provide, the responses were nothing revolutionary: 87 percent want more charging stations for electronics at the airport, and nearly 75 percent would value tray tables with electronic hookups and charging capabilities from airlines.
Mobile Functionality and Highly-Personalized, Relevant Information Tops Travelers’ Priority Lists
In order to strike the right balance between innovation and practicality, airlines and airports should focus investments on what travelers crave most: mobile self-service and personalized, actionable travel information.
Among the travelers surveyed, the desire for improved mobile functionality was strong:
- 84% of travelers want mobile access to personalized flight information like boarding times and the status of their connecting flight
- 76% want the ability to view security line wait times
- 59% want the capability to track missing luggage
- 50% want mobile access to their position on the standby list
- 45% want the ability to manage and share travel itineraries
Destination-centric information was also paramount — nearly 90 percent of travelers want airlines to push the gate and status of their connecting flight to their mobile device, while more than 60 percent want terminal maps, and 53 percent would value weather forecasts.
Of note to airports, the demand for more personalized, relevant information extends beyond mobile and into the terminals:
- More than 86 percent of respondents want terminal displays with departure information for nearby major airport hubs where there are frequent connections.
- Nearly 90 percent of travelers value interactive terminal maps on kiosks that show their current location and provide detailed information on items like nearby restaurants, walking times and directions to terminals.
Adoption Rises for Self-Service Technology
While the initial rollout was slow, mobile boarding adoption is starting to take off. In 2013, more than 60 percent of travelers had the opportunity to board with a mobile boarding pass – a 10 percent increase over 2012. Of those travelers that were presented the option, 70 percent took advantage of it, up 11 percent over last year. The adoption is even higher among business travelers: three out of every four use mobile boarding when given the chance.
More modern methods for flight check-in are also catching on, over the past 12 months:
- 69% of travelers have checked-in for flights using a mobile device
- 65% have checked in via personal computer
- 57% have checked in using the airline kiosks
Despite these more convenient self-service options, more than a third of travelers still go to the airline customer service desk to check-in for flights.
“Improving technology and infrastructure are massive undertakings for any airport or airline, but as we move further into an era of mobile and self-service dominance, these capabilities will become especially vital from both the travelers’ and providers’ perspective,” said Benjamin.
To access the full findings from all 2,160 respondents, stop by FlightView’s booth #926 at ACI-NA or download the 2013 reports for airlines and airports.
FlightView’s research features the responses from 2,160 travelers. The survey was pushed to users of FlightView’s Android and iPhone flight-tracking app, and launched and completed in September in 2013.