March 24, 2017 —APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), a four-decade old international airline trade association, called for immediate government-approved security solutions for the airline electronics ban announced this week by the United States and United Kingdom. IATA calculations indicate 393 flights per week impacted by the electronics ban. By APEX load-factor calculations, this translates into more than three million affected airline passengers per year. With airline and government coordination, APEX believes that solutions may be rapidly implemented by airlines to further increase security and allow personal electronics on-board.
“The U.S. and U.K. this week pointed to a problem in airline security by banning electronics on certain flights. When we take away personal electronic devices from passengers, we are bowing to a potential threat rather than providing an acceptable security solution.” APEX CEO Joe Leader stated. “Chemical detection machines utilized worldwide can detect illicit items in electronics. Turning on electronics checks functionality and non-functioning electronics could be banned from flights. The expense of hand-searching every carry-on for the personal electronics ban could instead be directed to a long-term solution that serves airline passengers and safety.”
APEX believes that without viable solutions provided to airlines, the electronics ban may spread well beyond the intended scope. Since the existing security scope includes individuals with travel privileges to the U.S. and U.K., these same individuals could connect via other airports where on-board personal electronics are not banned.
“Every threat placed against global air carriers has been met with viable solutions,” said Leader. “We now globally screen every checked bag, carefully scan all carry-ons, restrict liquids, conduct body-scans, and regularly conduct chemical analysis checks on items. When passengers connect internationally, they are frequently scanned again. Placing items into the cargo hold does not fully address the issue with a passenger-centric solution.”
In APEX’s global survey released last year, airline passengers frequently bring their personal electronics devices on-board aircraft for use in-flight:
• 43% of worldwide airline passengers bring a tablet device on-board with 70% of these passengers using their tablet device in-flight;
• 38% of worldwide airline passengers bring a laptop computer on-board with 42% of these passengers using their laptop in-flight; and
• 22% of worldwide airline passengers bring e-Readers on-board with 77% of these passengers using their e-Reader in-flight.
APEX has directly engaged key U.S. and U.K. government officials on a solutions-oriented approach to make aircraft more secure and prevent the spread of the electronics ban. Until an aligned security solution has been developed by the U.S. and U.K. governments, APEX encourages full compliance of the ban by airlines, airports, and passengers.
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
This issue of IFExpress always always raises a few feathers so let’s get started with some IFExpress predictions, then we will present the inputs from folks who were willing to provide their names, and finally, those who wish to remain anonymous will contribute as well. We should probably note that not all predictions landed in the IFEC category and thus it looks to be an interesting year – and things just might change anywhere!
IFExpress 2017 Predictions
- Narrower aircraft seats are coming in 2017, especially in newer low class offerings where only certain sized carry-on baggage will be permitted – smaller and surely less comfortable as well. We already know United Airlines has a new low cost Basic Economy package that will be copied by others. The rub will be what limitations will be placed on passengers who do not have the airline reward travel card! Hey, many folks can travel short flights and put up with almost anything. It is all a function of what they have to take with them. And yes, it will be in the back of the plane.
- More colored cabin environments will be here in 2017, but also as a result of new LED lighting in the plane – probably more blue! [We note: A recent Boeing study concluded that passengers will perceive that the airplane is cleaner, more comfortable, newer, and with better air and more room, all with the correct lighting. Even one German university test proved while flying with light that contains increased red, (not blue) light components, is more calming and cause less passenger stress.]
- We cannot say this enough but Data will be the big deal in 2017, whether it is an airline examining their routes with a goal for less fuel, to using social media to communicate directly with passengers or even potential travelers, to connection with the aircraft for more inflight system information for operation or security. OK, this is not much of a surprise!
- Some folks predict that light will be used to deliver connectivity. However, with all the issues involved with outside solar, safety lighting, and other sources of interference (Hasn’t this been tried earlier?), we think otherwise. Anyway, Bluetooth as a connectivity radio frequency has slipped under the radar and since most connectivity devices have the capability and the corporate jet world has adopted it, we expect an inflight commercial airline installation this year. With Bluetooth 5.0 alive there may be even more interest in a Bt connectivity solution. Hey, 4X range, 2X speed, and 8X capacity, and no power increase, what’s not to like?”
- Watch for an airline to test ground-based, high bandwidth 2.4 GHz, directed connectivity service like those proposed for SmartSky and Gogo. This is more of a 2017 sure thing than a prediction.
- We fear aviation manufacturing layoffs, let’s see what happens there but don’t look for that job just yet. The layoff scenario has already started at Boeing, who is downsizing to the tune of some 8,000 employees, and could reach 10% there. Airbus is next after production continues for a bit.
- Maintenance of aircraft will see more outsourcing, new technology products like AI and voice technology used in maintenance products, and more consolidation in the MRO world (Maintenance Repair Overhaul).
- While we hope it does not happen, but be very concerned that a hacker doesn’t get aboard a plane this year, transmit a fake Wi-Fi service and install a lot of ransomware (like doxware) on folks trying to get Wi-Fi service. In 2017 it is a possibility and be sure you know how to get online when onboard!
- What’s next for future SATCOM? How about Q/V bands: 33 – 75 GHz? If the FCC auctions get it together, perhaps even 14 GHz has a chance?
- We shy away from talking about aircraft control hacking, but have you thought about hackers using a DDoS attach or ransomware on an airline reservation system – might happen?
- The Boeing 787 will finally get the proper acclaim that it is the only commercial jet airplane where cabin/crew air is taken directly from the atmosphere with electrically powered compressors and not from engine ‘bleed air’! The health guru’s will help.
- Cybercrime damages will continue to grow (costing the world $6 trillion annually by 2021), up from $3 trillion last year; ransomware will be the fastest growing threat in terms of new attacks and costs. Global spending on cybersecurity products and services will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively over the next 5 years from 2017 to 2021. Easy procurement of cheap IoT devices or Wi-Fi enabled products introduces a serious level of risk — of which many people are unaware. As one expert noted: “Transportation systems may be immobilized.” Or, as another one said: “My second prediction for 2017 is that cyber personnel will become a rare commodity like we have never seen before. Organizations have received the message, and are staffing and investing, but that demand generates a supply that is not available.” Don’t you think there will be plenty of openings in aviation security in 2017? We do!
- Lastly, as strange as it seems, “a self-driving” aircraft concept for passenger planes will be talked about this year – perhaps just for parcel delivery but projects like ALIAS are just the beginning.
Named 2017 Reader Predictions
Here are our reader IFEC predictions and we start of with those from APEX CEO, Joe Leader:
- Connectivity announcements and deployment will hit a new high for the industry.
- In-flight entertainment continues its expansion with more global IFE system installations and upgrades.
- Airline passenger experience will become less siloed inside of airlines as carriers look for greater market differentiation.
- On flights without built-in IFE or connectivity, “Near-FI” solutions offering, entertainment will become much more common. This will escalate in particular on low-cost carriers looking to differentiate their products.
- In-flight advertising will see the beginning of a new age of renaissance.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) will broaden from case-studies on aircraft to first tangible implementations.
- With the Bluetooth 5.0 specification released, we will see first announcements about Bluetooth connectivity to IFE in future products.
- Long-haul business class will enter a new era just as British Airways introduced the first lie-flat for business class in 1999. We could call it the suite era or the privacy era. This period will begin this year marked by increasing level of suite-like privacy on long-haul business class products. It will be initiated by visionary airlines in different manners and progress to a new bar for long-haul business class passenger experience over the next two decades.
Next, from Henry Chen Weinstein at Cockpit Innovations we have:
“I think 2017 in Tech will be about the upcoming implications of new technology on our current way of work. The [changing] place of startups in our space as more players understand the value of innovation on a global scale. Establishing new ways to take our aviation business forward.”
Here is the prediction note from John Courtright at SIE:
“I predict that the Modular Cabin Concept will generate a lot more attention from airline operators. The ability to transform a commercial aircraft from a “domestic” (2-Class) configuration to an “international” configuration (3-Class) on an overnight or less using palletized modules to swap out interiors will generate great interest from operators. Aside from the aircraft utilization flexibility, the Modular Cabin Concept will generate increased operational revenue (ROI) from a given aircraft asset by allowing the operator to customize their service level to different markets at a relatively low cost.”
Rich Salter, now with FTS chimed in with:
“All the talk about the death (or not) of seatback IFE is not the relevant question: the real interesting question is where will displays be located next – on the wrist, on entire seatbacks, baggage bins, sidewall of fuselage, VR or immersive glasses, etc., not to mention non-cabin locations like cockpit, baggage, lounges, etc. They could be thin as paper, and could be foldable/rollable (as are OLEDs). They will consume extremely low power and be fed data via wireless (WiFi). Smartwatches are only the beginning. In summary, advances in wireless streaming and display tech will lead to some fascinating implementations of IFE displays in unconventional places!”
Todd Hamblin at Global (GADC) told IFExpress in 2017:
- The Wireless IFE market will continue to grow, with Portable Wireless IFE being a subset for those ultra-low cost carriers.
- Companies based in China will become a larger part of the IFE and Connectivity landscape.
- An airline will attempt to install a Portable Wireless IFE system on their aircraft without permission from the FAA or EASA even though the server contains Lithium Ion batteries and might interfere with existing aircraft systems.
- The FAA will be impacted and safety compromised by the changing political climate.
“I predict that the first elastic virtual servers will creep into the cabin on airliners and it just might be Bluetooth that drives it. Elastic devices are the latest generation of server that expands and contracts based on demand. It’s a floating platform that can replicate itself in virtual space.”
Kelvin Boyette CEO of Latitude Aero observes:
- Mergers will dominate 2017, allowing the larger multi-national companies to offer a menu of turnkey services to both airlines and aircraft OEMs.
- 2017 will be the year that seat refurbishment emerges from its “niche” status. New products, such as IFE and ISPS, are emerging faster than new seat OEMs can get them into the seat, so the refurbishment centers are where the airlines will turn to offer the most up to date, modern, passenger experience to their clientele.
- Both BYOD and embedded IFE will flourish. I do not believe only one will succeed. Both will explode this year.
Michael Reilly, VP Entertainment Services, Arconics – A ViaSat Company notes:
- My key prediction for the year is that those airlines who don’t take the step into connectivity in 2017 will certainly take steps on the ‘path to connectivity’ – and there’s a couple of different ways to define that… I think a lot of airlines apart from the obvious cost barrier to entry to connectivity are waiting for other developments – competitive and even marketplace ie: changes to the vendor side of the industry – be that product, pricing etc.
- Naturally as we get more airlines closer to connectivity, security is becoming a hot topic, as is bigger and better use of data.
- Another prediction is that effective use of data will help break down the traditional siloing that has always gone on in the airline business and that’s exciting.
- I’d sum up my prediction by saying that 2017 is ‘finally’ the year where. Connectivity, Wireless and Mobile finally made the strides forward that moved the needle on the bottom line for airlines.
Craig Foster of Valour Consultancy said:
- We will see one of the in-flight connectivity service providers acquired by a much larger company. Additionally, we’ll also see at least one wireless in-flight entertainment vendor snapped up by someone with much more clout.
- The number of aircraft with in-flight connectivity systems installed and activated will surpass 7,000 by the end of the year. Regions aside from North America will continue to witness strong growth and we will likely see another carrier based in Latin America announce connectivity plans before long (in addition to Avianca Brasil and GOL).
- More and more airlines will announce plans to deploy IFE systems that allow passengers to pay their personal electronic devices to the main screen in an effort to match expectations around second screening and to better personalise the experience.
Unnamed 2017 Reader Predictions
We start off with predictions from a “Cabin Solution Provider”:
- The exponential growth of cabin Wi-Fi usage within the confines of the same aircraft will lead to more congestion in the cabin. One prediction says that passenger data to and from aircraft will more than quadruple in 2017. We knew that something like this was coming. However, what’s new is the speed at which this is happening.
- In 2017 the speed of the PED-pull in terms of passenger experience, apps etc. will increase even further. It certainly will be very much faster than the gentle ambling in which many of the aircraft hardware-push industry players are used to operate.
Another few from another Unnamed Predictor:
- Low cost carrier mergers and acquisitions will accelerate globally.
- With airline capacity surpassing global market demand, this will be a year including news of airline deferments and reductions. The exception to this rule will be in next-generation aircraft connecting previously unconnected city pairs. For the industry, this will be a relatively landing.
- Airlines in a more challenging global environment that raise their passenger experience will outperform carriers that focus on reducing passenger experience to reduce costs.
And lastly, still another Unnamed Predictor told IFExpress:
- Hacking the Baggage Systems at major hubs will occur to misdirect luggage?
- Hacking will occur to shut down refueling facilities at major airports.
- Hackers will find a way to infect the IFE system to download passenger data and airline sales information direct from the aircraft, putting at liability Airlines and IFE suppliers. Class Action suit to follow. Revenue streams will be jeopardized for both airlines, IFE suppliers and product/service providers accordingly.
- All economy seats on American / Domestic airlines will follow the pay as you go scheme: everything short of the toilets will be ‘pay to play’: boarding sequence; stowable baggage; check-in bags; food; drink; entertainment; EVERYTHING.
- Donald Trump’s administration will make significant progress to privatize government agencies and systems – a la Russian Model – Air Traffic Control will be privatized and sold off; FAA will be privatized; and the Space Programs under NASA will also be spun off. If not in this coming year, the effort may take at least part of his first term. (Editor’s Note: IFExpress apologizes to this predictor as we just did not have the space (nerve?) to post all the input – Sorry!).
Thank you to everybody who contributed and we close with the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
As the weeks pass after a show like the recent APEX in Singapore, it is easy to start thinking about the next one; however, IFExpress will try to continue to cover some of the more important show participants and their new products, accomplishments, and sales. Importantly, a post show head cold and a recent election has caused focus issues in the past few weeks, but we are now in better control and we will start off with one show item that keeps coming back to haunt us – the concept of aircraft and Big Data. While IFEC is not the whole story, it is part of the issue, and over the last few weeks we have been doing our homework a bit on the subject. The folks at companies like Panasonic, SITA, Thales and many others have been chanting the “data” subject into our ears at each meeting – we really have been trying to understand the problems and potential solutions – and believe us, it is no easy subject, with few easy answers. A number of years back, Mark Thompson of Thompson Aerospace warned us of the impending data monster we were about to see but we had little idea at the time of its value and challenges. This data thing is not new but it is getting bigger!
Looking back to the late eighties, we saw a document developed about the importance of airplane data, in general, and how McDonnell Douglas was looking at the future of its importance in tying an airline together by connecting the “movable asset” back to the airline itself with the one connectivity-based solution available at the time – live, real-time data. Back in the day, the connectivity links were minimal but the requirement was still there.
Today, it is a cry that still is the important connecting piece of the airline business, but it is getting louder. However, we note, now it entails better connectivity, more information, passenger involvement, better worldwide connections, and generally more need for planning and action throughout the airline and passenger environment. Perhaps a computer programmer said it better than we could: “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” – Daniel Keys Moran, an American computer programmer. Further, when you have 30 $250 million dollar assets buzzing around the world, data is the only way to see at any point in time, how your assets are delivering profits or losses. Further, it is a way to see what your customers are needing, in real-time.
We understand that we will not cover the issue in one IFExpress, and to that end, we have a few future interviews planned with IFEC companies and you will have the opportunity to see a bigger picture from them in the coming months. And speaking of ‘seeing the data’ issue, we really owe the folks at SITA a pat on the back for they have been trying to educate us on the value and need of standardized data.
Furthermore, not only satcom companies are part of the data solutions, as an example, the folks at SmartSky are developing a ground-to-air solution that may deliver the cheapest, and possibly the fastest over tera firma, data solution when it is up and running in the US. The point here is that data will be the driving factor when an airline executive or inflight passenger, or flight crew person, or a box on the plane needs to connect to a listener or data taker from the ground, and thus, it will be one of the next big things in our industry. Check out this Next Gen aviation connected electronic flight bag story;
With the growth of passenger data needs, the subject of data will become even a more important technology as time goes on. In SITAONAIR’s white paper published during the show, they noted that passenger connectivity is still the key motivating factor with airlines for adopting the service. Some 48% of their list of airlines in their study see it as the main passenger experience benefit. However, now some 20% of the airlines involved saw connectivity as a pilot and cabin crew enhancement driver, with some 15% seeing value in maintenance and ops monitoring. While a low number of planes today are outfitted with connectivity solutions, SITA expects three quarters will have some connectivity by 2017, and the big solution will happen by 2020 and some 12,500 planes will be so modified.
One big issue, notes SITA, is the lack of commonality or common standards in the aircraft data itself. Why is this important? We see it as a way to allow more entrants in the IFEC industry, more participants in the data business, more uses of the data itself, and a solution that becomes a standard where and when more people use it. Lest we forget, big data probably also means big bucks! If you want to see an example the application of common airport standards you might want to check out SITA’s AirportConnect Open.
Another area is the type of data from the various sources and its utility and application. The folks at Panasonic can see the data future and they call it “Big Data”. They envision the application of ground and inflight data as well as a lot more data applications from many sources – but we will have more on this subject in the future. We should also note that Thales has their version of big data and they are using their InFlyt Cloud for similar data solution for airplane data, metadata and big analytics. However, the message to folks in this business is perhaps, just perhaps, that the IFEC world might just be a smaller part of a bigger aviation world that uses data. It is a solution for bigger problems and future analysis – all way beyond IFE companies just selling hardware. Just possibly it may be the next generation of understanding about airplanes and passengers and the world of flying assets that are moving thousands of miles away from the home offices with hundreds of passengers all going to different places for many different reasons. Big Data has a future value that we don’t even understand today!
To make our point about where this is all heading, here is a very recent news release from Panasonic Avionics about their next generation of data connectivity solutions and it points out the widening of the acquisition of data sources sets the wider data picture being viewed by IFEC vendors. Said the release: ”The technology will enable the next generation of connectivity services to the aviation industry and multiple other markets.” The release went on: “Panasonic Avionics will implement Ericsson’s 5G-ready core solution through its subsidiary AeroMobile, a global inflight connectivity provider and registered mobile network operator. The contract is the first step of a long-term strategic collaboration between the two companies, which will focus on areas like 5G and the Internet of Things.” It went on: ”Panasonic Avionics can apply the 5G-ready core across a wide and ever-expanding range of markets, enabling connectivity for users not only onboard aircraft and ships, but also for the huge Internet of Things communication.” IFExpress notes the 5G is touted as the next generation of mobile technology because it “has the capability to radically lessen latency, accelerate download and upload speeds, enhance network reliability and spectral efficiency.” With this data, they also have the potential to support IoT development, by considerably escalating the number of devices that can connect to the network simultaneously.” Get the data picture? Stay Tuned on this one, soon we will talk more about data standardization and future data applications.
digEcor & IFPL
We like it when two companies in our industry combine their thoughts to develop a better product offering. We saw this during APEX Singapore this year when digEcor, in conjunction with partner IFPL, unveiled their GLIDE inseat power solution on AirAsia’s A320neos. The development effort was a collaborative one between digEcor, IFPL and Miras Aircraft Seating. The deal with AirAsia totals 55K seats and because AirAsia is a low-cost carrier they required a low-cost solution. This makes sense since inseat power is more and more significant as passengers are bringing their own devices onboard and the system is Wi-Fi driven by the onboard inflight connectivity. In fact, many LCCs are now looking to Wi-Fi for their IFE solution. From a hardware perspective, IFPL’s USB outlet is backlit and we understand that when power is available the unit is lit, making it easier for the passenger to find on the seat arm. If you are interested, we’ve attached images of the seat arm with the IFPL USB outlet and digEcor’s SEB!
Qatar Airways has implemented AeroDocs software from Arconics, a ViaSat company, to provide a single centralized repository to revise and track all operational and non-operational company manuals and documentation for operational readiness. The ability to create, author, edit and mark all changes in a visible manner over the web enables team members to easily keep abreast of, and be alerted to, relevant procedural modifications as and when they happen.
The Seattle Times wrote: “In a surprise move, Boeing announced Monday that Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner will step down from that position and be replaced by General Electric senior executive Kevin McAllister. In 2015, the Boeing board granted Conner a special award of 50,000 shares ‘to encourage him to forgo an opportunity to retire in the near future.’ With that award vesting on Dec. 1, 2017 provided he stayed at Boeing, it was expected that he would retire about then. Those shares are worth $7.35 million.” (Editor’s Note: Not a bad deal – $7 million & change for staying at Boeing for 2 years!)
Heard about Media Box? The Media Box, which Media Carrier offers as an exclusive service to tourism companies in particular, operates as a web-based service and can be easily and conveniently used with any web-enabled device. To download their preferred business magazine or their usual morning paper, guests connect to the Media Box of the airline or hotel and gain access to their own personal reading material. Newspapers and magazines are presented unabridged and in the same layout used in the print versions, and can be browsed through easily and intuitively – check out this image. Even after downloading, the downloaded publications remain available to the reader for an unlimited time. Established in 2011, the company is a subsidiary of the Munich-based MELO Group, whose central divisions are built on the two pillars: media and logistics. Media Carrier specializes in marketing and distributing digital content. It supplies the travel industry with e-papers through the Media Box. The digital media library is now successfully deployed with e.g. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings as well as in more than 1,000 luxury and five-star hotels worldwide.
Museum of Flight at Boeing Field:
I recently had a meeting at the Seattle Museum of Flight on Boeing Field. While my visit was business… I left the meeting… and lost my sense of time and history – because once you see an old aircraft that fought in a war, or provided the transportation for a historical event, or was the first of it’s kind, you just get lost… lost in time, and possibly lost in space. Interestingly, you become part of the event that the person, plane or spacecraft was famous for… or you become immersed in the art background and signage describing the history and achievement of the craft. One visitor told us that he and his kids were fascinated by the description and experiences of the museum’s individual plane tour guides, who in many cases had flown that aircraft. It is also easy to get wrapped-up in the in mood lighting surrounding the planes in the halls, especially in the periods like those in the WW1 Hall and WW2 Halls. While it has been a long time, as a child, I would have given anything to see what I saw last week at the Museum of Flight. One suggestion, however, don’t let your children say the same thing.
OK, if you want a fast tour of the Museum here it goes: Museum Galleries, Airpark, Great Gallery, Lear Gallery, Personal Courage Wing, Red Barn, & Space Gallery. That’s 7 galleries, many halls, 29 exhibits + a museum store, 140 real aircraft, 12 spacecraft, pre-1900s to 2010s types, from 73 manufacturers… and some 40 of 140 shown planes in the air and on the ground in the Great Gallery. Founded in 1965, the Museum of flight has been growing since it’s inception, but we think the real hero was T. Wilson… he made “The” museum building on Boeing Field happen.
As a bit of museum background, here is what the website says:
“Museum of Flight is devoted to the preservation and sharing of aviation and aerospace history and technology.
Founded as the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation in 1965 by a group of local Boeing engineers and aviation enthusiasts, the Museum’s collection was established out of a desire by the group to preserve artifacts and materials representing the entire evolution of flight and to prevent them from being lost, destroyed and forgotten with time. Since 1965, The Museum of Flight’s collection has come to be regarded as one of the best air and space museum collections in the world. The Museum’s collection contains over 150 aircraft, over 25,000 small objects (classified as anything smaller than an aircraft), over 90,000 books and periodicals, over 15,000 aircraft manuals and technical reports and nearly 5,000 cubic feet of archival materials including an estimated four million images. As a Smithsonian Affiliate institution and an accredited American Alliance of Museums institution, we continuously endeavor to meet their standards and best practices in all aspects of our operations, especially in regards to caring for and preserving our collection.”
The Pavilion (across the street form the main Museum building) is incredibly large and hosts an many big planes in a covered outdoor building. One writer said it is larger than two football fields! The new “hanger” effectively doubles the museum foot print, in fact it adds 3 acres of aviation history floor space! It is home for some 19 iconic planes like the world’s first Boeing 747 Jumbo, the 787 Dreamliner, the British Airways Concorde (SST – the last to fly in revenue service), B-17, B29, and B-47 bombers. The site has a convenient “air” bridge to get you there. This inclined walkway is defiantly a better way to reach the Pavilion, not to mention, listening to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” playing on the loudspeakers there topped the experience. As with all airplanes, pictures never do them justice but here are a few shots we took that should give you a better idea of the flight scene there are here.
You can fly in on your own plane or in a commercial airline to Boeing Field or Sea-Tac, and if you have a child that likes aviation, you MUST take her or him to see the real planes. You might ask why is this trip worth the effort? The answer is simple: because they can climb in and touch and feel what aviation is all about… and it is about more than planes. It is about flying, it’s about education, and it’s about history… but it is also about fun!
OmniAccess, a leading supplier of integrated communications solutions to super yachts and cruise-ships, and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), today unveiled a tailored XTS “extremely high throughput” satellite network for multiple mobility markets. Details on this new communications service are available to key customers that visit the OmniAccess booth at the Monaco Yacht Show. OmniAccess and Panasonic began collaborating on XTS high-throughput satellite designs in September 2015 in order to bring unprecedented levels of capacity and performance to OmniAcess’ existing Super yacht and cruise customers. Through this agreement OmniAccess has secured access to Panasonic’s existing HTS capacity, currently contracted capacity and the future XTS satellite network, bringing industry-leading capacity and performance to its yachting and cruise ship markets. Leveraging Panasonic’s existing global high-speed satellite network, OmniAccess is already providing industry-leading connection speeds of over 200 Mbps to select individual customers.
Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We announced our partnership with OmniAccess at the Monaco Yacht Show last year, and since then, we’ve been able to develop solutions that have improved our operational efficiencies and also delivered higher performance and better service to OmniAccess’ super yacht customers. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with OmniAccess to establish a new standard in high-bandwidth services for the mobility market.”
(Editor’s Note: Normally we wouldn’t place a news release that predominately refers to maritime in our publication. However, in this instance we believe it to have relevance as the relationship between Panasonic Avionics and OmniAccess refers to “multiple mobility markets”, “XTS high-throughput satellite” and “Leveraging Panasonic’s existing global high-speed satellite network”. After all, a revenue stream is a revenue stream whether it is initiated from an ocean or the air! And we wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these relationships in our industry.)
APEX 2016 will see the very latest in connectivity, payment and power solutions from IFEC specialists IFPL, on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.
IFPL leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless payment systems NFC (Near Field Communication) on-board aircraft, with global OEM’s and airlines using this technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalization. APEX 2016 will see IFPL demonstrate its new NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high value off line transactions by removing the current low value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high value items thus increasing ancillary revenues.
With portable and wearable tech now widespread, visitors to APEX can also see IFPL’s USB- C and USB-A units, both providing hi-speed data and power.
As always, innovation from IFPL will be on display with the company demonstrating its new integrated seat arm concept. This will reflect its ability to customize peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFE and seat integration.
IFPL will be demonstrating their ‘Charge-2-Charge’ solution for both inductive and USB charging – this will enable airlines to generate additional revenue from passengers wishing to charge their portable devices during flights. Demonstrations will also be available for their popular 110V A/C power outlet and its combination 110V and USB-A & C.
Solving the problem of broken headphone sockets are IFPL’s MagSignal Audio units. Cost neutral when compared with traditional sockets, MagSignal Technology allows the headset cable to be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment; reducing customer induced damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft.
As always IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2016 in Singapore may have.
Gogo recently announced that it will partner with Air France-KLM to connect its existing long-haul fleet representing 124 aircraft, with an airline option to install the technology on additional aircraft in the future. The fleet of aircraft receiving Gogo’s 2Ku technology will include numerous aircraft types, including the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330s. “We are delighted to bring Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology to one of the largest airlines in the world and two of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku delivers a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today, including the ability to stream video. One of the many benefits of 2Ku is that it’s built on an open architecture and can leverage new technology advancements in the future, which means the technology will get even better over time and will provide passengers with a superior connectivity experience now and in the future.” The first aircraft is expected to be in service end of next year, with the bulk of the installations taking place during 2018-2019.
The company also announced that it is developing its next generation ground-based technology to better serve the connectivity needs of business and commercial aviation in North America. This technology will offer a ground-like performance, including the ability to stream videos, for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select narrow-body aircraft operating within the United States and Canada. The new network will use unlicensed spectrum, a proprietary modem and a new beam-forming antenna to produce peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps. This next generation ground-based network for the aero market will utilize LTE technology and leverage Gogo’s existing first generation North American network and infrastructure of more than 250 towers.
“Leveraging our first generation network is key to making this next generation network highly reliable and economical to deploy,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s CTO. “Gogo’s next generation network will also be backward-compatible with Gogo’s first generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to seamlessly switch between Gogo’s fthe two networks networks similar to how a cell phone on the ground connects to the fastest available network.”
The benefits of this new network for commercial aircraft operating within the United States and Canada include: low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation, and low drag on the aircraft due to the small size of the antennas. It also has big advantages in terms of latency compared to satellite solutions.
Aircraft outfitted with one of Gogo’s earlier generation air-to-ground technologies will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.
The service is expected to be available in 2018. Great article this morning. Separately, we have got big news this morning from Gogo as we announce our next generation ground network to support IFC in North America. We now have upgrade paths to more than 100 Mbps for both our North American ground-based and our global satellite networks. This will enable passengers to do everything they can do on the ground, in-flight. The network will use unlicensed spectrum and will require minimal updates for an aircraft.
(Editor’s Note: You should probably read this as well.)
SmartSky Networks’ patented SmartSky 4G radio system completed the major milestone of receiving FCC certification, clearing the way for deployment of the ultra-fast SmartSky 4G air-to-ground network later this year, with nationwide service launching in mid-2017. Haynes Griffin, SmartSky Chairman and CEO, stated, “After investing tens of millions of dollars and over five years of research and development effort, SmartSky’s now certified technology has unlocked enough spectrum to be able to offer, for the first time, the reliable use of a sophisticated, custom-designed 4G system that can deliver an office-like internet experience in the air for both business aviation and commercial aviation customers.”FCC certification is the culmination of work to develop and patent protect the multiple bodies of technology that uniquely enable SmartSky to make use of the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum band, all without causing harmful interference to or receiving interference from the operation of the same band on the ground. Despite the widespread assertion that aviation-related spectrum reuse in the unlicensed band would not be feasible, SmartSky has successfully solved the challenge by implementing new technical methods that are broadly covered by its robust and growing portfolio of 20 granted patents. Additional patents are pending.
Reed Hundt, SmartSky’s Vice Chairman of the Board and former Chairman of the FCC, remarked, “Long ago, the FCC authorized the allocation of large blocks of unlicensed spectrum to foster innovation and encourage competition. Today, we see the amazing results of that prescient regulation, which has resulted in ubiquitous Wi-Fi on the ground. By application of novel technologies using 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum, SmartSky’s breakthrough will finally give the aviation industry the superior connectivity now taken for granted terrestrially.”
Roberson and Associates, a highly regarded independent wireless industry consulting firm, investigated the ability of SmartSky’s radio technology to seamlessly coexist with terrestrial Wi-Fi. CEO Dennis Roberson, who is also Chairman of the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council, commented, “SmartSky’s technology solution is transparent to Wi-Fi users on the ground, enabling the air-to-ground sharing of the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band.”
SmartSky’s technology and patent portfolio is not limited to the unlicensed band. Most of the patents apply to any frequency and any waveform in any high speed air-to-ground network. Because these are broad patents, SmartSky enables underlying technical advances to be incorporated into its conceptual solution. “Over time, this will allow SmartSky to keep pace with the latest advances in computing, antennas, radios and networking while still being protected by our foundational patents,” said Griffin.
Continuing a relationship that has lasted over 70 years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has renewed its Aeronautical Mobile Communications Service (AMCS) agreement with Rockwell Collins. Under the agreement, the company will continue to provide Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications, including position reports, aircraft requests and ATC clearances, between the FAA and aircraft flying in U.S. oceanic airspace.
Uber Transportation in Singapore!
Lastly, here is a Singapore treat from the nice folks at Uber, the transportation app company. It’s easy to use: In the app, choose your ride and set your location. Once you get matched, you’ll see your driver’s picture and vehicle details, at the same time, you can easily track their estimated time of arrival on the map. No phone calls to make, no pick-ups to schedule. With 24/7 availability, request a ride any time of day. Here is how you can get started: Download the Uber app and register for an account. You’ll have the option to input your credit card or opt for cash payment. To enjoy a $15 FREE ride, simply enter the code IFEXPRESS into the Promotions tab! Hurry – the code is valid until 31 October 2016.
- Robinson to expand deployment of Bluebox’s market-leading IFE systems to airlines across the EMEA region
Dunfermline, UK | October 4, 2016– As part of its growth and expansion plans, innovative inflight entertainment (IFE) systems provider, Bluebox Avionics, has appointed Neil Robinson as Director of Sales, for the European, Middle East and African (EMEA) markets.
With over twenty years of aviation experience, Robinson has a strong background in technology sales and business development, and specifically in the IFE systems market through his previous position at Lumexis Corporation of Irvine, California.
“The technology developed by the team at Bluebox is shaking up the IFE market. My focus is quite simply to help more customers take advantage of all the benefits of Bluebox’s technology,” Robinson said. “Of course that means driving more sales for Bluebox, but it also means giving airlines an innovative improvement over the status quo of costly and difficult-to-upgrade in-built systems, and options for service recovery, accessibility and ancillary revenue.”
David Brown, Bluebox’s Joint Managing Director, said: “Neil’s knowledge and experience in business development is exactly what we need to drive our ambitious growth plans across EMEA. But more than just the right skill set, his enthusiasm for how our solutions are disrupting the traditional IFE market will help us build momentum in this rapidly evolving industry.”
“Bluebox has a great team, innovative technology, solid industry partnerships, and already has an impressive global client list,” Robinson added. “I’m looking forward to helping even more airlines deliver an enhanced passenger experience with Bluebox IFE technology.”
Robinson will be based in the UK and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently visiting customers across the EMEA region, he will also be joining the Bluebox team at APEX Expo (24-27 October, Singapore), a key event in the airline industry calendar.
- Improving passenger experience and ancillary revenues for airlines
Isle of Wight, UK | September 2016–
APEX 2016 will see the very latest in connectivity, payment and power solutions from IFEC specialists IFPL, on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.
IFPL lead the way when it comes to deploying contactless payment systems NFC (Near Field Communication) on-board aircraft, with global OEM’s and airlines using this technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalisation. APEX 2016 will see IFPL demonstrate its new NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high value off line transactions by removing the current low value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high value items thus increasing ancillary revenues.
With portable and wearable tech now widespread, visitors to APEX can also see IFPL’s USB- C and USB-A units, both providing hi-speed data and power.
As always, innovation from IFPL will be on display with the company demonstrating its new integrated seat arm concept. This will reflect its ability to customise peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFE and seat integration.
IFPL will be demonstrating their ‘Charge-2-Charge’ solution for both inductive and USB charging – this will enable airlines to generate additional revenue from passengers wishing to charge their portable devices during flights. Demonstrations will also be available for their popular 110V A/C power outlet and its combination 110V and USB-A & C.
Solving the problem of broken headphone sockets are IFPL’s MagSignal Audio units. Cost neutral when compared with traditional sockets, MagSignal Technology allows the headset cable to be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment; reducing customer induced damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft.
As always IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2016 in Singapore may have.
We first heard about meshed aviation networks a few years ago but not much has happened in the build and test phase until now. In the past, and as far back as 2008, mesh networks have found use on the ground and in the air with the military. However, in the last couple of years, mesh networks have found a proposed place, specifically in aviation papers like this one. Interestingly, Wikipedia notes; “The 66-satellite Iridium constellation operates as a mesh network, with wireless links between adjacent satellites. Calls between two satellite phones are routed through the mesh, from one satellite to another across the constellation, without having to go through an earth station. This makes for a smaller travel distance for the signal, reducing latency, and also allows for the constellation to operate with far fewer earth stations than would be required for 66 traditional communications satellites.”
Now, the Airborne Wireless Network folks are targeting the communication to and from the ground, through moving aircraft paths… that is, the planes have antennas that talk to each other, as well as, to ground stations – look at it as a flexible, moving wireless network that does not use satellites, but rather, uses the airplane(s) as the communication nodes to ground stations. As the reported requirements for off-plane data increases, as well as the development failure prediction capability based on more data, communicating black box testing, and passengers and crew data usage goes up – another method to send it might be useful! The concept in our first story is the result of a lot of new technology brought about by new data handling capabilities, advanced antenna processing, flexible spectrum management and frequency-agile transmissions and importantly, software defined networking. While Airborne Wireless Network has kept a low profile about their operation, you are going to hear a lot about the technology, and a lot about their product in the future. Stay Tuned!
Airborne Wireless Network:
Airborne Wireless Network (the company) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding with Kansas City-based Jet Midwest Group (Jet Midwest). It states that both parties have agreed to enter into a definitive agreement by September 30, 2016. The memorandum further states that Jet Midwest Group would be providing up to three Boeing 757-223 Jetliners to Airborne Wireless Network for its ‘proof of network concept’ and FAA certification testing. Two of these Boeing 757-223’s have tentatively been designated for the company’s use.
Once the aircraft have been fitted with Airborne Wireless’ equipment and ground-testing has been completed, the company plans to fly these commercial jets from Roswell, New Mexico to Kansas City, Missouri. According to the FAA, this will be a historic “first ever” flight of a meshed commercial airliner-based network. Their plan is for global service of real-time data performance developing a virtual airborne “worldwide web”. One of the advantages of an airplane-based is, of course, no space junk which is a big deal. The only hang-up is you have to get a lot of folks in the game with all their aircraft before enough coverage is available as a reliable connection service. If there are enough players, the advantages, however, result in multiple signal paths, a true “meshed network”, and no single point of failure. We are sure you can see the issues, especially since we are in the heyday of potential signal hacking but being some 30,000 feet above ‘bad guy’ signal sources may have value, not to mention the removal of ground-to-air and air-to-ground weather-related signal and distance losses. This is worth watching.
Last week, Boeing’s Father of the B747, Joe Sutter, passed away at 95. Mr. Sutter was involved with many planes that Boeing built like the B377, the “Dash 80”, B707, B720, B727, B737, and famously as the Father of the B747. He was a nice man and always had the time to say hello… goodbye Joe.
AIN PRODUCT SURVEY CONGRATS!
AIN reports in aircraft cabin electronics this year that, Aircraft Cabin Systems came in second in their Product Report Survey. Gogo Business/Satcom Direct tied for first place. Additionally, Satcom Direct won for overall product reliability. Check the survey results out here.
AIRBUS announced orders from VIETJET for 10 A321ceos and 10 A321neos and JETSTAR PACIFIC for 10 A320ceos; and MOU from VIETNAM AIRLINES for 10 more A350s. We also note that AIRBUS delivered 61 airliners (47 A320 Family, seven A330s, six A350s, and two A380) in August versus 44 (32 A320s, 10 A330s, two A380s) in August 2015. It has now delivered 400 some aircraft in 2016.
THE DELTA MESS:
Delta has reported a $100 million loss from those 2300 lost flights last month, which was blamed on a bad router and data backup capability. Wow, that’s an expensive router! Check out the full story.
From the folks at Aircraft Interiors Expo Asia we get this bit of info about the show – “AIX Asia will welcome more than 50 exhibitors across seating, onboard retail, passenger comfort and more, including Geven, ZIM and Mirus Aircraft Seating. We are co-located with the Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO and the APEX EXPO, bringing together over 150 exhibitors to Singapore this year and creating the airline industry’s biggest fall event for the passenger experience industry.” IFExpress will be there October 24 – 27, 2016 and we hope you will too. We should also note that while the Zika virus has now infected 151 individuals in Singapore, the first locally-transmitted Zika infection was reported this past Saturday but most cases reported are from foreigners. “We have been tracking Zika for a while now, and knew it was only a matter of time before it reached Singapore,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted on his Facebook page. “Our best defense is to eradicate mosquitoes and destroy breeding habitats, all over Singapore.” Singapore is the only Asian country with active transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. We are bringing our Sawyer Picardin (Consumer Reports highest rated insect repellent – look it up.
VARIOUS LINKS WORTH YOUR TIME:
1. How to Keep Your Mac or iPhone Secure When Traveling Overseas | The Mac Security Blog
2. FAA Tightens Safeguards on Lithium Batteries on Airplanes – WSJ
3. Why You Should Drink Milk Before A Road Trip
4. Long TSA Delays Force Airports To Hire Private Security Contractors – Slashdot
5. ViaSat (VSAT), Eutelsat Receive New Contract in Europe
6. The Ultimate Guide to Travel Plugs
7. Travel hacks to avoid fees for Wi-Fi, extra legroom
auf Wiedersehen AXEL!
“As of today I will go on a sabbatical leave! Still unbelievable for me, but after a very long time at TriaGnoSys and Zii, I will give up work responsibility, and enjoy various other activities, family and friends, which I gave too low focus in the past. So I am leaving with a smile in one eye and a tear in the other. Looking forward to seeing you soon again, take care, Axel”
Aircraft Interiors (AIX and PEC) is now the biggest show in IFEC each year. It got that way because there was a need for a centralized European and Middle East source of information, communication, demonstration and celebration of the IFEC experience, as well as, being located at the same venue for over ten years. With over 530 exhibitors this year, there was a wealth of innovative products and services on display last week in Hamburg Germany. IFExpress was told that over 16,000 visitors attended the event (Entrance is free – good idea.), and of course, we covered as many booths that we thought our readers might find both interesting and useful, and that caught our fancy. Obviously, it will take a few weeks to get the story of our visits out so stay tuned on that front. Pictures will be on the website soon so keep watch there as well.
In case you did not go, there are a couple things about the show you should know. First, the expo consists of two parts – the first day (Monday) is comprised of a Passenger Experience Conference. It is a one-day inflight data extravaganza and covers almost every facet of the inflight experience with lectures, small meeting/discussion forums, and culminates in a useful food and beverage entertainment party. The next 3 days are dedicated to the exhibition show with over 530 exhibitors.
Second, there are the Crystal Cabin Awards, below are a few of the winners:
Cabin Systems class – B/E Aerospace
Electronic Systems – Lufthansa Systems
Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment – Boeing
Visionary Concepts – Zodiac Aerospace … and more. You can find the complete winners list here
Like last year, there was an IFEC Zone comprised of three of the total AIX zones and an App to help sort it out. The IFE Zone had 102 exhibitors and grew by 31% over 2015. The App is designed to enhance your experience before, during and after the show, by putting the following features and information at your fingertips:
• 3D Floor plan with routeplanner features information about walking distances between the halls
• Find exhibitors by category to view profiles and to add to your list of favorites
• View the exhibitor’s products
• View the full four-day event program and speaker listings
• Take a look at the features that are at the exhibition including Wi-Fi areas
• General and venue information to help plan your journey
• My Event – perfect for storing your favorite exhibitors and sessions
• Guide to Hamburg to help see what Hamburg has to offer including hotels, restaurants and in case you have time local attractions
• And yes, you could take a selfie with their personalized background
In summary then, the AIX folks note the following show statistics and info: “16,000 industry executives are estimated to have attended Passenger Experience Week, from 5th – 7th April, whilst the number of VIP airline attendees rose by 14% – many of whom were senior executives from more than 180 airlines located in 26 markets across the globe. There were more than 530 exhibitors at this year’s AIX –– with 145 companies exhibiting for the first time. AIX was preceded by the Passenger Experience Conference, which saw more than 50 speakers from across the passenger experience industry sharing insights with some 400 delegates from airlines, suppliers, designers and the media.”
PASSENGER EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE:
The folks at AIX note: Defining the future of the passenger experience industry, the Passenger Experience Conference is the leading global conference and networking forum delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Check out the program and speakers here
One of the best part of the flying future is the potential for onboard purchases, as many speakers at the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) meeting on Monday stated. One presenter noted that the folks at GuestLogix pegged onboard sales in 2014 around $1.8B worldwide. Beverages were 58% of the total, food was 38.2%, while “Passenger Comfort” was given at 3.8%. The interesting part was the growth – 11% per year! Part of this is attributable to the airlines reduction of free items; however, this kind of growth is indicative of a couple things. First, passengers have money to purchase items, that is proof of the growth rate, but further, as an area of purchasing potential, the cabin is ripe. Thus, there is a growing market for providing a way to purchase more on the plane is an obvious potential. We should also mention that Visa and MasterCard also exhibited 10 and 13.6 % growth, respectively, in the same period. Further, off-line limits are in the $100 to $200 range, while on-line sales via the credit card world has no limits. The authentication process is delivering real-time proof-of-ownership status with the bank that issues the card (and a real-time Lost/Stolen card status as well). Obviously, connectivity and credit card sales onboard have a future on aircraft and folks like IFPL are prepping the technology for that eventuality.
APEX & GOOGLE ANNOUNCEMENT:
One of the early show surprises was the involvement of Google with IFEC and we can thank Joe Leader of APEX for their inclusion. By using their world class data aggregation and knowledge data base capability, the folks at Google see a connection to this business in the pre-flight, in-flight, and the post-flight regimes by helping to extend the engagement window and shortening the rebooking cycle. In flight, they see the capacity of helping the connected passenger to experience a better, personalized experience, and finally, enabling ancillary revenue growth for products and post flight services. Google has a part in the future of air travel… they think so and so does APEX.
On the same note, Joe Leader of APEX, see’s a world of data assisted passenger experiences and kicked off their announcement of an Official Airline Rating program. Beginning with seats and product catalogs, the APEX view talks about high effectiveness and high airline control over the eventual personalization of the travel experience and the resulting “differentiated” airline in the evolution process. Of course, the issue is data and while passengers (74% on average) are comfortable using technology when they travel, there is a plethora of apps available, fewer are really used. He noted that an average of 80 are device installed, only 25% are seemingly used for the travel process. While the numbers may be higher than you or I use, the issue is one of data obfuscation – too many apps, and a better way to use them is needed. In the next few years as Joe noted, there will need to be an interoperability between apps, Facebook, and Google. There also needs to be a friendlier branding eco-structure in the ticket process… and thus there needs to be a neutral party to pull the process together. In essence, he sees a future airline rating system that can know and confirm validity for all airlines (Tall order!). Next, it has to be useful to passengers beyond travel and since there are over 10 million active users, this tool has value. Further, the tool that Joe is proposing has to correctly use feedback and exhibit some neutral bias such as a non-profit position because it has to provide non-conflicting results to the airlines. Thus, he proposed OfficialAirlineRatings (TM) (patent pending), which will be validated flight ratings for worldwide airlines by the passengers… this is a global project. He expects the data service to begin this summer and time will tell if airlines will get in bed with this passenger response driven system.
From a data point of view, APEX plans to analyze subjective data from passengers, use objective data captured from actual sources like seat measurements and IFE capability and availability. We expect APEX to calibrate and review the data and sources by flying the airline noted routes (hopefully announced), and provide raw data and awards as the final output for the effort. Make no mistake, this is no easy challenge because the airline involvement is key and we will wait to see if APEX can corral the airlines into this program – lofty goal, hard to do in practice. IFExpress wishes APEX the best on this program because it establishes a common goal for measurement but historically, this has been hard to achieve.
AIX NEWS HEADLINES:
- AIRBUS’ launch customer for the Airspace by Airbus cabin is TAP Portugal’s 14 A330-900neos. The new Airspace by Airbus has a LED mood lighting system, larger overhead bins, new lavatories, a new welcome area and the latest innovations in IFE and connectivity.
- SINGAPORE AIRLINES selected STELIA AEROSPACE, to design and manufacture their new business class seats.
- ROCKWELL COLLINS and THALES were selected by Airbus to supply high-bandwidth connectivity (HBC) solution for A320s, A330s and A380s; companies will collaborate with Airbus to develop and deploy line-fit and retrofit systems.
- Hainan Airlines selected THALES to supply Android-based AVANT IFE for its new A330s. Deliveries start in the second half of 2017.
- PANASONIC AVIONICS eXO overhead IFE system was selected by Saudi Arabian Airlines for 30 A320s currently on order.
- STG AEROSPACE launched new saf-Tglo blu photoluminescent floor path system that uses a cool blue glow instead of the traditional green glow, and liTeMood LED a newplug-and-play replacement for incandescent reading lights on the 737NGs. They also secured Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA. Additionally, STG Aerospace expands its emergency and informational cabin signage product range with Malaysia Airlines. Lastly, Eastern Airlines improves passenger experience by installing STG Aerospace’s LED mood lighting system.
Summit selected TELEFONIX PDT to secure STC for its IFEC hardware for 737-700/800/900ER.
- HAMBURG AVIATION presented 2016 Crystal Cabin Awards to B/E AEROSPACE (Cabin Systems), BOEING (Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment), ETIHAD(Cabin Concepts), LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS (Electronic Systems), REBEL.AERO (Passenger Comfort Hardware), SEKISUI SPI (Material and Components), TU DELFT (University) and ZODIAC(Visionary Concepts).
- AFI KLM E&M received an EASA STC to install ROCKWELL COLLINS PAVES PSS on A330.
- ROCKWELL COLLINS announced a new virtual training simulator for maintenance and operation of its seat-centric PAVES and overhead IFE systems. Rockwell Collins was also selected by AIR ASTANA to provide onboard broadband connectivity
- GORE unveiled HDMI 2.0 cables to provide higher video resolution for IFE systems.
- GOGO released: From the Ground Up: How the Internet of Things will Give Rise to Connected Aviation, which was created to spark an industry wide conversation about how the Internet of Things will reshape aviation. Free Also, GOGO partnered with Airbus Corporate Jet Centre to install 2Ku technology on new A350 aircraft. Delta Air Lines will take delivery of 2Ku-equipped A350s in 2017.
- FOKKER SERVICES displayed iShade dimmable technology integrated into its new panoramic window at AIX.
- INMARSAT to enhance airline passenger broadband offering with roadmap for aviation capacity growth. Global Xpress will serve as the foundation of an integrated global network that can be shaped to fit any airline route system and built upon to meet future demand.
- INFLIGHT DUBLIN strikes worldwide IFE agreement with Sony Music.
- DMD (Dawson Media Direct) welcomes digital media expert Andrew Wiltshire to head Digiredoo their digital newspaper and magazine delivery service to airlines independent airport lounges and major rail operators across the world.
- MEZZOGLOBAL launched low cost wireless In-Flight Passenger Entertainment App for Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD).
- PANASONIC AVIONICS is first to offer NFC Technology with multiple aircraft OEMs.
- ASTRONICS CORPORATION awarded Emergency Lighting and Passenger Service Unites (PSU) contract for the Embraer E2 program.
- SITA released that Australia Border Exit Checks are now powered by SITA’s advanced technology. Automatic advance security checks now being run on all passengers exiting Australia.
Lastly, we apologize to those folks we missed at AIX. We tried but it has finally come down to time versus the number of IFEC displays and presentations. If you have something you want to say, send it to us and we will get your message out… we hope!
- The Co-Location of The 2016 Global Connected Aircraft Summit and The Airline Passenger Experience Association’s Technology and Educational Conference Will Provide Maximum Value to Event Attendees
Rockville, MD | January 27, 2016– The Global Connected Aircraft Summit and The Airline Passenger Experience Association Technology Educational Conference (APEX TEC) will co-locate events this June in Los Angeles, California. The Global Connected Aircraft Summit will take place June 6-8, while the APEX TEC Conference will take place June 8-9.
The co-location of Global Connected Aircraft Summit and APEX TEC will provide attendees the opportunity to maximize value of their participation over the four days. Registrants will have expanded opportunities to meet fellow industry members, airline executives, cyber security professionals, technologists, and subject matter experts. Attendees will be able to hear from both groups’ knowledgeable speakers and leaders about the future of aerospace industry connectivity and evolving passenger needs.
The Global Connected Aircraft Summit, launched in 2014, provides an in-person forum for the discussion of connectivity as it pertains to aerospace, aviation, satellite and beyond. Connecting airlines with the organizations that support them, the Global Connected Aircraft Summit covers new and emerging technologies, communications advances, solutions in the cockpit, and beyond as they relate to airline operations as well as the passenger experience. Now in its third year, the organizers of the growing event are excited for the opportunity to partner with APEX, one of the top associations serving the aviation community. Those attending APEX TEC will have the opportunity to register for the Global Connected Aircraft Summit at a discounted rate in order to meet with attendees and hear the top-tier content that the Summit has a reputation for providing.
“By co-locating Global Connected Aircraft Summit with APEX TEC, we are able to offer an even greater value to our attendees by creating an event that takes a comprehensive, in-depth look at the industry,” said Tish Drake, Vice President of the Global Connected Aircraft Summit . “APEX TEC will focus on all technologies touching the passenger experience, including connectivity, entertainment, and on board payment, which nicely compliments the Global Connected Aircraft Summit business, technology and operations coverage, bringing the event full circle.”
For nearly 40 years, APEX has served as the international airline association for the passenger experience industry. APEX created APEX TEC to provide the industry and its members with information, guidance, analysis, and trend reporting on technology issues critical to the aviation industry. APEX TEC provides a crucial forum for technical experts to review and discuss ongoing special projects of the APEX Technology Committee setting specifications and standards for the airline industry focused upon applying new technologies to the passenger experience. Attendees at APEX TEC will hear thought-leading presentations from within and outside the airline industry on cutting-edge technologies. Contributions made by delegates to APEX TEC shape airline travel technology more than any other industry event.
“APEX TEC sets the standard for airline passenger technology and 2016 will set on a unique new trajectory focused beyond individualization,” said Joe Leader, APEX CEO. “By co-locating APEX TEC with Global Connected Aircraft Summit, we will be able to bring our distinctive offerings to a broader airline audience than ever before, while continuing to advance technological standards for our industry.”
It’s that time again when the the boss wants to know what show(s) you and your team need to attend in 2016, and it is a daunting job. I know, because when in the IFEC corporate world I had to do it. Usually, the boss wants to know, what show(s) to visit and why, what show(s) need to have a booth, who should go to which shows, and finally, a budget needs to be developed for doing the aforementioned. So, to help out the poor folks who have to sort it out here is a list of shows that might be worth your while and we call them IFEC SHOWS YOU SHOULD VISIT. We do so because we have visited most of them and found value, and we think you will as well. We have also listed IFEC SHOWS YOU MIGHT WANT TO VISIT because they look very interesting and educational but we have not visited all of them. And lastly, we list some ANCILLARY SHOWS that look valuable, but you have to be the judge.
YOU SHOULD VISIT THESE:
Aircraft Interiors EXPO, April 5 – 7, 2016, Hamburg Messe, Germany
This quote from their website says it all: “Take your business to new heights with the leading aircraft interiors event, with over 1,000 airline buyers, 530+ leading aircraft interiors suppliers, and 14,000 approx. attendees all in one place.” Which pretty much says it all. Easily the biggest IFEC since it began, and because it exists in Europe, they have a large, natural aviation audience and a lot of close national and international airlines. Although, it doesn’t hurt to have free walk-around admission to the exhibition. You can find out more here. We should note that the conference covers a lot of diverse cabin interior products there is a dedicated IFEC zone which usually is approximately half of the show and almost too much to cover from a reporter perspective. Here is what they say about the ZONE: “With IFEC at the forefront of the aviation commercial industry, the IFEC zone at Aircraft Interiors Expo has increased in size by 31%. Covering halls B2 to B4, the IFEC Zone is dedicated to Content Service providers, TV/ Short Subject Content Sellers, Games Suppliers, GUI Creators and App Developers, IFE Hardware, and Inflight Communications & Connectivity.” Believe us, all the IFEC folks will be there and companies like Panasonic, Thales, and many others will be there. We also note that on Monday, April 4 (one day before the AIX Exhibition), is the Passenger Experience. Here is their story: “Learn from industry visionaries, exchange knowledge and engage in lively debate exploring the future trends of the passenger experience industry. Featuring in-depth breakout sessions focusing on cabin interiors and passenger comfort; passenger entertainment and connectivity; hospitality, service and retail. Encompassing case studies, presentations, panel discussions, networking and more, to set the agenda for the passenger experience industry and drive your business forward. This one day conference and Industry Networking Party opens the Passenger Experience Week, ahead of Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo.” Their website tells it al.
(Editor’s Note: If you check out this link for AIX you might note an interesting lead advertiser – you got it, “APEX”. No doubt, the world of IFEC Shows is seeing a lot of visitor duress because of the number of offerings. We think there is an effort afoot to consolidate and merge the Shows… and that just makes sense. We suspect Mr. Leader and others are at work on this but we have no data to prove it. If you have been confused as to “who is showing with whom” this year, don’t feel alone. This is a transition year and we expect a lot of changes in IFEC Shows in the coming years. Co-location of IFEC shows is a necessary ritual today and we all probably have many parties to thank for it… mostly because it makes financial sense. More surprises ahead, we reckon – Stay tuned!)
APEX EXPO 2016, October 24 – 27, Singapore; Aircraft Interiors EXPO ASIA, October 25 – 27; FTE ASIA EXPO, October 25 – 26, Singapore.
The trifecta event will take place in Singapore from 24 thru 27 October 2016 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The decision to co-locate the IFEC show triumvirate represents a closer collaboration to the benefit of the industry as a whole. The Reed Exhibitions folks go on to say: “Both APEX and Reed Exhibitions have a history of incredibly successful events, so this collaboration will be a win-win for our industry as a whole.” Further, Joe Leader, APEX CEO noted: “We are enthused that APEX will gain more members through our collaboration efforts to advance the passenger experience.” Also, at the co-located event, AIX Asia will feature the latest innovations in aircraft seating, cabin interior design, management systems, soft furnishings, leather, textiles, galley equipment, and lighting services. APEX EXPO will feature the world of airline passenger experience including its red-carpet exclusive World of Content, electronics, airline passenger content, passenger engagement technology, and cutting-edge IFE technology.
(Stay Tuned for any event changes at the Singapore show since it now includes all three big IFEC show sponsors; and because they are looking after your money, be patient.)
YOU MIGHT WANT TO ALSO VISIT THESE:
AIME – Aircraft Interiors Middle East 2016, 3 – 4 Feb., Dubai World Trade Center, UAE
From their website: “AIME is a two-day exhibition and conference providing the ideal platform for interiors suppliers, providers and buyers to network and establish new relationships in the Middle East. Co-located with MRO Middle East, AIME is a must-attend event delivering the latest innovations in aircraft interiors. AIME 2016 is held at Dubai World Trade Centre on 03-04 February 2016. As the Middle East’s only aircraft interiors event, AIME 2016 will feature over 275 exhibitors, 4,500 attendees from over 100 countries, as well as more than 90 airlines represented from around the world.”
IPC APEX EXPO 2016 Conference & Exhibition, March 15 – 17, Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, NV, USA
From the website: “IPC APEX EXPO 2016 delivers a critical combination of progressive education and tomorrow’s technology. Join us and be part of the year’s best opportunity to learn and experience applied technology with real-world applications for tomorrow’s needs. This is Forward Thinking for Tomorrow’s Technology. and we offer the latest technical research, Industry best practices, access to the solutions and subject-matter experts you need to solve challenges in a fraction of the time it takes on the job the largest electronics industry collection of top suppliers, live demos, and extreme innovation, connections in educational sessions on the show floor and during networking events.“
FTE – Future Travel Experience Europe, April 25 – 26, Amsterdam, NL
FTE notes on their website: “The organizers say FTE Europe 2016 will deliver a memorable learning and networking experience to the expected 450+ senior travel sector executives from Europe and beyond, who will enjoy a unique event program consisting of influential keynote speakers, ‘On the Ground’ and ‘Up in the Air’ conference streams, an extensive exhibition, collaboration forums and unique social events. “The ‘Up in the Air’ conference stream was introduced at FTE Europe 2015 to great acclaim and completes our focus on the “end-to-end” travel experience. It is now firmly established as the industry’s leading conference where airlines, OEMs, cabin designers and suppliers share their latest onboard innovations and define which direction the in-flight passenger experience will take in the future.” Check out their website (the best).
Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity & IFE Conference 2016, April 27 – 28, London, England
Here is what the folks at Get Connected wrote about it: “Make a diary note for Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th April 2016. That’s when the Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity & IFE Conference (AEEC 2016) is taking place at the Park Inn Hotel, London Heathrow, UK. Launched in 2013, this was the world’s first event of its kind to cover all aspects of aircraft connectivity and IFE (on the ground, in the cockpit and the passenger cabin). The aim of this conference is to help all airlines to better manage the operational benefits and revenue opportunities available with connected airplanes. In addition to flight deck and cabin IFE connectivity topics the are planning to include an airline eEnablement panel discussion for 2016, plus topics on big data, wearable tech and MRO connectivity applications.” You can download the brochure here.
GLOBAL CONNECTED AIRCRAFT 2016 Summit, June 6 – 8, Los Angeles, CA, USA
They say this about the show: “The Global Connected Aircraft Summit provides airlines, operators, integrators, and technology vendors complete connected solutions – from ground to air and from nose to tail. The second annual event connects business, technology, and industry perspectives and goes beyond just in-flight entertainment, to include operations, communications and technologies that impacts the aircraft. The annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit brings together an audience focused on the aircraft of the future across the satellite and aviation industries. This educational event starts where the others stop – delivering more than average solutions and providing real-world examples and results that will positively impact your bottom line. Discover how connectivity is expanding beyond providing passengers with state-of-the-art entertainment to increase efficiency and offer cutting edge services.This highly-anticipated event will take place at the Loews Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA June 6-8, 2016. This three-day educational summit will feature keynote speakers in both the satellite and aviation industries, multiple networking opportunities on and off site, and a chance to truly understand the concept of global connectivity beyond the passenger experience in order to increase efficiency and offer cutting edge services.”
NBAA’s – Business Aircraft Convention & Exhibition (NBAA – BACE), Nov. 1 – 3, 2016, Orlando Fla., USA
“Join 26,000 industry professionals for the most important three days of business aviation. Ranked as the sixth largest trade show in the United States, the Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) will be held Nov. 1–3, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, bringing together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to get critical work accomplished.” Note: This show seems to have a limited IFEC display content but still companies like ASI, Panasonic, and Astronics were in attendance along with many connectivity folks like Gogo and and on.)
And lastly, we found some ADDITIONAL SHOWS that you might also want to attend:
1. SATELLITE 2016, March 7 – 10, 2016, Gaylord Convention Center, National Harbor, MD, USA
2. Airline & Aerospace MRO Operations IT Conference – Americas, March 8 – 9, Miami, Florida, USA
3. Women In Aviation, March 10 – 12, Nashville, TN, USA
4. Evolving Connectivity 2016, April 27, Birmingham, England
5. Aviation Electronics Europe, April 20, 21, Munich Germany
6. Airshow China 2016, Nov. 1 – 6, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
NOTE: Attached is a link to many of the shows above and it was provided to us in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet. We know you need something to show your boss and we asked John Courtright (SIE) to provided his worksheet which he uses for industry event planning. You can start there and add your shows preferences. He told IFExpress: “SIE needs to have a strong presence at various Aerospace Industry events. So, in marketing our Major Mod, Engineering Design and STC services to Operators and OEMs worldwide we use this 2016 planning tool to ensure we are available, accessible, and responsive to our MRO and IFE & Connectivity customers at these important Industry events.” Thank You John & SIE!
YOURSpace: Last week we introduce YOURSpace with a discussion about Fiber Optic advancements from Lumexis. If you didn’t get an opportunity to read last week’s submission, check out the hyperlink under the ‘YOURSpace’ header at the bottom of IFExpress. Next week YOURSpace will feature digEcor. Do you have a story to tell? That’s why we developed YOURSpace… contact Patricia Wiseman for more information.
- October 2016 Event Creates Airline Industry’s Biggest Autumn Event for Airline Passenger Experience
New York, USA | December 8, 2015– The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and Reed Exhibitions have today announced the co-location of APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Asia (AIX Asia), creating the biggest airline passenger experience trade show in Asia. The event will take place in Singapore from 24-27 October, 2016 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands.
The decision to co-locate APEX and AIX Asia represents a closer collaboration to the benefit of the industry as a whole. Reed Exhibitions will be moving their AIX Americas event to Singapore for October 2016 under the title AIX Asia. Both APEX EXPO and AIX Americas will return to the USA in 2017.
“Both APEX and Reed Exhibitions have a history of incredibly successful events, so this collaboration will be a win-win for our industry as a whole. We are enthused that APEX will gain more members through our collaboration efforts to advance the passenger experience,” said Joe Leader, APEX CEO.
Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “Following feedback from our exhibitors and airline attendees, we are delighted to be co-locating AIX Asia next autumn alongside APEX EXPO. This provides a great opportunity to bring the industry together and we are looking forward to a fantastic show in Singapore.”
At the co-located event, AIX Asia will feature the latest innovations in aircraft seating, cabin interior design, management systems, soft furnishings, leather, textiles, galley equipment, and lighting services. APEX EXPO will feature the world of airline passenger experience including its red-carpet exclusive World of Content, electronics, airline passenger content, passenger engagement technology, and cutting-edge IFE technology. APEX will also lead the coordination of educational and networking events across the passenger experience industry.
We are still covering the press meetings with APEX Show vendors and will do so for the next few weeks to let our readers get a better feel for our discussions there – our goal is the help everybody understand their products and promotions…
The Lumexis press release said it all best about their announced deal in Portland: Lumexis Corporation today announce that their Fiber-To-The-Screen (FTTS) In-Flight Entertainment system has been selected by Caribbean Airlines for installation on their fleet of B737 aircraft. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Caribbean Airlines as our latest airline customer,” said Jon Norris, Lumexis Vice President Sales. “In addition to continuing the in-service success of the FTTS system, Caribbean Airlines are the launch customer for FTTS Second ScreenTM which enables passengers to use their own tablets and smartphones simultaneously at their seat without interrupting the entertainment running in the FTTS HD monitors.” IFExpress understands that eight of their B737 will be initially involved. In case you don’t know the airline, Caribbean Airlines operates more than 600 weekly flights to 19 destinations in the Caribbean, North and South America and the United Kingdom. The airline’s fleet of 21 is comprised of Boeing 737-800, Boeing 767-300ER and ATR72-600 aircraft. Headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, and with an operational base in Jamaica, Caribbean Airlines employs more than 1600 people. The airline is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Lou Sharkey, President and Chief Operating officer notes, “We are delighted to partner with Caribbean Airlines to bring to their passengers our award winning Inflight Entertainment system”. “Partner” is a good word here and we note, the key concept is to increase customer entertainment choice over their many worldwide routes. We understand the first install will occur in June of 2016.
The folks at Lumexis also stated that they have now developed their 4th generation FTTS system which, we note, features the Android Lollipop Operating System… the first IFE we know that does. This means, as one writer noted, “With Android Lollipop Google is making connectivity a big focus.” Improved connectivity is a big deal with the engineering folks and we see the second screen concept they are so proud of as a real passenger pleaser. However, as they also point out, the majority of airlines want seat back entertainment, but portable IFE is very well accepted as short haul solutions. And speaking of screens, the Lumexis team has developed full HD screens in their IFE offering with multi-touch pinch and zoom. Jon Norris notes that “… we’re talking to over 50 airlines at the moment who are interested in our FTTS line-it offering and considering the product… airlines are solidly considering Lumexis as the fourth IFE option on the B737.”
APEX has just announced that vendor attendees at the APEX TEC conferences will now be charged a fee to participate. As this changes a long-established tradition of TECs being a benefit of membership, IFExpress asked APEX Technology Committee chair and APEX Board Member Michael Childers to explain the reasons.
IFExpress: After years of offering technology committee meetings as a member benefit, why are you now charging?
Childers: There are several reasons. One is that these meetings have, over time, evolved from simply working meetings of various TC Working Groups, to educational conferences attended by people who are not members of the Working Groups, and who are attending for information and educational benefits.
As attendance has regularly increased due to this kind of attendee, the costs of these activities have also risen. It is difficult to distinguish between today’s TECs and the Educational Meetings that we have around the world, and it seemed reasonable to begin to try to achieve parity between the TECs and the Educational Conferences by charging vendor attendees who come for information which is of value.
IFExpress: Are you saying that membership dues no longer cover the costs of these events?
Childers: They do not. Nor does the combination of membership fees and the sponsorships for the TECs cover all of the expenses. Plus, as a direct expense of providing technology leadership, APEX now employs a part-time Technical Director, Bryan Rusenko, who spends a lot of his time helping to plan and execute TECs.
In addition, APEX has now hired a full-time CEO, Joe Leader, and more of Joe’s time than you might imagine actually goes into industry technology and how that is communicated via the TECs. Financial management is a big part of Joe’s leadership responsibility, and he does not believe in association activities that do not pay for themselves. The Board has agreed to look at everything we do as an association and consider how such activities can pay for themselves.
But Joe also believes in delivering value and he has committed to us that he will leverage his extensive contacts to give us access to even better speakers and panelists at future TECs. For example, Joe is directly responsible for landing a major technology company for our TEC program next month. (Come see!)
IFExpress: Haven’t a lot of the TC’s activities in the past depended on volunteerism rather than paid staff?
Childers: They have, but technology has become such a large part of our industry that the increase in volunteers doesn’t cover it. In addition, we are facing the fact that IFEC technologies do not exist in a vacuum—we benefit from and are dependent upon open standard technologies that originate elsewhere.
Content management technologies originating in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) such as the Interoperable Master Format (IMF); Movielabs, such as IMSC1-2 for closed captions; and the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) and its Common Format, are all examples.
But we now have to look beyond just Content Management and consider such questions as how would open data exchange standards impact the passenger experience. APEX cannot create those standards, but we must be sure that we align our own specifications with them and have a seat at the table when they are developed.
IFEpress: What are the registration fees that APEX is seeking for the TECs?
Childers: $350 for vendor members, and $450 for approved non-members. Airlines and invited press get in free. Speakers, sponsors, and some active Working Group members are free or discounted.
- A recent interesting announcement from Panasonic and Teledyne controls is one of the new data related options being put together for airlines but go beyond IFE. “The companies will combine Teledyne’s Wireless GroundLinkComm+ product suite with Panasonic’s Global Communications Service to provide cost effective connectivity during flight or at the gate. This enhanced offering will leverage both Ku-band service and GSM cellular, enabling aircraft operators to break free from the bandwidth limitations and high transmission costs associated with traditional data communications systems. When combined with Panasonic’s Weather Solutions application and Teledyne’s GroundLink AID+ solution, real time weather can be delivered to the flight deck, resulting in enhanced safety and increased flight efficiency. Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “With this agreement, Panasonic and Teledyne will create a unique service that uses real-time data transmission to create operational efficiencies and reduced costs for our customers.”
- Think 40GBASE-T puts an end of the “copper twisted-pair party”? Nope, think lower. Here is a quote from the Tektronix folks: “But in November 2014, IEEE 802.3 put out a call for interest on 25GBASE-T, driven by the likes of Cisco, Microsoft and Intel who recognized 25 Gb/s as a more efficient, cost-effective option for switch-to-server speeds in cloud-based data centers. Hence the 25GBASE-T IEEE study group was formed.” You can read more here.
- Don’t forget Aircraft Interior North America Exhibition in Seattle, WA. November 4 & 5. We are going there to see the Schott In-Seat Illumination products that use LED’s and fiber optics… not to mention the Star Ceiling interior paneling. See you there. You can register here
- Be careful on a plane using your iPhone/Android phone and headphones because hackers have been able to use radio waves to control your smartphone via the “antenna” the earphone leads provide… and they can do it up to 16 feet away! Check it out
- If you are into streaming media, this 2 day event in Huntington Beach is for you: The Streaming Media West expo offers attendees a firsthand look at the leading software, hardware, and network solutions and services in the streaming media industry. Streaming Media West 2015 Registration | Online Video Conference and Expo
Ron Chapman sent IFExpress a message and it said there will be a “GRRRILLA Gala” at NBAA! Stay Tuned, we will be there!
San Francisco | September 21, 2015– Osterhout Design Group (ODG), the leading Smart Glasses designer and manufacturer, today announced it will be attending the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA) EXPO in Portland, Oregon to showcase the future of in-flight computing and entertainment with its new R-7 Smart Glasses and content provided by Paramount Pictures.
“As a fully-connected mobile computing platform, the R-7 allows airlines’ passengers to privately browse the web, check emails, and run Android applications, while also delivering cutting edge entertainment and virtual experiences that cannot be achieved with tablets or traditional in-flight screens,” said Pete Jameson, COO of ODG. “Our technology is ideal for first class passengers, private-flight environments, or airlines simply looking to provide a best-in-class experience for their customers, and we look forward to demonstrating it at the APEX/IFSA EXPO.”
“While wearing ODG’s glasses, airline passengers can now watch both 2D and 3D movies and receive an unforgettable experience. This will be a compelling element in the future of in-flight entertainment.”
ODG’s R-7 are the world’s most advanced Smart Glasses featuring stunning ultra-transparent 3D stereoscopic displays and packed with innovative technologies in a small, light and sleek design. R-7 requires no external computing or other support and delivers an unparalleled user experience of display clarity, on-board processing power and system accuracy. The Glasses offer gaming, Augmented Reality, and simulate a floating 65-inch HDTV.
“ODG’s Smart Glasses deliver crystal clear audio visual quality perfect for showing Paramount content,” said Joan Filippini, Paramount’s SVP, Non-Theatrical Distribution. “While wearing ODG’s glasses, airline passengers can now watch both 2D and 3D movies and receive an unforgettable experience. This will be a compelling element in the future of in-flight entertainment.”
ODG will be located at booth #335. For more information about ODG and its products, visit:www.osterhoutgroup.com
Meet Joe Leader, new Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), Chief Executive Officer. IFExpress asked the very busy Joe Leader to answer a couple questions about the future of technology and APEX, and he was kind enough to scribe his response while on a recent flight. Here is what he had to say:
IFExpress: Please give our readers your feelings about the importance of technology for future cabin upgrades in entertainment and communications. Any examples?
Leader: Future cabin upgrades in entertainment and communications will center upon automation and individualized personalization. Airlines have an incredible wealth of data about their customers to provide more individualized service. In-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions provide an amazing opportunity to further enhance passenger experience while boosting airline ancillary revenue. Google recently publicly presented an IFE mock-up. Their philosophy is one of answer, anticipate, and enable. That aligns perfectly with my philosophy of enhancing passenger experience via individual passenger preferences. Delta also unveiled their hand-held solution for flight attendants that shows all key information about every passenger. Advances will allow passengers to be remembered so that any charges for Wi-Fi, their favorite drinks, and food.
IFExpress: At this time, how do you see APEX as a ‘positive force’ in affecting the improvements you noted above?
Leader: APEX has been a steadfast airline passenger experienced focused association for nearly 40-years, but we need to shift gears to a thought-leadership organization that quickens the industry. I have listened to airlines, suppliers, service companies, and studios starved for common standards in our areas of responsibility. We will provide them as APEX bears the highest responsibility to advance these causes. Standards hasten industry adoption of new products. Taking proactive interaction now will make certain that in-flight entertainment does not become the Android Auto versus Apple CarPlay type competitive environment. I should not have to check device compatibility when I purchase my car or airline seat. Airline passengers should be able to leverage any smart phone and smart device with their airline of choice in the future. APEX holds an educational responsibility to enlighten our airlines on how to maximize ancillary revenue in a connected world that places the highest value on insights and returns. Finally, APEX should serve as an educational force for its supplier members so that their steps are more surefooted as they advance.
IFExpress: Portland, Oregon APEX is near, is there a message you have for the attendees?
Leader: We are entering an incredible age renaissance in passenger experience. My fellow CEO at A4A recently highlighted that airlines are spending half of their profits on enhancing passenger experience. APEX will provide the education and technological bridge to more quickly advance our $10 billion a year upgrade industry alongside the billions more in new aircraft passenger experience purchases. With more than 3500 attendees for APEX EXPO, there is no better venue in the world for advancement. We only allow members into EXPO that have been fully vetted. It stands as an appointment-driven show focused upon results. As our industry flies forward, APEX will serve as a beacon to maximize return on investment for all of our members and airlines.
Lastly, we strongly encourage our readers to introduce themselves to Joe at the APEX Conference in Portland – we think you are going to like him. We also note that the world of inflight entertainment is changing, as he eloquently notes in his short interview. Undoubtedly, we think it is going to be a real interesting challenge to develop entertainment and connectivity solutions when today’s passenger brings a big part of the technical connectivity solution onto the plane. APEX may have just gotten it right – the industry will need a new ‘Leader” to adapt to the new environment.
1. Carlisle – On the heels of the Paris Air Show in June, the launch of the FlightGear Ka/Ku Universal Installation has generated a flood of interest from OEMs, connectivity providers and airlines alike. Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) has partnered with Saint Gobain Performance Plastics to design and engineer an industry first and is proud to present the only end-to-end ARINC 791 solution for Ka-, Ku-, and Tri-band SATCOM installations. Its installation made simple; by providing a platform-independent and system-agnostic ARINC 791 solution, CarlisleIT and Saint Gobain are helping airlines and system providers improve their speed-to-market and deliver enhanced next generation SATCOM connectivity to today’s airline passengers. This robust and versatile package contains all of the components required for either retrofit or forward-fit installations on large or regional jet aircraft. Installation fittings are adjustable to cover the complete range of aircraft frame spacings while optimizing the interface loads to the fuselage.
A variety of available radomes tuned to Ka-, Ku-, or Tri-band frequencies fit interchangeably on the same adapter plate. Adapter plates customized to use existing radomes fit interchangeably on the same fuselage structural fittings. Aerodynamic fairings follow the fuselage curvature for each aircraft model without requiring large installation doublers, sealants, or excessive modifications to the aircraft skin. The design creates easier maintenance inspections, longer inspection intervals and lower long-term cost of ownership. Conformance to the ARINC 791 standard also helps future-proof the installation and makes upgrading to next generation multi-axis or low profile antennas easier and faster with commonality of key components across entire fleets.
CarlisleIT’s booth at the APEX Expo at the Oregon Convention Center (September 29-October 1) will feature a flight ready display of the Ka/Ku Universal Installation. Visitors to the booth will have the unique opportunity to discuss system options and sketch customizations on an adapter plate with a team of technical experts. Let’s un-complicate things. Visit Booth 1405 at APEX Expo and let CarlisleIT help you do just that.
2. APEX – APEX sent us a list of Opening day speakers (Sept. 28) and they include new APEX leader – Joe Leader, Sandy Stelling – Managing Director Customer R & D, Alaska Airlines, Werner Lieberherr – CEO, B/E Aerospace, Rainer von Borstel – CEO, Diehl Aerosystems, Devin Liddel – Principal Brand Strategist, TEAGUE, Rajan Datar – Presenter, BBC World News.
3. IFPL – In Portland, you might also want to see the following at IFPL’s booth 1408: “Cost and reliability have been a main focus in our new Breakaway jacks series which delivers a revolutionary cost neutral solution for both the jack and the headset, whilst providing high availability as it leverages our proven and popular Long Life audio jacks plus our new MagSignal technology which prevents broken headsets and jacks with our MagSignal connector. The module is fully compatible with existing headset connector types and our Long Life jack is tested to over 100,000 insertions.” We didn’t know: “Research shows that up to 10% of headsets coming off long-haul flights are not re-usable due to damage, which often results with broken pins left in the sockets rendering the IFE experience useless.” Check it out.
4. Pre-show, and while you are online, check out the New York Times bit about Portland sent to us by a fan. We note the video in the link and it should give our readers a rough idea what Portland is all about. As one speaker noted: “Portland is real serious about being casual.” Check it out!
Lufthansa Systems presents new Lido/eRouteManual product release – A mobile updater will allow wireless data updates to mobile devices, enabling pilots to update their Lido/eRouteManual digital navigation charts anytime, anywhere. This feature is part of the new product release which Lufthansa Systems unveiled at the annual Lido/Navigation User Conference in Zurich. Various Lido navigation solutions are in service worldwide with approximately 100 airlines, around 50 of whom have sent one or more delegates to this year’s conference. The new mobile updater represents a further, significant simplification for using the digital chart solution on mobile devices.
STG Aerospace has secured a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for its liTeMood Light-Emitting Diode (LED) cabin lighting system on the B737NG.
If you are wondering how Airbus will assemble A320’s in Alabama, watch this movie.
Worried about Internet security on the go? Check out Invisibox. Stay secure online on the go. The device is a “sponsored Kickstarter campaign” and will be available starting Feb. 2016 for backers. It features masked Tor traffic, GeoIP, exploit vulnerabilities cancellation, unique device passwords, add blocking, and a free VPN. It also will charge your phone – get in line, it’s about the size of your phone.
“The Martian’ is one of the year’s best movies. Told you so!
A special IFExpress Adios to Ken Lew (UAL, SONY, Rockwell, Boeing, Thales) who retired recently and who will probably be on his way to a European vacation when you read this. Ken wanted to say goodbye to his friends in the IFEC business at APEX but will not return till after the event has finished. Or, wish him the best yourself via email – email@example.com, and you might like read this ‘Olympic Tale’ from his IFE history.
Carrying on with satcom telephony we have a bit more background data on another connectivity solution for travelers that features the use of a flier’s existing phone number for inflight telephony. This past week we got in a news release from Satcom Direct with the following headline: “Powered by the Satcom Direct Router (SDRTM), GlobalVT is the first app that enables passengers to use their number on their smartphone, in-flight, anywhere in the world. Now, the GlobalVT mobile app is available for Android, delivering access to this revolutionary service to more smartphones across the globe.”
The news release went on to say: “Satcom Direct is continually delivering connectivity enhancements that aircraft operators want, particularly enabling use of smartphones in-flight, just like on the ground, and expanding this unique capability from iPhone to Android. Powered by the proprietary GlobalVT service and the exclusive SDR, passengers are connected to the appropriate network coverage, facilitating calls and SMS text messages during all phases of flight from taxi, to takeoff, to landing.” They also noted: “The GlobalVT service provides crisp, clear connections through its innovative voice codec developed specifically for satcom calls.”
Here is how they do it: “By replacing their existing ‘end of life’ (or ‘last generation’) onboard router with the SDR at their next maintenance event, flight departments can add the power of GlobalVT to their communications arsenal. The SDR brings next generation technologies that make it an ideal replacement solution for routers ending their useful life. The SDR not only interfaces with current networks; it’s designed to work with future networks including Ka, Ku and L-Band, and other new networks in development. STCs are available for most major airframes. The GlobalVT mobile app is available on Google PlayTM and on the App Store.”
We had a few questions about how the system worked so we sent a short note to the Satcom Direct folks with a few questions:
IFExpress: Please advise what hardware must be added to the “router” to receive Satcom Direct signals. Does it require installation engineering or certification costs?
Satcom Direct: GlobalVT is powered by the Satcom Direct Router (SDRTM). The SDR is a connectivity platform in itself. It only needs to be connected to the appropriate satcom provider’s system on the aircraft and combined with the GlobalVT service to enable individual users’ smartphones. Only GlobalVT allows calls and SMS texts to and from the individual’s own mobile number – no other special numbers or actions are required. GlobalVT works on both Android and iPhone. STCs are available for most aircraft, and the cost of the router is similar to that of other routers, yet it is so much more powerful. Usage costs are based on satellite airtime provider plans. The end user simply downloads and configures the GlobalVT mobile app to make calls on GlobalVT equipped aircraft. Here is a link to a video describing how GlobalVT works.
IFExpress: What satellite constellation(s) can be used?
Satcom Direct: The SDR not only interfaces with current networks; it’s designed to work with future networks including Ka, Ku and L-Band, and other new networks in development.
IFExpress: Is this an application for commercial, business jets, or both?
Satcom Direct: Currently, GlobalVT is available for business jets.
IFExpress: Since the product is sized “portable”, can you provide a picture of the pertinent hardware?
Satcom Direct: Here is an image of the SDRTM
Remember Portland, Oregon Sept. 28 – Oct 1 for the APEX EXPO – Notes David Withers, CEO Digecor: “EXPO is easily the best venue for film and television distributors, connectivity leaders, hardware providers and airline decision makers to get together to get business done. There is no other expo that includes so many inflight entertainment players. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.” Perhaps, you should not miss it either? Here is what you need to know.
The good news: Portland restaurants are really quite good. The bad news: Portland traffic sucks!
The next video caught us a bit by surprise. SITA Lab technologist, Renaud Irminger talks a couple minutes about SITA projects like aircraft future smartphone/airplane interfaces, biometric device applications, smart devices, and travel tokens… which we thought were quit a ways off. Not so, SITA is planning a smartphone travel token technology for use in boarding testing in 2015!
It is just a matter of time before flying bulk shipments of Lithium-ion batteries will disappear as plane manufacturers shun the practice. Check out this article – and decide for yourself. However, if you invent an inflight solution to the problem, you might just get rich!
For some reason, we are expecting a large Mr. RAVE built of LEGO’s at the Zodiac Inflight Innovations APEX Portland Show – Booth #1017… we are puzzled?
If you have a fear of global warming affecting air travel, here are two links you must read as they predict longer and bumpier flights!
If cyber security and recent airline purchase activity is your thing, you might want to ask yourself – Who’s hacking whom, or, is “purchase” a potential hacking preventative?
This week, entertainment and connectivity news looked like a shotgun blast of scattered stories, and we had a hard time picking a lead story! So instead of picking one to feature as our Hot Topic we thought it might be better, or at least different, to grasp the whole mess laid out by subject area. You choose what to read!
The future of technology is up in the air, literally. APEX EXPO is 35,000 feet above all other industry trade shows when it comes to bringing you the latest in inflight technology and connectivity! Join the industry Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Portland Oregon for the passenger experience industry’s most comprehensive trade show, including a day of world-class speakers and sessions devoted to technological issues and the future of the passenger experience, among other exciting topics!
- Leo Mondale, President, Aviation for Inmarsat, will delve into business models built around “future-proof” technologies that won’t be obsolete in a few years
- Craig Proud, SVP Platform for GuestLogix, will discuss onboard payment technologies – Apple Pay, MasterCard Paypass, Visa PayWave and more – that are seamless and satisfying for passengers
- Jim Costello, Chief Technology Officer for Telefonix, Inc. will cover the challenges and potential solutions for developing IFEC that stays relevant in a rapidly evolving market
The 138th Slot Conference of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global trade association for the airline industry, will be held in Hamburg from 21 to 23 June 2016. Following the World Passenger Symposium in 2015, this will be the second event of this renowned umbrella organisation to be hosted in Hamburg – thereby confirming Hamburg’s important role in the international aviation industry. Around 600 experts from the aviation industry are expected to attend the biggest of the IATA events, which will take place at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg.
- If you missed the live interview with Alan Pellegrini (USA President and CEO) you can check out his view of IFE trends and solutions from the Thales POV.
- Think there is a link between online price competition and longer flight times?
- A recent explosion in a Zodiac Aerospace factory in Spokane, WA put a number of workers in the hospital. And for photos check here
- Airplane Orders and Deliveries
- How does $38 Billion sound for 2014 airline extra baggage fee’s?
- United hires hackers
- And, here is how much free travel is in the above deal
- Seating improvements?
- If you don’t think there is a revolution going on in the inflight connectivity world, think again… here is an Inmarsat view paper overview
- Waiting for inflight information on your headphones inflight?
- Also coming soon to an airport near you
- Virgin America will debut faster W-Fi soon and 2 more links (The Verge and Engadget) on the subject!
- BOSE develops new features for A20 Aviation Headsets Among other them; the A20’s can now stream warnings and advisories thru apps via Bluetooth connectivity.
- Starting small may be the way to enter this one
- Tom Enders talks about emissions, innovation, and more
- Boeing warns airlines against flying battery shipments. Check this one out if you need more info on the future of shipping rechargeable batteries, at least until ‘adequate safety procedures are developed.’
- Tax Deals anyone?
- More planes?
- Looks like Kontron is focusing on secure connectivity inflight
- You are going to hear a lot more about the Hacking Team (company) in the future, but for now, Wi-Fi Hacking Drones are the subject here. Coming your way soon.
- It’s about time!
- And finally, in case you wondering if this last link has anything to do with IFEC — it does not. Would you like to guess how many recorded Internet security attacks there were yesterday? Eleven? One hundred and eleven? Eleven thousand… how about 11,059,744! Numbers like this really put the scale of potential aviation hack worries into perspective. You can see a threat intelligence map in realtime here.
Editor’s Note: This week’s rectangle has very little to do with IFE – we just wanted you to see the terrific Boeing Paint job!
- Betria Interactive, makers of the FlightPath3D Moving Map service, announces the new Discovery & Kids Themed 3D Map service’s commercial release
Irvine, CA | September 4, 2014/PRWEB/– Betria Interactive announces a significant expansion to its leading edge FlightPath3D Moving Map product suite with the new Discovery & Kids Themed 3D Map service. This new service is a substantial evolution over last year’s widely praised release of the flagship FlightPath3D Moving Map product suite with its engaging 3D Moving Map experience and innovative Destination City Guide & Concierge service.
The Themed Map service leverages the FlightPath3D extendable platform technology allowing any airline to deploy and update new Themed Map content packs without new software releases. This new release includes a total of 24, information rich Themed Maps in 5 initial categories: For Kids, Sports, History & Geography, Technology and the 10 Best. Each theme is designed to both inform and entertain passenger of every age. From Animals Around the World crafted to captivate and delight toddlers to Theme Parks of the World that will have teen flyers already planning their next trip to the adventurer in us all by following the Greatest World Explorers, there is truly something for everyone. In addition, airlines seeking something more tailored can commission custom Themed Maps developed to meet their unique needs and deliver a branded message to an engaged and interactive passenger audience.
“We are very proud to release our new Themed Map service. It not only brings the world to the passenger, it underscores the real innovation behind FlightPath3D. Beyond being the industry’s best 3D Moving Map service, it is a powerful platform to deliver geo-relevant content.” stated Betria Interactive President, Boris Veksler. “Each of the new Discovery & Kids Themed Map packs are deployed onto the FlightPath3D platform as a 100% configurable content package. Airlines with FlightPath3D can deliver both standard and customized Themed Map services using a similar content update process to that used to deliver movies, albums or news updates today. With FlightPath3D, the airline can serve engaging entertainment to both today’s and tomorrow’s in-flight audience.”
The FlightPath3D Moving Map service includes a flight preview “auto-play” script that can broadcast during aircraft boarding plus an in-seat interactive 3D map application packed with detailed satellite imagery and informative street maps. The service boasts the largest global place/name coverage in the industry with an incredible 25,000 named locations across the globe in over 20 languages. The Destination City Guide currently supports hundreds of cities across the globe with plans for expansion to add many more over the coming years; all with detailed street-level city maps and rich, multi-media Point-of-Interest data.
The FlightPath3D Discovery & Kids Themed Map service is commercially available to airport operators and commercial airline carriers and supports many of the popular in-flight entertainment platforms offered today.
There are a lot of IFE Conference happenings in the next month and a half and we wanted to point out a couple of them that we know and love – APEX in Anaheim CA, September 15 – 18, which we discussed last issue, and the Aircraft Interiors Passenger Experience Conference (and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services) in Seattle, Washington, October 15 and 16 at the Washington Convention Center in downtown Seattle. If you were there or read about last year’s Passenger Experience Conference, they did something that was quite novel. The show planners held a 3-for-1 feature on the first day of the 3 day show. That means that the first day, includes speakers in the morning, breakout sessions in the afternoon, and a reception/networking event hosted on the floor of the exhibition hall with all the cast of booth characters in the evening. If you only go to one day, be sure it’s Tuesday! See below:
Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas
Day 1 Tuesday, October 14, – 9:00 AM till Evening
The morning will explore future trends, before splitting into three concurrent breakouts in the afternoon, drilling into the detail of evolving the cabin experience. The day is timed to allow movement between sessions. Morning plenary Sessions will be looking at tomorrows world in air travel: the users guide to getting there, before asking can you generate a demand for your brand?
Introduction – Vern Alg, Moderator – Introduction to the opening plenary session exploring Tomorrow’s World in Air Travel: The Users’ Guide to Getting There. This session will feature three perspectives from design; travel and technology, on the future for consumer experiences and what that will mean for air travel.
The Paradox of the Chocolate Chip Cookie – Jeremy White, Head of Transport Design, Seymour Powell – “A presentation about the importance of the unimportant.”
How the Connected Traveller And Their Technology Will Define The Future Of Travel – Adam Luchsinger, Global Accounts Business Manager, Google- The level of connectivity in today’s world is a driving force for the evolution of the traveller. Google will share a perspective on three major directional shifts that we are seeing in the travel industry, driven by this increasingly connected traveler. They will explore trends in consumer behavior as well as the corresponding technological developments that will define travel product and marketing efforts in the future. Learn how to stay relevant and prosper in this evolving landscape and use technology as your biggest asset.
Q & A
Designing a Passenger Experience – Mark Krolick – Managing Director of Marketing and Product Development, UAL.
Panel Discussion: Changing the Focus. What Happens she We Start Designing the Experience rather than the Object?
The afternoon will feature 3 Breakout Very Complete Sessions:
1. Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity: Making better Connections with your Passengers for Great Onboard Experiences and Revenue Improvements
2. The Cabin: Backseat Economics and Innovation
3. The Cabin: Planning Cabin Modifications and Mitigating the Risk
Note: You can download the detailed program for the morning and afternoon.
Industry Networking Party/Exhibition Preview
Taking place on the exhibition floor following the Passenger Experience Conference. This is the ideal opportunity to network with industry peers and other professionals in a relaxed yet professional environment. This event will also double up as an exhibition preview with the exhibition formally opening the following morning on the 15th October.
The following two days (Oct 15 & 16) will feature the show floor exhibit visits so don’t miss that.
Wanna know whats going to be shown 2 weeks from now at APEX in the way of new technology? We got this from an IFE manufacturers website and it probably represents the the state of the technical economy at the conference: “At …, 3D is already here. In the near future, we expect to see Ultra HD, OLED, flexible displays that wrap the interior, gesture-controlled graphical user interfaces (GUIs), eye–tracking technology, and touch surfaces in IFE systems. Ultimately, our vision is to offer ubiquitous connectivity so that IFE systems and passenger devices can exchange data and be on the edge of the cloud, while in the clouds.” Beyond this, we expect a lot of Smart Device (PED) interfacing, Wi-Fi and possible Bluetooth connectivity , and a lot of streaming content solutions like Pandora et al.
And yes, with Apple pushing NFC in the iPhone 6, expect to see more ways to pay!
Looks like APEX will return to Hong Kong, 3 – 4 November, 2014 with 2 full days of educational events.
Heard about Flight Tonight? If you need a flight at a moments notice, this may be your website. The folks at Hopper who sponsors a Hotel Tonight for iOs, Android, and Windows App now have your immediate answer to a quickly needed flight. Flight Tonight takes you through the screens for choosing a departure, flight duration/length, and price. You can purchase the flights through airlines, Flight Tonight, and 3rd part booking agents like Travelocity. Flight Tonight App.
Shawn Raybell is now Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Armstrong Aerospace – 425 358-7333 or Shawn.Raybell@armstrongaerospace.com.
Did you notice that one of the 13 major sponsors for the 2014 APEX EXPO in Anaheim is AT&T? Now, why would they be involved… perhaps a connectivity announcement? If you remember they were in the air telephony game 10 years ago, but now they may be about to roll-out airborne LTE or even announce the beginnings of an acquisition. Stay tuned!
Remember our article on Aviation Scouts at www.aviationgate.com after last year’s AIX in Hamburg? They now have 100 aircraft ship-sets of airplane seats for your perusal. They are also touting a LinkedIn share function to show them to the boss and yes, you can still “spin” the pictures around to see the backsides of the seats! Nice.
Finally, you might watch out for some changes in the Thales Marketing Team – Looks to us the LiveTV crew will be involved!
“You probably know that this past July was the 60th anniversary of the Boeing B707 and you probably had no reason to celebrate that fact. But if you were around when the first prototype was given a “barrel roll” over the Seattle’s 1955 Seafair and Gold Cup Hydroplane Races held on Lake Washington on August 6, 1955, you probably thought Bill Allen, company President, Tex Johnson the Chief Test Pilot, and Ed Well, the Chief Engineer were just plain crazy… or just plane crazy. As it turns out the birth of the B707 was just the beginning of the story for the rest of us to come along in it’s contrails. And as history would have it, the story has been told about the “birth” of this important milestone in aviation history many times and by many authors and newspeople. The reason we are featuring it here in IFExpress is to tip off our readers to a terrific recounting of the planes birth by a true Renaissance Man, Robert (Bob) Bogash. Bob is a man who always looks for the truth in everything and in his own words, “I was a Boeing Engineer, and worked in Customer Support, Tech Pubs, Manufacturing, Flight Test, Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, Quality Control – plus a few other things I can’t even remember.” Here is his accounting of the story and we would be remiss in not telling you that this website account has gotten well over 1 million “reads” in the past few months!” – Terry Wiseman, Publisher
Last time we talked a bit about the aviation future based on recent activity at Farnborough and thus this week we thought it would be interesting to get a personal take on the aircraft interior.
So now, the question is: What can we expect in the future world of IFE, both in hardware and in content? We decided to ask two people who know as much about the future of IFE as anyone in this business, Rich Salter (hardware) and Michael Childers (content) and we chose them because in Rich’s case, the Lumexis Second Screen caught our attention and Michael because he has been on the forefront of movie sales, content development, captioning, consulting and so much more. Here’s what they told IFExpress about aircraft hardware/content future and their own environments:
Rich Salter, Lumexis’ CTO, had this to say: “Though we chose the name “FTTS Second Screen™” it also means “multi-screen” because that’s where the consumer and the technology is heading: to multiple screens in the home, office, and on the road as well. Today’s traveler wants to multitask on his/her larger embedded screen, laptop or tablet, and smartphone. But tomorrow’s generation (i.e., our young kids today) are even more into social networks and communicating (i.e., texting, tweeting, and posting photos) whenever and wherever with their friends and business groups alike – they are already adept at using multiple screens and running the app that runs best on each screen.
For high res movies, an embedded screen with fiber optic interface will always provide more capacity than streaming wireless to handheld PEDs, because no matter how much bandwidth the latest wireless standard provides, there is always another generation of higher resolution video content coming along (i.e., HD, Ultra HD (4K), 8K, etc.) that needs even more bandwidth (i.e., a bigger “pipe”). The fiber network (like the one to many homes today) enables the HD content to all the seats in the plane, and the future technologies for embedded screens will allow them to be thinner, lighter weight, and lower cost, with higher resolution and more touch gesture control and other human interfaces added.
As for passenger-owned devices, there’s going to be many screens brought onboard to compliment the main screen and make up the whole IFE system of the future. For example, “wearable technology” is now really beginning to gain momentum – I would not be surprised to see small flexible video screens begin to show up on the shirtsleeves of passengers just like the Apple iWatch and Google Glass are now creeping into our lives.
Content users are already using multiple screens simultaneously to consume different kinds of content, says Michael Childers, a longtime content management consultant, APEX Board Member, and chair of the APEX Technology Committee. “According to my friends at the Second Screen Society, watching videos on tablets and mobile devices has increased 719 percent since Q4 2011 and 160 percent year-over-year since Q4 2011. 73 percent of TV Everywhere views are on a second screen. 35 percent of first screen time is second-screened, of which 1/3 is with related content. 11 percent of the second screen experience is to interact with the TV, 14 percent involves social media related to the first screen program, and 24 percent is ‘discovery’—seeking additional information about the first screen content.”
During this year’s Academy Awards telecast, U.S. TV network ABC made major advances in second screen by including an enhanced viewing experience in its “Watch ABC” viewing app, said Childers. Users who opened the “Watch ABC” app during the Oscar telecast were given the option of going “Backstage”—sponsored by Samsung Galaxy—to enjoy a number of “companion experiences” that included video clips of the arriving stars, live camera feeds from alternate locations, and different camera feeds of the red carpet.
Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres set a second screen record by tweeting live during the telecast, including the famous selfie centered around Meryl Streep, said Childers.
Of course, live events and sports lend themselves to multiple screens, but what about second screen content in pre-recorded content and IFE? “Second screen has come to the movies,” says Childers. “Last year Dutch director Bobby Boermans incorporated a synchronized second-screen app in the storyline of his movie, appropriately titled App. Moviegoers were asked to download a free app before going to the theater, and were advised to leave their devices on their laps while watching the film. When second screen content was available, members of the audience were by their vibrating phones,” he said. There were 35 moments in the film where second screen content enhanced the viewing experience, but the movie was complete on its own for viewers not interested in carrying their PEDs into the theater.
The app for App utilized embedded watermarks and a digital watermarking technology from Civolution that was developed to prevent illegal downloads, said Childers.
More and more films are being made with second screen content, or just frame-specific metadata that can be used to create a second screen experience, said Childers. “With more and more people bringing smartphones, tablets and notebooks onboard, there are many new opportunities to use these devices to complement and enhance the IFE,” he said. Disney has been very active in second screen linking the movie to the viewer’s device through an audio cue, manual synch, or with a visual sync indicator. Disney released a second screen version of it classic Bambi on its Diamond Edition Blu-ray Disc back in March of 2011.
Devices such as Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation, Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 are all equipped with a second screen window that opens an Amazon Instant Video app, but second screen isn’t just limited to those devices, says Childers.
Among the content enhancements coming to IFE, says Childers, are closed captions for the deaf and dynamic subtitling. “Interestingly a university in Spain developed a closed captioning system for movie theaters that involves downloading an app from Japan that enables smartphones and tablets to display captions that are synched to the image on the movie screen.”
So there you have if from the experts’ mouth, but if you want a good second screen infographic, check here.
Next, we contacted the folks a APEX and asked for a few comments for the “not to be missed” APEX Annual event in California and they told IFExpress the following:
“We can already tell that this is going to be one of our most impressive shows to date. ‘Early Bird’ registration is higher than it’s ever been, and we can feel the excitement growing. We expect more than 3,500 APEX and IFSA members from more than 100 countries – not to mention hundreds of airline representatives eager to see what’s new in the passenger experience.” – Dominic Green, chair of APEX Events & EXPO Committee
“APEX EXPO is different from any other show serving the industry because it’s driven entirely by people working within the passenger experience industry itself. These are individuals who clearly love what they do and that’s demonstrated by the energy and passion exhibited on EXPO floor, and at the educational and networking events.” – Russ Lemieux, APEX executive director
“Our educational sessions are generating a lot of buzz. We’ll hear about the connected journey from IATA, and Cisco will discuss the exciting ‘Internet of Things’ movement that could revolutionize not only the passenger experience but also our everyday lives.” – Lauren Beneri, APEX program director
Be sure to remember that Disneyland is nearby!
The folks at digEcor have a new President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Mr. Paul Thorpe. He will call the United Kingdom his home and direct activities from there. His background includes a stint in sales and marketing n the business aviation world, and management roles in aviation and IFE. His last posting was with Rockwell as Sales Director of Northern Europe. Welcome aboard Paul!
And lastly, Gogo announced recently that it has received regulatory approval to provide Ku-band satellite connectivity service for aircraft flying over the eastern and western regions of Russia. This approval is granted based on Gogo’s agreements with AltegroSky and RuSat to provide Ku-band satellite service.
- Panel at International CES in Las Vegas Draws Air Travel Enthusiasts from Around the Country
New York | February 3, 2014– Rarely is the topic of portable devices on planes the focus of as much public attention as right now – making front-page national news and changing the way we look at our portable electronic and smartphone capabilities and the passenger experience overall. The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), is leading the national conversation by illuminating trends in passenger thinking while closely examining public policy. A joint APEX/CEA session at the International CES January in Las Vegas captivated an audience of air travel enthusiasts eager for more information on how new regulations are shaping the industry.
The joint session follows a collaborative effort between APEX and CEA to gauge public sentiment on portable electronic devices (PEDs) inflight. The joint survey was presented to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) leading up to the FAA’s announcement last fall that properly tested aircraft may allow PED use below the previous 10,000-feet threshold and during all phases of flight.
“Once the FAA made its determination, airlines moved quickly. Within six weeks of the FAA announcement of new guidance, more than 60 percent of U.S. airlines, representing 86 percent of the U.S. ‘large carrier’ fleet, and carrying 95 percent of U.S. passengers, had determined that their aircraft are ‘PED tolerant’ through testing approved by the FAA,” said Michael Childers, APEX board member and a representative on the FAA ARC. “International airlines like British Airways and Lufthansa are following suit. Now that a solid majority of U.S. airlines have implemented PED-friendly policies, we’re really able to explore what this means for the passenger experience.”
The panel comprised industry and government heavyweights, including Chuck Cook, manager, Fleet Programs and Technology, JetBlue Airways; Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir; Bill de Groh, chairman, Aircraft Design and Operations Group, Air Line Pilots Association, International; Julius Knapp, chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission (FCC); Timothy Shaver, branch manager, Avionics Maintenance Branch, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); and Kirk Thornburg, managing director, Engineering, Quality, Technology & Training, Delta Air Lines and the ARC Chairman. The panel was moderated by Gautham Nagesh, technology Policy Reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
The panel discussed ongoing issues that have resulted from the FAA decision. For example, the expanded use of PEDs has raised concerns about how they are secured during takeoff and landing, even if they do not have to be turned off. APEX representatives were among the PED ARC members who expressed concerns on this issue. During the panel discussion, the FAA acknowledged that it is still monitoring PED stowage policy, and airlines on the panel said that stowage policies are still being discussed in an effort to harmonize them.
In addition to looking at new regulations, the panel delved into the subject of potential policy changes related to inflight phone calls, a topic that has the close attention of the traveling public and airlines alike. For example, the panel revealed that inflight device usage is broken down to 60 percent email use, 30 percent texting and 10 percent voice calls – showing only weak interest in voice calls, OnAir’s Dawkins said.
“So that’s a very small part of it,” he said during the panel discussion. “The voice calls we have are less than 2 minutes, and they tend to be not long after takeoff when the systems are switched on (above 10,000 feet) or just before the system is switched off.”
Panelists also covered ways in which airlines have responded to the changing regulations and trends in securing WiFi on U.S. aircraft. The full session is available for viewing at http://www.cesweb.org/News/
New York, NY | January 9, 2014– 2013 was the year that the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) landed in Asia! With its highly successful regional conference November in Shanghai, China, APEX members hit the ground running in a region with growing influence in the passenger experience industry. The event marked the end of a year of successful global events for the association.
The two-day event saw record attendance for a regional conference – including a strong local showing. The program featured a wide variety of industry speakers, presentations and forum discussions, as well as exhibits and networking opportunities. Attendees learned how to increase ancillary revenue; discussed enhancements in connectivity, flight services, IFE and more; got a sneak peek at upcoming local and foreign content offerings; and enjoyed a scenic Pudong River cruise through Shanghai. Members packed educational sessions, including a popular panel of airline executives – Suguang Dong, executive vice president at China Southern Airlines; Yun Zhang, general manager for products and services at Air China; Gloria Chow, manager for entertainment and communications at Cathay Pacific (APEX Board member); and industry executive Dominic Green, senior director for content business at Thales Avionics, Inc. (APEX Board member). And speaker Ralf Cabos, managing director for Flight Focus Pte. Ltd. generated buzz among attendees with a session on bringing wireless Internet technology to Chinese aircraft and discussing tips for overcoming regional hurdles and restrictions for connecting inflight.
“Based on the overwhelming feedback from attendees and the membership at large, APEX intends to visit Asia each year,” said Lauren Beneri, APEX director of programs and services. “We’re already planning a second regional conference in Asia, this one to be held in Hong Kong this fall.”
According to a survey of attendees, nine in 10 rated their experience “good” or “excellent,” and every attendee who responded said they would be interested in attending another APEX event in Asia.
Earlier this year, APEX hosted a widely praised event at the Royal Geographic Society’s Historic Lowther Lodge and the Inmarsat Conference Center in London, with a focus on “geo-entertainment” and WiFi, respectively. And members met in Lisbon, Portugal for the yearly APEX TV Market Conference and in Anaheim, California, USA for the APEX/IFSA EXPO – both events seeing impressive turnout and enthusiastic praise from attendees.
Upcoming APEX events include regional conferences in Sydney, Australia (March) and in Hong Kong (November), as well as the yearly TV Market Conference in April in Dublin, Ireland, and September’s APEX/IFSA EXPO in Anaheim, California, USA. Two APEX TEC Conferences will take place in May and November.
- Board of Directors Election Results Announced at the 2013 APEX/IFSA EXPO in Anaheim, California, USA
Anaheim, CA | September 24, 2013– Voting members of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) recently selected four new members and re-elected a fifth for the association Board of Directors.
Kevin Bremer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, board director, was re-elected. Newly elected were Michael Childers, Lufthansa Systems; Gloria Chow, Cathay Pacific Airways; Jennifer Clark, American Airlines; and Mary Rogozinski, Gogo. A sixth director, Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus, currently is carrying out the second half of a two-year term and was not up for re-election.
The APEX voting members also reelected association officers: Linda Celestino, president; Alfy Veretto, Virgin America, vice president; and Dominic Green, Thales Avionics, Inc., secretary. Continuing her term as treasurer is Joan Filippini, Paramount Pictures. Chris Babb, Delta Air Lines, will serve APEX as immediate past president.
“The APEX community is fortunate to have so many talented members willing to serve in these roles; this really is a world-class group of individuals,” Celestino said. “We made crucial progress for the association in the last year, and I have no doubt that the 2013-2014 Board will continue to move us forward. With the help of this Board and of dedicated members throughout the association, we will continue to grow an inclusive and well-rounded association that represents the entire passenger experience.”
Results were formally announced at the APEX Annual General Meeting, taking place at the 2013 APEX/IFSA EXPO last week in Anaheim, Calif. USA. During the meeting, APEX members acknowledged the contributions of outgoing Board members Ian Walberg, Airborne Interactive Ltd.; Luay Qunash, Royal Jordanian Airlines; Neil James, Panasonic Avionics Corporation; and Ashley Woodall.
The 2013-2014 APEX Board of Directors
President – Linda Celestino
Vice President – Alfy Veretto
Secretary – Dominic Green
Treasurer – Joan Filippini
Immediate Past President – Chris Babb
– Enhanced Show, 9 – 12 September, puts focus on growing reach of Airline Passenger Experience industry
New York, NY | June 25, 2013– The APEX/IFSA EXPO is the only event of its kind: industry-driven and devoted to the entire passenger experience. And this year, the event will comprise an exhibitor list more representative of the entire industry than ever before, as the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) team up for an event packed with educational programming, a business-oriented EXPO floor, the third annual Passenger Choice Awards Ceremony and multiple opportunities to connect with industry decision-makers.
The APEX/IFSA EXPO will be 9-12 September in Anaheim, California USA.
“For anyone in the business of improving the passenger experience, this is the event to attend,” said Russell Lemieux, executive director for APEX. “We anticipate more than 500 representatives from 100 airlines from around the globe, as well as more than 250 supplier companies whose products and services are making air travel more comfortable, convenient and enjoyable than ever. And with registration numbers already on the rise in recent years, we expect to see more than 3,500 total attendees this year.”
In previous years, the event was two separate shows, made up of the APEX EXPO and the neighboring IFSA Annual Conference & Exhibition. This year, the shows will be fully integrated to encompass every aspect of the passenger experience – comfort, ambience, multimedia and services – and give airlines and service providers even more access to the companies that are crucial business partners in this industry.
The event itself has been entirely revamped to include a new focus on those sectors, with a new Comfort/Ambience section of the exhibit floor and educational panels devoted to related topics. And the closer collaboration between APEX and IFSA ensures more opportunities for all attendees, according to the organizers.
“The APEX/IFSA EXPO will offer attendees multiple opportunities to network with key decision makers in one convenient place,” said Jim Fowler, executive director for IFSA. “This show is a cost-effective way for airlines and partners to maximize their time and gain a competitive edge.”
Registration will be open for both groups by 1 July.
– CEA/APEX study reveals importance, use of devices in-flight
Arlington, VA | May 9, 2013– Ninety-nine percent of adult airline passengers who travel with a portable electronic device (PED) – such as a smartphone or tablet – carried at least one PED onboard with them while traveling in the past 12 months, with seven in ten (69 percent) reporting they used their devices during flight, according to a new joint study released today by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The study, Portable Electronic Devices on Aircraft, gauges consumer usage and awareness concerning PEDs on airplanes. The results of this study have been shared with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as it reviews its policies for inflight PED use.
“Airline passengers have come to rely on their smartphones, tablets and e-readers as essential travel companions,” said Doug Johnson, vice president, technology policy, CEA. “Understanding the attitudes and behaviors of passengers that are using electronic devices while traveling will help the FAA make informed decisions.”
Almost one-third (30 percent) of passengers report they have accidently left a PED turned on during a flight. The study found that when asked to turn off their electronic devices, 59 percent of passengers say they always turn their devices completely off, 21 percent of passengers say they switch their devices to “airplane mode,” and five percent say they sometimes turn their devices completely off. Of those passengers who accidently left their PED turned on in-flight, 61 percent said the device was a smartphone.
“This study showed us that most travelers are using their PEDs as often as possible while traveling, and many would like even more opportunities to use their devices” said Russell A. Lemieux, APEX executive director. Four in 10 passengers would like to use their devices during all phases of flight, including take-off and landing, according to the survey. “The data in the study reveals important insights into actual passenger behavior, which we hope the FAA will find useful as it deliberates on this issue,” Lemieux said.
According to the APEX/CEA study, the most commonly used PED during flights are smartphones (28 percent); laptop computers (25 percent); tablets (23 percent); digital audio or MP3 players (23 percent); and e-readers (13 percent).
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formed a Portable Electronic Devices Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PED ARC) with representatives from the airlines, along with pilots, flight attendants, electronics and avionics manufactures. Representatives from the FAA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were also included on the committee. The PED ARC is tasked with making recommendations by July 2013 on expansion of PED use while maintaining the highest levels of safety for the passengers and without compromising the continued safe operation of aircrafts.
Portable Electronic Devices on Aircraft (2013) was conducted between December 14–18, 2012. The study was designed and formulated jointly by Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Please cite any information to the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to APEX members here and CEA member companies at members.CE.org.