London | May 16, 2018–Virgin Atlantic Airlines has extended its long relationship with SITA, with the global IT company providing secured, high-speed connectivity between the airline’s London hub to 66 airport, sales and cargo locations in 19 countries around the world.

Don Langford, CIO of Virgin Atlantic, said: “Our IT network is central to the running of Virgin Atlantic, linking every office around the world in real-time to our team in London. SITA has been, and will continue to be, integral to supporting that connectivity. We have had a strong partnership with SITA since the airline launched operations in 1984, with SITA’s solution evolving to meet our changing business requirements.”

Through SITA Connect, Virgin Atlantic has access to secure, reliable connectivity no matter where it flies to in the UK, the US, Africa, the Middle East, Asia or the Caribbean. SITA’s solution provides increased security and reduced network congestion for remote offices while ensuring rapid setup for new destinations and capacity adjustments, providing the airline greater flexibility in managing its operations.

SITA will manage the local area network (LAN) and wireless network, and provide end-user support at these locations. It will also leverage SITA AirportHubTM infrastructure, an airport-wide shared connectivity platform that provides airlines, ground handlers and other airport tenants with secure and reliable bandwidth.

As part of the agreement, the airline has also extended its use of SITA’s Airfare Insight. This innovative, fares management solution provides competitive market intelligence and uses sophisticated algorithms to help Virgin Atlantic analyze fares and make more informed and accurate pricing decisions. This means the right fares are distributed at the right time, to the right customer.

While SITA continues to support Virgin Atlantic with its day-to-day operations, the airline and SITA have long worked together on some highly innovative projects and will continue to transform Virgin’s passenger experience at airports.

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “SITA continues to provide Virgin Atlantic with stable, resilient and secure global services that help the airline’s operations run smoothly so its passengers continue to enjoy the Virgin experience. We look forward to strengthening our partnership from this base to further innovations that are rapidly changing the landscape of aviation.”

Airline selects SITA for cloud support for its 200 offices worldwide across 60 countries

Jeddah | April 30, 2018–Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected SITA to support its strategic expansion plans by introducing modern, world-class IT infrastructure across 200 of the airline’s offices located in 100 cities and airports in 60 countries.

The solution will support the airline’s global IT infrastructure which connects all SAUDIA outstations with its headquarters and various data centers worldwide.

SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, will introduce its unique ATI Cloud solution, which will allow SAUDIA to manage and distribute its business applications, information and business services on-demand, anywhere in the world. The agreement also includes infrastructure, IT support and round-the-clock service through a dedicated service center.

SAUDIA’s incremental growth and global expansion has seen the airline open new offices in key cities and in turn, has developed new IT requirements to support the demand for the carrier’s continued growth in passenger numbers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Airlines are increasingly looking for specialized content and service providers to meet their requirements. SITA, with its global presence and expertize, was identified as a trusted partner to implement a solution that would drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented: “As the national carrier moves forward with expansion plans across the entire organization and operations, it is crucial that we continue investing in leading-edge, modern technology. SAUDIA has a critical role to play in the nation’s Vision 2030, and continues to grow both in the Kingdom and beyond.

“SITA has had a long working relationship with SAUDIA, and we believe this investment in new IT infrastructure will be vital in supporting our growing operations globally. SITA showcased very quick turn-around time and a future-proof solution that is adaptable to any site.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With the rapid progress of hosted applications and cloud-based environments, it is the right time for SAUDIA to adopt cloud solutions across its network. From a commercial perspective, quick responses to IT services requests are essential for running a successful operation and ensuring happy passengers. We are delighted to continue working with the airline as it embarks on its new phase of growth.”

Denver, Colorado | May 1, 2018–AirSatOne, a satellite communications provider, and AnsuR, a technical innovations company, announced today that AirSatOne has become a reseller and technical support provider for AnsuR’s RAIDO software.

The RAIDO software is designed for high precision photo / video capture and communication, as well as real time video streaming from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Special Mission manned aircraft. The RADIO software suite is scalable to include fully remote control of the camera on board the aircraft or to simply stream video in the most efficient manner possible given the type of connection and available bandwidth.

The AnsuR RAIDO product line provides ability for users to focus bandwidth on the most important content with operational effect, real-time visual communication sharing, where observations are initially pushed using minimum data to preview photos, video storyboard or live streaming. With Focus Capacity the user can zoom in on relevant content, using AnsuR’s Interactive Communication, for high quality close up’s without having to transmit the entire area in the optical view of the camera which saves data usage, cost and keeps the required bandwidth to a minimum. Savings can be as high as 99%.

According to Jo Kremsreiter, President of AirSatOne, “Adding the AnsuR RAIDO solution to our existing infrastructure means the customer gets our exclusive Flightstream SA features which includes network traffic control with prioritization allowing the user to define priority classes to streaming video, flight controls and other mission critical communications to make sure high priority data reaches its destination even when 100% of the allocated bandwidth is being used. We also provide Hybrid Satellite / Terrestrial connectivity with IP-Sec, Leased Line and MPLS so we can deliver the video to the customers destination and provide network security”

AnsuR Technologies has tested the solution using the Cobham AVIATOR UAV-200 Satcom Terminal specifically designed for UAV’s (Booth 2627) which provides connectivity at up to 200 kbps in a lightweight package of less than 1.5 kg. From the receiver side the users can control how to use the bandwidth for the video, changing frame rate, resolution and compression quality. It is also possible to toggle cropping of the video so that the regions of interest have highest possible precision. The results show operationally good quality video at the available rates.

In addition to the real-time streaming, RAIDO provides the options to access the original video and photo quality and immediately pull more details, up to full camera resolution, from a still photo or a video clip. Both are possible to generate form the video stream or can come from a separate camera.

Actual video of the solution can be found on AnsuR´s or Airsatone’s web site.

  • In-flight entertainment server weighs 1.2 kg
  • Features moving map and geo-triggered entertainment

California | April 28, 2018– Aircraft owners looking for a moving map and in-flight entertainment solution will find it in a tiny, lightweight, inexpensive component introduced in Geneva in May: the GojiBox.

The paperback-sized server is easy to install: you place it in a cabinet or elsewhere on the aircraft, and hook it up to navigation data, power, and the cabin wireless system. Then, it emits entertainment:  passengers connect to the wi-fi and enjoy a variety of built-in content.

The moving map is the number-one most requested visual asset for passengers. Yet many aircraft do not have one because of the weight and size of the servers. This is where GojiBox comes in: it is the smallest IFE server in the industry. At a trim 12cm square x 5cm thick (5” square x 2” thick), it fits into the most compact cabins, and weighs just 1.2kg (2.6 lbs). Power consumption is also minimal, topping out at 50 watts.

The GojiBox delivers a big bang for a small box and includes the following:

  • Moving map: the Navigator 2D and 3D interactive moving maps, an industry-leading solution from Airborne Interactive.
  • GeoRadio, the only geo-triggered radio show on Earth: when passengers put on their headsets, they hear a show about the people and places they are passing.
  • GeoVideo. This geo-triggered 4K video fills cabin screens and passenger devices with gorgeous footage of the land below, and of their destination.
  • Goji Points-of-Interest, photos of every spot the plane flies, along with updated info on places to visit, dine, and shop. With 5,000 POIs worldwide, it is a geo-triggered pageant of photos for passengers’ devices, or on 4K screens in the cabin.
  • AVOD (Audio-video on demand). With a terabyte of storage, GojiBox holds hundreds of movies that can be loaded by thumb drive.

Goji Points-of-Interest have already been integrated into commercial and business aircraft for several years.  This is the first time the product will be hosted in its own hardware component.

Visitors can experience the magic of the GojiBox with a hands on demonstration of its content, at EBACE, May 29-31,2018 in Geneva, at the Gotham Studios booth W133 by the Gulfstream stand.

Lake Forest, California | April 26, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) is to establish new Innovation Studios at key centers across the globe.

With a renewed focus on broader consultative engagements with its customers, Panasonic’s new Innovation Studios will serve as hubs for innovation, ideation, and solution-building.

They will provide a socially collaborative environment where the company and its customers can leverage its skilled workforce and regionally relevant partners to ideate, prototype, showcase and evaluate product concepts, digital solutions and user experience paradigms.

Panasonic plans to set up five Innovation Studios across the globe, each in close proximity to major destinations, leading universities and centers with an established innovation and start-up culture.

The first Panasonic innovation studio will open in the Silicon Valley by the end of 2018.

The Studios will also serve as primary locations for airline workshops conducted by Panasonic’s digital design consultancy, Tactel.  Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel has played an instrumental role in helping Panasonic customers get the maximum value from their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) investments.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Innovation has always been at the heart of Panasonic Avionics and our customers have rightly come to expect it as standard.”

“Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration, strengthening our partner eco-system and with it, the range of value-added services we can offer our airline customers.”

“The Studios will ensure we can deliver greater customer-facing innovation by rapidly developing new concepts that will enhance the business and pleasure of flying.”

Each Panasonic Innovation Studio will have a Collaboration Area for ideation, design and strategy workshops, training sessions, customer and partner meetings, and other interactive innovation-related sessions, and a Demonstration Area for displaying emerging products and technologies, functional prototypes as well as work in progress concepts.

Gogo

Late last week, Gogo announced some adjustments to their leadership roles within the commercial aviation division, as well as, the business aviation sector. John Wade, who has more than 30 years of aviation and IFEC industry experience, joined Gogo back in 2008 after a stint as CTO of ONAIR, has been named as the first President of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation Division. If you remember, in 2016 John was moved from General Manager of the Business Aviation Division to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Commercial.  He was responsible for Gogo’s operations, quality control, commercial airline account management and commercial sales. In this new role as Gogo President he will have end-to-end responsibility for managing all aspects of the Commercial Aviation business, including product development, technology, sales, account management, quality, marketing and all aspects of product delivery.

Also, Sergio Aguirre, formerly senior vice president and general manager, will now serve as President of Gogo’s Business Aviation Division. Aguirre will continue to be responsible for managing the Business Aviation (BA) division and will now report directly to the CEO, Oakleigh Thorne. Aguirre joined Gogo in 2002. Aguirre is also an aviation industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience.

Anand Chari, who has served as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2011, will move into a new role as Strategic Technology Advisor. Chari has been with Gogo since 2003 and has been instrumental in the design and development of the company’s ground-breaking ATG (air-to-ground) and 2Ku (satellite) products.

Jon Cobin, who joined Gogo in 2010, will now serve as Chief Strategy Office and Executive Vice President Corporate Development. This is a newly created role and Cobin will be responsible for leading company wide business, strategic planning and corporate development efforts as Gogo seeks to leverage the Commercial and Business Aviation product portfolios to drive growth and share value.

All of the above appointments are effective as of May 1, 2018.


Next, we thought you might like to see just some of the AIX highlights we noted. But be advised, there are plenty more.

  1. Virtual Reality in IFE applications is becoming more available and better; however, it is not replacing IFE – some goggle developers, like SkyLights, are really doing a bang-up job.
  2. New potential revenue generation via “paying for inflight power” is on the horizon – think low cost carriers here.
  3. Improving flight operational efficiency was hight-lighted by Gogo’s Flex Developer. Keep your eye on this one!
  4. Inflight content downloading of entertainment is new, and one time viewing on (and off ) the plane is a reality says GEE.
  5. One tekkie vendor has developed a code based solution for installations in IFE systems that “reduces” the bandwidth required for streamed movies and the system prevents delays when all are watching movies. The German start-up Cadami is one to watch.
  6. Smaller removable streaming Wi-Fi servers now have onboard battery installations so they do not need removal and recharging as often, noted Lufthansa Systems and AirFi.
  7. The folks at Zii have developed the next generation of IFE with a seatback system display that has the thickness of a couple stacked coins. It was super cool!!
  8. The “cloud” is now available in IFEC from Panasonic and others.
  9. Seat power boxes are getting smaller, just ask Astronics.
  10. Onboard retail sales support and software is even more available because of real-time connectivity.

Round-Up: AIX – Day 2 & 3

Here is an outline last two days of the show reported by the AIX TEAM!

Day 2 of AIX saw yet more exhibitors choosing the show to announce their latest deals and newest offerings.

April 11, 2018 announcements included:

  • Ensinger Plastics announced their new flame-retardant materials, TECAMID 6 (PA 6) FRT, TECAMID 66 GF15 FRT and TECANYL (PPE) VH2, which can replace metals to achieve significant weight reduction in aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Inmarsat has signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced an agreement to provide fuel saving solutions for Air Austral’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The first step will implement Safety Line’s OptiClimb solution on all aircraft in the fleet, helping the carrier save fuel with optimized climb profiles for pilots.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Sekisui Specialty Polymer Innovations has launched the new, back-lit, Lumina version of its KYDEX plastic panels, which are available in any color, printable with infused images for durability and thermoformable to almost any shape.

For the second and final day of the AIX educational program, the FlightGlobal forecast sessions in Cabin Space Live Seminar Theater took a theme of social responsibility:

  • Making IFE accessible for everyone: Over 200 million people worldwide are registered as visually impaired. In the next few years airlines flying to the US will be required to offer an IFE solution for visually and hearing-impaired passengers. FlightGlobal Data, Lufthansa Solutions and Crystal Cabin Award winner Bluebox Aviation discussed what current and future solutions can offer to passengers.
  • End of Life Cabin Equipment: The discussion between Turkish Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Professor Dieter Scholz, from Hamburg University of Applied Science, looked at the life-cycle of cabin equipment and its impact on the environment in both operation and disposal. The panel also discussed solutions, such as manufacturers buying back components from the airlines to recycle them, and whether regulation is needed to tackle environmental impact.
  • Predicted maintenance and the connected aircraft: Panellists from Lufthansa Technik, Gogo and Air Transat discussed how OEMs and MROs could use aircraft connectivity to transmit raw aircraft health data in real time, and the question of who should have control over and access to the data increased aircraft connectivity provides.

AIX’s Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments: “Day two has been as busy as ever as our visitors explore the 11 halls we have here at AIX and the breath-taking exhibits on display.

“We started the day with a First Time Exhibitor speed networking event, where they had the chance to meet some of the attending media. We love hosting this event each year as it gives them a platform to share the truly innovative products and services they have on display at AIX.

“In 2018, we have also launched the Ideation Hub. These sessions give delegates the opportunity to take advantage of AIX, as an unrivaled industry gathering, by coming together to generate ideas for the future of aircraft interior design and the integrated passenger experience.”

AIX Day 3 – Over 14,000 attendees, 600 exhibiting companies and 1200 VIPs from more than 260 global airlines descended on the Hamburg Messe for the world’s largest Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany this week. With the Expo capturing the attention of the world’s media and with almost 200 journalists in attendance, exhibiting companies showcased revolutionary products and concepts that demonstrated how the future of air travel is set to change for passengers. This year, more exhibiting companies than ever before used the show as a platform to make announcements. These included:

  •  Acro is to supply its Series 3 ST seat to Viva Air for the airline’s 50 Airbus A320 aircraft on order.
  • Airbus announced the development of a new option for A380 aircraft, ‘A380 Cabin-Flex’. The enhancement, which consists of a new cabin door area arrangement on the upper-deck, is available for line-fit and retrofit, and will be installed on Qantas’ current A380 fleet from mid 2019.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Global Eagle Entertainment launched the Airconnect Go video-on-demand system portable IFE system for regional aircraft, which streams content to passengers’ own devices through Global Eagle’s Airtime portal.
  • Gogo announced that Air Canada has extended its agreement to install the provider’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity service on its Bombardier CSeries CS300 fleet, with the system to be line-fit during assembly.
  • Inmarsat signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced the debut of their new airline on-board loyalty platform, called NEXT Loyalty, with Singapore Airlines as launch customer, as well as a partnership with gategroup on their new retail platform NEXT Marketplace, and an IFEC commitment from Turkish Airlines for 50 wide-bodied aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Thales announced the expansion of its inflight entertainment portfolio with CORE and PRESTIGE, offering a full spectrum of solutions and services to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and airline revenue.

AIX also showcased the winners of this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards with the award-winning technologies changing the future of the cabin. Amongst the winners were the Qatar Airways QSuite picked up with Cabin Concepts award, Rockwell Collins ‘Silhouette MOVE’ won the Cabin Systems category and Bluebox Aviation’s Accessible IFE for passengers with visual impairment cleaned up in the IFEC category.

With the latest innovations in connectivity, in-flight entertainment and passenger comfort hardware on display, alongside an educational program looking at the areas of focus for the industry, many trends were highlighted at the Expo.

  • Inflight Entertainment – Passengers increasingly want to replicate the mutli-screen environment they enjoy today on the ground, in the air. Using a mixture of seatback screens with their own devices to both enjoy inflight entertainment and use a second screen to stay connected with friends and family via email and social.
  • Passenger Comfort – Over the past year, with the introduction of more and more double beds and family suites – flying really does feel like a hotel stay. However, seat manufacturers are also improving passenger comfort in Economy by enabling the enhancement of all cabins onboard to retain customer loyalty in an ever increasingly competitive market.
  • Extension of flight experience –  companies are looking increasingly at entire travel experience and now including the time before boarding, such as individual seat selection via a virtual walk through the cabin, and the ability to select films and music in advance through customizable apps

A daily program of education sessions were hosted at the FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theater, with participants from across the industry discussing issues including accessible IFE, end-of-life equipment and the burden on the environment, and management of data and the increasing demand for connectivity.

Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments:

“Every year we see more and more demand from passengers for seamless connectivity and greater expectations placed on all the players that make up the travel experience. As a result, we have seen some truly ground-breaking innovations at AIX this week.

“I’d like to thank all of our exhibiting companies, VIP airline attendees and visitors for helping to continue to make AIX the world-renowned event for the aircraft interiors sector. With the aircraft interiors industry innovating rapidly, we look forward to bringing you all of the latest updates at the 20th AIX next year.”

Aircraft Interiors Expo will return to the Hamburg Messe from 2nd – 4th April 2019 where it will be co-located with World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). Along with the Passenger Experience Conference the three expos make up Passenger Experience Week.

For more information about Aircraft Interiors Expo please visit: www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

Geneva, Switzerland | April 19, 2018– Airlines around the world have once again improved the rate of baggage delivery, this is according to the SITA 2018 Baggage Report  published today. This continues the improvement trend of more than a decade which has seen baggage mishandling drop by 70% since 2007. This is the 14th year that SITA has issued its report and it marks 2018 as a turning point for the global air transport industry as airlines increasingly adopt baggage tracking technologies.

SITA’s report details how baggage management is changing globally and airline passengers can expect to see major differences over the next two years. Services like real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop will be more commonplace and 2018 is the year that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect which will see the industry increase baggage tracking.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Over the last decade, we have seen significant improvements in bag management as airlines have taken advantage of technology. Now with IATA’s drive for 100% bag tracking, technology adoption will rise further. End-to-end tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in operational processes. While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry.”

The growth in passenger numbers globally puts considerable pressure on the industry’s baggage systems and processes. With the rise to more than 4 billion passengers in 2017, the airlines did well to reduce the rate of mishandled bags. In fact, at 5.57 per thousand passengers it was the lowest level ever recorded. Despite the improvement, mishandled bags cost the industry an estimated $2.3 billion in 2017 so there is considerable scope for cost savings from airline investments in end-to-end bag tracking.

SITA’s Baggage Report includes examples of how airlines, including Aeroflot, Alitalia, Bahamasair, Delta and Qatar, are using innovative and proven technologies to improve bag management and tracking. One case study outlines how the airline Bahamasair went from scanning bag tag labels on a “bingo” card to full Resolution 753 tracking in Miami and Nassau airports inside seven days. This included the full ability to share tracking data in real-time via SITA’s BagJourney service. This initiative will deliver benefits to the airline in the way of improved passenger service and cost savings.

SITA provides IT and communications to the air transport industry and is the only single-source vendor covering all areas of baggage management from data capture to management and sharing using the latest technology. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.

For further details, download SITA’s full report.

SITA CEO outlines the value of technology to manage the industry’s future

Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit, Singapore | April 18, 2018– The future of air transport will be driven by a digital transformation in the industry, according to Barbara Dalibard, CEO of global IT provider, SITA. Dalibard was speaking at the Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit which gathered C-level airline and airport executives from across the region to discuss the future in this dynamic growth region.

Asia Pacific is leading the tremendous growth in the air travel industry. By 2036, the region is expected to handle over 4.1 billion passengers – more than half of the world’s passenger traffic. With this growth comes challenges and stresses on infrastructure and processes. The industry also faces increased complexity and security regulation globally. Dalibard outlined how technology can provide real value and help the industry navigate the future.

Dalibard said: “Smart use of technology can help manage the challenges of rising passenger numbers, limited infrastructure and increased complexity. At SITA, we are looking at opportunities to harness technologies including biometrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and blockchain to transform the industry.

“Already biometrics is becoming more commonplace at airports around the world and is delivering secure seamless travel from check-in to boarding. Today we work with around 40 governments providing border management solutions. And we have biometric self-service solutions operating worldwide, including in Australia, USA, Mexico and the Middle East.”

SITA is owned by the air transport industry and so has a unique commitment to address community issues. It is investing in new technologies with its industry partners. For example, SITA worked with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva and Miami airports to explore the opportunity to use blockchain technology for the shared control of data.

Recently, SITA has also invested in research to help airlines and airports tackle the $25 billion annual cost of poor on-time performance. SITA’s technology harnesses advance machine learning and artificial intelligence to forecast aircraft arrival times as far out as 24 hours giving airports the opportunity to proactively manage and mitigate disruption.

Autonomous vehicles and the potential use of robotics is another field of development, with particular interest shown at the event in Kansai Airport’s trial of KATE, SITA’s autonomous check-in robot.

Dalibard added: “By embracing the Internet of Things and connecting everything across the industry we will produce more data which can be used with artificial intelligence to create valuable insights and expose new ways of working. Over the next 20 years, this use of digital technologies to improve service, operations and efficiency will have profound effects on the air transport industry.”

One example of where this is beginning to happen is baggage management. 2018 is the year the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect, which will see the industry increase end-to-end baggage tracking. This tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in baggage management processes.

Speaking on the topic, Dalibard commented: “While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry. Looking further ahead, combining data collected from bag tracking with data science and machine learning promises even more significant improvements in baggage handling operations. This in turn will reduce costs and improve the passenger experience, a transformation that will be welcomed by everyone.”

Wan Chai, Hong Kong | 16 April 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider,celebrated the opening of its new Asia Pacific office on 10th April, accompanied by dancing dragons, traditional Hong Kong fare, and an elite gathering of Asian business jet operators. Situated in the heart of bustling Wan Chai, the expanded Hong Kong home of SD gives the growing customer base easier access to the business as it moves from its Hong Kong airport airside location, to the core of the city’s commercial district.

The state-of-the art premises incorporates high-tech offices, meeting rooms, and a spacious workspace to demonstrate the ever-expanding range of SD services. The contemporary space reflects the innovative nature of the SD culture, and doubles-up as a venue for holding company events and customer training.

The relocation to larger office space is a response to SD’s significant growth in the region which is being driven by the development of the Asia Pacific business aviation market, and in particular the growth of the Chinese business aviation sector.  SD’s diverse customer base includes business jet management companies, operators, government, private owners, and corporate flight departments maximising the reliable, customized connectivity services SD designs and delivers.

The new location brings the SD APAC team closer to its customers, facilitating enhanced customer support. “We know clients in Asia embrace the latest technology which is why we wanted to establish an even stronger base to deliver the superior customer support for which we are recognised,” says Chris Moore, CCO, SD.

This includes support for the increasing number of customers in the region installing Jet ConneX, the ultra-high-speed data transfer service. “We were one of the first companies to prove the Ka-band technology for business aviation, and now supply the highest percentage of tails using the service worldwide. We’ve used this experience to create industry-first dedicated Service Level Agreements (SLA), to support our customers’ experience,” adds Moore. The SLAs include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times.

The office is manned by the existing seven-strong SD team, but it is anticipated the team will more than double over the next three years as new sales, technical and support roles are filled. “We are genuinely committed to this region and deem our presence essential to maintain customer service levels, manage efficient operations and keep our competitive edge,” says Moore.

The success of SD’s existing customer support in the region was underscored when the business won Best Operational Support Award at the AsBAA Icons of Aviation Awards for 2017. “The award is testament to the team’s diligence here in the region, and our new office provides great foundations for them to continue to excel,” concludes Moore.The SD team will be meeting and greeting new, and existing customers, at ABACE 2018, 17-19 AprilBooth H1214.

MIHAN opts for SITA’s common-use and baggage solutions

2018 Air Transport IT Summit, Jaipur | 23 March 2018 —SITA continues to play a vital role in supporting the rapid growth of India’s air transport industry, providing key technology solutions to one of the country’s newest airports. The Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) has turned to SITA to provide passenger processing solutions for check-in and boarding, as well as baggage tracking.

Air passenger numbers in India have consistently seen double-digit growth over the past few years, significantly outperforming the global average. The country is on target to become the third-biggest aviation market by 2025. SITA has long supported the industry in India and MIHAN joins a vast footprint of airports and airlines across India using SITA technology.

As part of the new agreement, MIHAN is deploying SITA’s common-use technology, enabling airlines and their handling agents to access their IT applications in real-time on shared common-use equipment. SITA’s Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and bag drop.

The airport will also deploy SITA’s baggage tracking solution.  Worldwide, bags get mishandled every day which causes disruption for passengers and costs the industry billions of dollars but by providing real-time information on baggage status, SITABagManager will allow MIHAN to accurately track passengers’ bags and significantly reduce the likelihood of them being mishandled.

V.S Mulekar, Senior Airport Director, MIHAN Airport, said: “MIHAN is the single biggest publicly-funded development project in India. It is essential we have the right technologies in place to make sure the airport’s operations are highly efficient from day one and that they are future-proofed for our growth. SITA’s technology has proven successful in other airports in India and across the world and I have no doubt it will ably support MIHAN’s requirements.”

MIHAN is the biggest economic development project currently underway in India. The project aims to exploit the central location of Nagpur and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The airport is expected to accommodate up to 14 million passengers once completed in 2035.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa, said: “SITA’s solutions will allow the airport to cater to increasing traffic without having to invest in building additional infrastructure. At the same time, they will be able to provide best-in-class facilities for airlines and passengers alike. This is part of our commitment to making India not only one of the biggest aviation markets, but increasingly more efficient and passenger friendly.”

 

Before we start your IFExpress Hot Topic, we wanted to remind readers (especially advertisers) that AIX is coming soon and If you have show info you want to pass along, we are at your service! Now, lets get IFExpress started with some satcom deeds from Panasonic (see the above image):

Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and APT Mobile Satcom Limited (APSATCOM) announced a major evolution in connectivity for mobility markets – Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service. APSATCOM is an affiliate of APT Satellite Company Limited (APT), the operator of the APSTAR satellite constellation.  With this new satellite, the companies are building on a long-standing and successful capacity relationship.

The new satellite, APSTAR-6D, gives Panasonic the capacity to meet the needs of its customers and to position itself for sustained growth in the region. In addition, Panasonic will continue to optimize its global network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure industry-leading performance everywhere its customers fly.

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic to best serve Panasonic’s connectivity customers. It is tailored to put capacity where it is most needed, rather than spread evenly over the Earth. APT has provided technical support in design and project management, and will provide satellite operation after launch. This XTS satellite will provide Panasonic customers with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides HTS coverage over the full field of view of the satellite including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica.  This includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite.  Tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput. One of the markets to benefit the most from XTS service is air transport.  Today, 21 Asian carriers, representing over 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic for connectivity service, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such as Air China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines,China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines.  In addition, other leading airlines around the world that are Panasonic connectivity customers will use this advanced satellite capacity as their aircraft fly routes to and over Asia.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, noted: “Today is a milestone moment as Panasonic leads the industry with plans for the next evolution in inflight connectivity. Targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity ensures that Panasonic can meet the needs of our airline customers for cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

This XTS satellite will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently launched third generation communications network, which is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.  This flexible network is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.   Panasonic’s third generation communications network supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.  The network is backed by Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, approximately 2,000 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.


AIX – Passenger Technology Solutions

Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), the brand new event focused on how technology can help create a seamless passenger journey, has today revealed the major companies and cutting-edge start-ups that will speak at the inaugural show.

The event, which takes place in Hamburg from 10 – 12 April, will explore how technology can be ‘in the DNA’ of the passenger journey, featuring speakers including Jorge De Luis Sierra, Cabin Interior Design Manager, Airbus, as well as representatives from Norwegian and US rail operator Amtrak.

PTS will also feature some of the most exciting disruptors and pioneers in the industry, with contributions from social listening experts Black Swan Data, design consultancy Reaktor and brand experience management agency branding.aero.

In addition to exploring travel’s most topical technologies, PTS will also showcase best practice: for example, the newly reopened Changi Airport, where the entire passenger journey is designed to be seamless and automated.

The event is co-located with existing events Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, and is designed to offer a holistic view of the passenger experience, with speakers tackling trends such as big data, biometrics and artificial intelligence. Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, said:

“Our program brings together established companies and brand new players to explore the most exciting and significant trends shaping travel today.It is designed to take attendees on a journey into the future, inspiring and educating them on how technology can create a truly seamless passenger experience. “We look forward to welcoming our speakers to Hamburg and to working with them in the meantime to ensure that the first show is a huge success.”

Gillian Jenner, Editorial Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, said: “My experience putting together speaker programs in this space goes back many years, but curating the line-up for PTS has been especially interesting. It has been an opportunity to ‘zoom out’ from specific technologies and trends to consider what these innovations can achieve when combined. “It is this focus on the bigger picture that I believe makes PTS a must-attend for anyone involved with passenger experience – whether in aviation, rail or one of the many other services that shape the journey.” For more information about the educational program at Passenger Technology Solutions, visit: www.passengertechnologysolutions.com/programme.

 


SITAONAIR

SITAONAIR is delivering a next-generation connected aircraft ‘smart core’ that will significantly enhance airline data communications and operations. The company has partnered with Astronics Ballard Technology to provide an integrated product solution using their new webCS® Wireless Aircraft Communications Server along with SITAONAIR’s e-enabled application software. This closely-integrated software and hardware solution greatly reduces deployment complexity and will bring even greater value to SITAONAIR’s airline customers – delivering enhanced capabilities and operational efficiencies – empowering airlines to realize the promises of the connected aircraft. The ‘smart core’ brings together the vast connected aircraft data collected by SITAONAIR’s e-Aircraft® DataCapture solutions for cockpit, cabin, and aircraft operations. It then distributes this SITAONAIR-processed data onboard using Astronics Ballard Technology’s flexible webCS, a smart AID/server/router that securely bridges avionics data with wired and wireless networks in a single compact box. Today’s offering of an integrated product will further enhance airline customers’ data management approach. The combination of SITAONAIR’s established portfolio of passenger, crew and flight operations solutions with Astronics Ballard Technology’s innovative hardware and strong technical expertise in the area of aircraft avionics interfacing, will form a central pillar of airlines’ connectivity and e-enablement strategies, delivered to airlines as a managed service.

Next, An industry-leading weather-alerting feature, empowering flight dispatchers to avoid or anticipate weather disruption throughout flights, has been launched as a new feature of SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, in partnership with DTN.

Airline dispatchers using AIRCOM® FlightTracker will now be equipped to help aircraft avoid inclement weather – including aircraft-specific turbulence, icing, and thunderstorm forecasts – supporting the smoothest and safest possible flight experience for those onboard, and maximizing fuel efficiency. Already adopted by airlines operating more than 250,000 flights every month, SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker is a ground-based software system delivering vital global real-time aircraft position alerting to airline operations teams. The application aggregates the best available inflight position data from a wealth of sources – including cutting-edge spaced-based ADS-B provided by FlightAware and Aireon using the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation – on a single aircraft position display. What’s more, no modifications to the aircraft are required to activate it. Interest in FlightTracker, and its enhanced, 100% global minute-by-minute update capabilities, is accelerating as the industry counts down to the ICAO GADSS 15-minute flight-tracking recommendation, coming into force in November 2018. The incorporation of DTN’s Flight Route Alerting data represents an important addition to the solution, making it indispensable to flight operators in their flight planning and flight following.


SITA

ITAPassengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick are enjoying a secure and seamless departure with new biometric boarding at the gate. A quick photo is all that is needed to board the international flight – no passport, no boarding card – thanks to innovative technology. SITA, the global air transport IT provider, integrated automated boarding gates with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and airline’s IT systems to allow the necessary checks and authorize boarding.

This is a joint initiative by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), British Airways and CBP to incorporate the US biometric departure (exit) check for passengers as smoothly as possible. SITA, using its extensive airline and airport expertise, has ensured fast and easy implementation for the airport and airline. By merging the usual boarding procedures with the CBP biometric exit check, SITA is delivering a smooth experience for passengers.  A quick photograph taken at the gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and authorization to travel.


Rockwell Collins

Norwegian Air will feature Arthur Collins, the founder of Rockwell Collins, as a “tailfin hero” on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner aircraft throughout 2018. Collins joins over 80 other tailfin heroes depicted on Norwegian aircraft since the airline began operations in 2002.

“Norwegian is a technology-progressive airline that’s pushed aviation forward by challenging industry norms,” said David Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. “It has embodied a spirit of adventure and accomplishment, which is quite fitting with Arthur Collins’ legacy.”

“Our tailfin hero program was created to honor individuals who have pushed boundaries, made a difference and inspired others,” said Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian. “Through our partnership with Rockwell Collins, we learned of Arthur Collins’ story, whose innovative spirit reflects those characteristics, making him a perfect tailfin hero and part of the Norwegian family.”

Collins, born September 9, 1909, was an electronics enthusiast from a young age. At the age of 15, he was an avid ham radio operator making contact with other ham operators around the world. He founded Collins Radio Company in the basement of his home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was formally incorporated in 1933. The company, renamed Rockwell Collins in 1973, initially designed and produced shortwave radio equipment, but has grown to become a leader in cockpit, cabin, communication and connectivity solutions provided by nearly 30,000 employees worldwide. His full story can be found here. 


Thales

GSA and Thales launch the EDG²E project to further optimize aviation navigation with Galileo. The European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has officially launched the EDG²E project (Equipment for Dual frequency Galileo GPS and EGNOS) with a consortium led by Thales. This four-year project intends to develop a dual-frequency multi-constellation receiver, enabling enhanced navigation capabilities, support standardization and certification preparation.  The consortium includes Thales, Thales Alenia Space and ATR, as well as contributions from Dassault Aviation and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).


Other News

  • Inmarsat snagged European Space Agency (ESA) contract to develop satellite communications services that will deliver 4D trajectory air traffic management from 2020.
  • We will have to see this on an airplane sometime in the future – One of the main areas in which a lot of 5G development is progressing is on mmWave techniques. However another area that needs to be considered is light communications. A company named pureLiFi has developed a very effective in home or in-office link using light communications. With bandwidth of many systems being a limiting factor, this could prove to be a airplane winner. Technology – pureLiFi
  • Today, Boeing employees gathered around the 10,000 B737 MAX 8 for Southwest Airlines, which has broken the Guinness World Record title for the most produced commercial jet aircraft model.
  • And lastly, remember, success is what you do internally, not externally! The Reason You’re Not Successful Is Because You Don’t Want To Admit This 1 Thing | Inc.com

 

IoT specialist Sigfox to partner with Eutelsat for data analysis

Paris, France | March 8, 2018–

Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s leading satellite operators, has commissioned a nano-satellite from manufacturer Tyvak International SRL, a subsidiary of Terran Orbital Corporation, a leading aerospace provider of nanosatellite and microsatellite vehicles and services. Eutelsat LEO for Objects (ELO) will be used to assess the performance of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites in providing narrowband connectivity for objects. The satellite operator will be drawing on the technology of Sigfox, which runs a unique global narrowband network dedicated to the IoT.

Low earth orbit is particularly well-suited to narrowband connectivity for objects. It offers a satellite link anywhere in the world, is complementary to terrestrial IoT networks, and does not impact the cost or the energy consumption of the objects. ELO, scheduled for launch in 2019, will backhaul information from objects located in areas that are not served by terrestrial networks and offer redundancy on existing terrestrial network coverage.

Sigfox will work with Eutelsat on two aspects: analyse the spectrum used by the satellite in ISM[1]frequency bands; and process data from objects. ELO will also test connectivity in other frequency bands. The synergies developed through the partnership with Sigfox, as well as with other strategic alliances in the telecom industry, should open up new opportunities for Eutelsat in this fast-growing market.

Jean-Hubert Lenotte, Chief Strategy Officer at Eutelsat, commented: “With the expansion of the Internet of Things, new services are being developed in a wide range of sectors including smart cities, the mining industry, agriculture and logistics. We are delighted to be exploring new avenues through the development of this nano-satellite, which once again demonstrates the intrinsic complementarity between terrestrial networks and satellite technology. By analysing the compatibility of LEO and connected objects, and working with recognised partners in the field, Eutelsat aims to provide an innovative solution which will meet the needs of future clients.”

How does it work?

Located on a sun-synchronous orbit between 500 and 600 km in altitude, the satellite will collect data from connected objects across the globe equipped with the same omni-directional antennas already used by terrestrial IoT networks. Data will then be transmitted daily to a ground station located on Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

France | March 13, 2018–An industry-leading weather-alerting feature, empowering flight dispatchers to avoid or anticipate weather disruption throughout flights, has been launched as a new feature of SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, in partnership with DTN.

Airline dispatchers using AIRCOM® FlightTracker will now be equipped to help aircraft avoid inclement weather –including aircraft-specific turbulence, icing, and thunderstorm forecasts – supporting the smoothest and safest possible flight experience for those onboard, and maximizing fuel efficiency.

Already adopted by airlines operating more than 250,000 flights every month, SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker is a ground-based software system delivering vital global real-time aircraft position alerting to airline operations teams. The application aggregates the best available inflight position data from a wealth of sources –including cutting-edge spaced-based ADS-B provided by FlightAware and Aireon using the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation – on a single aircraft position display. What’s more, no modifications to the aircraft are required to activate it.

SITAONAIR’s FlightTracker displaying DTN’s Flight Route-Alerting weather data. (CREDIT: SITAONAIR)

Interest in FlightTracker, and its enhanced, 100% global minute-by-minute update capabilities, is accelerating as the industry counts down to the ICAO GADSS 15-minute flight-tracking recommendation, coming into force in November 2018.

The incorporation of DTN’s Flight Route Alerting data represents an important addition to the solution, making it indispensable to flight operators in their flight planning and flight following.

Paul Rainford, Senior Product Manager, FlightTracker, at SITAONAIR, says: “The responsibility of tracking aircraft is reliant on intensive manpower from an airline’s operations and dispatch teams. But armed with FlightTracker’s aircraft tracking alerting, and new, weather-based Flight Route Alerting capabilities, operations and dispatchers can focus their attentions on those flights that call for more detailed consideration. This in turn provides improved support to the pilots in the air, contributing to a better passenger experience.”

Jon Reifschneider, senior vice president of weather at DTN, adds: “We are excited to partner with SITAONAIR to provide additional layers of safety to all flights. The system allows you to take charge of your flight plan, planning routes up to 36 hours in advance, giving operators the confidence to schedule flights that keep passengers and crew safe, avoid turbulence, and use less fuel. DTN’s insights also shed light on weather events that exceed the parameters for any planned routes, enabling flight planners to select the route that offers the best cost and the least chance of weather-related disruptions.”

Discover SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker online at www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.

Isle of Wight | March 8, 2018–

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest USB power solutions at AIX 2018 in Hamburg.

IFPL has focused its USB development on enabling airlines to easily transition from USB Type A to Type C, the development USB-Power Delivery and designing a modular architecture that enables seamless seat integration. As seats are getting thinner, there are fewer options for the traditional designed power outlets to be integrated in an ergonomic and aesthetic way. Collaborating with seat OEMs, IFPL has designed their modular architecture for seamless seat integration and has taken the traditional single unit design and split it into two modular components: a DC to DC convertor and a small USB Remote Power Outlet (RPO), therefore enabling the outlet to be integrated into areas previously impossible to do so. As the power convertor is separate from the outlet, it allows the unit to be placed in the arm, seat pan or another location providing better seat integration options for the small RPO. In addition, as the RPO is prone to customer induced damage, having a modular design means that should the RPO become damaged only the RPO is replaced and not the entire unit.

IFPL will have on display integrated USB-A and USB-C outlets that have been seamlessly integrated into the Mirus Hawk seat, whilst utilising a KID Systeme in-seat power supply. Additionally, IFPL will be demonstrating:

  • USB-A which has bi-directional insertion meaning whichever way the passenger inserts their USB-A they will always get it right, minimising Customer Induced Damage (CID) and providing 10 times the reliability. The bi-directional connector is now intended as a standard design for all IFPL products.
  • New USB-C outlets that support USB-Power Delivery and include IFPL’s Rapid Fit technology (patent pending), allowing just the non-expensive connector to be replaced should the USB-C be damaged and not the whole unit.
  • A dual USB outlet that includes a USB Type A and Type C connector, providing a solution for airlines through the transition period from USB-A to USB-C.
  • Inductive (wireless) charge solution that has been neatly integrated into a Portable Electronic Device (PED) mount design. This allows the passenger to wirelessly charge whilst watching their PED at the same time.
  • The Patent Pending USB “Charge to charge” outlet offers a clever way for airlines to charge their passengers to turn on the USB power, providing additional ancillary revenues. IFPL has enabled this through a simple upgrade of the current USB outlet and not a systemic system change.

All IFPL USB products are now available in a front and rear mount variant allowing for different installation options: the rear mount provides the ability to provide a more seamless and elegant installation into the seat, whilst the front mount addresses the more traditional approach.

IFPL has enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.

 

 

France | March 8, 2018–The European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has officially launched the EDG2E project (Equipment for Dual frequency Galileo GPS and EGNOS) with a consortium led by Thales. This four-year project intends to develop a dual-frequency multi- constellation receiver, enabling enhanced navigation capabilities, support standardisation and certification preparation. The consortium includes Thales, Thales Alenia Space and ATR, as well as contributions from Dassault Aviation and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).

The GNSS receiver is the cornerstone of aircraft navigation systems. The system processes signals from satellite constellations and the Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to accurately determine aircraft position, altitude and velocity. The prototype receiver developed under the auspices of the EDG2E project will use signals from US GPS and European Galileo positioning systems, as well as from SBAS multi-constellation EGNOS. The project aims to achieve a prototype demonstration by 2021. The prototype receiver performance will be evaluated during a flight test campaign performed by ATR using one of the company’s test aircraft.

Initiated by the European Commission’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), the EDG2E project will support the launch of the Galileo satellite constellation.

Philippe Benquet VP R&T for Flight Avionics, Thales declared: “Leading the EDG2E project puts Thales at the forefront of the next generation receivers which will equip future aircraft by 2025, making navigation more precise and thus safer, unleashing the potential for increased air traffic”.

EGNOS has been certified for use in aviation since February 2011, and is a very effective system to complement the US GPS, in order to provide better levels of performance, consequently enhancing aircraft approach capabilities. The next generation of EGNOS, called EGNOS V3, will further enhance performance by complementing both the EU Galileo and the US GPS satellite navigation constellations.

“EGNOS v3 will provide aviation users with an increased quality of services, better accuracy and extended coverage area among other key performance indicators” said Jean-Marc Pieplu (GSA Head of EGNOS Services Programme). Fundamental Element Programme is a medium that supports development of terminals and antennae fostering use of E-GNSS in all domains. In this perspective, EDG2E is an important step for GSA as it will contribute to availability of high technology products on the aviation market, taking benefit of Dual Frequency Multi Constellation feature offered by EGNOS v3”.

At the end of the EDG2E project, a new standard for GPS Galileo and SBAS aviation receivers will be completed, and the first SBAS dual-frequency GPS Galileo receivers for aviation will be ready for final development and provide safer operations not only for the aviation sector but also for other safety-critical applications.

 

Lake Forest, California | March 8, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and APT Mobile Satcom Limited(APSATCOM) today announced a major evolution in connectivity for mobility markets – Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service. APSATCOM is an affiliate of APT Satellite Company Limited (APT), the operator of the APSTAR satellite constellation.  With this new satellite, the companies are building on a long-standing and successful capacity relationship.

The new satellite, APSTAR-6D, gives Panasonic the capacity to meet the needs of its customers and to position itself for sustained growth in the region. In addition, Panasonic will continue to optimize its global network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure industry-leading performance everywhere its customers fly.

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic to best serve Panasonic’s connectivity customers. It is tailored to put capacity where it is most needed, rather than spread evenly over the Earth. APT has provided technical support in design and project management, and will provide satellite operation after launch. This XTS satellite will provide Panasonic customers with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides HTS coverage over the full field of view of the satellite including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica.  This includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite. Tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput.

One of the markets to benefit the most from XTS service is air transport. Today, 21 Asian carriers, representing over 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic for connectivity service, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such asAir China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines. In addition, other leading airlines around the world that are Panasonic connectivity customers will use this advanced satellite capacity as their aircraft fly routes to and over Asia.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, noted: “Today is a milestone moment as Panasonic leads the industry with plans for the next evolution in inflight connectivity. Targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity ensures that Panasonic can meet the needs of our airline customers for cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

Andy Fellows, Vice President of the Asia, Japan and China Regions for Panasonic Avionics, said: “This is a truly exciting milestone for connectivity customers across Asia, especially China. From the very beginning, we knew China was the fastest growing market for inflight connectivity, and we worked tirelessly with partners to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to expand service in this key region. With APSTAR-6D, we now have the future capacity we need to best serve customers in China and across Asia with an unmatched global connectivity service.”

Jason Li, CEO of APSATCOM, commented: “Since 2009, APT has provided Panasonic Avionics with key satellite capacity that serves the Asia region. APSATCOM is pleased to continue this relationship with APSTAR-6D, the latest milestone in improving satellite communications services for the Chinese and Asian mobility markets. This new satellite is an ideal solution for Panasonic’s roadmap for inflight connectivity services both in China and throughout Asia. We believe that its unique design will help Panasonic deliver unmatched satellite communications services for many years to come.”

This XTS satellite will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently launched third generation communications network, which isbuilt to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.  This flexible network is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.

Panasonic’s third generation communications network supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.  The network is backed by Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, approximately 2,000 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service.  The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

United Kingdom | March 6, 2018–A significant, multi-frequency European datalink infrastructure upgrade has been completed by SITAONAIR, marking an important milestone in realizing the Single European Sky (SES) vision, and in tackling congestion in Europe’s airspace.

SITAONAIR’s upgrade fosters and enhances the provision of air/ground (A/G) datalink in Europe across multiple frequencies, supporting the region’s increasingly pressured Air Traffic Control (ATC) network. European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) currently handle around 26,000 flights daily, with air traffic levels forecast to double by 2020.

Over the last 18 months, SITAONAIR  the air transport industry’s global leader in operational and Air Traffic Control communications  has notably extended the footprint of its crucial A/G communication service, by establishing a multi-frequency VHF Data Link Mode 2 network infrastructure (VDLm2 MF), across Europe.

The multi-frequency version of the service has been recommended by the European Aviation Safety Agency as essential for facilitating Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC)  an Air Traffic Control (ATC) application mandated by the European Commission for use under the SES. The European mandate applies to airlines and ANSPs alike, with SITAONAIR providing the core A/G service enabling them to exchange vital ATC data.

VDLm2 MF is deployed on both SITAONAIR’s-own infrastructure, and on that of its ANSP partners, including BULATSA in Bulgaria, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung in Germany, ENAIRE in Spain, Nav Portugal, Romania’s ROMATSA and Switzerland’s Skyguide. Fifteen European ANSPs, from the Czech Republic and Croatia to Sweden and Slovenia, have now contracted SITAONAIR to provide VDLm2 A/G communications capabilities.

The heart of critical aviation communications

François Bardin, SITAONAIR’s Head of ATC Systems and Solutions, says: “The realization of our multi-frequency VDLm2 MF infrastructure once again sets SITAONAIR at the heart of aviation’s critical communications landscape, empowering ANSPs and airlines in Europe to provide mandated air/ground communications. We knew this vital CPDLC transition would present a challenging shift for the industry from voice to digital link communications. Thanks to our close partnership working, and tireless, proactive approach, we have made this ambition a reality.”

Eric Ménard, SITAONAIR’s Head of VHF Infrastructure, adds: “Our enhanced VDLm2 infrastructure, with its one-of-a-kind, three-layer VDL frequencies, is now operational, with a unique footprint over Europe. Our service performance has been commended by the Eurocontrol Maastricht Upper Airspace Centre, achieving, early-on, a global VDL Uplink Success Rate (USR) capable of satisfying demand, and alleviating the well-documented air transport pressures which have been encountered in Europe’s skies.

“This achievement is the result of a long-term collaboration between SITAONAIR’s teams and the industry. We would like to extend our thanks to the ICAO’s Frequency Management Group, and our European partners, BULATSA, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, ENAIRE, Nav Portugal, ROMATSA and Skyguide, for their support in delivering this initiative.”

Pleased with the results

Klauspeter Hauf, Head of Voice Communication Services at DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, says: “We are very pleased with the results of our partnership with SITAONAIR to upgrade our VHF infrastructure to multi-frequency, and within the ambitious timeframe set by the European program. We are already seeing the benefits of this significant work, which is having a widespread positive impact on Air Traffic Control across the continent.”

Speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form, to discover SITAONAIR’s full connected aircraft and air traffic management portfolio at www.sitaonair.aero

The finalists for the Crystal Cabin Award 2018 have been decided. Aviation giants from around the world battle it out in eight categories for the coveted trophies.

Hamburg, Germany | March 1, 2018– There is hardly any other prize watched as closely by the aviation industry from year to year as the Crystal Cabin Award. The jury of international experts has now announced the finalists for this year’s 12th annual award. A total of 24 products and concepts are facing off in the final round in eight categories. Finalists this year include the new A380 First Class from Singapore Airlines, printed electrical wiring and an environmentally friendly water tap from British students. With 91 submissions reaching the shortlist, the competition this year was tougher than ever before. In 2018, for the first time, the white trophies will be produced using 3D printing technology. Just who gets to take them home will be decided on the evening of 10 April, 2018, during the leading global trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

New this year is the “IFEC” category, short for “In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity”. And this is not just a matter of technology, as finalist Bluebox Aviation Systems shows: the “Bluebox Accessible IFE” platform provides barrier-free access to in-flight entertainment for visually impaired passengers on long-haul routes. In partnership with Virgin Atlantic the product is already in use. Barriers are being broken down in other ways, too, with products such as the new “European Aviation Network” from finalist Inmarsat. More than 300 Deutsche Telekom ground stations will provide passengers with LTE network access above the clouds throughout Europe this year. Even more visionary, from a technological persepctive, is the in-flight entertainment concept from United Screens. This German company is offering the first on- board 3D television. Passengers don’t even need to use 3D glasses.

Three leading industry representatives have made the final in the “Cabin Concepts” category this year. From Airbus comes the “Airspace” cabin for the A320 range of aircraft, with an improved flight experience for passengers regardless of what class they are flying. Extra-large overhead lockers, light and airy panels and atmospheric lighting scenarios will make flying more pleasant even on short and medium-haul routes. PriestmanGoode has made it to the final with a long-haul Business-Class product. The design agency has brought its customer, Qatar Airways, into the last three with the new “Qsuite”. Up to four seats can be arranged together in the “Qsuite” to create a private area for the whole family. And Singapore Airlines is one class higher with its new A380 First Class suites. The secret is that the partition between neighbouring suites can be stowed away to allow for a genuine double bed, turning the flight almost into a hotel stay!

Everyday life on short-haul routes is generally not so comfortable — and not just for the passengers. The airlines have little time on the ground to get their aircraft ready for the next flight. The PASSME Consortium, based in Portugal, offers relief. The PASSME Innovative Aircraft Seat, a finalist in the “Cabin Systems” category, makes it possible to push the seats of an Economy row together during boarding, creating more space in the aisle. The result: less

congestion and quicker boarding. Finalist Rockwell Collins is looking at a different sort of separation with its “Silhouette MOVE”. The flexible partition between Business and Economy Class is curved in such a way that the Economy passengers sitting behind it can still stretch their legs or stow heavy cabin baggage. Zodiac Aerospace has turned its attention to one particular passenger need that crosses class boundaries with “Durinal”, an aircraft urinal cabin. The innovation will benefit female passengers, too, at least indirectly: when the men have their own urinal facility, the queue for the rest of the cabin will be reduced — and things may be a little cleaner, too.

On the subject of clean toilets: US manufacturer Boeing is looking at the hygiene factor this year, too, with its “Boeing Cabin Dry Floor” that has made the final of the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category. What makes this so special is that the innovative floor is almost sponge-like in its absorption of moisture, leaving a dry, germ-free surface. Austrian company Villinger, too, is looking at cabin floors with its allegedly indestructible heated floor panel. The photographic evidence of the product being attacked with a pickaxe obviously proved the company’s point: welcome to the final. And the third finalist here is VT Miltope with security software for wireless cabin networks, so that mobile devices in the sky can be as virus- free as the lavatory floor.

One finalist in the “Material & Components” category is bringing something reminiscent of science fiction to the cabin — behind the scenes. If Airbus and Altran have their way, the heavy, space-consuming cable harnesses behind the cabin wall panels will soon be a thing of the past. In the future, wiring — for lighted signs, for example — will be produced by a direct “Printed Electrics” process. The wow-effect that got Rockwell Collins into the final in this category, on the other hand, was visual in nature. The US company’s “Secant Luminous Panel” lights up the complete cabin ceiling with high-resolution images. Weigele Aerospace from the German Southwest, meanwhile, has its eyes clearly on creature comforts, reaching the final with its “Airborne Cooking Robot”. This new energy-saving oven for the galley allows for cold and warm food to be prepared on one plate at the same time so the crew can serve “to perfection”.

The “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category is all about individual components to increase passenger comfort. The focus extends to the back rows of the aircraft cabin: Californian company LIFT by EnCore, in collaboration with Boeing, has developed a comfortable approach to long-haul seating even in tourist class for the 787, soaring into the final for this category. The segment’s major players, Rockwell Collins and Zodiac Aerospace, are here too. The former developed the “Valkyrie Bed”, a form of roll-up mattress for Business Class, which can be drawn out of the side panel, across the seat, for a more comfortable sleep. Zodiac’s “Eco Zlounge”, meanwhile, enables Economy Class passengers to make use of an empty seat in front of them to stretch their legs onto the seat surface in front.

The Crystal Cabin Award isn’t just about the big names in the aviation industry, though, offering the next generation of stars the opportunity to position themselves with creative ideas. Universities from around the world are represented again this year in the “University” category. Britain’s Cranfield University made it into the final with “E-tom Smart”, a water tap that atomises water to achieve on-board water savings of up to 90 percent without impacting the cleaning effect for the passengers’ hands. The University of Edinburgh made it to the final round, too, with its pioneering “Li-Fi” technology, using visible light to transmit data much like wifi. “Li-Fi” is also extremely practical from a security perspective, too, as the transfer network only exists as long as the human eye can see the light source. America’s University of Cincinnati, the third finalist, is also pointing the way to the digital future. Together with Boeing, students have developed a hologram surface that turns the aircraft cabin into a virtual extended space.

The “Visionary Concepts” category, meanwhile, looks even further into the future. Included here this year is the “Day and Night” concept from Airbus, dividing premium cabins into a living/working zone and a separate sleeping zone. Finalist Renacen of Spain provides a virtual view of the cabin. Reminiscent of Google Street View, the 3D Seat Map VR allows passengers to pass through the cabin from home to choose their preferred seat for their next flight. Finalist Rockwell Collins, meanwhile, has gone significantly further with its “Universal Passenger Seat Interface” concept: an electronic system for seating that can be deployed everywhere from aircraft to private cars, creating completely new synergies throughout the transport sector.

Who will win the Crystal Cabin Awards 2018? Information on the awards ceremony and trophies

The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”.

To win, the 24 finalists now have to present their ideas in person to the 28 international experts of the jury. The winners will be announced, as every year, as part of the leading global trade fair for aircraft cabins, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April in Hamburg), at a gala dinner to be held at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the evening of Monday, 10 April. The winners will then present their concepts once more at the Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery, Hall B3, 1st floor, on Thursday 12 April, at 11 AM. Information on all finalists will be available there throughout the entire Expo.

The characteristic Crystal Cabin Award trophies are moving with the times, too. This year, for the first time, the trophies are being additively manufactured from aluminum using a honeycomb structure, under the auspices of FIT AG, a Platinum Sponsor of the Crystal Cabin Award.

Acclaimed industry award – acclaimed industry support

The Crystal Cabin Award stands for the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide.

Revolutionary Versatility for Rotorcraft, Business Jets, and Other Aircraft Power Systems

East Aurora, NY | February 26, 2018– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), is expanding its CorePower® system product line with a new 28VDC Electronic Circuit Breaker Unit (ECBU). As the newest addition to its successful line of ECBUs, the new unit provides 24 channels of 28VDC power in a lightweight, compact design that simplifies electrical system complexity while improving power system flexibility. The new ECBU incorporates Astronics’ latest solid-state electronic circuit breaker (ECB) technology and offers programmable ECB outputs that can be custom configured to each mission or aircraft.

This unit combines new features based on years of flight experience and customer feedback. Aircraft manufacturers have asked for simpler, smaller and lighter ECBUs for installation in tight spaces. They have asked for the ability to be able to configure the units themselves based on varied missions and endcustomer requirements. We’ve listened closely, and with this new ECBU, we give them the tools to achieve their goals. In the future, this new family of products will enable customers to easily grow their system with components, such as an AC ECB card or I/O card, to craft a custom architecture for varied platforms,” said Kellsey Justus, Vice President of Airborne Power and Control at Astronics AES.

As previously announced, a version of this unit will be certified on the Textron Denali aircraft. Astronics is taking orders for the 1448 DC ECBU now.

For over 20 years, Astronics AES has delivered intelligent power management systems to the world’s aerospace industry. The patented CorePower® system has served in over 10,000,000 failure-free ECB flight hours. Located in Kirkland, Washington, Astronics AES is an industry-leading manufacturer of aircraft electrical power systems, including power generation and distribution. For more details on aircraft electrical power, visit Astronics.com.

Austin, Texas | February 21, 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity provider, is celebrating 10 years of partnership with global mobile satellite communications business Inmarsat.  The milestone anniversary, which acknowledges SD’s support of the SwiftBroadband service, was announced to delegates attending SD’s annual Connecting with Customers, CwC, client and partner event, being held in Austin, Texas.  To mark the significance of the relationship, Inmarsat’s Rupert Pearce, CEO, presented SD President David Greenhill, with a framed version of the original license at the CwC event.

Inmarsat confirmed SD as an aerospace distribution license partner in 2008, which enabled the business to begin reselling Inmarsat’s IP-based data service, SwiftBroadband, to the aviation sector.  Since then, SD has maintained its position as Inmarsat’s largest aeronautical service provider and has been recognized as a significant enabler for the growth of the SwiftBroadband service.

Looking forward, SD will continue to support SwiftBroadband services for the international business aviation sector, in addition to expanding its provision of the ultra-high speed broadband JetConneX service delivered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation. Both SwiftBroadband and JetConneX systems are supported by the SD router family, which optimize in-flight connectivity efficiency, as well as delivering a growing portfolio of SD applications.

“We are delighted to mark a decade of working with Inmarsat to provide high-speed data services to aviation. When we first received our license the concept of a digitized, connected, business aviation network was still very new. Today it is a fundamental part of aircraft operations and is a part of the business that we are committed to supporting, developing and evolving. Strong, long-term relationships with our partners are essential to our mutual success, but more importantly, enable us to provide our clients with the connectivity they expect. We look forward to our next decade supplying these services,” said Greenhill.

“Satcom Direct has been an Inmarsat partner for more than 20 years now and its continued support of our SwiftBroadband service over the past decade has directly influenced our success in this business, making the aero-market one of our most successful divisions,” said Pearce. “We are always striving to improve the customer experience and improve our products but can only do that by building close relationships with our partners to identify and deliver exactly what the market needs.”

SES Networks and Gogo collaborate to ensure that HTS connectivity is seamlessly deployed to more than 200 Gogo Aircraft within the first operational month of SES-15

Luxembourg | February 14, 2018– Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology which are now utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15. These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity.

SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.”

“Deploying HTS connectivity requires a coordinated and collaborative approach because of the spot beam design,” said Elias Zaccack, Executive Vice President Global Sales at SES Networks. “We are proud of our strong working relationship with the entire Gogo team.”

Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

While IFEC is our focus in this issue, we need to first cover a huge sale between Airbus and Emirates and this is a big deal!

Airbus/Emirates

Emirates firms up order for up to 36 additional A380 – the airlines aircraft of choice – to continue the airline’s successful growth. They signed a contract on Sunday to buy as many as 36 Airbus (AIR.PA) A380 aircraft worth as much as $16 billion at list prices, firming up an order that is crucial to the future of the world’s biggest passenger jet. The order, for 20 of the double-decker planes with an option for 16 more, was originally announced on a provisional basis in mid-January. Deliveries are to start as soon as in 2020, the Dubai-based carrier said. Airbus had previously said it would have to end production of the A380 if it failed to secure the huge Emirates deal.

Alongside the contract signing, visiting French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum discussed the expansion of air services between France and the United Arab Emirates, the airline said without elaborating. The latest order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, it said, adding that it was evaluating engine options for the new planes.

Airbus noted: The A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable air traffic growth, alleviating congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with fewer flights. The aircraft is the best way to capture growing world air traffic, which doubles every 15 years. The flagship airliner can accommodate 575 passengers in 4 classes and offers a range of 8,200 nautical miles (15,200 kilometres). The double-decker has become the passenger’s favorite resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies. The A380 is the world’s roomiest aircraft, offering the widest seats, wide aisles and more floor space. The A380 has the unique capability to generate revenue, stimulate traffic and attract passengers, who can now specifically select the A380 when booking a flight via the innovative iflyA380.com web site and the new IOS app.

To date more than 200 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique comfort of flying on board an A380. Every two minutes an A380 either takes off or lands at some of the 240 airports around the world, ready to welcome this magnificent aircraft. To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 Airlines.


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation’s innovative new inflight connectivity system – Gogo AVANCETM L3 – has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA. The latest connectivity solution from Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) lets users customize their inflight experience based on their unique needs and can be installed on business aircraft of all types, sizes and ages, but is an ideal solution for smaller aircraft including turboprops and light jets. Gogo is actively fulfilling orders that have already been booked and installations are underway via Gogo’s dealer network.

AVANCE L3 delivers the benefits of the Gogo AVANCE platform to passengers and flight departments in a small, lightweight form factor, with the most affordable pricing options in business aviation. The AVANCE platform integrates a full range of Smart Cabin features, allowing passengers to simply and reliably access and use all available data, voice, maps, entertainment and cabin management system (CMS) services.

By leveraging the AVANCE platform, the L3 delivers an unparalleled level of flexibility so users can adjust their system’s capabilities up or down without anyone needing to board the aircraft. Once installed, if a customer’s needs change and they want more or fewer capabilities, Gogo can make the adjustments to the system remotely.

“AVANCE L3 delivers the ultimate in flexibility,” said Mike Syverson, senior vice president of development for Gogo Business Aviation. “The AVANCE software-centric platform gives us capabilities that are transformative to business aviation. Users are no longer constrained by the hardware itself and there’s no need for downtime in a hangar if business needs evolve and require different service levels.”

The new system provides a level of flexibility not seen before in business aviation that allows operators to tailor their passengers’ experience and control and manage the number of devices they allow to connect.

And here is the “big deal”: With AVANCE L3, anyone onboard the aircraft can stay connected to email; send text messages and make voice calls with Gogo Text & Talk (service plan required); access their favorite flight apps such as moving maps, weather and flight information; or watch movies and TV shows using Gogo Vision (service plan required). For customers looking for full internet connectivity, AVANCE L3 can be enabled to connect to the Gogo Biz data network delivering a 3G experience. It’s the ultimate in scalability and flexibility.

Look at it this way:

1. For customers primarily interested in email, voice and light internet browsing capabilities, Core enables up to five devices. Hourly and monthly service plans available.

2. For customers looking for full internet connectivity in addition to email, Plus enables up to seven devices. Monthly service plans available.

3. Delivers similar capabilities that Plus does, but Max enables up to 25 devices. Monthly service plans available.

Gogo’s dealers and OEM partners are actively pursuing multiple STCs that will certify the Gogo AVANCE L3 system for installation across a variety of business aircraft models. Most other business aircraft models will also be available for Gogo AVANCE L3 system installation utilizing existing STCs.


Thales

Thales is making a comeback into Malaysia’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) scene as it works jointly with Novatis Resources to upgrade Kota Kinabalu’s Flight Information Region’s (FIR) Air Traffic Control (ATC) system and more.

To improve air traffic services for safer and smother travel within Malaysia’s airspace, Kota Kinabalu’s FIR, one of the two in the country will be receiving this series of upgrades including a new air traffic control system, radars, ground station, surveillance systems and distance measurement equipment in the next three years.

Together with local contractor, Novatis Resources, Thales will be bringing to the table its state-of-the-art ICAO’s ASBU-ready TopSky-ATC system, its new negation new generation primary and secondary co-mounted radars, ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) ground stations and latest DVOR-DME.

Notably, over 40% of the world’s airspace and more than 70 % of Asia Pacific airspace are controlled by Thales’s TopSky-ATC. Amongst Asia Pacific countries that employ the system are Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam.

The last major Thales ATM project in Malaysia was contracted over 15 years ago. The ubiquity of the TopSky ATC in the region will give Malaysia’s DCA the advantage of interoperability with its neighboring countries.

Next, Cebu Pacific Air, a leading airline in the Philippines currently operates a fleet of 56 aircraft comprised of A319, A320, A330 and ATR 72-500. The airline also has a further 50 aircraft on order which will be delivered between 2016 and 2021. With this anticipated expansion, the airline has decided to invest in pilot operations, to ensure that flight crew day to day operations, and their mission management are at the cutting edge. As a result they have selected the Aviobook Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution to digitize all their current flight dispatch documentation.

Cebu Pacific Air will equip their flight crew with Thales Aviobook
Full implementation of EFB solutions enables increased situational awareness and optimized flight collaboration with airline operation centers. This contract has further broadened Thales’s expertise in avionics and airborne connectivity.


SITA/SITAONAIR

They are providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly. In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR, SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft,  has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

SITA has also won the respected Aviation Technology Achievement at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards. The award was given for SITA’s work with JetBlue and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deliver a new secure, paperless and device-less self-boarding process, using biometric technology. This was the world’s first biometric boarding system using just a facial scan to board passengers while also completing the US customs and border exit checks. Working with JetBlue and the CBP, at Boston’s Logan International Airport, SITA demonstrated that biometric technology can reduce friction points in the airport experience including at boarding, where integrating checks with government systems is one of the hardest challenges to solve. The technology eliminates any boarding pass scanning and passport checks. Passengers just need to simply look into the camera for a quick photo and they are on their way. The integration of the airline and government systems by SITA showed how passengers can enjoy a seamless experience, while demonstrating how airlines and government border agencies can work together to enhance security.


Other Stuff

  • You might want to check out Gogo’s newsletter here.
  • Last week as we were going to press, Rob Mitchell, Communications Specialist at The Bookmark told us of a really interesting and descriptive web page on Wi-Fi that the folks at Verizon Internet have put together: “Because the topic of Wi-Fi is so complex, our experts recently created an animated guide as a follow-up to that article explaining how Wi-Fi works. It’s animations do a better job than most blog posts showing how routers send and receive Wi-Fi signals. I thought you would like to add a link to The Bookmark’s new guide as an additional resource for your viewers since they will have an easier time understanding how wifi works using our animated guide. Thank you keep up the great work on airfax.com/blog!” Check it out, it’s really interesting. And if you have something that might help understanding in this business, let us know.
  • PDT (Astronics) came out today with their incredible 2018 CES Trend Report – and it is a winner. You can check it out here. While it is not IFEC, it is very good.
  • The International Federation of Robotics just made an interesting observation. Considering global robot average density is 74 per 10,000 workers and Europe has 99/10,000, the US has some 84/10,000, but the winner is Republic of Korea with an astounding 631/10,000!
  • Interested in Asian aviation growth? Hear what Airbus has to say: “While air traffic is doubling every 15 years in the world, the Asia-Pacific fleet is set to almost triple by 2036. For services, this translates into more than a third of the global MRO business coming from this region by 2036. This represents more than $660 billion – the sum total of the accumulated spending during the next two decades, and encompasses the following segments: Components; Line maintenance and Airframe base maintenance and Engine maintenance.”
  • We got a note from Galgus (Wi-Fi folks) and they noted they are on tour: next stage Mobile World Congress! From February the 26th till March the 1st, Barcelona will hold the Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC18) and Galgus will be there with its own booth for the second year in a row. The Galcus booth will be located in the Spanish Pavilion (Congress Square CS30) and you will be able to find them on booth #23.
  • Airbus has been testing (and using) the SLS (Satellite Landing System) and you aviation tekkies need to get up to speed on this one. They note that the final approach segment is equivalent to a ground-based ILS beam! Here is a great slide presentation of the technology and Airbus deserves a pat on the back on this one!

Editor’s Note: Last week we mentioned that we had a lot of Airbus and Boeing sales info data – Here it is.

Isle of Wight | February 13, 2018– Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2018 in Hamburg, Germany.

With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C, either with or without USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD). IFPL will be demonstrating its Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that will allows airlines to support their passengers through the transition period from USB-Type A to USB Type C. IFPL has developed two combination variants, firstly a variant which has its existing high power reversible USB-Type A combined with a USB-Type C designed to work with the existing on-board power architecture, providing airlines a simple and low-cost upgrade path. Secondly, IFPL has developed a Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that supports USB-Type C, with USB Power Delivery supporting Power Delivery Rules 1 to 4 delivering providing up to 60 watts of power to power laptops, as well as the regular Portable Electronic Device (PED) power.

IFPL will also demonstrate how and why it has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet. This allows for much easier seat integration and heat dissipation, plus allows airlines to take advantage of existing in-service DC power supplies, whilst future proofing the outlet. This will allow airlines to take advantage of the next generation DC in- seat power supplies that have USB-Power Delivery built in as a standard, allowing commonality of outlets across the fleets.

USB Power Delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability. Visitors to stand 4B20 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet and they have extended this range to include the new 2020 USB-A outlet. This unit has been designed to allow seamless integration into the seat delivering an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets enhancing the passenger’s experience. The modular design ensures easy on wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allow for an easy upgrade path to USB-C in the future. To demonstrate this IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The modular approach has delivered a system that maximises the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the outlets into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system to enhance the passenger experience.

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging. IFPL has been working with a number of seat vendors who will be displaying at AIX and they will be demonstrating how they have successfully integrated IFPL’s inductive charge unit into their seat.

IFPL has enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

Latest audio jack technology

IFPL is a world-leader in audio jack technology – enhancing the customer experience and providing a total cost of ownership advantage to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimising the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology and products that differentiates their audio solutions in the market. These include:

Long Life Range
IFPL Long Life technology delivers a highly robust and reliable audio jack that minimise the effects of CID. The high quality materials and design ensures that these jacks are robust and have been tested to over 100,000 insertions. IFPL use this Long Life technology for single, double and triple jacks. Additionally, IFPL’s design ensures that each pin socket can work as single pins ensuring additional redundancy in the dual and triple pin solutions.

Rapid Fit Range
IFPL’s Rapid Fit technology delivers a solution to allow rapid on wing maintenance. The unit has been designed with a replaceable cassette, which house the jacks whilst keeping the expensive electronics in the main housing. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds allowing for rapid on wing replacement whilst keeping maintenance costs at a minimum.

INCAM Range
IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with the simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

Breakaway MagSignal Range
IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration. MagSignal has been tested to over 250,000 attachments/detachments, demonstrating the robust capability of this technology.

IFPL’s latest seat back contactless payment solutions

IFPL lead the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) for payment systems and personalisation with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology inflight.

AIX 2018 will see IFPL demonstrate NFC allowing airlines to provide easy seat back payment items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalisation and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.

New York | February 12, 2018– SITA has won the respected Aviation Technology Achievement at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards. The award was given for SITA’s work with JetBlue and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deliver a new secure, paperless and deviceless self-boarding process, using biometric technology.

This was the world’s first biometric boarding system using just a facial scan to board passengers while also completing the US customs and border exit checks. Working with JetBlue and the CBP, at Boston’s Logan International Airport, SITA demonstrated that biometric technology can reduce friction points in the airport experience including at boarding, where integrating checks with government systems is one of the hardest challenges to solve. The technology eliminates any boarding pass scanning and passport checks. Passengers just need to simply look into the camera for a quick photo and they are on their way. The integration of the airline and government systems by SITA showed how passengers can enjoy a seamless experience, while demonstrating how airlines and government border agencies can work together to enhance security.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, said: “Our vision is to make air travel easy, for airlines, airports and, ultimately, for passengers.  Integrating biometrics with the industry’s existing infrastructure, IT systems and processes, along with multiple security and border control systems, can be complex but it delivers a remarkably simple solution. Our work with JetBlue and the US CBP shows how SITA delivers secure and seamless travel to the industry today.

“The ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards recognize excellence in the air transport industry, looking in particular at outstanding performance, innovation, and superior service. I am very proud that the innovative work of the SITA team has won this award and would like to thank our partners, in particular JetBlue, for recognizing our expertise to develop this technology for them.”

The ATW Awards will be presented at The Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland on 27 March 2018.

Wireless connectivity at the gate will allow the aircraft to connect to vital aircraft, airline systems

Port Louis | February 8, 2018– SITA is providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly.

In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR – SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft – has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

Donald Li Ying, Vice President – Information Systems at Air Mauritius, said: “As Air Mauritius begins to introduce a new-generation of connected aircraft such as the Airbus A350, it is vital that we have a partner that can support the transfer of data both in the air and on the ground. This is vital to leverage the full benefit that connected aircraft can bring to the airline and our passengers.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “The continued growth in connected aircraft such at the Airbus A350 is opening new possibilities to enhance the passenger experience on board as well drive new efficiencies in how these aircraft are managed.”

“These new aircraft have become flying data centers which rely on world-class connectivity in order to exchange information on everything from engine data, passenger requirements to updates at the destination. This requires reliable, fast connectivity no matter where the aircraft finds itself. At SITA we are working with airlines globally to support that connectivity and ensure that the full benefits of connected aircraft can be unlocked.”

A total of 30% of airlines are already operating connected aircraft within their fleet and 73% of airlines will either operate or have taken delivery of connected aircraft in the next three years, according to SITA Air Transport IT Insights 2017.