Kontron SMARC-sAMX7 provides extremely energy-efficient SMARC 2.0 module for compact, fanless designs

Augsburg | July 12, 2017– Kontron, a leading global provider of Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), has introduced a new, extremely energy-efficient SMARC 2.0 module. Thanks to the use of low power NXP i.MX7 CPUs in both dual-core and single-core configurations the SMARC-sAMX7 is especially suitable for the development of smart devices in a very compact and fanless design. This approach, which balances processor and graphics performance while retaining a very low energy footprint, is especially useful in Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 applications. The presence of two Ethernet ports directly on the board facilitates networking considerably.

The SMARC-sAMX7 features a 2x1GHz ARM Cortex A7 processor with an additional 200 MHz M4 processor in dual-core configuration, the single-core version runs at 800 MHz. It comes with up to 2GB DDR3 memory, a dual channel LVDS interface, up to two Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), three PCI-Express (PCIe) and four USB 4.0 ports. 64GB eMMC 5.0 is used as onboard storage. The SMARC-sAMX7 utilizes the Uboot bootloader and supports Yocto Linux as the operating system. It is fully operational in an extended temperature range from ‑20°C up to +85°C.

The new SMARC-sAMX7 module offers optional support for Kontron’s Security Solution APPROTECT. It is based on an integrated security chip, which in tandem with a specifically developed software framework protects applications, as well as all data processed and stored on the device. Additionally, Kontron’s APPROTECT licensing enables new business models such as ‘pay per use’ or time-based trial versions, as it can be used to easily enable or disable features via a predetermined set of variables.

The new Kontron SMARC-sAMX7 module is available now. For additional information please visit: https://www.kontron.com/products/boards-and-standard-form-factors/smarc/smarc-samx7.html

SITA’s new common-use equipment speeds up passenger processing
Victoria | July 12, 2017– Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, will be introducing SITA’s state-of-the-art common-use passenger processing systems (CUPPS) at Seychelles International Airport from today. This investment provides greater flexibility for international airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment for check-in and boarding.

The airline – which provides ground-handling services to airlines operating from Seychelles International Airport – is currently upgrading its technology to ensure a smooth travel experience every step of the way. The upgrade is being performed in partnership with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and SITA, a global technology provider to the air transport industry.

The new systems will optimize the use of terminal facilities, speed up the flow of passengers and improve service levels for all international travelers flying from Seychelles International Airport.

Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “The new common-use terminal equipment will enable Air Seychelles to connect to various Departure Control Systems used by other airlines operating to Seychelles, providing more flexibility to our ground handling operations.

“Even more importantly, it will enable us to streamline the check-in and boarding process for all the international travelers that are handled at Seychelles International Airport, making sure they have a smooth experience. This development from SITA follows the long list of innovative technological solutions which we have implemented to ensure an improved guest experience.”

Gilbert Faure, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Introducing cutting-edge CUPPS infrastructure at Seychelles International Airport puts us on par with some of the most modern airports in the world. Having a standardized system for handling passengers will improve the airport experience for all international travelers, irrespective of the airline they are flying with, which is a fantastic achievement. We have developed a strong relationship with both Air Seychelles and SITA and are pleased to have worked together to install this new technology.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “Our common-use systems bring new efficiencies to Seychelles International Airport for both Air Seychelles and other operators. This in turn will have a dramatic impact on passengers who will benefit from a smooth and seamless travel experience.”

France | July 4, 2017– Thales was ranked third best amongst 41 suppliers in the annual Airbus Supplier Support Rating 2016. The rating is based on a direct survey conducted by Airbus of more than 150 customer airlines worldwide.

 This result confirms the proven and constant reliability of the customer support organisation that Thales can bring to bear globally. The Group has been within the Top 10 performers for Airbus over the past 11 years. Thales also reached an unprecedented 1st position in Airbus’s own evaluation of its suppliers. All Airbus customer services departments recognised the excellent support provided by Thales.

A Airframers and airlines nowadays operate in an ever more complex, competitive and global marketplace. As such the ability to maintain fleet operations at maximum capacity at all times is essential to their success. In a market more and more saturated with MROs offering average service levels, having Thales’s technical, operational and relational excellence makes us the ideal choice for the more demanding customers. We always strive for more and will continue our efforts to make airline operations ever smoother and more efficient

Eric Huber, Thales Vice President, Avionics Services Worldwide activities.

Thales’s newly expanded facility in Changi consolidates all avionics production and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) activities under one roof for better synergies and process optimisation. Thales has also invested in equipment and human capital, as it builds for future growth.

    France and Singapore | June 30, 2017– Thales started its commercial avionics operations in Singapore over forty years ago and now produces key systems for the Airbus A320, A350 and Boeing 787 fleets. Singapore houses one of three avionics repair sites for the Group, with the other two located in Chatellerault, France and Piscataway, USA.

    In the past year, Thales in Singapore has grown its repair volume by over 30%. In addition to providing repair operations, Thales is also providing a Customer Support Centre (CSC) for Diehl’s Singaporean subsidiary, set up in November last year to better serve its regional customers. The CSC has been operational since 1st January 2017 at the expanded Thales facility in Changi North Rise.

    The widened scope of the extended partnership increases Thales’ repair volume in Singapore to an estimated 40,000 pieces of equipment per year, making Singapore the Group’s largest centre for avionics maintenance and repair services worldwide.

    The aerospace industry in Singapore has seen robust growth over the last two decades, and Singapore is home to one of the most advanced MRO clusters in the world. Singapore accounts for a quarter of the region’s MRO output and Thales worked closely with the Singapore Economic Development Board in bringing the project to fruition.

    This expanded facility underscores the importance of Singapore as a regional hub for the Group, as it aims to grow local capabilities and establish a strong regional base to serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Also: Best branding in the IT sector – Aviation IT specialist receives German Brand Award in Gold in category of “Industry Excellence in Branding – IT”

    Raunheim/Berlin, Germany | June 30, 2017– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it received a German Brand Award as “Corporate Brand of the Year 2017” yesterday evening in Berlin for its new branding. This prestigious award in the “Excellence in Branding” category, the top tier of the competition, recognizes outstanding brand management across all industries. The German Brand Award is presented by the German Design Council and the German Brand Institute to honor successful brands, consistent brand management and sustainable brand communication. The award was presented for the first time in 2016.

    “The Lufthansa Systems brand has been overhauled. The realignment has also shaped the company’s identity, which embraces the enthusiasm, love and passion for the future of the airline industry and consistently reflects it in detail. An impressively successful and clean identity, with a clear, harmonious and user-friendly design, which has also made an appealing break with the typical visual language – exclusively depicting aviation technology – and for this reason alone stands out in a refreshing way. The jury considers this a great achievement, one which is not necessarily a given for subsidiary identities of this kind,” explained Andrej Kupetz, executive director of the German Design Council and chairman of the German Brand Award jury, justifying the jury’s decision.

    The new Lufthansa Systems brand identity aims to improve the company’s visibility in the airline and aviation market and emotionalize the brand by using expressive, striking and unconventional images, among other things. “We not only want to win over customers with the quality of our products, we want to excite them,” said Ulrike Behrens, Head of Marketing at Lufthansa Systems, who accepted the award at the ceremony in Berlin. “Lufthansa Systems is a dynamic brand that will keep evolving in the future. It is important to us that our development to date has been recognized in this way. It makes us proud and motivates us to continue down this path in the future.”

    In addition to the cross-industry award, Lufthansa Systems received a German Brand Award in Gold in the category of “Industry Excellence in Branding – IT.” The key criterion here was the company’s digital Brand Center. “With its Brand Center, Lufthansa Systems continues to move consistently toward the digital future. This makes it possible for employees and external partners alike to have an even stronger emotional experience with the brand, and it enables more open dialog about communication and design. Featuring an attractive and modern design, the Brand Center is a virtual platform with impressive visuals and content that express what constitutes the Lufthansa Systems brand and the spirit of the company. This is brand communication on an extremely high level,” the jury said.

    Olivier Krueger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems, commented on the company’s brand identity, saying, “We want to make airlines the winners of the digitalization megatrend. We can’t do this by reacting to the market, only by shaping it ourselves with creativity, a wealth of ideas and passion. Our new brand conveys our creativity, our wealth of ideas and our passion. It is a tremendous honor for us that the expert jury also sees it this way.”

    Only companies that were nominated by the brand scouts and expert committees of the German Brand Institute for the German Brand Award 2017 could take part in the competition.

    Augsburg, Germany | June 28, 2017– Kontron, a leading global provider of Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), announces that it will merge with S&T Deutschland Holding AG. The merger had been resolved at both the Kontron Annual General Shareholder Meeting (AGM) as well as the AGM of S&T Deutschland Holding AG on June 19 and June 20 respectively.

    After the merger, the brand “Kontron” continues to provide its customers with integrated solutions for embedded modules, boards and systems, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 applications. With more than 2,300 experienced engineers from both OT and IT backgrounds, Kontron together with S&T will offer additional innovative solutions for the seamless and secure connection of embedded systems into the Embedded Cloud.

    Through S&T Group’s software know-how, Kontron will be able to extend its portfolio of software applications and services and, thus, consolidate its technological leadership position. Leveraging the Original Design Manufacturing Services (ODM) by Foxconn subsidiary Ennoconn Kontron will be able to fulfill even large delivery options moving forward. The extended product and services portfolio will help Kontron customers reduce time-to-market for products of their own significantly. The merger creates additional cost-saving opportunities and further simplifies the group’s organization. The new lean management structure will nurture more effective decision-making to shorten development times and evolutionary cycles.

    In the beginning of 2017, Kontron restructured its regional areas of responsibility creating clear fields of competences and accountability of success. As the S&T Group is also organized on a regional level, Kontron customers only faced new reference contacts in very few exceptional cases after the merger. In association with S&T Group, Kontron regains a solid financial foundation facilitating future investment and innovation.

    Together Kontron and S&T are committed to being technology and industry leaders in the ECT, IoT and Industry 4.0 markets. Both companies aim to achieve combined sales between EUR 860 and 890 million in fiscal year 2017, and plan to break the one billion Euro mark in revenues in 2018.

    2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey shows tech is making a difference at every step of the journey
    Geneva, Switzerland | June 27, 2017– Passenger satisfaction is higher during the airline journey when self-service technologies are used, particularly at bag tag and collection, and passport checkpoints. This is according to the 2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a global survey released today by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air Transport World. The survey shows that passengers rate their journey very highly with an overall satisfaction rate of 8.2 of out 10 but this is boosted even further when technologies such as mobile services and biometrics are used.

    Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said: “Passengers are increasingly comfortable with the use of technology in their everyday lives, and they are demanding more services as they appreciate the benefits technology can bring to their journey. Airports and airlines can take note that technology solutions can boost passenger satisfaction every step of the way.”

    In the global air transport industry, identity checks are a vital element of the passenger journey. SITA’s survey shows that technology, such as biometrics, can support security while offering a better passenger experience. Automated identity checks at passport control and boarding increases passenger satisfaction.

    A total of 37% of travelers surveyed by SITA used automated ID control on their last flight. Of these, 55% said they had used biometrics at departure security, 33% for boarding and 12% for international arrivals. Looking forward, 57% of passengers said they would use biometrics for their next trip.

    Passengers who use biometrics are highly satisfied. In fact, they rated the experience 8.4, well above the ratings for face-to-face transactions at passport check (8) and boarding (8.2), demonstrating passenger acceptance of this secure technology to deliver a seamless journey.

    Baggage collection is another area where technology is improving the passenger experience. Airlines and airports are helping to relieve the anxiety of waiting for bags to arrive by providing real-time information to passengers. On their last flight, more than half (58%) of passengers who checked in bags received real-time bag-collection information upon arrival.

    These passengers were happier than those who did not receive any information, rating their experience 8.4 out 10. Passengers are even more satisfied when they receive the information to their mobile devices. SITA’s survey shows that this bumped up satisfaction levels by an extra 10%.

    Technology is also driving passenger satisfaction for baggage management earlier in the journey as more airlines and airports offer self-bag tagging. The use of this technology increased satisfaction to a rating of 8.4 out of 10. Nearly half (47%) of all passengers took advantage of a self-service tagging option on their most recent trip, which is a healthy increase from 31% in 2016. As more self-bag tag options are made available we can expect passenger satisfaction at this point of the journey to increase.

    This year’s survey also highlights that as passengers become more familiar using technology during travel, the more likely they are to switch to newer, more efficient platforms. They are increasingly using smarter, mobile-enabled websites to book and check-in. Airline and airport apps, meanwhile, meet passengers’ desire for new services to help them better manage their journey. They want personalized information about their flight, their baggage and how to find their gate directly on their mobile device.

    The appetite for new services using technology is high: three quarters (74%) of passengers say they would definitely use flight and gate alerts pushed to their mobile devices; 57% would use airport wayfinding; and 57% would use biometrics to smooth identification each step of the way.

    Gutlin said: “Passengers aren’t deciding anymore whether they should use technology but which technology to use. They want to make each step of the journey as easy as possible. Tech adoption will be driven by both context and usability. For this reason, a clear focus on the end-users’ demands should shape the services airlines and airports offer.”

    This is the 12th edition of the SITA/ATW Passenger IT Trends Survey. It was conducted with more than 7,000 passengers from 17 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa representing almost three-quarters of global passenger traffic.

    United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft to be equipped with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D and Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety

    United Kingdom | June 14, 2017– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Cobham SATCOM, the leading manufacturer of satellite communications solutions, today announced that United Airlines will participate in a technology evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), Inmarsat’s next generation flight deck communications platform.

    SB-S will be evaluated on four United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft, which will be installed with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom system. It offers global, high-speed, secure connectivity for the flight deck. Enabling powerful and flexible communications with real-time inflight information, the service enhances airline safety, asset utilisation, security, and operations.

    United Airlines’ evaluation of the IP-based broadband service is part of the aviation giant’s ongoing commitment to best-in-class operations, safety and service. During this evaluation, United Airlines will deploy its equipped planes in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace. It will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging.

    SB-S also provides a range of ‘always on, always secure’ applications, which United Airlines will be able to use. These include continual positional awareness for flight tracking, flight data streaming (known as “Black Box in the Cloud”) and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather. Operational benefits include more fuel-efficient routes and the ability to transmit vital aircraft performance and positioning data in real time.

    Installations of the AVIATOR 300D systems on United Airlines’ planes are scheduled to commence later this year. The systems include Cobham’s IGA-5001 Intermediate Gain Antenna and will use the AVIATOR 300D Supplemental Type Certificate developed by L2 Aviation.

    Chuck Stewart, United Airlines Chief Technical Pilot for Communications, said: “United is excited about installing and using this powerful new communications capability as we expect to see it enhancing our operational efficiency, especially in places like the North Atlantic.”

    Andy Beers, Director, Global Aero Sales, Cobham SATCOM, said: “We are excited about this latest opportunity to contribute to the ongoing evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety as it supports our development of communication technologies Cobham SATCOM is rolling out to meet the future needs of the aviation community, particularly our AVIATOR S Series next generation product line, designed specifically to leverage Inmarsat’s new SB-S services.”

    Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “As a progressive and innovative airline, United is making an important move anticipating the future of aviation. With SB-Safety’s secure broadband platform, it will be able to benefit from the fully connected flight deck that delivers improved safety and security, better efficiency and optimised fleet performance.”

    Barcelona, Spain | June 13, 2017–One of their main targets being to provide airlines with new and boosted revenue streams, Immfly’s wireless platform offers a unique over-the-air reception of advertising campaigns pioneered by major labels such as American Express, Halls – from Mondelez – or Vodafone. According to the airline’s preferences and the brands’ strategy, the campaigns can be either online or offline, thereby ranging from Channel Sponsorship or Email Marketing formats, to Samplings. IFE Wireless Solutions are flourishing, and so is Immfly’s year on year revenue, which has increased up to 400%.

    “We are thrilled to include partners such as American Express on our advertiser portfolio. The inflight digital advertising industry is growing YoY at a 3 digits speed, which opens great perspective for the future” asserts Samuel Gombervaux, Chief Revenue Officer at Immfly and former Head of Advertising at Google. “Our Immfly platform enables digital advertising interaction where and when others can’t reach. It’s a moment when our audience is relaxed and receptive: during their flight”.

    Immfly’s willingness to work with advertising brands also involves Small & Medium Businesses. The latter have the opportunity to promote their services in the platform’s digital travel guides, prospectively attracting new potential customers and enabling passengers to discover high quality experiences when they reach their destination.

    According to Jimmy M. von Korff, co-founder of Immfly, “The IFE industry is evolving towards smarter digital services that add value to the passenger’s experience, and as airlines seek to enhance it, they must also identify innovative ways to increase revenue. Via Performance Marketing and Platform Sponsorship, we aim to cover these two needs since we provide airlines with a strong ancillary tool while still enhancing the passenger’s travel experience and ultimately benefiting brands and other third parties”.

    When IFExpress heard about the recent promotion of David Bruner as the Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, we could not think of a better person to fill the roll. David is now responsible for sales, marketing and customer relations for all Panasonic Avionics products and services. His previous position within PAC was the Vice President of Global Communication Services. The Panasonic website goes on to say; “David has been with Panasonic for 13 years. Previously he served as Vice President of Global Communications Services where he led the company’s efforts to establish a global, high-speed satellite network. Under David’s direction, Panasonic became the first company to offer global connectivity, live television and mobile phone services across multiple mobility markets including air transport; oil, energy and mining; maritime; cruise lines; and mega yachts. David has also held executive positions for General Dynamics Airborne Electronic Systems, InflightOnline – a web Media Company focused on the inflight market and AT&T Aviation. In total, he has over 35 years in the software, communications and aerospace industries including 5 years at American Airline’s SABRE group.”

    While the aforementioned is an apt summary of his years in the IFEC and airline industry, IFExpress reached out to other industry aficionados who have known David for a long time about the recent Panasonic promotion. John Courtright, Director of Sales and Marketing at SIE, and he told IFExpress: “I’ve known David for 20+ years and he is the consummate professional. Our careers have had similar tracks: we both were Senior Systems Analysts at major U.S. carriers, I was at United and David at American. I think that experience gave David the strong business and analytical skills he carried forward later in his career. David has always known the importance of Connectivity. As Senior VP at AT&T Wireless, Aviation Division, he drove the expansion of passenger connectivity and the emergence of making data available to the cabin and crew alike. In his new role as head of IFE and GCS Sales, I expect David to continue Panasonic’s strong presence in the IFEC industry.”

    Mary Rogozinski, VP Airlines, SmartSky Networks  said: “I always like to tell the story about meeting David back when he was with Sabre and I was with UA (in the 90’s).  We were both at a 777 working together meeting at Boeing.  It was one of my very first industry meetings.  I had to leave early and planned to take a Boeing customer bus back to the airport.  I get on the van to find it filled with AA folks including David.  At first I felt very awkward (back in those days, airlines didn’t socialize much), but David and team made me feel right at home.  I then went on to work with David at just about every company he worked at subsequently.  I regrettably threw out all of those business cards, there must have been about 15.  A high or lowlight had to have been when we worked together on the 777 launch.  David was at Claircom and they had done a good job pitching their phone service for the UA widebody fleet.  We worked late one night on the deal and both ended the day thinking Claircom would be UA’s next phone service provider.  But we woke up to the information that UA’s management team had given the incumbent service one last chance to bid, winning the program.  David took it in stride, in his unique cheerful way (maybe with a few cocktails.)”

    “Over the years, I truly look forward to seeing David and that kind of impish smile of his, and catching up on all the goings on with work, family and the industry.  He has always been a good and fair person to work with and I have always had the sense that he will take care of his customers.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I was ever one of them.  Sorry Dave.”

    We at IFExpress have had the pleasure of working with David for over 30 years. Internally, we debated and discussed his recent promotion as a writing point and we unanimously noted that if we wanted to discuss just about any aspect of our industry, David Bruner was one of the first people we would ask. Why? Because, he  understands the question, usually knows the answer, and is gracious when he delivers his reply – even if our question was less than correct, or our information was incomplete.

    Needless to say, IFExpress recently took the opportunity to talk with David about the IFEC industry:

    1. Tell our readers about the IFE(C) market for new aircraft for the next 3 years or so, given that aircraft sales are falling?

    A: Even though aircraft sales aren’t at the same all-time high levels as previous years, there are plenty of opportunities for companies like Panasonic that can deliver tailored solutions closely aligned to each airline’s business needs and the expectations of its passengers.

    2.Do you see the IFEC market changing over the next 5 years based on what passengers are carrying? What does IFEC have to offer over carry-ons – today and in the future?

    A: The IFEC market is perpetually changing. From embedded systems to PEDs to the ever increasing use of wearable technology, IFEC providers need to be able to provide platforms that allow airlines, passengers and crew to interact and stay connected easily and effectively.

    That is one of the reasons why we have introduced our new NEXT IFEC platform. We have in essence re-written our rule book for how we engage with airlines – moving from a product-based sales approach to one where we build tailored solutions based on their business needs, using the flexibility of our platform coupled with the versatility of our integrated ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships.

    3. What, in your opinion, will be the hardest bridge to cross in the next few years in IFEC?

    A: The industry needs to focus on how to fully enable a truly dynamic, digitally connected business platform in flight. When you have a flexible platform backed by a global connectivity network and comprehensive ecosystem, you can radically change the industry.

    For example when you combine our NEXT platform with services like ZeroTouch, you begin to liberate airlines from the accepted 30-day refresh media cycle. We’re opening up content on demand services, concierge services, real-time CRM, and much more.

    This kind of dynamic content update gives airlines the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively personalize services for their passengers. This will fundamentally address some of the complaints about air travel from both airlines and passengers.

    4. IFEC and new connectivity capability should usher in more cabin/system connections to the ground but Panasonic is an IFEC company. How will you folks get into the side of “data” that others have been focused on for years and can you give our readers a bit of why you will succeed?

    A: Panasonic Avionics is already highly engaged in this area in a number of ways. Probably the biggest is ZeroTouch which we launched last October and has already received high levels of interest from airlines. ZeroTouch is a unique and innovative service that simultaneously gives airlines real-time visibility into performance, improves the efficiency of their maintenance operations and also enables data transfer of passenger-facing content to an aircraft to improve the passenger experience. The service will reduce an airline’s need to physically touch its aircraft because all interactions are managed through a virtual dashboard. By providing access to real-time passenger data, software, media and content updates can be data-driven, helping to deliver a relevant and personalized passenger experience.

    With over 70 airline customers we are having success helping airlines to see that the “C” in IFEC is more than passenger WIFI. As a global network operator, we are helping airlines use broadband connectivity to deliver new solutions — solutions that make passengers happier through better crew service, accessibility to the airlines app for constant real-time communications, health monitoring of all systems inflight, passenger and cargo security and more. This application of connectivity, with the onboard computing platform, will have the same powerful impact on the market as the introduction of the CRS’s of the 1960’s and 70’s.

    5. David, you have been around this game for around 30 years now, can you tell our readers about the changes you have seen in working with airlines and what advice would you give them with the new technology in IFEC?

    A: IFEC has changed dramatically since I entered the industry however the objectives are still the same: an excellent audio and video experience, an ever-increasing choice of content, and more control over how and when content is viewed. Over the last 10 years, however, the rate of change in our industry has greatly accelerated with the advent of inflight connectivity.

    The advice I would give to an airline is to treat IFEC like all key interaction points of the passenger experience. From our experience, it has tremendous potential to enhance an airline’s brand — and therefore value — significantly. As such, it is worth the investment but only if the IFEC offering is aligned with an airline’s commercial objectives and the needs of its passengers. So involve an IFEC provider at the start of the decision making process, help them understand your needs, treat them like a partner, not a supplier – and the results will undoubtedly be better.

    6. How important is the capability to engage the passenger from the point of ticket purchase, then throughout the remainder of their journey? What unique capabilities does Panasonic bring to this process?

    A: Enabling airlines to engage with their passengers throughout a longer process adds value to the passenger experience, and so has the potential to enhance the airline’s brand. We recognized this several years ago and developed the APIs that led to commercial deployment of Companion Apps – which are designed to span the passenger travel thread, enabling airlines to curate and integrate all aspects of the passenger experience. Singapore Airline was the first to take advantage of our program, and today its passengers can immerse themselves in their experience pre-flight, during flight and post-flight, bringing the benefits of the wide range of content and information to passengers for a much longer period of time.

    7. Over the next 10 years, much of the hardware within the aircraft cabin will be able to report wirelessly – think galleys, lavs, lights, seats, etc. Besides providing the pipe and the satcom equipment, how does Panasonic foresee participating in this real-time operations arena?

    A: Panasonic already participates in this arena in a wide range of areas, using connectivity to enable airlines to better manage their aircraft and communicate with both their passengers and crews. Just one example of this is the real-time fleet monitoring tool that is an integral part of ZeroTouch, a key element of Panasonic’s integrated ecosystem – which enables airlines to be more operationally robust and efficient, ultimately enhancing the passenger experience whilst helping to keep operating costs contained.

    8. Does Panasonic see the technology driving the consumer market and the evolutions of IFEC hardware flattening out over the next 10 – 15 years? If so, will Panasonic be focusing more on new software iterations that improve performance and capabilities utilizing existing hardware technologies?

    A: I don’t necessarily see a slow down in the advent of new consumer technologies and, as an IFEC solutions provider, we must continue to anticipate them, evolving to remain at the leading edge of making the step from the ground to the inflight experience a seamless one. We have a team that is solely dedicated to looking at new, emerging technologies and their potential impact to air travel. In fact, many of these technologies have been on display in our “Cool Room” at industry events. Some examples of recent demonstrations include 8K displays, smart surfaces, VR and AR. While not everything is applicable, we continue to bring innovation to the cabin. A great example of this is our NFC solution, which was the industry’s first.

    This kind of flexibility is intrinsic with our new NEXT platform. We believe that this will help us adapt and evolve our offering more effectively than ever before.

    9. Hacking has been getting bigger and we have seen Panasonic’s response to some issues. Can you give us an update to the focus from your company?

    A: Panasonic continues to take a proactive approach to hacking. We not only continually test the robustness of our systems, but also regularly engage with security professionals who wish to test our systems legitimately through our Bug Bounty program. We recently concluded our second annual Inflight Security Conference. This customer event is a great example of our commitment to ensuring the security of all systems we design and deliver. We had 65 attendees from around the world who were treated to two days of in depth discussions with our security teams, trusted partners, and even Robert Herjavec, guest star of ABC’s TV shows “Shark Tank” and “Dancing with the Stars” and founder of the Herjavec Group, which is a global leader and service provider of security solutions for enterprise level organizations.

    Editor’s Note: At the next trade show, if you have the opportunity to meet David we strongly encourage you to do so, or if you just want to say congratulations you can reach him at david.bruner@panasonic.aero

     


    Other News:

    Industry’s Leading Inflight Connectivity Technology Now Installed on Numerous Aircraft Types Flying All Over the World

    Chicago, IL | June 6, 2017–
    Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, has reached a milestone of 200 installations of 2Ku, the industry’s leading inflight connectivity technology.

    The company now has installed the technology on many major fleet types including Airbus’ A319, A321, A330 and A340 aircraft; and Boeing’s 737-800 and 747-400 aircraft. For the first time, passengers flying in all regions of the world are now experiencing high-speed inflight internet.

    “We are still on pace to hit our goal of between 550 and 650 2Ku equipped aircraft by the end of this year,” says John Wade, EVP and Chief Operating Officer. “I’m also extremely excited to say that we have managed to get our install times down to less than 2 days, by far the best in the industry. Less downtime for the aircraft is hugely important for our airline partners.”

    Gogo’s 2Ku technology is a proprietary dual antenna system developed to bring global streaming-class internet to aircraft. 2Ku is now flying and outperforming all other global connectivity solutions and delivers speeds of 15 Mbps to each passenger device, covering 98 percent of all flight hours around the world with 98 percent system availability.

    With an open architecture that leverages current and future Ku satellites, 2Ku offers unrivaled adaptability to keep airlines connected now and in the future. Performance of the technology will be boosted by a new modem currently being installed on aircraft. The proprietary features of the new modem significantly increase throughput and reliability to and from the aircraft, allowing significantly more than the current 15 Mbps to each passenger device.

    Gogo currently has 14 airlines representing more than 1600 aircraft awards for the 2Ku technology.

    Memorandum of Understanding signals new chapter in partnership
    Berlin, Germany | June 1, 2017– Airbus and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on aviation and aerospace, further enhancing a spirit of cooperation. The MoU was signed in Berlin by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President of Commercial Aircraft, and He Lifeng, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China.

    The MoU strengthens and deepens mutually beneficial collaboration between Airbus and Chinese aviation industry in various fields. Based on an already established solid foundation, Airbus and China will support the development of engineering skills and technology innovation in China and also promote the integration of Chinese suppliers into Airbus’ global supply chain.

    “The success of the industrial cooperation between Airbus and China makes itself a model of high-tech and win-win partnership between China and Europe”, said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President of Commercial Aircraft. “Together with our Chinese partners, we are confident in meeting the new challenges and opportunities and look forward to an even deeper and broader partnership.”

    Co-operation between Airbus and China is already extensive. The Tianjin A330 Family Aircraft Completion and Delivery Centre will deliver its first aircraft in September 2017 and the A320 Family Aircraft Final Assembly Line Asia will start assembly work of A320neo by the end of 2017.

    Both sides will continue the development of air transportation activities and to address China’s rapid aviation growth, tackling global issues such as environment and ATM, and broadening the partnership to include sectors like helicopters.

    Broomfield, CO & Cedar Rapids, Iowa| June 5, 2017– Moving maps are one of the most popular features of any inflight entertainment system and today Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO) and Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) bring Airshow® moving maps to customers in the business aviation market. Airshow is the aviation industry’s leading moving map application, and will now be available to Gogo’s customer base for use in business aviation cabins without the need for additional hardware.

    “Understanding flight progress, geographic location and scheduled arrival time is deeply satisfying to travelers of all ages,” said Sergio Aguirre, general manager of Gogo Business Aviation. “Now, with Airshow, passengers can enjoy stunning 3D graphics with amazing geographic detail on their personal devices. It’s a fantastic addition to our lineup of inflight applications.”

    For Gogo ATG customers, no additional hardware is required to add Airshow Moving Map, which makes it an easy and cost-effective product extension to further enhance the passenger experience. Simply activate an account with Rockwell Collins and download the Airshow Mobile 2 app – the most advanced 3D moving map application for business aviation.1 Airshow Moving Map fits aircraft of all types and sizes, from turboprops and light jets to the largest VVIP aircraft.

    Key features of the next-generation app, which is optimized for iOS® and Android phones and tablets, include:

    • Detailed, interactive high-definition satellite 3D maps
    • Multi-touch, gesture-based roaming, zooming and navigation
    • Customized user display settings and layers, available in portrait or landscape mode
    • Points of interest pop-up panel with images and captions
    • Consolidated view of maps and flight information into one display
    • Multiple viewpoint options including cockpit, pilot head-up display and window seats

    “This collaborative effort with Gogo provides us another avenue for bringing our industry-leading Airshow into the hands of business aircraft passengers,” said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Flight Controls and Information Systems for Rockwell Collins. “Airshow is the most deployed moving map in aviation because of its advanced technology and features that keep passengers and crew interactively connected with their flight experience.”

    As you probably know, the Trump administration is considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the US, and homeland security secretary John Kelly was quoted as saying when asked if he was going to ban all laptops on all flights to and from the US: “I might,” he said. The existing ban set in place earlier this year affects some 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly Middle Eastern, such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey.  Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security introduced a restriction on personal electronic devices in March, mandating anything larger than cellphones or smartphones be sent via the traveller’s baggage – so no tablets either. Clearly this does not affect airline provided tablets for IFEC, as Emirates is loaning tablets to passengers in upper classes, obviously keeping the the folks in front happy as their laptops/tablets ride in their suitcases down below.

    Currently, several news outlets report that the U.S. is considering extending the ban to other locations, including Europe. Ostensibly, airlines and countries worldwide could do the same. In fact, IFExpress has heard that Australia is presently considering a ban as well. The folks at Digital Trans noted: “Kelly added that Homeland Security planned to “raise the bar for – aviation security much higher than it is now,” and spoke of “new technologies down the road,” though declined to offer any details.” Furthermore, among the enhanced security measures that will be forthcoming will likely be tighter screening of carry-on items to allow Transport Security Administration agents to discern problematic items in tightly stuffed bags so we all will probably be affected – laptop or not. Hey, this ban could end up way bigger than anyone imagined.

    However, not everyone is sold on the restrictions and this was noted recently in Aviation Week – “In a statement May 23, AAPA (Association of Asia Pacific Airlines) director general Andrew Herdman said, “The ripple effects of such measures, and their proposed wider expansion, threaten to disrupt the global economy and impose far greater costs on society with no tangible public security benefits. This would only serve to further the aims of the terrorists, who measure their success by how much society over-reacts to their provocations. Rather than focus on generalized screening of innocent passengers, past experience with evolving threats and terrorist plots repeatedly highlight the critical importance of effective intelligence gathering and analysis.” Screening may be fine, but still one bad device could cause a lot of cabin damage –  and all it takes is one.

    Many say that the ban expansion will force a lot of passengers to send their laptop and tablets to their destination via luggage in the hold, or just leave them at home. IFExpress sees several potential issues with this scenario. Firstly,  large quantities of laptop batteries in the aircraft hold could potentially increase the risk of combustibility, which we all know has been an issue – and not just for laptops (think back to last year with the Galaxy 7)! After all, Lithium batteries can fail. But even beyond that some travelers have told us that they won’t ship laptops in luggage because of  the potential for theft – especially in some parts of Eastern Europe, Africa, and other locations. Additionally, if you do carry your laptop in your baggage, you might want to also carry a copy of the PC sales receipt with you as well, because if the bag is “lost”, you need proof of it’s value to get repaid – be sure to check out the rest of the article as it is pretty good as well!

    However, not everybody agrees that laptops are the big bad device onboard and a SpaceNews article about inflight connectivity reported: “Right now a laptop is the least-used device in the broadband networks that we are supporting,” Ric VanderMeulen, vice president of space and satellite broadband for ViaSat’s Government Systems Division, said during a Washington Space Business Roundtable panel. “Phones are first, tablets are second, and laptops are about seven percent of the market.”

    No doubt, a laptop ban could be a boon to aircraft IFE, but no personal devices, with the exception of smartphones, could potentially benefit the IFEC industry more. In fact, such a scenario would most likely require airlines to select some form of IFEC, especially on long flights. Thales notes in ATW: “The future of IFE will involve seatback monitors that interface with passengers, customize content and generate ancillary revenue,” according to Thales executives at the company’s new IFE final integration and test facility in Irvine, California, May 22. “If you look at the system right now, it’s super static, from top to bottom,” Thales InFlyt Experience CEO Dominique Giannoni said. “How do we move from an in-seat system—where an airline is looking at cost-line—to an in-seat solution coupled with connectivity that moves to a revenue line? We believe it is an untapped area and opportunity for revenue.” Thales InFlyt Experience CTO Fred Schreiner said, “We are going to go into a period where it’s really about engagement – the paradigm has completely shifted – your ability to access the internet, to catch up on social networks, is changing the game.” Yes, and it might also be promoting more laptop usage, however, whether flying folks are willing to trust their secure personal and business email and work on an airline supplied screen, remains unclear.”

    But, IFExpress had some questions too:

     

    • If the issue is battery size, what size limit is there or is the issue resolved with no laptops?
    • Will this new security change be a boon to smartphone usage inflight? And if so, portable keyboards (with Apple and Android phones) will be seen a lot more?
    • Or for another solution – can you imagine the cost and hassle of a secure, lockable cabin laptop storage enclosure? And the ensuing mess of storing and retrieving your laptop before and after a flight? Bad idea – rule that one out!

     

     

     

    So in the future if this security increase passes and you want to “laptop work” onboard, you might want to consider a good smartphone (perhaps one with the biggest screen possible) and at least 128 Gb of memory, a secure device for storing your data, and a portable keyboard, and a mouse (if that works on a phone). You may want to figure a way to support it while watching some form of entertainment – not to mention power. You will need power either from the plane or brought with you on a “brick”- and that brings up another issue, what size Lithium Ion power device will be allowed? Is this getting crazy, or what? However, with the size of some PC’s getting smaller (credit card size), could this be a possible carry-on computing solution when combined with a small keyboard, portable Li-ion cube and a small screen on an iPod or a phone? Check this out because they are getting smaller as well.

    Additionally, here are 10 tips for mobile security that will help keep all that portable stuff safe while you do travel, big laptop or not.

    And lastly, since we are on the subject, here is another good link on the potential laptop ban line as well.


    Other News

    • SAFRAN’s deal to acquire Zodiac has a new offering that drops their original price by $1.1 B, to a little over $9.5 B.
    • It was a “drag” when we learned how many how many antennas are on B787. Why? Because we were so wrong? If you said there are than 20, you are correct! Check it out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Xiamen, China and Lake Forest, CA | May 24, 2017– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (“Panasonic”) today introduced HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) Limited (“HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen)”) as an authorised repair centre for its in-flight entertainment and communications (“IFEC”) technology in Mainland China. HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) is a member of the HAECO Group, specialising in providing aircraft component and IFEC repair services to airlines and aircraft operators in the Asia-Pacific region. Repairs performed by HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) on behalf of Panasonic will carry the same Panasonic warranties, as repairs performed by all authorised service providers within the Panasonic repair network.

    The HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) facility is equipped with Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) dedicated test equipment and features comprehensive spares support from Panasonic. It is also staffed by Panasonic-trained technical personnel. The component repair specialist has been a trusted partner of Panasonic in supporting the OEM’s global customers with IFEC repairs, offering competitive turnaround times, cost-saving advantages and technical support. Backed by the HAECO Group’s comprehensive aircraft engineering and maintenance operations in the region, HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) also offers technical and logistics support, as well as OEM warranty administration to airlines and aircraft operators in Mainland China.

    Sean Gavin, Vice President, Technical Services of Panasonic Avionics, said: “We are delighted to welcome HAECO to the Panasonic repair network. Our partnership ensures that Panasonic’s airline customers benefit from in-country support that meets our global standards.”

    Clement Au, General Manager, Component Repair & Overhaul, HAECO Group, said: “HAECO has a proven track record serving the component repair needs of airlines in the Asia Pacific region. HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) is honoured and excited to be appointed as Panasonic’s authorised IFEC repair centre. Combining the respective strengths of both an OEM and a component repair specialist, this collaboration is mutually beneficial. It further extends the HAECO Group’s portfolio of services to include a wide range of Panasonic IFEC products, chosen by many airline operators in Mainland China.”

    Located in Xiamen, the newly introduced, Panasonic authorised IFEC repair centre is a facility approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

    Airbus and Boeing are going head-to-head for the lead into the MoM market and the airlines are looking for a midsize plane that costs less and will seat somewhere between 225 and 270 passengers, and fly nearly 5000 miles, in roughly 9 hours. Imagine a chart where the vertical axis represents the number of passengers/payload while the horizontal axis represents nautical miles/range.

    Before getting into the plane action, lets review the Middle of the Market we keep referring to (MoM) – and here is the view from the folks at Boeing. Picture the middle market as a big oval that covers passenger capacity/load of 175 to 375 passengers and a range of approximately 3,000 to 6,000 nautical miles. However, this market is so large that it also includes jetliners at both the smaller end and larger end of the scale. The oval pictured in the link above represents the “new midsize airplane sweet spot”, which is more like 200 to 275 travelers in a two class configuration, with a reduced range of 3,500 to 5,500 nautical miles. Interestingly, the only current plane that is in this newly identified midsize market circle is the twin-aisle B767-200, which hits the oval target just about dead center!

    Boeing is developing a business case and solution for the MoM  demand and their answer is a new development that some call the B797X. The real issue is twin aisle versus single.

    Now, lets look at where the single aisle B737 MAX series planes are with respect to the midsize sweet spot – where, no doubt, the action will be for the next few years. Remember, we are focusing only on Boeing in this issue, but we will talk a bit about Airbus in a later Hot Topic.  Here is where the Boeing “bottom” of the MoM plane products are today:

    Boeing B737 MAX 7
    1 Class Seating Config. – 150 Pax.
    2 Class Seating Config. – 138 Pax.
    Max. Seating Config. – 172 Pax.
    Range – 3,800 NM
    Wingspan – 35.9 M / 117 ft. 10in.
    Length – 35.6 M / 116 ft. 8 in.
    Height – 12.3 M / 40 ft. 4in.
    Weight – 177,000 lbs.
    Price – $92.2 Million

    Boeing B737 MAX 8
    1 Class Seating Config. – 174 Pax.
    2 Class Seating Config. – 162 Pax.
    Max. Seating Config. – 200 Pax.
    Range – 3,620
    Wingspan – 39.5 M / 117 ft. 10 in.
    Length – 39.5 M / 129.8 ft.
    Height – 12.3 M / 40 ft. 4in.
    Weight – 181,200 lbs.
    Price – $112.4 Million

    Boeing B737 MAX 9
    1 Class Seating Config. – 204 Pax.
    2 Class Seating Config. – 178 Pax.
    Max. Seating Config. – 220 Pax.
    Range – 3,595 NM
    Wingspan – 39.5 M / 117 ft. 10 in.
    Length – 42.2 M / 138.4 ft.
    Height – 12.3 M / 40 ft. 4in.
    Weight – 194,700 lbs
    Price – $119.2 Million

    As we noted earlier, the “new midsize market” is a smaller circle on the pax/range chart and the existing single aisle aircraft are right on the edge. Some experts are noting that the “new” midsize market concept could be difficult for Boeing because of existing B737 landing gear length limit problems coupled with the desired take-off rotation increase due to a longer single-aisle body – not to mention the new wing length needed for more load lift and potential composite additions to reduce load weight.

    While looking at an estimated 2025 entry, Boeing has some time to make the decision, but they will have to consider other aspects such as aircraft model growth, fuel burn, and competition. Furthermore, we understand that over 60% of the operators want a twin-aisle wide body versus a single-aisle narrow body, with seating expectations covering 150 to 249 pax – but the jury is still out on models and respective seat numbers.

    If you remember the B757 (single-aisle) and the B767 (twin-aisle) were designed to cover a larger flight range and passenger payload solutions at each end of the payload vs. range spectrum. We now have the requirement that Boeing focus on the center and build one plane (with derivatives) to solve the “market gap” problem and that will probably include more passenger comfort and expanded IFEC capability. IFExpress is betting on a twin! Further, the Boeing 797X will likely cover the 220-260 seat capacity with a designed range of some 4,500-5,000 nautical miles. But the big deal for Boeing would be the possible $150B in potential revenue!


    Rockwell
    Rockwell Collins will now bring high speed, secure worldwide KA-band connectivity to government aviation customers by expanding its Value Added Reseller (VAR) arrangement for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) service. Rockwell Collins has already been providing GX and JX services to commercial and business aviation customers through previous VAR agreements.


    SITA
    Meet Kate! SITA Lab, which explores the future of technology in air travel, has unveiled KATE, an intelligent check-in kiosk that will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed, promising to relegate check-in queues to the past.

    Using various data sources – including flight and passenger flow information – KATE can identify where additional check-in kiosks are required to reduce passenger queue times at check-in. KATE uses existing SITA data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API.
    Multiple robotic kiosks can be automatically or manually deployed simultaneously and in formation to assist passengers, providing airports and airlines greater flexibility in managing peaks in passenger flow. The kiosks can also communicate through a Cloud service to ensure that the right number of kiosks are at the right position when needed, making them highly responsive to changes in the airport. A design patent application for the kiosks is currently underway.

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

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

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

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

    KATE follows in the footsteps of LEO, SITA’s fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot launched at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit in Barcelona, Spain last year. For a better view, check out this video – https://youtu.be/oQ69r-2VX-I


    AIRBORNE WIRELESS NETWORK, CA was granted experimental operating from FCC to launch ground/flight testing (using two Boeing aircraft) of its demonstration system as part of development of Infinitus Super Highway air-to-air communication system. Further they have been granted a certificate by the FCC that will allow it to conduct ground and flight tests of their demonstration system of the Infinitus Super Highway, a high-speed broadband network that will link commercial aircraft in flight.


    BOEING
    Boeing All-Electric Satellite for SES Will Help Improve In-Flight Connectivity and Enable Other Traffic-Intensive Data Applications. Built for SES of Luxembourg, the 702 satellite is Boeing’s fifth with all-electric propulsion; design includes metallic 3-D printed parts.

    The satellite will bolster connectivity for Wi-Fi and entertainment services on flights over North America, Mexico and Central America. It will also serve the government, enterprise and maritime sectors. This 702-model satellite also demonstrates that using 3-D printed parts can improve affordability and production. More than 50 such metallic parts are on the vehicle in the primary structure.

    This is the fifth Boeing satellite to be deployed with a highly efficient all-electric propulsion system.

    SES-15 has a hybrid payload, including additional Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capability, with connectivity to gateways in Ka-band.
    The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) safety efforts will also benefit from the satellite as SES-15 carries a Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS) hosted payload for the FAA.

    SES has ordered 12 Boeing satellites since 1990, including SES-15. SES-15 is the operator’s first 702 all-electric satellite in its fleet.


    Gogo
    Global broadband connectivity provider Gogo Business Aviation is announcing that German aircraft manager and charter operator K5-Aviation is its first 2Ku business aviation customer in Europe.

    2Ku is a unique, dual-antenna system developed by Gogo to bring global streaming-capable internet connectivity to large aircraft. The technology benefits from global coverage and the redundancy of more than 180 satellites in the Ku-band.

    Also today, Gogo is unveiling a new suite of smart cabin systems – SCS Elite and SCS Media. Both are highly integrated cabin in-flight entertainment and voice solutions that can be personalized to fit the specific needs of passengers on a given flight.

    SCS systems, according to Gogo, “can be installed on virtually any plane, big or small, flying anywhere around the globe, and we created it to be a simple, powerful way to integrate all the necessary technology on board for an enjoyable passenger experience.”

    Also, If you are interested in who the travelers of tomorrow are, why their inflight preferences matter, why being mobile is so important to future travelers, expectations around future connectivity, and what role personal devices play in flight – check this download out from Gogo: Global Traveler | Gogo . We should also note that Gogo has been chosen by Airbus as a lead supplier for its High Bandwidth Connectivity (HBC) program. Being part of Airbus’ HBC program means airlines can place future aircraft orders with Airbus and have Gogo’s 2Ku technology installed at the factory on all major fleet types. Those aircraft are then delivered with the technology already installed and ready for service on day one. We wonder what Boeing is gonna do?

    <strong>Early research with Microsoft HoloLens shows potential of mixed reality

    Air Transport IT Summit 2017, Brussels | May 23, 2017– A new world of mixed reality is emerging and SITA Lab, the research arm of air transport IT provider SITA, is exploring its potential for airlines and airports. Today it released early results of research carried out with Helsinki Airport using Microsoft HoloLens to analyze and manage airport operations in a mixed reality environment.

    HoloLens is the world’s first self-contained holographic computer, enabling users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them. It runs Windows 10, and enables the blending of the physical and digital worlds in ways that were previously impossible. SITA worked with Helsinki Airport to use HoloLens to reproduce the airport operational control center (AOCC) in this mixed reality environment.

    For this project SITA Lab used a feed from SITA’s Day of Operations technology, which is used by Helsinki Airport, and presented a new way to visualize and interact with the airport’s operational data including aircraft movement, passenger movement and retail analytics. Wearing the HoloLens, the operators had a set of screens meshed into a 3D view of the airport allowing them to correlate events from the data dashboards with an immersive real-time model of the airport.

    This new way of looking at the world can provide new insights into how the airport is functioning. HoloLens also opens the possibility of being able to access the AOCC environment from any location, on or offsite, allowing experts to provide input to situations remotely.

    Jim Peters, SITA CTO and head of SITA Lab, said: “Mixed reality, which combines augmented and virtual reality, is more than a new interface, it is a new way of looking at the world and allows things to be done in a new way. It enables digital and physical data to exist together.  Our early research shows that there are potential uses for airlines and airports – for operations, maintenance and training. We need to learn how to interact in this new environment. In the same way that we moved from computers to smartphones and voice recognition, now we can go beyond the screen.”

    Greg Jones, MD, Worldwide Hospitality & Travel, Microsoft Corporation, said: “HoloLens is now being used across various enterprises from healthcare to engineering. SITA’s work is an example of how to extend HoloLens capabilities to manage the complexity of data and decision-making in an airport environment.  It shows how this new technology can be harnessed for the air transport industry and add value in areas from training to complex operational management.”

    The SITA Lab project interfaced into multiple data sources at Helsinki Airport to create the unique view of the ever-changing operations throughout the day. This included passenger real-time location and historic density data; aircraft position data; gate information; flight status information; security wait times and retail dwell times, segmented by passenger.

    Eero Knuutila, Head of Service Development, Helsinki Airport, said: “This innovative work with SITA Lab has been hugely valuable to the team at Helsinki Airport. It has opened our eyes to the possibility of using mixed reality to improve our operations. It is exciting to be the first to work with SITA on this emerging innovative technology.”

    SITA Lab’s early research results show that unlike virtual reality, the mixed reality experience tends not to make people feel disorientated or nauseous. The HoloLens device itself has proven easy to learn and has a good battery life and doesn’t suffer from over-heating issues.

    Peters, SITA, added: “Mixed Reality hits a sweet spot of having an experience that is fully immersive for the user, but also keeps that person in the real world. The user can interact with both and avoids the disorientation or discomfort of fully immersive virtual reality.  There are benefits to having multiple people using the headset and simultaneously interacting with the same virtual display. This could be really useful for scenario planning exercises.”

    While the technology shows potential, SITA Lab points out it is early days and before enterprise use at airports issues of weight, size and durability will need to be addressed. Users must also learn how to interact in this new environment to maximize its benefits.

    EBACE, Geneva, Switzerland | May 23, 2017–

    Honeywell (NYSE: HON) is making it easier for business operators to manage cabin connectivity usage, billing and troubleshooting with updates to its GoDirect Cabin Connectivity suite cabin connectivity and connectivity management services. The updates allow business jet operators to control network services on the aircraft in real time by setting timers for online streaming. Users can also access Honeywell’s Aspire® and JetWave hardware to define technical issues on a broader range of satellite communication products to deliver greater efficiency. Updates to the GoDirect Cabin Connectivity services provide business aviation operators with the tools to save time and reduce costs, with more control of the aircraft cabin.

    Reliable high-speed connectivity is a growing necessity for business aircraft owners, operators and passengers who use mobile devices to be more productive in the air. Therefore it is becoming increasingly important to provide fast and consistent in-flight Wi-Fi while managing overall costs. Honeywell’s GoDirect Cabin Connectivity consists of cabin connectivity and connectivity management services that put business jet owners and operators in control of satellite communication services, network troubleshooting, access, data, consumption and billing while reducing the need for third-party service support. The software streamlines service management for the business aviation market, giving owners and operators greater control of network services and easy access to hardware for troubleshooting. Honeywell provides the tools to manage aircraft connectivity networks more efficiently.

    Recent upgrades to GoDirect Cabin Connectivity applications include:

    Lufthansa Technik’s Two-In-One-Solution (TIOS) type approved for Boeing Business Jet 3 (737-900ER) aircraft on Inmarsat’s advanced high-speed Jet ConneX broadband network

    EBACE, Geneva, Switzerland | May 23, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its next-generation Jet ConneX inflight wi-fi service is now available to a growing number of Boeing Business Jet customers worldwide using the advanced Lufthansa Technik Two-In-One Solution (TIOS) radome.

    The TIOS radome, which connects to Jet ConneX using exclusive JetWave hardware produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell, was recently type approved for Boeing Business Jet 3 (based on the Boeing 737-900ER aircraft). In addition, it has already been approved for Boeing Business Jets 1 and 2, which are based on Boeing’s 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft respectively.

    TIOS has been specifically developed by Lufthansa Technik to accommodate two antennas in one radome, using an innovative space-saving tail-mounted assembly that reduces drag and noise. Operators also benefit from reduced installation and operational costs.

    Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Business and General Aviation, said: “Boeing VVIP and corporate customers are globe trotters that need a consistent, reliable and global high-speed Wi-Fi solution now. Lufthansa Technik’s TIOS installation is faster and customers are eligible for the same data plans as fuselage mounted antenna installations. It’s a win-win, allowing Inmarsat to offer our next-generation Jet ConneX service to an even wider market.”

    AviationGlass & Technology unveils its new glamourously coloured Bronze, Gold and Rose Gold AeroGlass Mirrors

    EBACE 2017, Geneva, Switzerland | May 22, 2017– AviationGlass & Technology (AGT) – a Dutch company specialized in the research, development and production of glass products for the aviation industry – today announced the launch of its new range of glamourously coloured AeroGlass Mirrors for aircraft interiors. The new bronze, gold and rose gold AeroGlass Mirrors are designed to enhance style and decoration possibilities inside the cabin on both commercial and business aircraft. As with all AeroGlass products, the new glamourous mirror range can be cut into any shape and integrate special lighting as well as touch screen features for a superior on-board experience.

    AeroGlass is the world’s only certified ultra-thin and lightweight glass product for aircraft interiors. It is up to 50% thinner and 25% lighter than traditional polycarbonate products yet highly robust as well as scratch and UV-resistant. Cost of ownership and maintenance are significantly reduced due to the product’s high level of durability and resistance to scratching when cleaning and handling. AeroGlass Mirrors are available in any colour and when combined with integrated lighting features provide high quality branding and luxurious personalization opportunities.

    John Rietveldt, AviationGlass & Technology’s CEO, said, “Our striking new bronze, gold and trendy rose gold coloured AeroGlass Mirrors immediately add a touch of glamour inside any cabin. The beautification of aircraft interiors with high quality glass products enables commercial airlines and business jet owners to stand out with a new level of on-board luxury. In terms of aircraft interior design, our new glamourous AeroGlass Mirror is set to become the new must-have item.”

    Advanced global, high-speed inflight broadband service for business jets is now offered by Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream to customers worldwide

    United Kingdom | May 22, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced a significant milestone for its Jet ConneX inflight broadband service, with four of the business aviation industry’s major private jet manufacturers now offering the next-generation solution to customers as a linefit option.

    Inmarsat achieved the power of four with the confirmation that Jet ConneX is now available as linefit on Dassault Falcon business jets and will also be linefit on Embraer Lineage 1000E executive jets from early 2018. Jet ConneX is already the preferred linefit option on Gulfstream and Bombardier aircraft. All four companies are connecting their aircraft to the Jet ConneX service using exclusive JetWave hardware produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell.

    Jet ConneX is the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for business jets today. It offers the same fast and reliable connectivity in the air that has previously only been available on the ground. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across 100 percent of major airline routes, providing a differentiator to do business wherever and whenever.

    Inmarsat designs, owns and operates its own satellite capacity, ensuring that high quality capacity is added ahead of demand; most recently through the launch of its fourth Ka-band satellite with SpaceX last week.

    Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Business and General Aviation, said: “Inmarsat continues to see overwhelming demand for Jet ConneX, reinforcing our status as the number one connectivity provider to business aviation customers worldwide. We couldn’t be prouder to confirm Dassault and Embraer alongside Gulfstream and Bombardier as the latest of the big four private jet manufacturers to start linefit of Jet ConneX.”

    He continued: “Inmarsat has long led the way in connectivity for business jets. SwiftBroadband was the best in class when it was launched and Jet ConneX is a stellar upgrade. Reaching this milestone is testament to our strategy of listening and responding to what business aviation customers want. It’s also a great endorsement in our service from manufacturers. We look forward to continuing to build on this strategy and success in the coming months and years.”

    Warren Nechtman, Vice President of Connectivity Equipment, Honeywell Aerospace, said: “Business jet operators expect to have the same experience with in-flight Wi-Fi as they do at home or in the office and that is why four business jet manufacturers have selected JetWave and Jet ConneX for their customers. Together, Honeywell and Inmarsat are improving productivity, entertainment and comfort for business aviation with truly global, high-speed connectivity.”

    Honeywell’s JetWave hardware will be certified for installation on Embraer Lineage 1000E Executive Jets beginning in 2018

    Geneva, Switzerland | May 22, 2017– Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has been selected by Embraer to upgrade its Lineage 1000E Executive Jets with the company’s JetWaveTM satellite communications hardware to provide global, high-speed Wi-Fi via Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX service. Whether accessing work networks, staying connected to friends and family on social media, or streaming movies, passengers will experience a new level of consistent high-speed wireless connectivity over land or sea virtually everywhere around the world at speeds similar to those found in their home.

    Honeywell’s JetWave system will receive initial aircraft installation certification at the beginning of 2018 that will boost Embraer’s Lineage 1000E platform to provide passengers with reliable, high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi. Available as forward-fit and retrofit options, JetWave hardware enables a global Ka-band connection from Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX service. With Inmarsat’s global satellite coverage passengers can experience a seamless connected experience.

    “Since entering the market, Embraer Executive Jets has been committed to rethinking convention in business aviation by introducing innovative technologies, higher performance standards, and premium comfort for a superior flight experience,” said Luciano Castro, vice president programs, Embraer Executive Jets. “This is just one more way that the Lineage 1000E delivers on its promise of enhancing every customer’s experience.”

    “As passengers continue to demand consistent Wi-Fi performance in the cabin, operators and flight crews recognize the benefits of staying connected with those on the ground,” said Michael Edmonds, president, Services and Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace. “With a connected cabin and cockpit, pilots and operators can improve their workload productivity and aircraft safety, while reducing costs. For passengers and the crew, this means a smoother flight experience with fewer flight delays because the ground crews can maintain constant communication with pilots to stay connected to crew on the ground.”

    “Our Jet ConneX service can support multiple passengers streaming video, simultaneously, anywhere the Linage flies,” said Kurt Weidemeyer, vice president, Business Aviation, Inmarsat. “It means everyone can watch what they like, when they like, where they like.”

    Dassault Falcon business jets to be equipped with first high-speed broadband Wi-Fi service to span the world

    Geneva, Switzerland | May 21, 2017– Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that its high-speed broadband Wi-Fi system, designed to provide aircraft with Internet speeds similar to those in homes and offices is now an option for new Dassault Falcon business jets. The system can also be installed on planes already in service. Honeywell’s JetWave antennas and hardware enable Inmarsat’s high-speed Jet ConneX service. Once installed, the system allows Dassault fliers to enjoy video streaming and phone calls, music and movie downloads, access to private company networks, online shopping, and much more through one global network with significantly fewer signal drops than other connectivity services, even over oceans.

    Based on a wider wireless frequency pipe than other global satellite networks, Honeywell’s system enables global Ka-band connection. Honeywell’s JetWave is now available as an option for installation aboard new Falcon 900LX, Falcon 7X, Falcon 8X, Falcon 5X business jets with initial delivery in mid-2017. For existing Dassault customers, Honeywell’s JetWave hardware is available for current installation on the Falcon 7X and Falcon 900 Series aircraft.

    “We believe that the future of business aviation lies in global connectivity. Demand from our customers and operators for reliable, high-speed, global Wi-Fi is growing exponentially,” said Olivier Villa, executive vice president, Civil Aircraft, Dassault Aviation. “Honeywell’s JetWave hardware, combined with Jet ConneX service from Inmarsat, is just the right solution to meet this need. It is one of the best offerings on the market and ensures our customers the ultimate in onboard comfort and productivity.”

    “With JetWave, Dassault operators and owners can now benefit from consistent, high-speed connectivity to browse the internet, stream videos and videoconference virtually anywhere in the world,” said Michael Edmonds, president, Services and Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace. “As truly global high-speed connectivity becomes more accessible to business jet operators, they can connect their aircraft beyond the cabin, which will help them fly safer and more efficiently, ultimately increasing the passenger experience.” Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat vice president of Business Aviation, said: “Jet ConneX is the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi service option for business jets, offering levels of speed and reliability that have not previously been available in the air. We are pleased to bring this unmatched technology to Dassault’s loyal customers, giving them the ability to work, enjoy entertainment and stay in touch with what’s happening on the ground.”

    Geneva, Switzerland | May 21, 2017– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity solutions provider, announced today at EBACE – Booth S80 – that it has signed a new exclusive provider agreement with Air Alsie, the Denmark-headquartered aircraft charter, ambulance operator and management company. The agreement marks the first time that SD and Air Alsie have partnered, and will position SD as a single source supplying a range of connectivity services across the Air Alsie fleet.

    The arrangement will initially see SD providing voice and data services, as well as flight deck communication functionality to the fleet. In addition, the contract names SD as the provider for Air Alsie’s future planned connectivity solutions, including Inmarsat’s Ka-band Jet ConneX. SD will also support a cabin router upgrade program for the fleet’s Falcon aircraft, featuring the Satcom Direct Router (SDR) which enables increased functionality and control of cabin Wi-Fi networks. The SD hardware solution facilitates the use of SD value added services including GlobalVT, which allows end users to make and receive texts and calls on their own smart device, anywhere in the world.

    Air Alsie operates one of Europe’s largest executive fleets including Hawker, Citation, two ATR72-500 types, Gulfstream, and a fleet of 14 Dassault Falcon aircraft, eight of which are Falcon 7X—Europe’s largest Dassault Falcon portfolio. The Air Alsie fleet also includes Dassault and Gulfstream flagship, Falcon 8X and G650ER aircraft. “Our mixed fleet necessitates partnering with a company that can create and adapt its product range to fulfill our diverse connectivity requirements, from the smallest to the largest of our jets, world-wide,” said Tom Carstensen of Air Alsie. “This is why we have chosen SD as our preferred provider.”

    “As we celebrate our twentieth year in business, inking this deal with one of Europe’s leading business aviation operators demonstrates how our customer-driven approach of creating tailored connectivity packages adds value to an operator’s business. Underpinned by our global support network, we are pleased to be able to serve Air Alsie’s customers, crew and operations teams,” says Michael Skou Christensen, Managing Director EMEA for SD.