A new biometrics-based seamless passenger-walkthrough will modernize passenger journey experience in the scope of the ongoing Digital Airport Program
Amsterdam, The Netherlands | February 9, 2017– Representing one of the m os t expec ted announcements in the Aviation Industry, the design and deployment of a large-scale modernization program aims at facilitating the entire passenger journey throughout the airport for all types of passengers, whilst increasing terminal capacity. New technology will be tested from 2017 to offer passengers a seamless experience, increase throughput, eliminate bottlenecks, thus enhancing capacity within the existing footprint.

After thorough market research, Schiphol selected Vision-Box, the Passenger Experience leaders responsible for processing over 200 million passengers per year at borders worldwide, to take up the challenge. Vision-Box met the highest standards of know-how, trust and experience for the endeavor and will thus be responsible for implementing, one of the founding streams of the overarching Digital Airport Program announced earlier this year.

The framework agreement consists of a long-term modernization program that will bring to life a pioneering end-to-end biometric-based passenger journey. It is founded on completely redesigned, document-less, self-service passenger-centric touch-points. The program will transform conventional physical and psychological barriers into a standardized, yet streamlined, seamless passenger walk-through experience.

Miguel Leitmann, CEO at Vision-Box, stated that “We are proud to announce this real premiere in the Aviation industry at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Our commitment is to present a completely modernized passenger experience, based on a shared vision of the digital airport. The redesigned Schiphol Airport journey will offer the best-in-class human-machine experience, a memorable passenger-centric walk-through from curb to cabin and a seamless gateway into the future.”


News:

Lufthansa Systems

Brussels Airlines introduced a new passenger service system in 2016. To make its departure control and adjacent applications accessible from the respective CUTE systems at each of the airports in its network, the Belgian airline is using cFront/LAGUNA from Lufthansa Systems. CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment. This software enables airlines to make shared use of airport IT infrastructures. This means that different airlines can use the same hardware to access their own servers for passenger and flight handling. The cFront/LAGUNA adapter software helps standardize the different versions of the CUTE systems.

“We have more than 100 destination airports in our route network. As an airline, it isn’t possible for us to develop interfaces for every version of CUTE and acquire the necessary certifications. This is why we are relying on the expertise of Lufthansa Systems,” said Paul Rogiers, Delivery Manager Outstations/IT at Brussels Airlines.

For many years, Lufthansa Systems has offered airlines comprehensive CUTE services – from setting up the applications to carrying out updates and maintenance. cFront/LAGUNA was modified by the experts to meet the specific needs of the Lufthansa Group. The software is based on the CUTE solution known as cGroup. It accesses an airline’s IT systems in a smooth, standardized way and supports all leading CUTE platforms as well as the new standards for Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS). In addition to Brussels Airlines, other airlines in the Lufthansa Group are also using cFront/LAGUNA. This means different airlines in the Group can benefit from a shared check-in system if necessary. Users can access the system from anywhere with a web app. cFront/LAGUNA also offers monitoring functions that provide an overview of the status at all CUTE and CUPPS airports and enables the responsible management team to intervene quickly in the event of a disruption.

“Thanks to the shared certification and provision of cFront/LAGUNA, the Group solution was already available at many of the airports in Brussels Airlines’ network. During the implementation, we simply had to add the information specific to Brussels Airlines. This saved money and ensured a fast launch,” said Bjoern Steinbrecher, Head of cGroup Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.

Established in 2002, Brussels Airlines from Belgium is part of the Lufthansa Group and a member of the Star Alliance. With a fleet of 49 aircraft, Brussels Airlines connects the European capital of Brussels with more than 100 destinations in Europe, Africa, India and North America.”

VISION-BOX

On a similar subject, Vision-Box also has automated airport passenger electronic control devices. We realize this is not IFEC, but  you are going to see a lot of this ground-based technology in the future. Since this technology free’s up a lot of people, border and airport automated technologies will increase for identifying passengers and visitors and a recent release about a Caribbean airport at St. Maarten caught our eye. “Juliana International Airport just upgraded to the new Vision-Box™ which is a self-service biometric Automated Border Control eGates intended to modernize the process, improve the security of the identification procedure, and expedite passenger flow at one more stage of the passenger journey across the airport!”  The news release went on: “vb i-match ™ ABC eGates have now recently announced a seamless passenger journey designed by Vision-Box ™, joining the existing vb i-match ™ security checkpoint gates installed in the first phase of the project. Together, these solutions are streamlining identification processes for departing passengers, when entering airside and clearing immigration.” We also understand that the arrival of biometric ABC technology at SMX (Juliana) Airport means that after successfully entering airport side by using vb i-match ™ security checkpoint eGates, passengers crossing the border will be able to complete the entire immigration process in a few seconds using customer-centric, self service touchpoint vb i-match ™ ABC”. Here is how it works: “Once at the eGate, the passenger will first scan their ePassport, where facial biometric information from the echip is scanned and matched with a live facial image capture of the passenger. Once all identification and safety checks have been successfully conducted, the passenger is allowed to clear immigration. At the forefront of modernizing the immigration clearance procedure is cutting-edge fraud detection and self-clearing biometric identification capabilities, using an advanced eGate security algorithm authenticating the passengers ePassport and identifying identity through multiple fraud and security operations, which just takes a few seconds.” We note that “Newly appointed airport ambassadors are there to greet and guide travelers in the use of the eGates, additionally to the support of a passenger-centered, expertly designed user Interface, oriented towards the success of the operation! Additionally, every passenger transaction is closely monitored by an immigration officer using vb inspector ™, a monitoring system giving the officers immediate information on each passenger’s identity and transaction status, detecting identity fraud, leveraging biometric and biographic information during real-time checks of intelligence and criminal databases, and instantly alerting border officers in case of an emergency.”

Editor’s Note: If you think there is not enough electronics in the airport departure and entry areas, you need to keep your eye on companies like Lufthansa Systems and Vision-Box.  www.vision-box.com. Here is another link about the coming technology.

APPS

We recently came across an interesting website about the use of Android apps for passenger devices.

While a bit old (2014 – 2015) we note their comments: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. And you guessed it – this app stuff is getting a lot more important to travelers.

Airlines aiming at increasing personalization are aware of the importance of mobile apps. However, a prerequisite to unleashing new streams of ancillary revenues through tailored offers is offering an outstanding digital user experience.” The app importance is noted in the link above, but tnooz said: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. While the airline average was around 3.1 to 3.6 (or lower) a reader sent us LATAM’s score (a few months old) – 4.0 Google/4.0 Apple – Guess who designed it?  If you said Zii, you win!

ZODIAC

And speaking of Zodiac Aerospace, Safran will buy them and merge the two companies with lots of financial machinations if all the business offers are accepted. In the end, Safran landing gear, nacelle, power systems, actuators and avionics would be combined with the Zodiac seats, cabin interiors, power distribution, lighting, safety, and oxygen/fluid/safety equipment.

Here are the involved Zodiac companies: Heath Tecna, Contour Aerospace, IMS (Zii), NAT, TriaGnoSys, PPP, and Greenpoint Technologies.

One expert said that the message here is clear, Safran see’s the future of electrical and avionic involvement in in aircraft. We believe, because of their native product differences, that management selection will be very critical as the two companies are so different and almost opposite talents. It is worth noting that the combined company would have about 92,000 employees and we understand Safran purchase is estimated to be approximately  $9.5 Billion. Interestingly, Safran attempted this acquisition in 2010. FYI, if the deal goes through, Safran will be number three Tier 1 supplier behind GE and United Technologies. However, the purchase is still subject to shareholder approval and if so it will close at the end of 2017/ 1st Qtr. 2018. Stay Tuned.

GOGO

Gogo announced that it has promoted Jon Cobin to Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Gogo. Cobin has served in a leadership position at Gogo for six years, most recently as head of strategy and global sales for Gogo’s commercial aviation division.  In his new role, he will continue to manage strategy and sales, but will take on the added responsibilities of managing Gogo’s product and marketing teams. Under Jon’s leadership the company has experienced numerous successes, including adding more than 1,000 2Ku aircraft to the backlog in 2016. “Gogo is at the forefront of technology development and innovation and combining our strategy group with product, sales and marketing enables us to better align the organization around meeting the needs of our global airline partners,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “Jon’s proven leadership makes him the right person for this role.” Congratulations Jon!

 THALES

JetBlue announced the completion of its fleet-wide Fly-Fi installations and they said: “Fly-Fi is the revolutionary Wi-Fi service offered to JetBlue passengers for free across the carrier’s 227 aircraft, including Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s. This Wi-Fi offering was developed by Thales InFlyt Experience to meet JetBlue’s expectation to offer connectivity services for every seat, on every aircraft. This service allows passengers to connect and remain connected from gate-to-gate. With the completion of these installations, Thales has again enhanced the passenger experience for JetBlue by providing high-bandwidth connectivity services that complement existing stored and live in-flight entertainment products.” For additional details on this service, please refer to this JetBlue press release.

GLOBAL EAGLE

Global Eagle Entertainment, CA secured a $500m senior-secured term-loan facility and a new $85m senior-secured revolving credit facility.

LATE PREDICTION

This came into us after publishing last Tuesday. It is a prediction submission from FlightPath3D: “We predict 2017 as the year the industry finally recognizes the PAX audience as the most highly coveted demographic for advertisers and begins real & sustained efforts to bridge the gap between them.”

A RUMOR

An unnamed IFExpress reporter told us: “Yesterday, I spoke with a friend of mine at (US) FCC and he confirmed that there will be organizational structure changes within. The alleged purpose is to “streamline” the licensing process. We’ll see. I have my doubts with any Federal bureaucracy. However, it could make for an interesting scenario with the 14 GHz air-to-ground license auctions. I suspect the license costs will go higher. Notwithstanding the purported organization changes, with every presidential transition period, he told me, from Republican – to – Democrat, or vice versa, or has about a 3-4 month period when almost nothing happens.” We concur.

LASTLY

You gotta see this – it might work! The Worst Seat on a Plane Gets Better: New Middle Seats

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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