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Monthly Archives: January 2012

ARINC In Flight Broadband Technology

ARINC In Flight Broadband Technology

ARINC has already joined the crowded market for wireless Internet access in airline cabins with the unveiling of its new Cabin Connect suite of products, using Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband connection. The service allows passengers to connect online with their own portable electronic devices, through either free access provided by the airlines or prepayment when they buy their tickets.

Other projects at Arinc–a long-established flight-planning and data specialist–include integrating electronic flight bags into the cockpits of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific’s airplanes, as well as introducing new self-service check-in kiosks at smaller airports such as Belfast City in Northern Ireland, and expanding its GlobaLink VHF datalink network, concentrating on boosting coverage in Asia.
ARINC’s Cabin Connect offers:

  • Next Generation Passenger Connectivity
  • Personal Electronic Device Support

Thanks to the enhanced bandwidth offered by SwiftBroadband and ARINC’s Cabin Connect Solution, airline passengers can now surf the internet, send and receive email, and use universal messaging all through their own portable electronic device, be that laptop, tablet computer eg iPad or Playbook, smart phone or portable gaming devices.

Supporting various commercial models, ARINC works with airlines to find the best unique solution, creating differentiation and increased value that can help to promote passenger loyalty.

More information on Cabin Connect can be found at http://www.cabinconnect.aero/.

VistaJet, the luxury aviation company for private jet charter and private jet ownership released plans this week to double in size by 2015 across Brazil, India, Nigeria, China and other rapidly growing countries, FlightGlobal reported this week.

VistaJet said China and West Africa will be priorities for 2012, and it is currently the largest international business aviation operator flying into a number of key Russian destinations.

Thomas Flohr, chairman of VistaJet, said: “We have reached a major stage in our development and strategic expansion. We have the opportunity to build on our established position as the world’s leading luxury aviation company, with the largest fleet of business jets outside of North America.”

The company has boosted its Bombardier fleet to 30 aircraft – comprising Global 6000, Challenger 850 and 605, and Learjet 60XR types – with a further $2 billion on backlog, including a pair of Airbus ACJ319s, due to an increase in long-haul demand.

The fleet will double by 2015 to 60 mid- and large-cabin types, VistaJet said.

Business Jets Activity Increasing

Business Jets Activity Increasing

2011 saw an increase in business jet activity we heard this week from FLIGHT. Starting in 2009 numbers have continued to rise the US Federal Aviation Administration’s enhanced traffic management system reported.

As of the end of November, the FAA counted 3.6 million business jet operations for the calendar year.This tally would appear to be on track to break the 2010 yearly total of 3.8 million operations by about 3% if December figures follow trends from previous months. The December 2010 to November 2011 operations total was up more than 4% compared with the previous year tally.

The top three business aircraft models in terms of usage since December 2010 were the Cessna Citation XLS family, with more than 320,000 operations through the end of November, followed by the Hawker 750/850/900 series at nearly 300,000 operations, and the Cessna Citation Ultra/Encore line.

Teterboro airport, near New York city, continued to be the top US airport for business jet activity, with more than 123,000 operations in the same period, followed by nearby Westchester County, at 60,000 operations, and Dulles international, at 57,000 operations.

We heard this month that IGI Airport will get a new system for better weather prediction. We take a look at this airport and consider the latest weather data systems.

Aviation Weather Systems

Aviation Weather Systems

The Indian Meteorological Department is now acquiring an Aviation Weather Decision Support System (AWDSS) to aid the detection and prediction of aviation weather hazards and communicate minute-wise information to operational users.

The Current system at IGI Airport studies surface atmospheric to predict on fog and wind conditions twice in a day. The new system, which would be in place by next winter, would have a radiometer, a vertical wind profiler, and a terminal weather radar for minute-by-minute vertical profile of the wind movement.

The IMD has set its requirements and an expert company would be finalised through a tendering process by March this year to develop the system for IGIA. The meteorological data under AWDSS would be collected from several sources and integrated to run a series of detection and nowcasting algorithms to be provided to the end-user interface. It will then be used for real-time air traffic control operations as well as the support of operational meteorologist’s work flow.

Weather data is transmitted using a variety of means. One is through ARINC Directs Type B Messaging. AviNet Type B messaging provides reliable and economical messaging for mission-critical communications, including weather data, for the aviation industry.

AviNet Type B provides the highest level of assured message delivery available, based on store-and-forward capabilities and a robust set of IATA standard message routing features built into ARINC’s high-availability message platform. It supports legacy, proprietary, and custom messaging applications, as well as industry-standard IP-based MQ and MATIP formats.

ARINC’s Type B service continues to evolve with the industry while also introducing next-generation messaging standards such as AviNet eXchange a Web Services interface for XML messaging.

And, unlike other providers, ARINC delivers this high performance with a flexible pricing model. AviNet Type B delivers an unbeatable combination of high value and low cost.

For more information please visit: http://www.typebmessaging-avinet.com/

The choice of common-use passenger processing systems available to airlines and airport operators was significantly broadened four months ago when ARINC’s established vMUSE product achieved CUPPS 1.1 certification.

Common Use Passenger Processing Systems

Common Use Passenger Processing Systems

Endorsed by global organisations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), CUPPS (Common Use Passenger Processing System) is the key industry standard designed to promote uniformity in passenger processing platforms. Compliance reduces the time, effort and cost associated with deploying individual airline applications for check-in and other functions at the airport.

vMUSE received the CUPPS 1.1 stamp of approval in September 2010 following a successful beta test programme at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and extensive formal compliance testing by renowned independent software validation provider Lufthansa Systems. “Independently proven adherence to the specification will assure the success of CUPPS,” says Lufthansa Systems’ Dietrich Hasselhorn, who oversaw the work. “ARINC’s vMUSE successfully passed compliance testing to prove it can successfully run any airline application written to the CUPPS 1.1 standard.”

ARINC installed the world’s first live operational CUPPS platform at Las Vegas in January 2009. Since then it has handled over 250,000 passengers, successfully running multiple airline applications .

Rob Sutton, ARINC global product manager, worked closely with IATA during development of the CUPPS standard and subsequently on the Las Vegas pilot programme and final certification testing.

“CUPPS is the first joint industry recommended practice to have been backed by IATA, ACI (Airports Council International) and ATA the US Air Transport Association,” he says. “It was formally released in November 2009, though our pilot programme at Las Vegas had been running to the initial CUPPS 1.0 standard since January of that year. Lufthansa Systems completed its testing of vMUSE/CUPPS 1.1 in a single week last March, and we have been offering a completely compliant product to the market for the past four months.”

There is at least one other compliant offering on the market, but Sutton is confident that the prospects for many more vMUSE/CUPPS 1.1 implementations are bright. “vMUSE can support both CUPPS and legacy airline applications simultaneously. If an airport operator chooses vMUSE it is covered for all possible scenarios: whatever the application selected by each individual carrier, the airport can be confident that vMUSE will support it.”

The CUPPS standard continues to evolve. Version 1.2, was agreed in 2010, while Version1.3 , which will be released early this year, will focus on printing, with a particular emphasis on Windows spooling and printing. “We’re already working to apply the new versions to VMUSE,” says Sutton. “CUPPS is the future of passenger processing, and we are determined to keep our products aligned with this industry recommended practice.

For more information visit www.vmuse-enterprise.com.

 

Safety & Security Forecast

© Sipa Press/Rex Features

Following the post on Avionics forecast this week we have had a look at the safety and security forecast.

Over the past decade aviation accident numbers have plateaued. This means that forecasting is more difficult. Industry experts have asked us to consider the impact of a shortage of pilots, maintenance engineers and instructors for both specialisations. Combine this with continued pressure on airline profits caused by excess capacity, plus high oil prices, and it seems increasingly likely that there is potential for accident figures to rise.

Other factors in this grim forecast include the atomisation that pilots work with. As they now lack more experience in handling aircraft there is further potential for loss of control in the event of an emergency. It was also noted that training requirements have not been subject to the proportionate level of change as technology.

Bodies such as IATA and the CAA acknowledge these facts.

Regarding security the modernisation of passenger security checks has been promised and improved technologies are in active development, but there is no sign of delivery in the next 12 months.

Indeed, there is a risk the current economic situation will reduce the willingness of government agencies, airports and airlines to invest, pushing improvements further into the future.

The vision of the future may vary according to which security equipment company is describing it, but would involve a passenger walking down a short aisle in which he or she would present a micro chipped passport for automatic scanning, while simultaneously undergoing unobtrusive explosive scanning and biometric identification by facial profiling.

Meanwhile, hand baggage would be fully checked without the need to open it or separate items within it. Finally, if everything tallied, the barrier would drop, allowing the passenger through to airside.

The UK government proposes to replace its “direct and inspect” approach with what it calls an outcome-focused, risk-based approach. The aim is for the aviation industry “to design security processes that deliver specified security outcomes rather than having to follow detailed rules”, says the UK Department for Transport.

All the activity and ideas are certainly a sign of a wish to modernise, but the delivery is not in sight.

Border Management Under The Spotlight

Border Management Under The Spotlight

Border security & Border management systems have been in the news again this month with the new deal between the UK & Ireland to crack down on illegal immigration.

The two countries will share information on visa applications, including fingerprint biometrics. The UK Borders Agency says the deal could create “considerable savings” on removing foreign nationals with no right to stay.

Ultimately there could be joint entry standards and “enhanced electronic border systems”.

The new system will help identify those with no right to enter the so-called common travel area – comprising the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – before they arrive at the border.

Electronic Border Systems, such as those offered by ARINC are essential for all countries. The ARINC Border Management System (ABMS) offers real time threat protection and is designed to adapt to the changes in operational process and support new technology, enabling Border Control agencies to flex with changing demands and capabilities.

Today it is not enough to simply secure borders from unauthorised entry by known undesirables. Now it is necessary to manage the stay of travellers, from entry through to exit, to know who has been in the country and when they left.

The ARINC Border Management System delivers a full stay management capability, screening all travellers before they travel, and managing visitors throughout their stay.

For more information visit http://www.electronicborders.com/.

Pro Line Fusion: procceding at pace

Pro Line Fusion: procceding at pace

As it is January the aviation industry have been making forecasts and predictions on many aspects of the industry.

I read this week in Flight Global an article about the future of avionics. Manufacturers are likely to be avidly incorporating the next generation technology for communications, surveillance and navigation into flight deck technology.

One of the up and coming in this category are Rockwell Collins, as its Pro Line Fusion package goes live.

The Fusion avionics suite, which includes 15in displays, head-up and head-down synthetic vision, graphical flight planning and the industry’s first touch-screen displays on some models, will make its first in-service appearance in Bombardier’s Global Vision flight decks this month.

Fusion packages already in the field by mid-2012 will also have made available an upgrade package that will feature a surface management system (SMS) coupled to the flight management system. SMS will display own-ship position during taxi and includes aural and visual advisories during taxi, take-off, final approach, landing and roll-out. The upgrade will also include a vertical situation display, which gives a side view of the vertical profile in the flight plan or aircraft track.

This is one of many new technologies in this area for 2012 – news of others to follow.

InFlight Broadband by Cabin Connect
InFlight Broadband by Cabin Connect

Last month we heard that ARINC was teaming up with Panasonic Avionics on offering its new Inmarsat SwiftBroadband-supported in-flight wi-fi solution, Cabin Connect, with some of the IFEC giant’s products.

“We’ve been talking to Panasonic for a long while about different ways that we can work with them. We are really looking at [having] options where we integrate with them. Or there is another option that [sees a] configuration where we connect directly to the satcom so that we can sit alongside the in-flight entertainment,” David Harrold, an executive with Arinc, told ATI at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference and exhibition in Seattle.

Unveiled at APEX, Cabin Connect is being billed as a simple connectivity system that allows airlines to easily and inexpensively bring in-flight wi-fi to passengers, since many aircraft already carry the lion’s share of necessary kit or will do so in the future.

At present, SwiftBroadband offers a data transfer rate of up to 432kbps per channel. However, Inmarsat has an upgrade path for the service, which will be implemented at the end of next year and bring the speed to 700kbps.

Arinc, meanwhile, is also “doing a number of things to improve the service”, including compressing the data going through the SwiftBroadband pipe, said Harrold

He added that, on the ground at Arinc’s data centre, the company is putting a “large amount of computing power” at the issue of speed “so in real time, we are making the images a bit smaller [and] blocking some of the adverts”, a service that is customisable to the airline’s needs and requirements.

This week we heard that digital data messaging between pilots and air traffic controllers is scheduled to begin replacing voice-based communications in U.S. airspace in the next three years.

A multifunction control display unit in aircraft cockpit shows a controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) message. (Photo: FAA)
A multifunction control display unit in aircraft cockpit shows a controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) message. (Photo: FAA)

The data communications program is considered one of six “transformational” programs leading to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

Data messaging for air traffic services is expected to improve controller productivity and reduce workload by automating delivery of routine clearances, freeing controllers to handle increased traffic. Safety will be enhanced by reducing misunderstandings and radio congestion arising from voice communications. Data communications are integral to the networked, data-centric vision of NextGen.

The chosen contractor will provide ground-to-ground and air-to-ground segments of a data network between FAA air traffic service points and data comm-equipped aircraft. In the DCIS solicitation, the FAA said it expects the contractor to use one or both of the current commercial providers of air/ground communications–a reference to Arinc and SITA–to provide a VHF Digital Link Mode 2 (VDL-2) datalink for air traffic services that also accommodates aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (Acars) messages.

Acars is used mainly for data communications between an airliner and its operations centre.

ARINC has been providing flight deck communications to the commercial industry for over 20 years – tailoring it to individual needs and operational preferences.

Over half of the world’s business jets rely on ARINC for their air-to-ground communication needs. From the value and reliability of ARINC’s SATCOM and Iridium-based solutions, to the proven industry-standard ACARS and expanded capabilities of VDLM2, to ARINC’s expert Air Traffic Services (ATS) and world-class weather graphics technology – ARINC Direct goes above and beyond to ensure airlines have communications they can always trust.

More information about ARINC’s business aviation communications services can be found at www.flight-planning.aero.