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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Later this month, Edinburgh airport will introduce MFlow Journey as a part of the airport systems to track and monitor passenger movement through its terminals.

MFlow is one of the latest innovations in Human Recognition, and will take a (thankfully) anonymous image of each passengers face as they check-in.  This enables the airport systems to measure the length of time it will take for each passenger to reach certain ‘check-points’.

Airport Systems

MFlow Airport Systems

The analysis of the data will enable the airport systems      to alert passenger management of any potential queue problems in advance, the idea being that the reduced time for the passenger queuing or waiting in a particular area of the terminal will increase the time the passenger will have for spending in the shopping areas, and therefore, maximizing profit potential for the airport, while enhancing the passenger experience as a whole.

Airport Systems

Edinburgh Airport Systems

Head of IT for Edinburgh Airport, Graeme Agnew said, “As the system doesn’t rely on people carrying Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology, we are able to collate highly accurate data on the movement of passengers through security screening and then make informed decisions about how we manage this area of the airport in the long term.”

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Visitors to EBACE 2013 will be able to view for the first time on static display, the luxuriously fitted BBJ3 from Boeing and Jet Aviation Basel.

The BBJ3 is the latest and the largest business jet aircraft from Boeing and is based upon the 737-900 Extended Range airliner.

The aircraft is currently on sale by the owner, who had the, Jet Aviation Design Studio VIP custom refit done last year.

The BBJ3 has a lounge, dining room, private bedroom with en-suite bathroom and staff area all comfortably furnished with the finest materials and fittings, including real stone, highly-polished sycamore wood, silk carpeting and hand-finished marquetry.

As the first privately owned BBJ 3 to be completed at Jet Aviation Basel, the highly customized cabin interior is finished in a flawless, bright, high-gloss quarter-figured Sycamore wood, with hand-crafted marquetry artwork integrated in the entrance panel,” said Neil Boyle, Vice President of the Completions Center at Jet Aviation Basel.  The centre employs over 1200 staff in their design, engineering, upholstery, fibreglass and paint shops and is capable of outfitting jets to VIP standards as large as an Airbus A380.

During their long-time partnership with Boeing, Jet Aviation Basel has delivered 24 completed aircraft, this being the first privately owned BBJ3 to be completed and shown in this way.

The BBJ3 will accommodate 38 passengers and 8 crew members comfortably and is beautifully equipped for a VIP journey.  With a spacious cabin of 32.7 m long and 3.57 m wide and with a range of 4,900 nautical miles, it is outselling all other business jets in its class by 7-1.

President of BBJ, Captain Steve Taylor said, “Our customers demand airplanes with great performance, enabling them to conduct business around the world.

The business jet aviation industry is experiencing a surge in growth and with more business and corporate use comes a high demand for comfort and connectivity in the air as effectively as in their ground-based offices.

business aviation refit

business aviation

Changing trends in commercial aviation have shown that over the past six years, there has been a drop in scheduled domestic flights to the tune of almost 9% per year in the largest hub airports in the U.S. with smaller airports losing 21% of domestic activity, according to a report by MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation.

The blame for this significant decrease in activity is largely attributed to the troubled economy and vastly fluctuating fuel prices, forcing operators to adjust capacity for a higher yield per flight and even removing direct flights to smaller airports, thus creating an impact upon small and medium-sized communities, in rural America, for example, in turn greatly affecting the service levels to these areas.

With public transport at a minimum in rural areas, and the demands upon business travellers increases with the economic crisis, there has never been a more critical time for business aviation to provide business travellers with the means to act fast in opportunistic situations.

The U.S. has invested billions in ensuring a safe, reliable and efficient air transport infrastructure and this is essential for the facilitation of the continued operation of airline travel for commercial airlines, business and recreational aircraft to maintain a robust infrastructure and to keep the skies busy and keep the economy growing.

Indeed, rural America encourages companies to bring jobs to the communities and the creation of effective transportation is welcomed with open arms.  The need for strong connections grows and, currently, airlines serve only 10% of the nation’s airports between less than 50 locations country-wide.

The authors of the report do not expect the situation to improve in the near future with commercial airlines and, with the businesses that fly their executives to where the opportunities lie, it is clear that business aviation is an area of the industry that will experience the growth and productivity that will ultimately benefit the nation’s economy.

business aviation

Business Aviation to aid economic growth

Today, Motorola Solutions announced its intention to release its groundbreaking Terrestrial Trunked Radio, commonly known as TETRA in the form of the next generation handheld device which will revolutionize the delivery of mission-critical communications, combining TETRA and LTE.

The TETRA service was introduced for emergency services, military and government agencies, public safety networks staff and other public sector staff for mission-critical communications, enabling secure network switching.

The new Motorola MTS4L base station enables, with the combined TETRA/TEDS and LTE, the choice of the user for when and where, (and even at which frequency), LTE can be added to their core operations networks.

Motorola hope that their new system will overtake the use of Smartphones, as their station will provide a secure environment for voice, data and video communications that can operate on public or private 3G/LTE and Wi-Fi networks.

The MTP6750 TETRA handheld, also has an impressive 5 megapixel camera, featuring Photograph and Intelligence Communications System (PICS), which will enable authenticated management of photographic evidence through a shared connection – incredibly useful for Police wishing to secure evidence or for a Doctor attending an emergency situation, for example, as is being used by Danish Health.

The uses for the Motorola technology are almost limitless; Police Vehicles (CPV) features integrated applications for key recognition functions, activating the TETRA radio with sirens or lights, technology for reading and recognition of license plates and video surveillance – all data-linked to share the information with the relevant network and for the delivery of mission-critical communications.

The combination of integrated applications with off-the-shelf hardware will make the Motorola TETRA Radio the must-have accessory for all personnel, agencies and departments in modern public sector services, rail and aviation operations for all mission critical communications.

mission critical communications

Mission Critical Communications

High levels of illegal activity border-wide and corruption within the companies guarding Nigeria’s border has prompted a Chinese firm to apply to install electronic borders control equipment at a cost of approximately 244 million U.S. dollars.

Electronic border management deployment would tighten security immensely, reducing the temptation to try to access Nigeria’s borders illegally.  With enhanced security, and the reduction of illegal border activity, it will be possible for Nigeria to develop its borders and increase commercial promotion.

“Until now, what we had was a proposal from a private Chinese company with which we had also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide for an electronic border control and the cost of the equipment was approximately about 244 million U.S. dollars”, Interior Minister, Abba Moro said, adding, “With the assistance of the U.S. State Department, we realised that some components of the offer we got from the private firm was contained in what the State Department would be offering us”.

With the help of U.S. State Department, the Nigerian Interior Ministry hope to deploy advanced surveillance technology in addition to electronic borders equipment.

Last week in Geneva at EBACE, business aviation specialists, ARINC Direct took a step closer to a paperless cockpit with their latest innovation, Xplore, a new communications service, offering a four-in-one portable device – ACARS messaging, high-quality voice service, Blackberry email and SMS/Instant Messaging capable.

Xplore will use an iPad application for the user interface and will be user-friendly, adding the benefit of sychnronicity between two or more iPads with bluetooth technology.

ARINC Direct existing business jet-operating customers will notice that the ACARS functionality is completely interoperable with their ARINC Direct account.

“The system is so flexible and easy to use we are looking at a wider range of applications than just business jets for its use,” said ARINC director James Hardie.

ARINC Direct Xplore, using the Inmarsat and Iriudium satellite networks will enable global connectivity for the flight deck and passengers in a simple, single application.

Mr Hardie continued, “If pilots are equipped with SwiftBroadband and they use the iPad App, then they are benefitting from a dynamic aviation information platform which surpasses traditional methods of getting in flight data.”

ARINC Direct encouraged pre-ordering of their business jet innovation at EBACE and hope to complete certification to launch the live product later this year.

Xplore ACARS

ARINC Direct Xplore – ACARS

mobile broadband

Airline travellers in US airspace may soon be able to enjoy multi-gig broadband connectivity if the proposed provision of a new ATG service goes ahead.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggest, following a petition filed two years ago by Qualcomm Inc, that a new air-to-ground, two-way mobile broadband service should be introduced in the 14-14.5 GHz Ku-band, which would ensure that it would not interfere with, and also be protected from other users operating essential earth-space communications.

Of course, there is a long way to go yet, with hoops to jump through in terms of regulatory and licensing conditions, not to mention the bidding war that will ensue, once these terms are agreed, for the issue of the contracts to run the services.

If the proposals go ahead, the service will be initially limited to US airspace, but airlines from other countries will be able to offer the two-way mobile broadband service to their passengers whilst in US airspace.

The benefits of the new service will be wide for airline passengers, offering faster connectivity and maybe even a reduction in the cost of broadband services.  It seems that business aviation will be the greatest beneficiary of the new band, as this industry is the fastest growing sector, with private and corporate jets requiring speeds of connectivity for utmost efficiency in the air as on the ground in their land-based offices.

Time will tell as the industry awaits the decision makers – watch this space!