Monthly Archives: March 2014

ARINC Direct Business Flight Support ServicesAs Rockwell Collins see the business aviation industry growing, it makes sense that after its acquisition of ARINC Inc was finalised late last year, that the business aviation division, ARINC Direct brands and Rockwell Collins applications would gel perfectly in the business flight support services sector.

Rockwell Collins formed the Information Management Services division in January, placing Jeff Sanderski in the senior vice president role. It is a worldwide operation with offices in London and Singapore in addition to the HQ in Annapolis and a further US office in Houston with a total of 2,200 employees.

Around 22% of the business for this division lies in business aviation – a figure that Mr Sanderski sees growing as more private jet aircraft continue to be fitted with Rockwell Collins/ARINC Direct applications, including air-ground voice and data, ground-ground networks and business flight support services.

capitol-place-1-964706-mThe U.S. Senate met this week to discuss a warning from the aerospace and aviation industry that the upcoming expected wave of retiring aviation professionals could damage the industry within the next five years if the Government does not help more young people to train and qualify for these jobs.

Although there are sponsored training courses springing up across the industry, fears that global competitors could steal the show are growing within the U.S. industry. Regulatory issues, the need for an updated infrastructure and workforce development were some of the topics that were raised at the meeting.

Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Dept at AFL-CIO warned that the FAA will face similar staffing issues, “One third of the (FAA) workforce, including controllers, inspectors and systems specialists are eligible to retire. This is unsustainable and must be addressed because we believe it’s going to not only impact operations for the airline industry, but also the safety of the system as you see this brain drain of high-quality people retiring and we’re not hiring and replacing them fast enough,” he said.

Boeing’s Dennis Muilenburg told the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation operations, safety and security, “If we look at demographics of our workforce across Boeing and much of the aerospace industry, about 50 percent of our top engineers and mechanics will be eligible to retire over roughly the next five years.” Officials have added that encouraging schools to push science, math and technology-based subjects could help to create a new generation of engineers for the future, albeit even then, still putting pressure on the aviation industry jobs sector.

Muilenburg said, “We have about 4 million children entering kindergarten this year. At current rates, that would produce about 60,000 to 70,000 engineers at the end of college. That’s not even enough to satisfy the aerospace industry, let alone all sectors that need engineers.”

With the predicted rises in air traffic and passenger demand hitting new highs, the need is becoming more urgent for a skilled and experienced workforce in the coming years if the aviation industry is to cope.

New Eclipse 550 Business AircraftDescribed by its CEO, Mason Holland, as a ‘game-changer’, the Eclipse Aerospace delivered the first of its new Eclipse 550 to Albuquerque, New Mexico this week to the delight of the company’s European dealer, non-executive chairman of Aeris Aviation, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden fame.

Mr Dickinson, who believes strongly in the Eclipse 550 as the ‘only VLJ’ on the market, said, “In essence it is a two-hour aeroplane. You can stick pretty much anything you want in it and go for two hours. The same is not true for other alleged VLJ’s that weigh a lot more and cost a lot more to operate.” A accomplished private jet pilot and joint-CEO of Cardiff Aviation, Mr Dickinson joined Aeris Aviation to promote sales of the Eclipse in October last year and underwent his type-training while piloting himself to Iron Maiden concert venues in an Eclipse.

Certification has just been achieved from the FAA for the Eclipse 550, a beautiful aircraft that began its production journey in June 2012, and has been described as ideal for those wishing to upgrade from turboprop or pistol aircraft.

Mr Holland said it was an exciting day for Eclipse Aerospace and for general aviation, “With the Eclipse 550, we’ve built a high-performance light jet that includes advanced technology and safety features that have traditionally been found only on much larger cabin-class business jets and commercial aircraft.”

Cabin Management TechnologyRockwell Collins, recent acquirers of ARINC Inc, today unveiled the latest innovation in personal tablet use. Their new side-ledge arm personal tablet mount is designed to work with the Venue Cabin Management System.

The new mount means that passengers with iPads and Galaxy tabs will be able to easily mount, charge and operate their personal tablets onboard, integrating with the latest in-flight entertainment system. This is great news for the ever-increasing numbers of passengers carrying personal tablets.

“With Venue, we’re creating a cabin experience that’s tailored to best suit its passengers,” said vice president and general manager, Flight Controls and Information Systems for Rockwell Collins, Greg Irmen. “Our new mount enables passengers to seamlessly integrate their personal tablets into the cabin setting and more comfortably enjoy their own content.”

Rockwell Collins offer apps that integrate with the cabin management system, such as Airshow, which displays an interactive moving map and real-time flight information. Also, they can offer Cabin Remote, which allows control of the cabin environment.

The new personal tablet mounts are available now for use in cabins equipped with the Venue system and allows Skybox passengers access to current onboard digital content.

More About Advance Passenger InformationIt has been revealed that as many as 20 million passports per year may not be receiving proper consideration in the UK alone. These shocking figures come as the Home Office estimated that only 90% of Advanced Passenger Information (API) is being received. API is passenger data that is electronically gathered and transmitted to government and border agencies for checking and comparison to international ‘at risk’ registers. API can detect high risk passengers on ‘no-fly’ lists across the world and can ensure that terrorist activity is kept at bay.

If these estimates tell us that 10% of UK API is not being received, this could spell an average of 20 million passports that are not being checked properly. Interpol say that countries are not doing enough checks against its list of stolen passports. Globally, this figure could reach up to one billion passengers; a disturbing figure.

API is mandatory for all passengers travelling to and from the US and has been so in the wake of the official investigation into the tragic events of 9/11. Last year, the EU questioned the use of API with regard to the privacy aspect and raised issues about the use of the information, once gathered and checked.

Once reported stolen, UK passports are cancelled and deemed unusable for travel. International stolen passports are entered into the Interpol Lost and Stolen Database, accessible by border security agencies for comparison.

The Home Office are looking into the figures to clarify the situation and are working towards improving coverage.


Other Baggage Handling Systems ProvidersAs demand increases at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, with a record that reached almost 21 million passengers last year, the decision has been taken to upgrade the baggage handling system in terminal 5. The upgrade plan will include the integration of Septembers’ mandatory standard two screening and it is hoped that the current baggage handling system will continue to operate to keep disruption to a minimum while work is being carried out.

Stockholm-Arlanda is managed and operated by Swedavia, who have awarded the upgrade contract to Crisplant, a part of the Beumer Group who provide baggage handling systems and logistics solutions. The company have been selected to extend the tilt-tray sorter in terminal 5 in addition to the upgrade of the control systems within the terminal building.

Baggage handling systems can help to streamline the passenger processing system and therefore, with careful integration, can help to maximise productivity, particularly during peak times and busy periods. With demand expected to continue rising, it makes sense that expediting the check-in and baggage handling process is necessary to avoid costly ground delays for both passenger experience and airport management.

Business Aviation Community Pays TributeThe passing of former president of the ICAO, Dr Assad Kotaite on 27th February has prompted a wave of tributes from the business aviation community as they mark the occasion with the respect that the 89-year old veteran of the industry richly earned in his career.

His life-long contribution to the industry began with the ICAO in 1953 as he joined the Legal Committee. He was a council representative of Lebanon twice, from 1956 to 1962 and again from 1965 until 1970, also holding positions as the chairman of the Air Transport Committee, chairman of the Working Group on ICAO Financial Regulations, second vice president of the ICAO Council and vice chairman of the ICAO Finance Committee.

Dr Kotaite held the position of ICAO secretary general for six years before being elected president in August 1976, where he remained until his retirement thirty years later. His 53-year long career with the ICAO earned him the title president emeritus and was last year awarded the 40th Edward Warner Award in honorary recognition of his contributions to international civil aviation.

The business aviation community paid tribute this week with Ray Rohr, IBAC director of regulatory affairs noting Dr Kotaite’s support of the modernisation of ICAO standards and said, “The original standards had received limited amendment since their implementation in 1969, and didn’t sufficiently address modern business aircraft operations. As a demonstration of his confidence in IBAC and the industry, Kotaite suggested to [then-IBAC Director General] Don Spruston that the industry take the lead to establish a committee and draft revisions for ICAO consideration. We assumed that ICAO would substantially rework our first draft through committee, but instead that draft was largely accepted and implementation was expedited.”

Former NBAA director of international operations, Bill Stine, commended Dr Kotaite’s work to ensure recognition of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and said, “IBAC petitioned for official ICAO recognition less than a year after its founding in 1981. From the beginning, Kotaite recommended that IBAC participate in council panels and committees to demonstrate our commitment to serving civil aviation.”

Dr Kotaite will continue to influence the future of civil aviation, living on through the ICAO’s Assad Kotaite Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship fund, encouraging continuing education for the advancement of safety in developing countries.

Business Aviation Communications ProvidersBombardier’s brand new Learjet 75 will be revealed in the planned demonstration tour this month for the first time in Latin America. The beautiful new aircraft has an interior cabin design and technology based upon the Learjet 85 and is designed to carry eight passengers on a full fuel load. The maximum range of the aircraft is more than 2,000 nautical miles and with the addition of its modern design, it is hoped to help to grow the market in this region.

With its long-range capability, the Learjet 75 can fly passengers non-stop from Sao Paulo to Santiago and ensure comfort and accessibility for the duration. The business passenger has high expectations of communications in an aircraft and needs a high degree of connectivity for the ability to undertake business as effectively in the air as they do on the ground. Cabin services on the new Learjet 75 include a cabin management system with individual touchscreen monitors, full audio and video control.

The planned tour will begin with a static display in Toluca, Mexico at the Aero Expo and will also be shown at FIDAE in Santiago, Chile at the end of the month, showcasing at other events along the way in Mexico, Columbia, Panama, Brazil, Guatemala and Chile.

The new regional vice president of sales for Latin America Bombardier Business Aircraft, Stephane Leroy, said, “We are very proud to bring our new Learjet 75 to the region for the first time. This aircraft, with its fusion of modern design, Learjet heritage and top performance, was developed with the needs of our customers in mind. We are convinced that this new Learjet will not only maintain, but grow our market share in the region.”

Providers of Passenger Self Check-in Solutions & TechnologyIt has been announced that the Australian Immigration Authority will trial the use of the SmartGate passenger self check-in facility for Singaporean travellers this year, allowing them to join US and Swiss electronic passport holders in the trial. The successful SmartGate system is already in use permanently for Australian, New Zealanders and UK citizens, processing over four million passengers during 2012 and 2013.

The SmartGate system is an electronic, self check-in programme that speeds up passenger processing in eight airports across Australia and allows passengers to be expedited through passport control. The benefits have been felt particularly during peak times and busy periods.

The trial will eventually extend to further countries during 2014, with a view to rolling out the system in full force by 2018, when Australian immigration expect more than 80% of travellers to be in possession of the ePassport. The focus can then shift to monitoring for ‘high-risk’ passengers that may pose a threat to the borders.

eBorders technology is designed to bring flexibility to airport operations in order to manage secure integration with border security and government mandates, managing not only the check-in process, but careful screening and delivery of API.

Flight Support Services Providers for Business AviationDubai-based United Aviation Services (UAS) has opened a new facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, to be managed by the group’s new director of business development for Africa, Wynand Meyers. Meyers has a career history with Jeppesen, the subsidiary of Boeing that manages flight planning.

UAS’s plans will involve the opening of more offices across Africa, to provide flight planning and flight support services to the growing business aviation sector. Mr Meyers’ experience includes overseeing the ground-handling network for India, the Middle East and Africa with Jeppesen.

UAS will also be getting involved in the training and preparation of local employees and have set up a scholarship to encourage participation developing countries in addition to running the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) ground handling management course. Business aviation is taking off in Africa and essential flight support services providers are wise to be setting the scene for future operations.