Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Face of In-Flight Connectivity to Change with Rockwell Collins & InmarsatIt has been announced that Inmarsat, British global satellite communications providers and aviation giant Rockwell Collins have signed a deal that could change the face of in-flight connectivity, as Rockwell Collins will be a value added reseller for the commercial air transport market sector.

GX Aviation is the latest generation of Inmarsat services and will provide connection speeds of up to 50Mbps on a global scale. Scheduled for release to the commercial air transport sector in the first half of 2015, GX Aviation will offer airlines the opportunity to deliver value added services to passengers that promises connectivity such as that found on the ground.

“By combining GX with our current L-Band services, we’ll also be able to provide our airline customers with a complete portfolio of connectivity options for a full range of applications from the cockpit to the cabin,” Jeff Standerski, Rockwell Collins’ senior vice president of information management services said, adding that new possibilities could be brought for their ARINC Cabin Connect suite.

GX Aviation will enable faster speeds and expandable bandwidth for in-flight entertainment, including real-time TV and video, web browsing and to accommodate future devices and applications.

The deal is a key building block for Inmarsat in their mission to deliver high-speed connectivity for passengers and for the flight deck.

Inmarsat president of aviation, Leo Mondale said, “Rockwell Collins is a key partner for the full portfolio of existing Inmarsat Aviation services, and will be one of the first to bring the new, exciting GX Aviation service to its large airline customer base. We have built the very best team of aviation companies to ensure airlines have excellent access to GX Aviation. Our Ka-band solution enables us to meet the rapidly growing demand for passenger connectivity”

Scott Ernest, CEO of Textron Aviation, who acquired Beechcraft earlier this year, told the WIBA gathering in Wichita last week that he was upbeat about the current state of the business.

“This is by far the best it’s felt in three years,” said Ernest, “I feel pretty good about how we’re progressing.” Continuing, he spoke about the merger of Beechcraft into the company and its Cessna business, “We’re pretty much done,” he said. “It’s amazing how quickly it’s been able to come together.”

He described how the merger of the businesses has not been difficult, citing one of the possibilities that many of the employees had worked at one or other of the companies at some point in their careers.

Mr Ernest is clearly proud of the company achievements and said, “It’s really a great opportunity to lead a company like this.” In particular, he noted that the Beechcraft acquisition gave Textron the special mission aircraft – King Air turboprops that can be utilised as air ambulance and surveillance aircraft both in the US and overseas.

Also discussed was the launch of the Scorpion tactical jet, which made an appearance at the Farnborough Airshow after a transatlantic flight earlier this year. The Scorpion is expected to be ordered by foreign countries first, with lower operating costs than those of its counterparts.

Other Airport Operations Management ProvidersIt has been announced that the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta International (ATL) has upgraded its airport management platform, bringing a range of new and advanced tools to airport operations.

An extended range display, the first of its kind, will provide a National Airspace System view of all flights which will enhance the airport’s capabilities for proactive air traffic management. Real-time flight cancellation notifications and reporting is set to improve management with greater visibility, allowing historical views.

Real-time vehicle tracking with portable Wi-Fi hotspots will enable vehicle operators to access a view of airport activity and the facility will additionally enable expanded vehicle data collection, improving efficiency through dispatch and communications support network.

The airport management system at ATL will assist the operators and ground personnel to streamline operations, increasing an already efficient system even further.

“Atlanta has continually seen a decrease in delays and improved overall operational performance since deploying Aerobahn in 2010,” said Paul Meyer, Airport Assistant General Manager for Operations. “These achievements are possible due to the airport-wide collaboration fostered by the airport community through the use of a common surface management system.”

In an ever-growing industry, airport management solutions can help airports of all sizes to achieve cost-cutting targets and improve operational productivity.

Flight Deck Weather Solutions ProvidersAccording to major airlines, improved use of satellite and datalink communications technology has resulted in fewer incidences of turbulence and will continue to do so as more and more airlines utilise the high-performance tools at their fingertips.

Using the latest solutions for communications and navigation, airlines and traffic control have gained a greater understanding of flying conditions resulting in better flight planning and route optimisation to circumnavigate storms and minimise ground delays.

According to the Bureau of Transportation, 36% of all delays in 2013 were weather-related. This sounds like a pretty high occurrence, but when compared with the figures of 2003, they are down by a whopping 50%.

The threat of turbulence has been a challenge to airline operators, due to its invisibility on radar or satellite charts. Meteorologists at Kansas’s Aviation Weather Centre produce global weather forecasts every six hours and are now able to predict areas of turbulence using complex weather models and informative reports from pilots and sensors on some aircraft. This enables dispatchers to re-route aircraft if necessary to avoid these areas in advance and thus preventing the chaos that could ensue in busy airspace.

Using modern aviation technology it is hoped that the numbers of injuries as a result of turbulence, which has been estimated at an average of 36 people per year since 2002, according to the FAA, will be cut dramatically as reliable solutions are maintained.

Today, communications and navigation systems are streamlining not just efficient operation in the aircraft and on the ground, but are improving the entire flight experience for the passenger.

cabinconnectTechnicon Design, a worldwide provider of design innovation based in Paris, have designed an aircraft interior that promises an incredible passenger experience using the subtraction technique.

The interior of the aircraft is lined with screens, including the ceiling, giving a 360-degree view that can display soothing beach scenes for the nervous traveller, or even sky views that can lend the passenger to feel they are within an invisible aircraft.

The innovative, ground-breaking design was created for a National Business Aviation Association and gained an accolade when it won the exterior design category at the International Yacht and Aviation Awards.

For business use, the screens can be utilised for conferencing or for a more relaxed atmosphere, a new slant on in-flight entertainment is offered.

“I challenged the team to break out of conventional thinking with regards to a business jet exterior and interior,” said Gareth Davies, design director at Technicon Design’s studio near Paris. “We quickly settled on the controversial yet interesting idea of removing the windows from the cabin and using existing or very near future technology to display the exterior environment on flexible screens.”

Gulfstream Unveil New WebsiteGulfstream have unveiled a new look for their website,, this week, optimised for mobile and with new features, navigation and with an interactive experience for users, showing what their aircraft can do, rather than telling them about it. The new site has brought the leading aircraft manufacturer up-to-date, using the latest technology and advantages that interactive features can offer.

With virtual tours of all the Gulfstream current models, the new website offers a completely different experience, including high-quality photographs and interactive range maps. There are different cabin configuration views and aircraft refurbishment options and also a preowned inventory section.

“ provides a completely interactive experience for users. From aircraft information to product support search capabilities, the redesign is a true extension of our brand,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Gulfstream. “Gulfstream strives to create and deliver the world’s finest aviation experience and we know that means providing a multimedia experience that complements how we do business.”

Gulfstream say that the aim behind redevelopment was to engage their visitors; to encourage them to share information and the improved design gives greater capacity for this, with an inclusion of a support section that enables users to connect to Gulfstream’s product support network, service centres and search-by-aircraft model with a technical download feature. The company section includes access to Gulfstream history, community initiatives and careers.

“We want visitors to be more engaged, to stay longer, share their discoveries with others and connect with us more,” said Bill Shira, vice president, Brand Marketing, Gulfstream. “Whether you are searching for an aircraft, researching available safety features or looking for a job, no matter what the need, the website can provide the answer. This site is one of our primary faces to the world, and this redesign is a testament to our superior customer service.”

Take a look at the stunning new site here.

Other Major Providers of Baggage Systems in AirportsIn a project that will see Alaskan baggage handling improved by 2016, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) has awarded a contract for upgrades and modifications to the baggage system in North Terminal, to Logan Teleflex, part of the Daifuku Webb Holding Company.

The project is expected to include recapitalisation of the current explosive detection system and upgrades to the physical baggage handling system currently serving Concourse C. In addition, significant expansion of the checked baggage resolution area will be carried out and alterations to the structural, architectural, mechanical and electrical building systems in a multi-million dollar deal.

Brian Stewart, general manager of Daifuku’s global airport baggage handling, said, “Our established partnership and collaborative efforts with ANC are aimed to provide a better experience for travellers. Our company continues to produce dependable baggage handling solutions that ultimately make travelling easier for passengers flying in and out of ANC.”

Aircraft Information Manager Certified by EASAEASA has certified the Rockwell Collins Aircraft Information Manager, the secure data transfer system for their avionics Pro Line Fusion, Pro Line 21 and Pro Line 4, for 22 models of business aircraft.

Aircraft Information Manager (AIM) can assist airlines and operators with the secure upload of critical flight updates and downloads of maintenance information using WiFi and cellular data connections across the globe. With automatic transfer, including Flight Management System (FMS), electronic charts, navigation and more, depending upon the avionics generation, the AIM system is set to take the business aviation industry by storm.

EASA certified the system for the following models of aircraft:

  • Falcon 50/50EX/2000 and 2000EX
  • Citation XLS+
  • Challenger 300/601/604 and 605
  • Gulfstream G150
  • Hawker 750/800XP/850XP and 900XP
  • King Air 200GT and 350
  • Piaggio P-180 Avanti II
  • Beechjet 400A Pro Line 21 Upgrade

Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager of flight controls, information systems and commercial systems for Rockwell Collins said, “This is the first round of AIM certification in Europe. In addition to Europe, we are planning certifications in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.”


Advance Passenger Information System ProvidersAfter arresting 55 illegal foreign workers in three Metro Manila cities last month, the Philippines Bureau of Immigration is putting pressure on the Government to address Advance Passenger Information in a bid to quell illegal activities.

“We will also coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs to formulate measures in screening the subjects prior to issuance of entry visas to the Philippines,” said spokesperson Elaine Tan, likening the search for illegal foreigners, once within the metropolis to “finding a needle in a haystack.”

The provision of Advance Passenger Information would alert the border control agencies of such potential illegals before they arrive in the Philippines.

The arrests were made following an anonymous tip-off that workers were operating illegally on construction sites and in retail establishments. Elaine Tan confirmed that the workers would be deported if they fail to produce the relevant documents to support their employment status.

Border Control Solutions ProvidersIt has been announced that a four-year agreement has been signed by the Danish Government for the implementation of biometric-based border control solutions, encompassing enrolment and automated border control.

The contract has been awarded to the consortium of Biometric Solutions and Vision-Box, who will deliver the equipment and related services to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an aim to improve processes related to the electronic identity of citizens.

Using biographic and biometric enrolment, via advanced Identity Management solutions, the information collected will consist of facial recognition and fingerprint biometric data in addition to digital signatures. This will provide enhanced security checks for citizens and foreign visitors and can be used for visa applications, resident permits and passport applications.

“We look forward to working with the Danish Government, and our partner Biometric Solutions, to provide the best citizen experience ever. For that, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art technology, designed to offer more efficient and convenient services related to electronic Identity,” says Jean-François Lennon, director of Global Business Development, Sales & Marketing at Vision-Box.

Alex Ramskov Johannsen, CEO of Biometric Solutions says: “We are very happy that our collaboration with Vision-Box will help government institutions raise their service level for citizens around the world, while at the same time strengthening the security measures protecting citizens’ personal data.”

Across the globe, border control solutions are being utilised with advanced technology that ensures enhanced security in a bid to reduce immigration problems and monitor high risk individuals.