Monthly Archives: December 2014

Providers of Advance Passenger Information SystemsKeith Vaz, chair of UK Home Affairs Select Committee, has openly criticised the state of the UK immigration system in a report that warns the system is in ‘intensive care’.

The report comes after almost ten years of troubled services for the UK borders, including the e-borders scheme that never quite made it off the mark. Mr Vaz is concerned that the promise of exit checks at British ports in the form of departure lists, set to be introduced this spring will not be forthcoming as he commented within the report that the list ‘no longer looks likely’.

Mr Vaz’ concerns grow as he looks at the increased risk of illegal migration and security. Bemoaning the actions, or lack of them, of previous governments he said, “Successive governments have spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on the botched e-borders programme. Everyone who enters and leaves Britain must be counted in and out.” In 2003, plans were launched for the collection of Advance Passenger Information for those leaving the UK. API is received from airlines and operators bringing passengers into the UK, but there is a distinct lack of information about those that pass across our borders into Europe and beyond.

Mr Cameron argued that much is being done to halt the progress of illegal immigration and figures are being met. The debate continues.

Other Leading Providers of Reliable Aviation Information Management SolutionsSATCOM Direct, satellite communications provider, has launched a new data centre solutions facility, TerraCom Direct, this month. The new wing of the company promises information security and monitoring for land, sea and air-based operators.

Jim Jensen, CEO and Founder of SATCOM Direct, said “Information security is a huge issue for businesses and individuals. Our new data center is the key to safeguarding connectivity and communications streams, and better securing the missions of our customers. SATCOM Direct and TerraCom Direct customers can have enterprise level security for air, land and sea.”

“The key advantage we have over other data solution providers is flexibility. We offer a wide range of connectivity options, so whether the client simply needs rack space, a private network, or full migration to the cloud, we have the expertise and the capabilities. With our highly-redundant infrastructure and 24/7 support, we do everything possible to ensure 100 percent uptime and uninterrupted service,” said Rich Pilock, president of TerraCom Direct.

Secure and reliable information management is critical to operational productivity and providers aim to establish seamless networks for the protection of mission and facility-critical information on a global scale.

Find Out More About the Technical Advantages of Seamless Aviation MessagingEurocontrol have deployed the second phase of Variable Division Flight Level (vDFL) following the successful implementation in eastern airspace managed by Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC). The concept will now cover further into western airspace covering Holland and Northwest Germany.

The deployment of vDFL is the first phase of the introduction of the Single European Sky initiative (SESAR) and is set to improve efficiency of Air Traffic Management through reliable messaging and streamlining of operations across the aviation industry.

As the airways grow busier, messaging providers are supporting a need for greater flexibility for the ATM system. Choosing seamlessly reliable aviation messaging over a robust network, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviNet is the way forward into the future of commercial and business aviation sectors, improving safety and helping operators to manage spiralling costs.

Dassault Falcon 8X Ultra-Long-Range Business JetThe latest ultra-long-range luxury business jet from Dassault was unveiled in typical French style this month during a ceremonial dinner at their Bordeaux Merignac factory.

Olivier Villa, senior vice-president for civil aircraft said, “The program is right on schedule” as the executive aircraft was proudly showcased with barely dry paint in a launch that was described as mixing “prestige, passion for aviation and the French touch.”

As the aircraft undergoes some modifications that were highlighted during recent testing, the first flight is planned for the first quarter of next year, after each system is signed-off by Dassault’s flight test team. This is expected to be accomplished by the end of January, according to Frederic Petit, vice-president for the Falcon programs.

Three aircraft will be tested by the Falcon 8X program chief test pilot Eric Gerard and test pilot Herve Lavergne. Two of the three aircraft will be available for sale to customers after being demonstrators for approximately one year and the other will remain in Dassault’s fleet.

Providers of Airport Operations Systems IntegrationTwo new executive vice presidents have been appointed at Denver International Airport this week to help oversee improvements to airport operational productivity.

Ken Greene and Bhavesh A. Patel will begin their new appointments in January and aim to streamline airport operations and continue with the strategic objectives for the airport.

Mr Greene, who has worked at DIA since 2009, will lead the business development unit that encompasses airport infrastructure management, special projects and the Hotel & Transit Centre. He will enter his new post on January 1st.

“Under his leadership, DIA has implemented a number of strategic projects that include the rollout of the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen technology, and the implementation of the Aerobahn airfield surface management and de-icing systems,” said a statement issued by an airport spokesperson. “Greene also worked closely with the airport’s federal partners to begin using automated passport control kiosks and initiate the Global Entry program in the custom’s hall, as well as the establishment of the TSA Pre [fast-track security screening] program at DIA.”

Mr Patel will be the Chief Revenue Officer EVP for the commercial, concessions and real estate business unit. He is currently director of airport concessions at Tampa International Airport and will begin his post at DIA on January 20th.

“I’m … pleased to welcome Bhavesh Patel to the executive team at DIA, where he will oversee our thriving concessions and commercial programs as well as our efforts to develop Colorado’s own aerotropolis and help us take these programs to the next level,” said Kim Day, CEO at DIA.

Airline Messaging Consultancy ServicesThe Indian civil aviation ministry has said that it ‘may request banks to lend up to $94 million’ to the ailing airline, SpiceJet in loans to be guaranteed by Kalanithi Maran, the company chairman, in a bid to try to save jobs without directly placing a burden on the taxpayer.

Aviation consultancy firms can often help airlines to cut the cost of operational messaging and communications, but with 24% aviation fuel tax, the financial burden of flight operations can prove difficult.

With a lack of bankruptcy law, and to prevent the repeat of another Kingfisher Airlines failure, the government is also asking its debtors to give them more time to make payments such as airport fees and fuel costs.

SpiceJet made losses of $49 million in Q3 this year in spite of efforts to cut costs and with a net debt that is almost five times as large, the ailing company may find an investor unwilling to step in unless Mr Maran can put together a rescue plan and fast.

SpiceJet has been stopped from taking advance orders beyond 30 days by the airline regulators, but the government wants this to be removed to offer the airline another chance of climbing out of the financial hole that has been growing steadily larger over the course of the year. Crippling fuel taxes and economic pressure could put an end to the carrier, which would place the Indian aviation industry on very unsteady ground.

The government wants to do whatever it can to save the airline in an effort to protect the staff.

The Latest Aviation Industry NewsAccording to a preliminary report from the ICAO, an estimated 3.2 billion passengers used air transport in 2014. This shows growth of approximately 5% on last year and demonstrates accuracy in the predictions for the industry as a whole.

Based on the current predictions, we can expect more than 6.4 billion by 2030 as we saw aircraft departures reach 33 million – a new record and beating 2013 figures by around a million flights.

The largest air travel market was the Asia-Pacific region, claiming more than 30% in terms of RPKs. Second was Europe, with a 27% share and third North America with 25%.

Showing the fastest growth, however, was the Middle East at a rate of 12.8%, while African growth was shown at a more modest 1.5%, but is expected to grow stronger this year, particularly in the business aviation sector.

A report has been submitted to IATA by the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF) this week, which will deliver its findings for consideration in the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) development.

Airline Operational Messaging Solutions ProvidersAlthough the contents of the report are not yet public, Tony Tyler, CEO of IATA said that the report ‘recommends that airlines evaluate their current tracking capabilities against the performance criteria and close any gaps within a 12 month time frame.”

According to Mr Tyler, airlines will need to complete phases in order to achieve complete, worldwide aircraft tracking capability:

Short-term – make use of the current capabilities within their fleets and operational areas

Near-term – look at the business case for upgrading equipment to meet performance criteria

Parallel – explore the possibility of making tamper-proof systems with other industry stakeholders and manufacturers

The recommendations included in the report encompass many improvements, particularly within the communications systems, such as Controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and ACARS to the space-based ADS-B, which, in the long-term is seen as the solution to seamless global aircraft tracking.

With mandatory equipage of these technologies fast approaching within European and Canadian airspace, new aircraft are already seeing these technologies coming as standard onboard installations.

For global tracking to become a certainty, technological capabilities must be installed and a ground-based ADS-B infrastructure is already in place.

“The public should be aware that there is no silver bullet solution on tracking,” said Tyler. “The industry is working to improve, but some issues such as tamper proofing, will take time to address and implement.”

APIS & PNR Transmission Solutions ProvidersIndian airports will soon step up its efforts to control smuggling and track ‘persons of interest’ through its launch of Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) this month.

The APIS system has been developed by the National Informatics Centre with assistance from the Directorate General of Systems under the Finance Ministry and is set for launch at Indira Ghandi International Airport.

The system will operate in much the same way as the US and European APIS systems with the provision of an electronic database of all passengers and flight crew, with the addition of a manifest of all personnel entering and exiting the airport terminals.

APIS is designed to enable government and border agencies access to Advance Passenger Information which can then be screened to identify potential threats to national and international security. The system is mandatory in the US and is proving to be a great asset to agencies in the tracking of terrorist movements. APIS requirements are spreading around the globe as more and more countries take a stand in the threat of terrorism.

APIS providers have a responsibility to ensure that Advance Passenger Information is collected, stored and distributed securely, swiftly and reliably to be of the greatest use to agencies all over the world.

Providers of Baggage Handling Systems in AirportsA £1 billion investment plan has been announced for Gatwick Airport as it marks its five-year milestone of independent ownership.

The airport has seen improvements to its South Terminal and the next investment plans are for the North Terminal, where £36 million will be spent on a brand new check-in area, featuring what is hailed to be the world’s largest self-service bag drop zone. 60 bag drop units will be expected to virtually eliminate queueing and will free up valuable terminal space while helping airlines with cost-sharing opportunities in a multi-airline bag drop facility.

A new security area will benefit from £30 million and is expected to open in 2016. Gatwick anticipate that the streamlined process of passenger screening will enable them to handle 5,000 passengers per hour with new features such as reconfigured lanes and floor wayfinding; systems that have been rigorously tested during the ‘Generation 2’ trials.

Queues are also expected to be reduced by the introduction of 15 new e-gates, effectively speeding up the passenger processing system and greatly enhancing the experience for travellers.

Stewart Wingate, CEO at London Gatwick is delighted with the new plans and said, “It’s been an incredible five years and this is just the start. Gatwick is changing for the better and the fresh £1 billion investment is a clear signal that we intend to become London’s airport of choice.”