It has been announced that global communications giant, Rockwell Collins, has entered into an agreement with Iridium Communications Inc which will see them as a value-added manufacturer for Iridium CertusSM broadband terminals.
“Rockwell Collins is a true pioneer and leader in aviation communication solutions, continually pushing the envelope to provide innovative solutions for both aircraft operators and OEMs alike,” said Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Iridium, Bryan Hartin. “Additionally, their excellent global distribution channels support Iridium’s long-term strategy to offer best-in-class products and services while staying true to our wholesale distribution model.”
Rockwell Collins’ Vice President and GM of Air Transport Systems, Steve Timm said, “Through this agreement with Iridium, we’ll be able to deliver high-speed flight deck connectivity to meet the growing connectivity needs of our customers. We also see the potential to offer services through our ARINC information management services, giving customers a single source for their Iridium NEXT connectivity needs.”
Rockwell Collins will design and manufacture the broadband terminals for the new Iridium Certus – a voice and data service that will be enabled by the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation which will begin launch later this year.
New packages have been introduced by both Rockwell Collins and SITA, following high demand for cost-effective and reliable aircraft tracking and in readiness for the new global industry standards and rules – as much as the subject is still in debate to the extent of flight tracking capability.
Initial moves call for aircraft positioning data every 15 minutes, with a view to reviewing this figure and other requirements during potentially problematic situations or when flying over remote areas or vast oceanic expanses.
Tim Ryan, Director of Programs and Service Management for IMS at Rockwell Collins said, “What we have seen since the disappearance of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 is that there is always a desire to find a single ‘silver bullet’ solution. If we’ve learned anything over those years, we’ve learned that a single solution, while it can be fashioned, doesn’t meet the equally important facet of cost-effectiveness.”
Both companies can provide high-frequency surveillance data from equipped aircraft using Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C), a part of FANS or ACARS using the Rockwell Collins’ ground-based high-frequency data link (HFDL) network, Inmarsat and Iridium satellite communications networks.
Rockwell Collins are currently working with five non-U.S. airlines on a new tracking services to be a part of their GLOBALink suite – to be officially launched next month.
Pensacola International Airport has announced that it will be ramping up security at with a new electronic security system that is expected to cost $533,000.
The new high-tech system will include security cameras and a motion detection system with audible warning to alert airport security personnel if concourse areas are breached. The concourses will also be in need of upgrades to facilitate additional security measures for the airport.
It is estimated that an annual $120,000 will be saved by removing the need for constant monitoring of the sensitive areas of the airport.
Contracts have been tendered and discussions will begin this month to decide upon the best way forward with the best airport security systems providers.
Florida’s Department of Transportation will contribute $104,000 towards the technology portion of the project.
SATCOM Direct have opened new offices in Melbourne, Ottawa and Denver, bringing their totals now to nine international and five U.S. offices.
The company, who provide training, support and SATCOM consultations for pilots, maintenance departments and flight crews, will be celebrating the opening of the Melbourne, Australia office at AVALON – the Australia International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Expo.
“This expansion supports our mission to provide total solutions to our customers. We are where they are,” said David Greenhill, SATCOM Direct president. “Each new location was strategically selected to serve our expanding customer base.”
Global satellite communications providers are in high demand in the aviation industry as passenger demand grows ever higher for inflight communications.
Singapore Airlines have introduced a new, tablet-based mobile app for cabin crew to improve and enhance customer services.
The app, TCS CrewCollab will automate and streamline many of the inflight processes that the cabin crew deal with in the air, such as processing customer flight lists, flight information and crew information, which traditionally has been handled on paper.
The entire system will increase efficiency throughout the cabin and improve passenger experience through enhanced customer services.
Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President Cabin Crew, Mr Marvin Tan said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with our long-standing partner Tata Consultancy Services to develop TCS CrewCollab Solution. The application is vital to how we will continue to improve our operations and enhance our customer servicing on board. We look forward to developing the application further in partnership with TCS, to enable our crew to offer a more personalised customer experience and meet our customers’ evolving travel needs.”
“Digital forces like mobile, social and big data analytics are creating tremendous possibilities for businesses globally. TCS CrewCollab Solution harnesses these digital forces in the hands of airline crew to deliver enriched customer experience,” said Ms S Sukanya, VP and Global Head, Travel Transportation and Hospitality Unit, TCS. “Singapore Airlines is one of our most valuable and long standing clients in the region and this partnership brings an industry-validated, ready-to-deploy solution to the airline industry.”
Flight passenger numbers are increasing every year by an average of 5%, which may not sound like much, but we are talking millions of travellers passing through country’s border management systems, placing strain on many an airport infrastructure.
In addition to this growing pressure, airports and border agencies are also faced with the increasing threat of terrorism, which is also growing at an alarming pace, particularly over the last few years.
So what is the answer? Airports all over the world are being left with no other choice than to invest heavily in strengthening security measures across the entire airport environment.
This has led to a surge in growth for the airport security systems sector, which, according to new analysis from Frost and Sullivan estimates that the market will earn revenues in the region of $12-$13million by 2023. The study looked at the areas of perimeter security, surveillance and access control amongst many other aspects including data integration and cyber security as we see the concerns rising with the development and utilisation of connectivity onboard aircraft.
With NextGen technologies also poised to catapult the entire industry into the future, aviation security providers must be ready to go global.
Canada is forging ahead in a bid to increase the safety of airline passengers, aircraft and crew. Bill C-51, known as Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, is to be tackled in two parts:
- Security of Canada Information Sharing Act
- Secure Air Travel Act
If passed, the current Passenger Protection Program would be enhanced with greater transparency for the sharing of passenger data in a similar system to that used in the U.S. in the transmission of Advance Passenger Information (API). API transmission before a flight leaves for its destination, can allow government agencies to scan passenger data and achieve early alert when comparison is made to a ‘do-not-fly’ list or similarly, a list containing the names of potential terrorists, members of high-risk political or radical groups – a ‘Persons of Interest’ list.
Opposers of the scheme argue that concerns should be raised when information sharing is discussed. It is by no means decided at this stage the grounds on which a person will be placed upon such lists and the government of Canada propose to lower the threshold and expand the grounds on which a person becomes ‘specified’ under the Passenger Protection Program.
The debate continues.
An undisclosed customer in North Queensland, Australia is the first in the country to receive delivery of Embraer’s Legacy 500 business jet. Negotiated on behalf of the buyer by Norris Aviation Services, the midsize jet is believed to be used primarily for business purposes.
Australia’s CAA awarded type certification to the Legacy 500 only last month. ExecuJet will provide maintenance contracts for the new aircraft in Australia, in addition to the existing maintenance it has to support the Phenom 100, Legacy 600 and Legacy 650 clientele.
“The Legacy 500 is proving itself to be a very capable executive jet and well suited to the Australia market. It offers excellent field performance and easy transcontinental range,” said President and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets, Marco Túlio Pellegrini. “We are grateful for the confidence that this customer has placed in Embraer, and we are fully committed to supporting their operations.”
“The owner is an astute businessman who carefully selected the Legacy 500 after reviewing all the aircraft in this class,” said Peter Norris, Managing Director of Norris Aviation Services Australia Pty Ltd. “In the end, safety, the clean sheet design, advanced systems, excellent performance, quiet comfortable cabin and professional presentation and support by Embraer, made the Legacy 500 the only logical choice.”
Hong Kong Airlines this week became the launch airline for the latest Rockwell Collins service that offers live credit card authorisation using WiFi over the ARINC ACARS infrastructure.
The first service of its kind in the industry is offered via an agreement with the DFASS Group, retail options providers for Duty Free luxury brands.
The introduction of the service will eliminate losses for HKA due to credit card fraudulent activity and will offer them greater scope for the provision of high value items in addition to immediate seat upgrades with the safe removal of credit card spending limits.
“In-flight credit card sales represent an important revenue stream for our airline,” said Mr. Stanley Kan at HKA. “However, without the ability to conduct live credit card authorization, we faced the risk of loss due to fraudulent transactions. Now, by validating transactions in real time, we can significantly decrease our risk.”
“Our Wi-Fi over ACARS solution allows airlines to capitalize on their existing equipment to conduct live credit card authorizations without the need to invest heavily in expensive connectivity equipment,” said Heament John Kurian, managing director, IMS Asia Pacific for Rockwell Collins. “With this cost-effective new service, we can help airline customers around the world increase security by identifying individuals involved with fraudulent credit card activity.”
Last week the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offered a rare behind-the-scenes look at the journey luggage takes through the Philadelphia International Airport baggage handling system.
As one of the first airports to implement automated explosive-detection in 2003, following government mandate introduction of explosive-detection screening after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
TSA spokesman, Michael McCarthy said, “Some people think the TSA opens and physically screens every single bag. That may have been the case immediately following 9/11, but not today.”
The automation of explosive-detection at Philadelphia International baggage handling system can mean that 1,000 bags every hour are screened – via an in-line system of conveyor belts and detection machinery.
The luggage embarks on a 15-minute journey through the airport baggage handling system and travels almost a quarter of a mile, almost never being handled by human hands. If cleared, via sophisticated CT scanning equipment, the luggage makes its way to the aircraft. If an alarm is activated, or if TSA wants a closer look, the bag is removed, opened and physically searched by a TSA officer at an inspection station.
Electronic screening and an automated baggage handling system can improve operational productivity at airports by streamlining a previously complicated, manual system. Not only does the system improve efficiency, but can also reduce physical injuries from lifting heavy baggage and reduce the possibility of damage to passenger baggage or instances of theft.