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.
Canada’s Border Services Agency is working towards a U.S.-style Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) to protect its borders and is hoping for complete implementation by spring 2016.
A survey has been created by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) to assess how the new requirements will impact Canadian and U.S. pilots crossing the borders in a bid to make the transition as seamless as possible.
“This survey will provide statistical feedback to Canadian and US officials to find a solution that both addresses their goals and minimizes duplication,” said COPA Vice President of Operations Patrick Gilligan. “COPA is heavily involved in finding creative solutions to minimize the detrimental consequences that any additional requirements will have on our sector of aviation.”
The survey, which can be completed anonymously if required, will aim to assess the general ‘feeling’ of pilots conducting cross-border leisure and personal flights – whether they think that the implementation of a system will impact flight operations in a detrimental way.
The survey will also attempt to gain a general consensus about the introduction of a single portal for the transmission of pilot and passenger data to the Canadian Border Services Agency.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) are working with COPA to ensure that the implementation of an eAPIS mandate remains seamless.
“We’re really working to find a way to make this as transparent as possible,” said Tom Zecha, AOPA manager of aviation security. “We encourage AOPA members who cross the border—or even those who don’t but think they might someday—to complete the survey to convey the impact a duplicate system would have on cross-border operations.”
The FAA’s Bruce DeCleene will be a keynote speaker at the Avionics for NextGen 2015 conference later this year, opening the discussions about the modernisation of the National Airspace System.
The two-day conference, set for October 14 and 15 will open with Mr DeCleene’s discussion about the FAA’s progress with the implementation of major flight technology projects for the benefit of the aviation community as a whole.
Four initiatives are to be targeted over the next two to three years:
- Performance Based Navigation (PBN)
- Multiple runway operations
- Surface & data sharing
Also open for discussion at the conference will be the ability of a range of different aircraft types to use existing infrastructure to implement next generation communications initiatives, such as CPDLC, and the ADS-B network in addition to discussions regarding Optimised Profile Descents (OPDs) and the wide area augmentation system.
The challenges associated with the provision of new procedural initiatives and the creation of increased peak throughput at the U.S.’ busiest airports, including re-categorisation of aircraft wake turbulence characteristics will be highlighted at the conference and attendees will hear from pilots and air traffic controllers about the advantages of Controller-Pilot Data Link Comms (CPDLC) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) in terms of the improvisation of the use of national airspace, fuel cost savings and operational efficiencies.
It is hoped that many questions will be answered at the conference and operators will be assisted with their decision-making regarding the right investments to make for onboard technology to meet the objectives of the NextGen air transportation system.
Last week saw a deal signed with French biometric security firm, Morpho (Safran) and the UAE for a range of biometric eBorders technology solutions to be installed in the Emirates’ biggest international airports.
The first installations will take place at Abu Dhabi airport this year, followed by four other airports to create a fully integrated multi-biometric border control system across the UAE.
There will be 96 e-Gates and 94 e-Counters, which will help to expedite passenger processing with the inclusion of touchless fingerprinting, iris and facial recognition systems.
Biometric eBorders technology is a fast-paced industry, embracing enhancements and developing more efficient and effective ways to manage a growing passenger throughput. The need for solutions to manage international borders efficiently, yet maintain security is critical. As threats to national security increase all over the world, the pressure upon governments and border security agencies also intensifies.
Governments and agencies must be able to screen passenger information swiftly and data such as Advance Passenger Information must be transmitted securely. eBorders systems are able to handle critical aviation messaging in addition to the physical screening of passengers in airports.
Biometric eBorders solutions could be the answer to streamlining the entire border management system and must eventually be integrated on a global scale.
Following the tragic events of last year, and with a nudge from the UN civil aviation department for the industry as a whole to address the problem, Singapore Airlines is looking to enhance its aircraft tracking capabilities as a priority.
Aircraft and operational messaging systems need to provide seamlessly reliable messaging on a global scale and operate within a messaging architecture than is robust enough to handle real-time conversion, messaging switching and have tracing capability.
Although the capabilities exist, a handful of carriers are working together with communications providers to develop new systems that can recognise when an aircraft is experiencing difficulties or leaves its planned route, in addition to real-time tracking and monitoring.
Mr Nicholas Ionides, spokesman for Singapore Airlines gave confirmation of the carrier’s participation in ‘trials related to aircraft tracking’, but gave no further clue as to the extent of the trials.