Monthly Archives: March 2015

HFDL Data to Help Global Flight TrackingSince the tragic disappearance of flight MH370 last year, the call for a reliable aircraft tracking solution has been heard across the aviation industry from regulators and airlines alike.

Today Rockwell Collins announced the launch of their latest offering, promising to deliver a cost-effective, comprehensive solution utilising multiple data sources to ‘reliably report the location of aircraft anywhere in the world’.

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC messaging solutions have always been some of the most reliable in the world and used by airlines and operators globally for many years.

ARINC MultiLink will use a proprietary algorithm to merge six data sources, including:

  • ADS-B and ADS-C
  • High-Frequency Data Link (HFDL)
  • ACARS position reports
  • ASDI radar data
  • EUROCONTROL position information

In addition, Rockwell Collins’ ARINC MultiLink has been developed with the capacity to incorporate future data sources as they may become available.

Jeff Standerski, senior vice-president of Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins said, “In today’s global aviation environment, no single source of data is sufficient to track aircraft globally. By merging multiple data sources, many of which airlines already receive, we can automatically select the right combination of data feeds to allow airlines to pinpoint an aircraft’s location anywhere in the world, in the most economical way.”

Set to be available to airlines and operators in just a few short weeks, ARINC MultiLink will be offered as an add-on to Rockwell Collins’ current products or as a data feed that can be live-streamed to situational displays.

Reducing Queues at Airports with Automated Border Control GatesGermany’s Tegel Airport in Berlin has installed a new automated border control system in the form of the latest eGates, which allows travellers entering Germany to use the EasyPASS border control system to expedite their journey through customs.

Using electronic automated border control is the answer to cutting queues as passenger traffic grows year-on-year. All over the world, airports are installing automated borders technology to improve passenger experience and reduce waiting times throughout the airport environment.

The Tegel Airport system requires the use of an electronic passport and allows German citizens to travel under a new German identity card for interior flights.

Security measure are also improved with automated authenticity checks and facial recognition software that compares a live image taken at the eGate to the image stored on the electronic passport chip. No personal data is stored during this process at these particular gates.

Passenger processing systems are changing and revolutionising the entire issue of border control within the airport environment.

All-You-Can-Fly Business Jet ServicesA growing sector of the business aviation market is promising to change the way corporate passengers travel, certainly in terms of the cost, this year with the introduction of the All-You-Can-Fly service.

Air travel clubs have been popping up across the U.S. in the past year, offering unlimited flights for a fixed monthly fee to club members. While these are generally not offered at the luxury end of the business market, club members can turn up to check in literally minutes before departure for internal, short-haul flights.

Texas Air Shuttle are amongst the latest companies to announce the service, which they hope to launch in Tulsa before the end of this year. The company will offer the use of a seven-seater King Air 200 aircraft and membership fees ranging between $2,850 and $4,900 per month, per person.

The service is expected to grow rapidly, after a positive explosion into the market in popularity and Texas Air Shuttle are determined to ‘turn the whole commercial air travel industry on its head’, with plans to introduce more than 40 destinations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas by the end of 2018.

Other SATCOM Communications Providers for Business AviationA new system, launched by UAE satellite communications providers, Yahsat, has completed successful testing this week for their latest state-of-the-art aircraft satellite communications system for their client, Advanced Integrated Systems.

Including Ka-band airborne SATCOM, the new system promises an end-to-end solution. In a statement, Ali Al Hashemi, GM of YahService said, “At Yahsat, we strive to equip our customers with end-to-end satellite solutions that deliver the very latest in connectivity. The completion of the test with AIS exemplifies our commitment to bringing cutting-edge tools to our clients and constantly improving the speed and performance of our services.”

Aircraft satellite communications providers across the world are using the very latest technological breakthroughs to meet the ever-growing demands placed upon the industry for compliance and for seamless connectivity.

Business passengers need global coverage to ensure that business operations are maximised, taking place as effectively in the skies as they do in their ground-based office environments. The industry as a whole is responding to those needs.

Using API Providers for Secure Flight Passenger Data SharingA new proposal put to Brussels this week has sparked controversy once again with advocates of privacy in the EU. Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and the Brussels Jewish Museum shootings last year, the European security services have stepped up measures to detect travellers joining or returning from war in Syria and Iraq and feel that sharing airline passenger data, via Passenger Name Records (PNR) or a system similar to that in place between Europe and the U.S. in the form of Advance Passenger Information (API) would be a step closer to helping to achieve their goal.

Access to personal information across the EU by the intelligence services remains in fierce debate, particularly in countries such as Germany, who were outraged over the accusations of mass surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies after the attacks of 9/11.

Jan Albreicht, German member of the European Parliament said, “We need to deliver whatever is necessary and proportionate to get a higher level of security. But what you are proposing now, the proposal of blanket mass surveillance of citizens, is exactly the opposite of that. It’s not delivering that.”

Anti-terror measures have become a security priority for the EU and passenger data sharing is at the top of the list in terms of monitoring the movements of suspected high-risk travellers.

Timothy Kirkhope, British member of the European Parliament said, “We need now to make sure we have enough information to look at patterns of behaviour. That is the basis on which we can find criminals and find terrorists in order to protect our citizens. Stop things happening such as the atrocities in Paris recently.”

Find Out More About CPDLCThe much-anticipated decision to move the CPDLC mandate deadline has been announced this week by the European Commission (EC). The new deadline will now be February 2020 for operators to equip their aircraft with Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC).

In a statement to Avionics magazine, Gzim Ocakolu, EC Directorate for Mobility & Transport policy officer said, “I can indeed confirm to you some recent important developments related to the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 29/2009.”

The news is welcomed across the industry following concerns regarding the technical issues related to the radio frequency environment and the infrastructure of the ground-based operations currently in place. It is these issues, discovered during an EC investigation into the implementation of DLS ground infrastructure, that have led to the delay for mandatory CPDLC installation, which would have been activated last month.

“Certain air navigation service providers have already taken mitigation measures, consisting of the restriction of DLS operations to aircraft equipped with specific avionics through so-called ‘white lists,’ so as to address potential safety impacts of those PAs in the operations of data link service,” the EC said.

Just 40% of operators would have been ready for the mandate, the investigation found, and only 70% of the necessary ground infrastructure would’ve been ready and fit for use. The implementation of CPDLC is critical to European airspace, with voice channels that have become heavily congested. Compliance will involve retrofitting aircraft with FANS, 1/A router, antenna, CPDLC interface and VHF Data Link Mode 2 radio (VDLM2).