It has been announced that American Airlines and US Airways plan to merge their passenger reservations systems this summer after operating separately since their merger in December 2013.
The carriers plan to combine the systems over a three-month period in a bid to avoid problems with data transfers.
Passenger reservations systems form part of a vast infrastructure of airline operations necessary to maintain performance and minimise delays. Ensuring that disruption is kept to a minimum remains a top priority for the airlines, who wish to avoid similar problems experienced by Continental Airlines and United Airlines in 2012, whose passengers were unable to check in, resulting in hundreds of delayed flights.
Airline infrastructure specialist providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC, use the robust reliability of the AviNet network with their AviNet Airport suite, providing high-performance services for both airlines and airports for access to critical departure control systems.
Air Djibouti has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iron maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, also less famously chairman of Cardiff Aviation, to help with the creation of a national carrier for the East African nation.
Cardiff Aviation is based at St Athan- Cardiff Airport Aerospace Enterprise Zone in the UK and operates from a former RAF base, providing certified MRO and pilot training.
Most travellers do not realise how much B2B messaging impacts the entire airline process, from passenger reservations through maintenance, security and even refuelling and providing in-flight catering services.
Typically, airlines use Type B messaging for many functions, such as electronically transferring orders of meals, fuel and when turnaround times on the apron are often as tight as 30 minutes, delays can occur if just one function is out of synchronisation.
Aircraft maintenance teams also utilise B2B messaging when ordering critical parts, simplifying and streamlining what could otherwise be a complex logistical process.
Behind the scenes messaging is vital to airlines, airports and operators, needing to be reliable and swiftly delivered to ensure you, the passenger, is not kept waiting.
The importance of data sharing, analysis, disaster recovery and the human factors involved in business aviation safety standards will be discussed and focussed upon this week as pilots and aviation professionals meet in Fort Lauderdale at the NBAA and Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Aviation Safety Summit.
Amongst the first speakers was G550 pilot, Steve Charbonneau, who announced the initial success of the voluntary aviation safety and information analysis sharing program (ASIAS) with 12 departmental members.
Mr John Cox, from Safety Operating Systems, a Washington aviation consultancy firm, talked about the fire risks of the use of lithium ion batteries onboard an aircraft and the sobering difficulties of extinguishing such a fire.
The two-day event, formerly known as the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar, is industry recognised as the premier safety forum.
A trial program has begun this week spearheaded by Rockwell Collins and involving nine global airlines to test the communications giant’s new ARINC MultiLink flight tracking service, which promised to be one of the most cost-effective solutions to the much debated problem for airlines.
Using multiple data sources, including satellite, HFDL performance data, ADS-C, radar, ACARS and EuroControl positioning data, the ARINC MultiLink reports the location of an aircraft reliably anywhere in the world.
Trials are being conducted in Europe, Middle East and Asia, North and Latin America. Participating airlines have been selected for their geographic diversity, according to Yun Chong, vice president of commercial aviation services for Rockwell Collins IMS.
Once the trials are completed, the service is expected to be widely available towards the end of 2015.
Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, Nexus, independent flight operations support provider has announced the opening of a new European centre in Vienna, which will provide flight operations services for clients in Central and Eastern Europe in addition to Russia.
The facility is the second European centre for Nexus, who also have service centres in Mumbai, Rwanda, Shanghai, Bahrain and Hong Kong. The first European centre was set up in partnership with Monaco-based Flytrans.
The new Vienna centre is staffed with five personnel, providing operational support at certain European airports in addition to aircraft financing, marketing and operations management.
In a bid to improve passenger services, Virgin Atlantic has announced that, with Delta Airlines, it will be replacing current ticketing, passenger reservations and departure control system functions with AIR4.
In order to focus upon customer services, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines will also use Air4 to enhance web-based check-in with self-service capabilities, optimised for mobile use.
Using passenger service systems with integrated access to airline DCS can help to streamline airport operations and minimise delays for both airlines and passengers, particularly during peak flow times. Other integrated systems in use in the airport environment include solutions for weather data management, aircraft datalink and flight planning using business-to-business communications.
SmartSky Networks announced a partnership with Kontron this week at the AEA Convention held in Dallas. Kontron, German-based cabin WiFi access point (CWAP) manufacturer, and the relatively new SmartSky Networks, air-to-ground aviation telecommunications network provider, will team to provide a SmartSky 4G service with an expected capability of 10 times the current speed and capacity of other networks, according to the Florida-based SmartSky.
As passenger and operational expectations increase across both business and commercial aviation sectors, airlines and operators are seeking greater transfer speeds and capabilities for cabin services and flight deck options.
Other next-generation cabin services providers are utilising powerful satellite communications networks, such as Inmarsat and Iridium, to deliver aircraft WiFi solutions that can be as effective in the sky as they can on the ground.
An Oceanic Data Link (ODL) service will be provided by Rockwell Collins to enable real-time data communications between ATC and pilots in a seven-year contract awarded by the FAA this week.
The ARINC data link service will be established in the FAA control centres in New York, Oakland and Anchorage under the contract, which will enable the air traffic control centres to conduct standard procedures on Future Air Navigation System (FANS) equipped aircraft. FAA aircraft tracking will be made possible while out of radar range.
Rockwell Collins currently works in conjunction with the FAA for the Next Generation Air Transport System (NextGen) initiative, providing voice and domestic data link.
A California-based aviation technology company have launched a new innovation for pilots to detect a possible cabin pressurisation failure in a bit to combat accidents caused by hypoxia. AltAlert, the personal cabin pressure monitor is a simple device that is small and easy to carry, able to be clipped to a belt, shirt pocket or attached to a window via a small suction cup.
The device gives both audible and LED visual alarms to warn the pilot that the cabin altitude is climbing above specified thresholds.
Based on a NASA patent, AltAlert has a battery life of 18 months and was developed using algorithms for consistency and reliability. Four years in development, the monitor is the project of president and CEO of Carlsbad, Stacy Pappas Sawaya, who researched hypoxic-related accidents. She said, “I started researching the number of accidents logged with the NTSB related to pressurization. The Payne Stewart accident was the most highly publicized, but the total number is enormous. It was really just a coincidence that the TBM 900 went down last September; we were finishing up by then. It was yet another example of the need for this device and its lifesaving capabilities.”
The AltAlert device is now publicly available to pilots at many pilot shops at a cost of under $400.