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.”
A key question that has been on the lips of much of the public was how missing flight MH370 could still communicate with satellites, according to the latest Inmarsat information, when reports claim that the on-board ACARS system had been disabled?
The answer to this lies in the workings of the ACARS system itself. Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) has been the industry standard data communications system since the 1970’s. Developed and introduced by ARINC Inc, ACARS gives a data link from air-to-ground, relaying critical information regarding the flight, aircraft systems and also gives the ground-based operators means to relay NOTAMs, weather data and in-flight messages to the flight deck.
If ACARS failed, or was manually disabled during the flight, how, then, did the satellite appear to receive information after this? ACARS carries satellite equipment outside the aircraft that cannot be tampered with while the plane is in flight. The internal workings of ACARS in the cockpit can be disabled with a simple manual action. This is possible because of the risk of electrical fire on the flight deck.
Although ACARS, once manually disconnected, will not relay information, the satellite equipment outside the aircraft will send and receive ‘pings’ or digital handshakes periodically to determine the status of the network.
It is these pings or handshakes that the satellite picked up. While the aircraft responded to these pings, it was clear that it had power, was likely intact and in flight, although this does not prove beyond doubt that it was not intact on the ground.
The search continues for flight MH370 and leaves many questions unanswered.
Bingo Airways, Polish charter airline has announced that it has selected ARINC’s AviNet Mail solution for mission-critical transmissions and GLOBALink ACARS solution for instant air-to-ground and ground-to-air data communications.
Bingo will use these industry-leading products for reliability, cost-effective messaging solutions and increased operational efficiency.
“Bingo chose ARINC because of our high quality European VHF and Global HF datalink services,” said Alexis Hickox, Senior Director, Aviation Solutions. “Our customers are telling us that the combination of superior products, low cost and outstanding service makes ARINC’s solution for airlines the best in the industry. We are excited to be working with Bingo Airways.”
The ARINC AviNet Mail brings operators efficient Type B, SMS and email messaging opportunities for business-to-business operations, such as maintenance, parts orders and ground-based supply staff.
ARINC’s combined solutions will give increased and enhanced flight safety insights to Bingo, which was their top priority.
The GLOBALink partnership between ARINC Asia-Pacific and Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (AEROTHAI) began back in 1998 when ARINC first sought to expand their data link presence in the region.
Now, the GLOBALink service stretches across 14 countries in Asia with AEROTHAI and both companies are now looking to the installation of their milestone 100th Remote Ground Station in the area at the end of this month.
GLOBALink data link coverage is a seamless, industry-leading service solution, used on a daily basis by 78 airlines and more than 3,000 aircraft in Asia. The partnership have great plans to further expand into the new emerging markets such as Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Very recently, the ARINC Company announced the installation of the 500th Remote Global Ground Station – a double celebration of sorts for ARINC Inc.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have been using ARINC’s GLOBALink ground radio services since 2001 for the delivery of mission critical messaging information to airline passenger services, ground handlers and security teams, ground support staff and airline ramp personnel.
ARINC has partnered with PowerTrunk, a subsidiary company of Teltronic, who design, manufacture and implement digital and analog land mobile radio on a global scale. Together, they will install Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) as a part of the ARINC GLOBALink upgrade for mission critical transmissions of airline and ground-based communications. This will be the first North American deployment of the TETRA technology in the industry of aviation.
“TETRA is an ideal communications technology for airport and airline use,” said Carlos Fernandez, VP of Business Development for PowerTrunk. “It uniquely combines telephone-like voice and data services with dynamically configurable group call capability in a single, privately operated radio network platform”.
The TETRA platform will bring improved voice clarity and RF spectrum efficiency with multiple conversations capability. ARINC leads the way with the recently approved TETRA platform, testing new products and operational behaviour in a fully functional demonstration environment.
“We are pleased to provide our valued customers at LAX with the latest technology which is currently deployed for airports and airlines globally,” said John Monto, Director, Radio Technology Solutions at ARINC. “We believe this upgrade, and the associated benefits it brings for ground communications, will enable ARINC’s customers at LAX to get their jobs done in a more timely and efficient manner.”
LOT Polish Airlines, long-term customer of ARINC Inc, has chosen GLOBALink ACARS data link program for the provision of essential communications for its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. LOT Polish Airlines is the first European operator of the Dreamliner, which heralds a new design of lighter passenger jets.
“We are delighted to support our valued customer LOT Polish Airlines as they bring new benefits to their passengers through the introduction of the 787 fleet,” said Alexis Hickox, Senior Director, Aviation Solutions, at ARINC EMEA. “We believe the cost saving benefits they have received from using GLOBALink ACARS in the past will prove equally compelling in the future.”
ARINC currently provide GLOBALink ACARS data link services for reliable messaging and the new contract will seamlessly integrate the 787 data link programme into ARINC’s data link management system and with LOT’s existing fleet.
“ARINC has been providing LOT with industry leading technology for over a decade,” notes Tomasz Balcerzak, Board Member for Operations and Maintenance at LOT Polish Airlines. “We are pleased with the entire portfolio of ARINC services and look forward to many future years of working together.”