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Mission Critical Messaging ProvidersBusiness aviation community leaders continue to come out in support of the flight technician. As we all know, maintenance plays a big role in flight support in so far as keeping our aircraft; military, commercial and private executive, not only safe, but fit for purpose and mission-ready.

The NBAA, long-standing champion of the industry, run many initiatives to oversee and enhance the profession, including the all-important maintenance sector. Established service networks for operators, maintenance repair organisations (MROs) and in-house aircraft support departments encompass a wide range of services from the routine tasks to major overhaul, upgrades and repairs.

Aside from, yet a critical part of the maintenance sector, involves the reliable delivery of communications if ground-delays and issues are to be avoided, settled and dealt with as quickly as possible. One of the latest initiatives from the NBAA is the formation of a Connectivity Group, who are tackling global airborne communications.

Many types of issues are handled by the MRO, including IT discrepancies and in-flight data connectivity. It is not only repair issues that could require an ‘approval for return to service’ order.

NBAA committee members are looking to provide guidance to flight crews and cabin staff in order for them to be capable of addressing passenger problems with connectivity in the air, and also training to allow these personnel to handle on-board data systems, such as business aircraft connection installations.

Maintenance professionals do not always receive exposure to data network connectivity and this can pose a challenge within the industry in terms of the support structure. Most new issue aircraft, particularly in the business aviation sector include varying degrees of digital data transfer capabilities. Technicians and MROs need specialist knowledge of installation, inspection and diagnosis in order to effectively and efficiently dispatch aircraft.

The committee is currently most keenly focussed upon the aircraft technician as the industry as a whole begins the definite shift to NextGen systems. It has teamed up with industry organisations to address the issue of enhanced training within the connectivity arena.

With professional shortages predicted over the coming years it is an area that has raised the most concerns and will be addressed as a matter of urgency. The NBAA Maintenance Committee Regulatory Group is handing the issue of technicians dealing with analogue regulations as the industry shifts to a digital world and has suggested that the formation of partnerships with the FAA to provide industry guidance and to accomplish directives for electronic documentation.

Maintenance can be a grey area within the industry, although playing a critical role. Messaging capabilities need to be seamlessly reliable if a smooth, efficient process from the routine tasks on the ground to the IT issues in the air. Providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC deliver millions of Type B messages every day for thousands of customers over the robust system architecture that the AviNet network has held strong for more than 50 years.

Other Providers of Operational Messaging SolutionsKazakhstan’s Air Astana is set for further growth with the operational messaging solution for ATS and advanced datalink. Air Astana has expanded in recent times across the CIS and Central Asia regions and has become the travel provider of choice for many passengers, both national and international, with a growth of around 9% annually.

Last year the carrier experienced a 13.5% traffic increase and is preparing for future growth with the latest messaging solutions. Type B messaging underpins every aspect of aviation operations, including commercial and air transport to flight ops and ground support, encompassing passenger services, booking and ticketing to baggage handling and needs to be seamless and reliable to ensure maximum operational productivity.

Providers of Type B Messaging handle many millions of mission-critical transmissions every day and keep the aviation industry smooth running behind the scenes.

Cockpit datalink messaging is critical for management of flight communications, such as ACARS and the provision of datalink technology is a fast-growing requirement across the world for enhanced visibility and transparency of messaging.

Air Astana have selected SITA as their operational messaging provider. Chamindra Lenawa, Vice President IT & eBusiness of Air Astana said, “As Air Astana continues its growth, it is important that we have the right infrastructure in place. We use SITA because it offers excellent service quality and global coverage. Most importantly, because SITA is owned and operated by the air transport industry, the SITA team understands and responds to our needs very well.”

Mission Critical Messaging System ProvidersJordan Aircraft Maintenance Ltd (JorAMCo) have selected AirVault to provide them with a web-based mission critical messaging service to assist with the management of aircraft maintenance records.

The Amman-based company have experienced steady growth and now need a more efficient messaging system to enhance their growth strategy.

Airline mission critical messaging requires not only efficiency, but reliability and security to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Aircraft maintenance requests and records must be delivered and received in a timely manner to reinforce the efficiency of the operator. Down-time spells financial losses and it is crucial that the entire process runs smoothly, quickly and reliably.

There are many providers of mission critical messaging solutions for aviation companies. Big organisations, such as ARINC, offer AviNet messaging solutions as a part of their integral and operational suite of products.

“We’re proud that JorAMCo chose AirVault as a mission-critical service to support the aircraft maintenance services it provides to its airline customers.  The adoption of AirVault technology by JorAMCo reinforces the value for the MROs of managing aircraft fleet maintenance records across their entire ecosystem of airline customers, business partners, and regulatory authorities,” said CEO of Critical Technologies, John Oldham, “The AirVault cloud-computing service provides the MRO a global conduit to better manage the bi-directional process of aircraft maintenance records files, in synchronization with their airline customers.”

SriLankan Airlines Upgrade Passenger Processing Systems as Tourism GrowsSriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka have announced an upgrade to the AMADEUS Altea Suite for enhanced mission critical messaging capability as a part of the bid to become more ‘customer centric.’

The messaging system will allow the airline to manage more effectively passenger reservations, departure control and inventory processes.

Although the changeover, scheduled for 7th and 8th December will cause slight disruption, it is hoped that this will be minor and should not affect online check-in, other than the duration reduced to 24 hours.

SriLankan Airlines offices will be available by telephone throughout the changeover to deal with the redemption of air miles for FlySmiLes members between 6th and 13th December.

Once completed, the changeover will make a significant difference to passenger processing, streamlining operations and procedures, bringing passengers an enhanced travel experience.

The new system plays a major role in the expansion of SriLankan Airlines and also with the planned induction into the OneWorld Alliance in the first part of 2014.