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October 1, 2016
  With deeper pockets and a clientele that delight in the having the latest technology at their finger tips, business jets are often ahead of the curve when it comes to technology adoption. But even with OEMs and operators driven to invest in and incorporate the latest in-flight connectivity systems onboard their planes, many feel weighed down by the lack of “blow you away” tech available...
October 1, 2016
  With Wi-Fi in the passenger cabin now commonplace for today’s traveling public, the cockpit represents the next major aircraft domain for IP connectivity to make its mark. From real-time weather updates to flight planning and predictive maintenance, the business case for IP-driven cockpit connectivity is here. But the question of how long it will take for operational connectivity to become...
October 1, 2016
Among the many initiatives of its NextGen air traffic modernization program, the FAA is transitioning away from the traditional reliance on radar surveillance in restricted airspace toward primary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) functionality. ADS-B uses GPS positioning, as well as the ADS-B ground infrastructure that has already been deployed and is being used by operators. But new FAA...
October 1, 2016
Six years after the FAA mandated Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipage for aircraft flying in airspace that requires a transponder, today, the agency estimates just 671 airliners have been equipped with rule-compliant DO-260B ADS-B Out solutions, as of Aug. 1, 2016. Based on airline-reported fleet information through the beginning of 2016, 4,131 airliner aircraft still require...
October 1, 2016
In September, we hosted our fifth-annual Avionics for NextGen conference, which provided in-depth examples of major progress with the deployment phases of the world’s two largest Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernization programs: the FAA’s NextGen and Europe’s Single European Sky. United Airlines also presented its latest findings on the...
October 1, 2016
Airbus and Boeing’s re-engined workhorse aircraft, the A320 neo and 737 MAX, will enter service in 2016 and 2017, respectively, with standard data acquisition architectures that can provide unprecedented collection and transmission of data from sensors and data buses all throughout the aircraft. At the same time, flight data acquisition technology hardware and software suppliers, manufacturers, and...
October 1, 2016
This is the dawn of a golden age of aviation Big Data and information management. Never before has so much data been available to inform day-to-day operational decision making with insight, safety and security. Aviation industry partners and competitors alike are committed to evolving network infrastructure to better serve customers by delivering more data faster and enabling value-added services and...
August 1, 2016
FAA NextGen Data Communications air traffic control En Route simulators. Photo courtesy of the FAA. A critical part of the FAA’s Next Generation Airspace Modernization (NextGen) initiative, the Data Communications (Data Comm) program, is currently making inroads toward its five-year plan of enabling initial Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) services. Data Comm technology enables...
August 1, 2016
 Photo: Hawiian Airlines The commercial Aircraft Communication, Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) is like the digital heartbeat of the commercially operated air transport airframe. Since the inception of the original ARINC ACARS data link network more than 30 years ago (now managed by Rockwell Collins Information Management Systems), it has continually evolved as a character-based messaging...
August 1, 2016
  The 2016 Global Connected Aircraft Summit (GCA Summit) proved to be the pulse of the entire connected aircraft ecosystem. A total of 37 expert speakers from seven different In-flight Connectivity (IFC) service providers, seven avionics and aircraft component manufacturers, 11 airlines, the world’s two largest airframe manufacturers —Airbus and Boeing — as well as the French...
August 1, 2016
  When the FAA mandated Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B Out) for most aircraft by January 2020, there were the predictable complaints from various segments of the aviation community regarding acquisition and installation costs as well as the limited time available for operators to comply with the rule. In time, the opposition turned to benign acceptance of ADS-B Out, an integral part...
August 1, 2016
  The current aircraft test equipment market is huge and only growing, spurred by the industry’s need to replace test equipment that is quickly becoming obsolete, but also by the need for new equipment to satisfy the requirements of novel technologies appearing on new aircraft models, such as Bombardier’s C Series and Airbus’ A350. According to a report released in May on the Global...
August 1, 2016
First, I would like to thank any of the Avionics audience who came to our 2016 Global Connected Aircraft Summit in Hollywood in June. The third iteration of this event was a highly successful one, in which sessions, panels and discussions highlighted both the technological successes and challenges ahead across the connected aircraft industry. Next year, the Global Connected Aircraft Summit will back on the...
June 1, 2016
2016 is a pivotal year for global avionics mandates. While some areas of the world have established mandates that already require compliance, others have mandates on the cusp, while several countries are still considering adopting mandates that are already in place in other areas of the world. U.S. and Europe FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Photo courtesy of the FAA Today, the United Sates and Europe...
June 1, 2016
  In an aircraft hangar, a maintenance technician accesses the history of a faulty part, calls in advice from a superior on how to best fix it and logs the maintenance work, all with a few verbal commands and with his hands still in the aircraft. In an airport lounge, a customer service representative for an airline is able to pull information on a VIP customer in seconds and help speed him to his...
June 1, 2016
In aviation circles, professionals prefer the conceptual term “connected network” to the consumer-products-sounding Internet of Things (IoT). While IoT may not adequately describe the technical and commercial potential of satellite-based data communications in all things aviation, the growth of connectivity in the industry needs no debate. “15 years ago, less than 10 percent of the...
June 1, 2016
By Jan. 1, 2020, the FAA has mandated Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipage for all aircraft operating in the National Airspace System (NAS) above 10,000 feet, as well as for helicopters. Between the commercial air transport, business and general aviation segments, the agency has identified 100,000 aircraft that still require the ADS-B Out upgrade. Although the FAA first announced...
June 1, 2016
Avionics mandates are frequently a topic of conversation at our Avionics Advisory Board meetings. Even though 2020 is still four years away, it appears the industry is in a race against time to equip their fleets with some of the key proposed mandates. It is a relative minefield, but what is interesting is whether the industry can win this race against time, or whether there will be delays in modernizing...
June 1, 2016
  The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014 following the crash of Air France Flight 447 five years earlier, prompted a new push to scrutinize global tracking of commercial aircraft flying within remote areas of the world. “The aviation industry has seen dramatic improvements as a result of tragedies,” observes former United Airlines pilot Mary McMillan, vice...
April 1, 2016
  The FAA, alongside the National Air Traffic Controller’s Association (NATCA) and airline partners are redesigning airspace and addressing inefficiencies, introducing new Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures, and making use of Time Based Flow Management (TBFM) to make airspace more efficient and improve access to airports with its initiative to revamp and redesign Metroplexes across...
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