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ISSUE July 2017

Airports of the Future: Digital Transformation from Vision to Reality

Execlusive by: Alaa ElShimy, Managing Director & Vice President, Huawei Enterprise Business, Middle East

The rise of digital isn’t simply changing the way customers see businesses, but as EasyJet’s CEO, Carolyn McCall said herself, it’s changing the way they see themselves. The chief exec of the low-cost airline referred to EasyJet as an “e-commerce platform” when it came to digital. That alone should give you an indication of the weight of such a trend.

A technological evolution so disruptive that it alters top-level thinking across most industries is seldom seen in a CEO’s lifetime. But the inexorable rise of digital has done just that. It’s caused aviation giants to look in the mirror and question the nature of their business. It cannot be ignored.

However, such speak might force one into thinking that the future is overcast for the chiefs of flight. But that’s not the case. As with all new beginnings, opportunity beckons for those willing to trail blaze.

According to Accenture, the aviation sector has been one of the earliest proponents of the opportunities for integrated digital technology – and thankfully so. The global economy relies on a healthy, democratized airline industry. And they’ve obliged. Since 2000, increased efficiencies have helped airlines reduce the price of airfares by 40 percent. The rise of the low-cost carriers (LCC) has also opened up the market to first-time flyers, allowing more movement of international currencies. None of this could be possible without the aviation industry’s alacrity to disrupt its own market.

Arguably, the resistance here has come from the ground. Airport operators have been slow to adapt to this airfare trend, and often find themselves servicing a higher, outdated market. Today, both on-ground and in-flight sides of aviation need to attack the digital transformation and truly revolutionize the aviation industry for businesses, customers, and international economies.

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Air cargo growth requires renewed commitment to Lomé Declaration – ICAO Council Presiden

Implementation of the Lomé Declaration is a crucial lever for realizing the technological innovation, regulatory reform and investment in infrastructure demanded by Africa’s tremendously promising growth in air cargo, declared the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, in his address at the Second Meeting on Air Cargo Development in Africa today.

The key objective of the Lomé Declaration is the unobstructed flow and rapid release of goods through enhanced trade facilitation and custom clearance frameworks. Pointing to the pertinence of progress on its implementation, Dr Aliu highlighted the significance of air cargo’s current and forecasted contributions to Africa’s economy. “In Africa today, aviation supports millions of jobs and 72 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product. The importance of air cargo as a key enabler of international trade, especially with respect to high-value and time-sensitive goods, is reflected in the fact that air transport carries around 35 per cent of world trade by value,” he remarked, adding that growth in African freight traffic outpaced the global average last year and that freight capacity offered by African carriers in the region surged by over 20 per cent in 2016.

Dr. Aliu noted that progress in support of the Declaration should be achieved through the ratification of the 1999 Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, to which only 56 per cent of African States have adhered, the realisation of the ambitious ‘E-Trade for All’ initiative, which ICAO is undertaking in collaboration with other UN agencies, and the deployment of the Cargo Service Quality Index for measuring freight performance at the airport level, a project that ICAO is developing with the International Air Cargo Association.

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China University Joins Airbus Global University Partner Programme

China-based Tsinghua University, has signed an agreement with Airbus to be part of the Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP), bringing the total number of partners to 21 universities from around the world.

The Airbus Global University Partner Programme is a strategic initiative connecting a global network of universities and engineering schools to develop high-tech and engineering talent of the future. Universities selected strive to increase and support diversity in engineering and other high-tech fields. The AGUPP initiative fosters long-term collaboration in areas such as the development of strategic competences and the development of training courses -- all with a focus on innovation.

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ICAO and ACI to collaborate on new airport training

ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, and Airports Council International (ACI) Director General Angela Gittens formalized a new agreement today supporting their agencies’ future cooperation on airport training.

The two air transport leaders signed a special Memorandum of Understanding covering their new training partnership, and which will see their organizations collaborating on joint airport training programmes and specific courses focused on airport management, airport economics, environmental protection, operational safety, security procedures, and other subjects as identified.

“ICAO is strengthening its collaboration with ACI and reaffirming its commitment to providing targeted assistance in training and human resources capacity building to ICAO Member States,” highlighted Secretary General Liu. “This new partnership is a perfect example of what our two organizations can achieve when we join forces and capitalize on our respective strengths, and through these joint training activities we’ll be able to increase global awareness of ICAO Standards and Policies while enhancing competencies of current and future airport professionals.”

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Airbus launches new fixed and deployable flight recorders for its airliner programmes together with L3 Technologies

Airbus is to implement new fixed and deployable flight recorders for Airbus’ airliner programmes, in collaboration with L3 Technologies. The new devices will come in two versions: a fixed crash-protected Cockpit Voice and Data Recorder (CVDR), capable of recording up to 25 hours of voice and flight data on a single recorder; and an Automatic Deployable Flight Recorder (ADFR).

This new CVDR will be lighter, more compact, and will provide new capabilities compared with current generation of recorders, including versatile interfaces. The new CVDR answers the EASA and ICAO requirement to extend the duration of voice recording to 25 hours (today the current requirement calls for a duration of two hours of voice recording). Two of these new CVDRs would be fitted on the shorter-range A320 airliners. This will greatly increase the redundancy for both voice and flight data recovery, compared with today’s airliner installations – which comprise just one flight data recorder plus one separate voice recorder.

The other version of the new recording system – the ADFR – is aimed at longer range aircraft, with extended flight time over water or remote areas, such as the Airbus A321LR, A330, A350 XWB and A380. The ADFR will add a new capability to commercial airliners: the ability to be deployed automatically in case of significant structural deformation or water submersion. Designed to float, the crash-protected memory module containing up to 25 hours of recorded cockpit voice and flight data will be equipped with an integrated Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) to help rescue teams to rapidly locate and recover flight recorders.

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Airbus signs strategic partnership with ONERA and DLR

Airbus has signed a partnership with two leading European Research facilities, ONERA (French Aerospace Research Center) and DLR (German Aerospace Center) during an official ceremony at Paris Air Show. The partnership was signed by Charles Champion (Executive Vice-President Engineering Airbus), Thierry Michal (ONERA General Technical Director) and Professor Rolf Henke (DLR Executive Board Member for Aeronautics Research).

The cooperation will focus on the development of new common Computational Fluid Dynamics capabilities for flow prediction and will offer a common platform for the European Research Community and all Airbus divisions.

Airbus, ONERA and DLR also commit to deploying a strong common development and integration team with the capability to deliver tested and industry ready code containing the latest state of the art features relevant to aeronautics. This advanced technology will play a key role in the development of new generation aircraft.

“We are extremely proud to enter into this partnership with ONERA and DLR. Bringing the world-class Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) know-how ‎of both Research entities into a common next generation code will not only provide us with a technological edge on the industrial side, but it will also provide a great platform for the research community to push the boundaries of computational aerodynamics”, says Charles Champion, Executive Vice-President Engineering at Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

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Airbus presents the A380plus

Airbus is presenting a development study for an enhanced A380, the “A380plus”. The study includes aerodynamic improvements in particular new, large winglets and other wing refinements that allow for up to 4% fuel burn savings. Added to an optimised A380 maintenance programme and the enhanced cabin features first shown at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in April, the overall benefit is a 13% cost per seat reduction versus today’s A380.

John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, explains: “The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time.” John adds: “It is a new step for our iconic aircraft to best serve worldwide fast-growing traffic and the evolving needs of the A380 customers. The A380 is well-proven as the solution to increasing congestion at large airports, and in offering a unique, passenger-preferred experience. ”

The new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (an uplet of 3.5m, and a downlet of 1,2m). It is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.

The optimised cabin layout based on the ‘cabin enablers’ presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), allows up to 80 additional seats with no compromise on comfort: redesigned stairs, a combined crew-rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.

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Nearly 35,000 aircraft valued at US$5.3 trillion required in the next 20 years

The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 percent per year, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

Over this period, increasing numbers of first time flyers, rising disposable income spent on air travel, expanding tourism, industry liberalisation, new routes and evolving airline business models are driving a need for 34,170 passenger and 730 freighter aircraft worth a combined total of US$5.3 trillion. Over 70 percent of new units are single aisle with 60 percent for growth and 40 percent for replacement of less fuel efficient aircraft.

A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years sees a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers, and provides Airbus’ global services business a catalyst to grow. Airbus has expanded its global network of training locations from five to 16 in the space of three years

Air traffic growth is highest in emerging markets such as China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America and almost double the 3.2 percent per year growth forecast in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe. Emerging markets currently home to 6.4 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion population will account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s private consumption by 2036.

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Inmarsat confirms successful launch of S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network

Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has confirmed the successful launch of its S-band satellite (Inmarsat S EAN) for the European Aviation Network (EAN). The launch is a key milestone for Inmarsat’s unique EAN service, which is on course to commence commercial service in the second half of 2017.

The Inmarsat S-band satellite, built by France’s Thales Alenia Space, was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket by Arianespace at 22:15 BST/17:15 EDT from Kourou in French Guiana. Following satellite separation at 22:43 BST/17:43 EDT, telemetry from the satellite was acquired by Inmarsat’s Mingenew Ground Station in Western Australia at 22:50 BST/17:50 EDT.

The launch team from Inmarsat and Thales Alenia Space will now raise the satellite into its geostationary orbit over Europe and the Middle East, at which point the spacecraft will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo rigorous payload testing.

Inmarsat’s EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. Inmarsat’s strategic partner, Deutsche Telekom, is well advanced in the construction of the complementary ground network, which will be fully integrated with the S-band satellite to deliver a truly seamless service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers.

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Inmarsat and Airbus to provide airlines with European Aviation Network (EAN) deployment package

Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced a strategic partnership for its new European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband service with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

As part of a collaborative agreement signed at the Paris Air Show, Airbus will offer airlines a specialist retrofit solution to deploy EAN on the entire A320 family of aircraft, including A319s, A320s and A321s, which form the backbone of many leading airline fleets in Europe.

The agreement marks a further milestone in the development of EAN; the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to combine space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. It follows a separate announcement earlier this year that International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, will be the launch customer for EAN. IAG has begun equipping its aircraft with the ground-breaking service and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

EAN is based on a unique infrastructure, which brings together a dedicated S-band satellite and complementary ground network, to offer a fully integrated and seamless network that delivers the service quality and performance assurance not offered by satellite only providers. Because of its unique design, EAN can also be scaled more easily and cost-effectively to match demand.

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SITAONAIR hails successful Iridium® NEXT satellite launch

SITAONAIR has hailed the successful launch of Iridium’s second set of Iridium NEXT constellation satellites as another step closer to achieving minute-by-minute, 100% global aircraft flight-tracking.

In partnership with Aireon and FlightAware, SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker will deliver enhanced capabilities to airline customers from 2018. Aireon’s space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast data (ADS-B) will then fill any gaps in current flight-tracking coverage globally – and is expected to be transmitted through the complete Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, via FlightAware.

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM®, at SITAONAIR, says: “This is an exciting moment for SITAONAIR as the second set of satellites start their journey to enabling us to deliver 100% global, real-time flight-tracking to the air transport industry. We are looking forward to seeing the project progress and being able to demonstrate its value to airlines.

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SITAONAIR and Teledyne innovate industry’s first aircraft cockpit comms cellular service

SITAONAIR and Teledyne Controls are joining forces to deliver the aviation industry’s first-ever airline-integrated ACARS datalink terrestrial cellular service.

This new partnership – announced today between SITAONAIR, the airline datalink communications world-leaders, and avionics manufacturer Teledyne Controls – represents an important evolution in airline and aircraft communications.

Datalink services are chiefly provided using VHF/VDL radio frequencies and satellites to transmit data messages, communicating vital real-time aircraft status, health and position updates between an aircraft and its airline’s flight operations.

By using Teledyne Controls’ GroundLink® Comm+ system, SITAONAIR is able to integrate terrestrial cellular services into its core datalink network, giving airlines the flexibility of another transmission channel for aircraft communications, bringing multiple benefits.

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CAE inaugurates new training facility in Korea in partnership with Korea Airports Corporation

CAE and Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) inaugurated a new CAE training facility at Gimpo Airport, Seoul, Korea, to support the growing pilot training needs of Korean carriers including Jeju Air, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet and Air Seoul. The event was attended by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of the Republic of Korea as well as representatives of airlines, and the Canada and Korea governments. The new six simulator bay training facility is owned by KAC; and CAE operates four full-flight simulators at the centre, including two Boeing 737NG, one Airbus A330 and one Airbus A320.

The ceremony was officiated by Suh, hoon-taik, Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation, Sung, il hwan, CEO of Korea Airport Corporation, Eric Walsh, Canadian Ambassador to South Korea, and, Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions.

"The relationship between CAE Korea and KAC is a great example of the synergies that can be achieved when CAE partners with a local aviation champion," said CAE's Nick Leontidis. "CAE has been providing pilot training services in Korea since 2012, in fact, we have already trained more than 5,000 pilots in Korea. This new state-of-the art facility, built and owned by KAC, has allowed us to bring together in one centre the new CAE-built Cessna M2 full-flight simulator we sold to KAC last year, as well as the four CAE-owned simulators already in service. We are proud that our client list, much like the Korean aerospace market, continues to grow rapidly with customers coming from Korea as well as neighboring countries."

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CAE signs a series of commercial and business aviation training contracts valued at approximately C$85 million

CAE announced today at the 2017 Paris Air Show a series of aviation training solution contracts with large fleet operators and airlines worldwide, including Ethiopian Airlines, Air India, and Japan Airlines. These agreements, valued approximately C$85 million, cover airline pilot and cabin crew training, crew resourcing, business aviation pilot training programs, as well as the sale of four full-flight simulators (FFS).

They include:

Airline pilot and cabin crew training as well as business aviation pilot training agreements, demonstrating the recurring nature of CAE's offering

"These contracts come from all regions of the world and highlight the full extent of CAE's aviation training solutions," said Nick Leontidis, CAE's Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. "We are proud that our new and existing customers continue to choose CAE as their partner to support their growing training and crew sourcing needs."

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G7 Aerospace joins IFS Partner Network to deliver IFS Applications to aviation and defense enterprises in Malaysia

IFS, the global enterprise applications company, announces that G7 Aerospace Sdn Bhd, a leading enterprise solutions provider to the A&D sector in Malaysia, has joined the IFS Partner Network.

G7 Aerospace, a company registered under the Malaysian Ministry of Finance, provides a broad spectrum of high-quality defense, law enforcement and commercial aerospace software solutions and services to their customers. The current G7 portfolio supports areas such as supply chain management, maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO), technical consultancy services, and training.

IFS Applications offers proven enterprise asset management (EAM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and MRO capabilities to support a range of industries, including aviation and defense. The IFS industry solution will help Malaysian A&D customers streamline asset-intensive operations to keep pace with the unpredictable defense environment and booming commercial aviation sector.

“G7 believes in smart alliances and growing our portfolio by working closely with our partners,” said Datuk Rosdi Mahmud, Executive Director, G7 Aerospace Sdn Bhd. “By collaborating with IFS, we will be able to leverage a world-class enterprise applications suite to help optimize our customers’ mission-critical business processes, while expanding our footprint in the Malaysian A&D industry.”

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Dubai Airports selects Quintiq for automated planning solution to deliver world-class passenger experience

Quintiq, a Dassault Systèmes brand and global leader in supply chain planning and optimization (SCP&O), has been selected by Dubai Airports to plan and schedule its fixed resources at Dubai International and Dubai World Central. The Quintiq solution will automate the planning process for airport stands, gates, baggage belts and check-in counters to increase overall efficiency, reliability and passenger satisfaction. The solution went live at Dubai International on April 18, with implementation at Dubai World Central to follow soon.

Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for international passengers. It serves 90 airlines flying to more than 240 destinations across six continents; in 2016, it served 83,654,250 passengers. Dubai World Central, slated to be the region’s airport of the future, launched cargo operations in 2010 and passenger flights in 2013.

“We aim to deliver a world-class experience to the airlines that use our airports and the passengers that they carry,” said Frank McCrorie, SVP Operations at Dubai Airports. “Quintiq will enable us to maximize utilization of our current fixed resources and prepare for future expansions.”

Quintiq enables automated planning of all of Dubai International’s fixed resources. From its 260 airport stands to 143 gates, 561 check-in counters to 28 baggage belts, airport planners will have full visibility of resource allocation. They adapt this allocation to fit specific airline preferences and further streamline passenger flow.

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