JetBlue Brings iPad Pro On Board for Pilots Starting This Summer

JetBlue has begun introducing the new iPad Pro powered by Apple’s M1 chip to the airline’s pilots.

JetBlue was one of the first domestic airlines to use digital documentation in the cockpit, and continues to be a leader in the industry bringing innovative tools into operation. The new iPad Pro keeps JetBlue pilots on the cutting edge of technology and provides safety-critical functions for all JetBlue crewmembers. iPad has become an essential tool on board – from loading operational tracking apps, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals.

JetBlue first received Federal Aviation Administration approval to give iPads to all pilots in 2013, which enabled more real-time capabilities in the cockpit. Since then, the airline continues to trust iPad to provide everything pilots need at the touch of their fingertips, even at 35,000 feet in the air.

JetBlue says the iPad Pro is the right fit for their cockpit, with its thin, light design and large, bright Liquid Retina display. The new iPad Pro features the industry-leading M1 chip, which offers next-level performance when pilots are running more than a dozen apps throughout the duration of the flight. iPad Pro’s fast 5G capabilities delivers better performance and access to next-generation download and upload speeds.

“Not only will the new iPad Pro with M1 take our pilots to the next level of advanced technology, but also future-proof JetBlue with top-of-the-line hardware for years to come,” said Captain Chuck Cook, director communications, navigation, surveillance and technical programs.

In the coming months, JetBlue will provide iPad Pro to new incoming pilots, and will replace older models in use over time.

U.S. Army Acquires Service-Wide License of SNC TRAX Software to Enable Network Interoperability

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army for an unlimited distribution of the SNC Tactical Radio Application eXtension (TRAX) software to deliver effective interoperability across disparate communications systems, networks and domains.

As a Joint Certified Command & Control (C2) Gateway, the company says SNC TRAX is a “potential game changer” in solving the longstanding interoperability challenges stemming from incompatible and disparate message protocols across the battlefield. With SNC TRAX inserted into the U.S. Army architecture, a true air-to-ground Common Operational Picture (COP) will be accessible, allowing virtually any platform to share information, issue tasking and provide enhanced situational awareness in real time for the next Great Power Competition.

“Secure communication across systems, networks and domains is essential to battlespace awareness,” said Tim Owings, executive vice president of SNC’s Mission Solutions and Technologies business area. “Listening to our customers, SNC has created and invested in SNC TRAX as an all-domain solution with the most system, sensor and radar integrations. SNC TRAX delivers the interoperability our customers need to achieve full battlespace awareness and accomplish the mission.”

SNC TRAX overcomes these challenges by leveraging military and commercial open-based standards to connect platforms, ground units and operations centers across domains. Among the features and benefits SNC TRAX will provide:

  • Utilizes a Common Data Engine allowing use on various operating systems including Windows, Linux and Android;
  • Allows sharing of digital situational awareness data, C2 information, weapon and battlefield sensor information and video;
  • Facilitates the continuous and rapid integration and fielding of new sensors, systems, networks, weapons and other technologies across the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) architecture;
  • Serves as a common data fabric layer through its non-proprietary open standard based API/ICD and Open Mission Network Interface GOTS Data Protocol, simplifying the insertion of new technology into existing U.S. Army architectures/Programs of Record;
  • Provides users with an integrated multi-domain (air, ground, sea and space) tool that supports the use of coded waveforms for two-way data transmissions between airborne platforms, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground units, space sensors and tactical headquarters using multiple waveforms, message formats and data protocols.

SNC TRAX has been proven in operational environments in the hands of tactical operators, operations center personnel, aircrews and ground units worldwide. It has been operationally fielded since 2012 and is currently in use the by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and coalition partners.

American Cancels Hundreds of Flights Over Father’s Day Weekend

American Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights due to several factors including maintenance, staffing shortages and employees out sick. Around 300 flights were cancelled during the weekend with more expected today, Monday, June 21, 2021. The airline said it may continue to adjust the schedules and cancel dozens of flights throughout the summer.

American released a statement saying: “We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation.”

A surge in travel amid COVID vaccination success has together led to similar dilemmas for most airlines. After offering incentive packages for employees to retire early and many taking the early out as well as layoffs and furloughs, it is taking some time to adjust the staffing needs of the return of travelers.

Southwest Airlines also cancelled numerous flights after experiencing network connectivity problems earlier this month. The airlines attributed their cancellations to the ripple effect of that event.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also reporting staffing shortages and asking some current employees to volunteer for positions such as onboarding new employees.

Adacel and Fiji Airports Commission New Aurora ATM for En Route and Tower Control

Adacel along with Fiji Airports, commissioned the new Aurora Air Traffic Management (ATM) for surveillance control in Fiji’s domestic airspace. The new Aurora ATM system integrates oceanic, approach, and tower control capabilities and includes a new simulator to train air traffic controllers in an ADS-B surveillance environment.

“Fiji Airports has been our customer for over a decade now, and we value the team’s commitment to this significant project. Deploying a new system with major new capabilities is a challenge on its own; successfully implementing it during a global pandemic is absolutely remarkable,” shares Daniel Verret, Adacel’s CEO. “I could not be prouder of the impressive teamwork and close collaboration between Adacel and Fiji Airports to ensure the success of this mission,” continued Verret.

The new Aurora integrates its industry-leading procedural airspace management with the functionalities and tools needed to manage traffic in a surveillance environment.

“It is a significant milestone for Fiji Airports to make this historic ATM transition during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there was great pressure and valid need to cut costs across most entities in the aviation industry, Fiji Airports persevered with our previous commitment to continue personnel training and upskilling of our people through the implementation of the new Aurora ATM System,” said Fiji Airports chairman, Geoffrey Shaw.

Unique 4D-profile conflict detection capabilities combined with progressive surveillance-data safety nets ensure system safety. Tower controller working positions are fully integrated into the system and provide optimized electronic flight strips for multiple users. “This modernizes our ATM system and provides air traffic controllers with the latest ATM technology including electronic flight strips, advanced flight and surveillance data processing and training capabilities. It is one of the world’s best ATM systems for managing procedural control in Oceanic Airspace integrated with the capabilities and tools needed to manage traffic in the domestic environment. This approach allows for optimal fuel-efficient routing in the procedural environment with reduced separation minima for airspace efficiency and gives controllers the tools they need to provide ADS-B based surveillance in en route and approach phases of flight,” continued Shaw. The new Aurora also delivers a complete technical refresh of the system for controllers at the Nadi ATM Center and Nadi and Nausori Towers.

Finnair Cargo Chooses CargoAi to e-Market its Worldwide Offering

The two pioneers of digitalization in the air cargo industry, Finnair Cargo and CargoAi, have announced their partnership. The largest air cargo carrier in the Nordic and Baltic region, Finnair Cargo’s worldwide cargo offering is now live on CargoAi. State-of-art digital booking services – e-quotes and e-booking – are available to forwarders directly via the leading SaaS platform.  

“We’re very proud to partner with Finnair Cargo, which is a pioneering cargo carrier in the field of digitalization and was one of the first to put APIs in place. The airline’s network and its product expertise fully meet the needs of our forwarder clients – so this is excellent news for them,” said Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi. 

Finnair Cargo has invested heavily in digital and technological innovations to offer a best-in-class air cargo shipping process. Specializing in flying high-value items via the short northern route between Europe and Asia, Finnair Cargo offers a dense worldwide route network. From the most modern and digitalized air cargo terminal in Europe, its Helsinki Hub, the carrier covers 19 major cities in Asia, eight in North and Central America, and over 100 in Europe.

“Making our capacity offering available on CargoAi guarantees visibility and is fully in line with our digitalization strategy for our sales process. With CargoAi, we have been moving fast with the integration and we are very happy to be able to provide this service to our customers. We speak the same language and the cargo challenges we face are fully understood and integrated into the tool,” said Karri Kauppi, head of Revenue and Pricing, Finnair Cargo. 

Comply365’s ProAuthor Adds Airnorth as Client

Comply365 announced Airnorth, Australia’s second longest operating airline, will begin leveraging the power of Comply365’s mobile platform to deliver personalized and targeted operational documents to its crew, as well as capture compliance data.

The northern Australian airline recently began transforming to paperless flight operations and chose ProAuthor, Comply365’s end-to-end operational content and compliance management system to enable faster routine manual revisions, which will help Airnorth to be audit-ready.

“We are excited to switch from a paper distribution of our manuals to our first Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) model. We needed a reliable solution to distribute manuals and flight briefing information, as well as an authoring platform to improve our document control, and to maintain regulatory compliance,” said Simon Gibbons, general manager of Flight Operations of Airnorth. “Comply365 came out on top, offering a proven solution that will bring tremendous value to our airline and a great user experience for our pilots.”

Pilots will receive flight plans delivered to their iPads via Comply365’s Digital Briefing solution, saving paper and printing costs as well as enabling more timely delivery. Electronic forms will give pilots and cabin, ground, and airport crews the ability to instantly send information to operations teams, offering insights to make data-driven decisions.

Airnorth operates into some of the world’s most challenging environments, operating scheduled and charter services to over 20 destinations for a wide range of companies including mining, defense, and government clients. Based in Darwin, Australia, its serves domestic destinations across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, and Victoria, and internationally to Dili, Timor-Leste.

Airnorth becomes the sixth Australian airline to join Comply365’s global customer base.

“It’s always exciting to partner with a new customer to help them transition from paper manuals and processes to a digital operation. We are glad to welcome Airnorth to our Comply365 community,” Comply365 CEO Tom Samuel said. “We look forward to providing a great user experience for Airnorth’s frontline staff, who will be able to receive more personalized and targeted information. We expect this will lead to a more efficient and safer operation.”

Iridium Invests in DDK, Provider of Enhanced GNSS Solutions

Iridium Communications announced that it has made a strategic investment in DDK Positioning, an Aberdeen, Scotland based provider of enhanced Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) accuracy solutions. DDK uses the Iridium network to provide global precision positioning services that can augment GNSS constellations, including GPS and Galileo, to significantly enhance their accuracy for critical industrial applications. DDK is also developing similar services for other GNSS constellations, such as GLONASS and Beidou. Terms of the investment are not being disclosed.

Standard positioning accuracy through a system like GPS is typically within 10 meters; however, by using the Iridium network, DDK’s enhanced GPS accuracy service brings incredibly precise positioning of five centimeters or less. This advanced level of accuracy is ideal for autonomous vehicles like UAVs, precision agriculture applications, offshore infrastructure projects such as windfarm construction, automotive applications like driverless cars, as well as a host of construction, mining, surveying and IoT use cases. Historically, there have been limited geostationary satellite provider options for this type of service, but they suffer from line-of-sight blockage issues and coverage limitations in and around Arctic and Antarctic regions.

“We are delighted to have embarked on this journey with such a strong and well-respected company as Iridium. This partnership is a perfect fit for DDK Positioning, with Iridium’s satellite communications network and our GNSS solution, we are in a position to deliver a truly unique service which is robust, resilient and secure,” Kevin Gaffney, CEO of DDK Positioning, said. “The investment made by Iridium will also allow us to grow the company even further whilst expanding our service offering globally.”

According to a report published by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, augmentation services like those offered by DDK will account for $76.5 billion (€65 billion) in global GNSS market revenue by 2029, while the global GNSS downstream market, including services delivered and hardware devices, is estimated to reach $382 billion (€325 billion).

“We are impressed with the team that DDK has put together and see great potential for this technology and how it takes advantage of the Iridium network,” said Iridium CEO, Matt Desch.  “DDK’s enhanced positioning is a unique capability that adds a high-value solution on top of our existing portfolio of custom network services. Solutions from Iridium and DDK partners that are focused on precision agriculture, autonomous systems, maritime and infrastructure projects can now experience incredibly precise GNSS accuracy from anywhere on the planet.”

FLYHT Signs Waltzing Matilda Aviation’s New Brand, Connect Airlines

FLYHT Aerospace Solutions announced a multi-year contract with U.S. charter operator Waltzing Matilda Aviation for its new scheduled air carrier branded, Connect Airlines.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, FLYHT will install AFIRS and Actionable Intelligence (“AI”) services on Connect Airlines’ entire fleet of DHC-8-Q400 turboprop aircraft. FLYHT’s Actionable Intelligence solution includes voice and text communications, engine and airframe exceedances, situational display as well as automatic movement messages in the initial installation. Future AI services are expected to include fuel management, turn and airport apron operations, integrated flight plan and emissions tracking, as well as features currently under development with other AI launch customers. The initial installs will commence within 45 days and will be part of the certification of the new airline brand. The contract is expected to generate revenue of approximately $1.0 million to FLYHT, provided that all services are delivered over the 5-year term of the agreement.

“We are excited to begin a new relationship with Waltzing Matilda for their new brand, Connect Airlines,” Bill Tempany, CEO of FLYHT, said. “As a provider of critical infrastructure for communications and operational insights for Connect Airlines, we are committed to providing the products and services needed to support their launch and subsequent business growth for years to come. It is also great to be part of the unfolding recovery of aviation in North America.”

David Marcontell, COO of Connect Airlines, said, “After an exhaustive review of alternatives, we chose FLYHT because it provided our flight crew and operations team the technology, data, and analytics to operate a highly efficient and reliable airline, right out of the box. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with FLYHT as we connect our guests to family, friends and colleagues with the highest standards of air transportation service and reliability.”

Connect Airlines, a new airline commencing operations in October 2021, will offer convenient service ideal for the day-tripping US business traveler direct into Toronto’s downtown Billy Bishop airport.

FLYHT Names Nina Jonsson as Chairman of Board of Directors

FLYHT Aerospace Solutions announced that Ms. Nina Jonsson, a 30-year global airline industry veteran, has agreed to serve as chairman of the Board of FLYHT. Ms. Jonsson brought the airline customer’s perspective to the forefront when she joined FLYHT’s board of directors in 2019, and in her new role, will continue to help guide the Company as the industry recovers from the pandemic and refocuses on the future.

Ms. Jonsson has held leadership roles at major operators in the U.S. and Europe, including most recently at Air France-KLM, United Airlines, US Airways and global industrial aviation services provider Bristow Group. She is currently active as a consultant to the global airline industry’s C-suite as Senior Advisor with Plane View Partners, and serves on the board of directors at Icelandair and the advisory boards of Waltzing Matilda Aviation and Genesis Park Acquisition Corporation.

“I am very proud of the superbly capable, innovative, nimble and customer-focused team at FLYHT,” said Nina, “As a pioneer and independent provider in the live-streaming aircraft data space for the past two decades, FLYHT is uniquely positioned to help airline customers achieve cost-savings, greater operational efficiencies, and enhanced safety with its Actionable Intelligence solutions. As chairman, I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Bill and the entire FLYHT team to promote the Company’s services across the airline industry and to help it grow into the major player it deserves to be.”

Barry Eccleston, outgoing Chairman of FLYHT, stated, “I have known Nina for years and recruited her to the board because of her knowledge and passion for the industry she has been part of for three decades. As I stated at FLYHT’s recent AGM, I am confident that the Company is being left in good hands to capitalize on the recovery of the industry we all love.”

Bill Tempany, Interim CEO of FLYHT, stated, “Getting to know Nina over the last two years, I am confident that her leadership style, industry knowledge and contacts, and passion for the business, will help drive FLYHT in ways we have never experienced before. I am looking forward to working with Nina to take our Company to new heights and provide a rewarding place for our employees and shareholders. We have a new vigor in the business, and under Nina’s stewardship, will take advantage of turning our strong products into industry transforming solutions.”



China Southern Airlines Will Continue Flight Planning with Lido Flight 4D for Five More Years

Lufthansa Systems and China Southern Airlines have signed an agreement extending the use of its Lido Flight 4D flight planning solution for an additional five years. China’s largest carrier will continue to use the reliable and accurate flight planning solution to achieve maximum operational efficiency, safety, and stability. Given the current global circumstances, airlines now more than ever appreciate the benefits of automated optimization solutions, which result in significant operational cost savings. 

By partnering closely with China Southern Airlines, Lufthansa Systems has optimized its processes to meet the needs of the Chinese aviation market with its unique dynamics, requirements and operational environment. “Based on our long-standing cooperation, our companies together have overcome the challenges currently facing China Southern, and we look forward to continuing to support one of the biggest airlines and market-leading dispatching environments,” said Tom Vandendael, head of Regional Management APAC at Lufthansa Systems. “Crucial to our combined success is the product team with its experts who have an in-depth understanding of the Chinese market and the ecosphere in which we deploy Lido Flight 4D’s superior system capabilities to provide a best-in-class flight planning solution. It is truly by airliners for airliners.”

More than 25% of aircraft worldwide operate with Lido Flight 4D, one of the most efficient and reliable flight planning solutions available. The solution supports dispatchers in evaluating the optimal route, while taking current flight-related data into account. It enables airlines to optimize their flying time, costs, and fuel consumption, resulting in fuel savings of up to 5%. With the implementation of Lido Flight 4D, China Southern Airlines is equipped to respond to the ever-changing demands and optimize its growing operational complexity.


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