BGF Invests in High-Flying Med-Tech Firm Aiber

BGF has completed a £1.6m/$1.95m investment in Aiber, a Scottish med-tech firm, headquartered in Inverness. This completes a £2m/$2.43m fundraising round, with existing investors Scottish Enterprise and Equity Gap also participating. 

Aiber, the trading name of MIME Technologies, is a proprietary first aid software product with onboard kit, designed to support medical emergencies in environments remote from professional medical care. 

The technology was developed with input from two of the world’s leading airlines and is suitable for use on commercial airlines, business jets and onboard vessels. Providing an end-to-end connection with medical services, it is specifically designed for use by non-medical professionals like cabin crew, allowing for more informed decisions about a wide range of medical events from burns and allergic reactions to potential heart complaints.

The product will initially be rolled out in the aviation and maritime sectors, where several high-profile direct sales and channel partner trials are underway in Europe and the US. With one diversion costing an airline anything from £25,000/$30,000 to £500,000/$610,000, improving medical outcomes in the sky alone has positive implications for both passenger well-being, safety and overall efficiency. 

This new funding will help the award-winning company, which was originally spun out from the University of Aberdeen, and has offices in Inverness and Edinburgh, further roll out its product to customers in the aviation and maritime sectors. 

Aiber’s huge potential and ability to align and support existing first aid training was further highlighted when the company participated in the prestigious ATI Boeing Accelerator Programme in 2021.

As well as providing direct investment, BGF’s Talent Network, the UK’s largest pool of non-executive directors, has introduced Tony Davis to the company. An aviation sector expert and former CEO of bmibaby and Tiger Airways, Davis will join as a non-executive director. 

“As we continue to scale Aiber and its affordable one-touch technology, this investment will allow us to accelerate the roll out of our potentially life-saving solution to more customers in our target sectors,” Anne Roberts, co-founder and chief executive of Aiber, said. “Whether in the air or at sea, a medical event in these situations can be incredibly stressful and isolating for those tasked with responding, and we are confident Aiber can reduce the burden and improve passenger health outcomes.” 

Keith Barclay, investor at BGF, commented: “We are pleased to complete this investment at an exciting moment of growth for Aiber. The company’s pioneering med-tech software product has a significant addressable market, and we look forward to supporting their push into new areas. It has also been hugely positive to introduce Tony Davis to the company as part of our investment process to support with the growth journey.”

Biral Welcomes Two New Additions

Meteorological experts, Biral, has expanded its engineering and marketing teams with the appointment of Jamie Sarkozi as its new internal sales engineer and Harri Lewis-Davies as its new marketing and communications officer.

Sarkozi has a background in technical sales engineering and previously worked at Europe’s largest manufacturer of pressure and safety relief valves. During this time, Sarkozi worked with multiple industries (Oil & Gas, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace, Energy etc.), as well as being involved in project management. Prior to starting at Biral, he was senior technical sales engineer for Leser UK, a position he held for six years.

At Biral, Sarkozi will be responsible for key account/business management, creating new leads and customer consultation, dealing with technical/engineering queries and working closely with business partners to promote a wide range of sensors to both existing and new customers.

Before joining Biral, Lewis-Davies worked for LIBERTY Steel Group, an international business for the production of liquid steel made from raw and recycled materials through to high value precision engineered steels and associated services. In this role, he was responsible for the creation and production of various internal sales, forecasting and customer reports.

Harri Lewis-Davies

Lewis-Davies’ main responsibilities at Biral include generating and designing marketing materials, managing the company website and social media channels, while being responsible for all aspects of Biral’s attendance overseas and at events alongside general marketing activities. She also coordinates Biral’s PR and CRM system.

“We are delighted to welcome Jamie and Harri to Biral,” commented Nathan Neal, sales and marketing director at Biral, “They are both experienced in their fields and great additions to the business. Their contributions will be valuable in Biral’s development and success and it’ll be exciting to have them on the journey with us.” 

Biral is also proud to have been partnered with Andrea Pizzuti in pursuing his PhD at the University of Bath, which was completed in January.

Pizzuti’s work within the H2020 SAINT (Science and Innovation with Thunderstorms) project aimed at further improving the lightning waveform recognition ability of the Biral BTD-300 thunderstorm detector. Pizzuti developed a novel machine-learning based classification algorithm to do this and explored new applications of the technology in atmospheric electricity research.

Pizzuti also contributed to research in the occurrence of transient luminous events (TLE) and the most powerful lightning, commonly referred to as super bolts, in areas surrounding the British Isles.

CT Expands its 4.0 Solutions Portfolio with Acquisition of Infodream

CT announces the total acquisition of Infodream, a software development company, a milestone in the group’s expansion strategy. With this operation, CT adds three new delegations to its network of more than 25 offices: Aix-les-Bains (France), Bristol (United Kingdom) and Seattle (United States) and consolidates its software area, incorporating a team of engineers specialized in quality control and manufacturing processes. 

With more than 30 years of experience operating in Europe and the United States, Infodream offers Qual@xy Suite, a unique MES software solution specially designed for Industry 4.0, which has already been implemented by global groups, leaders in their sectors. Qual@xy Suite offers an accessible, cost-effective and scalable path towards developing a Smart Factory, always with the goal of improving quality and productivity. Currently, the application has more than 300 customers in sectors such as aerospace, electronics, automotive, defense and luxury, among others, with more than 20 thousand users. 

These capabilities reinforce CT’s expertise in the development of complex software systems using agile methodologies, and diversifies its portfolio of software applications in Integrated Logistics Support, Safety and computational fluid dynamics. 

Jesús Prieto, president and CEO of CT Group, has underlined the strategic importance of this acquisition. “Infodream reinforces our strategy of developing proprietary technologies, an objective that, together with our business model based on sustainable growth and internationalization, allows us to provide added value in the digital transformation processes of our customers. We are very proud to welcome our new colleagues and excited about the experience, capabilities and customers that this team brings to us.” 

For her part, Corinne Clesse, former president and CEO of Infodream, points out that “this operation is a great event which opens very new and exciting perspectives to Infodream: sustainable growth, international deployment, synergies with CT core business to achieve a worldwide Industry 4.0 Customer successfully.”

FLYHT and Swoop Partner to Reduce Emissions

FLYHT and Swoop Partner to Reduce Emissions

FLYHT Aerospace Solutions announced that the company is partnering with Swoop Airlines to reduce emissions by eliminating non-essential auxiliary power unit (APU) usage. The program is partially funded through a grant of $150,000 from the Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program.

The FLYHT real-time APU monitoring and notification program allows an airline to reduce its APU run times by providing timely, targeted and actionable notifications, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and providing cost savings for the airline. This initiative is aligned with FLYHT’s goal of providing environmentally beneficial solutions that enhance the profit potential for an airline and that create a greener, safer world. The APU consumes approximately 250 lbs of fuel per hour under normal operation.

This APU solution leverages FLYHT’s AFIRS family, including the latest platform, AFIRS Edge, an on-wing monitoring and ground infrastructure. The AFIRS family allows for real time monitoring of aircraft data and can be powered by the aircraft’s engines, an external ground power source, or the aircraft APU. The AFIRS Edge has been developed with repayable funding support from Prairies Economic Development Canada through its Western Innovation Initiative.

“FLYHT is always looking for ways to support our customers in their ongoing initiatives to reduce their environmental impact, and we are very happy to have the support of Alberta Innovates to do so,” Bill Tempany, CEO, said. “Our relationship with Swoop gives a real Alberta flavor to a global initiative. The results of this work can be rolled out around the world to our more than 80 airline customers.”

Charles Duncan, president of Swoop, commented, “The FLYHT APU solution aligns with our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by operating our fleet and ground infrastructure as efficiently and safely as possible. We are proud to be working with FLYHT to move the industry forward in the effort to reduce emissions.”

VR Sims Gaining Traction in Pilot Training: A Conversation with CAE’s Philippe Perey

VR Sims Gaining Traction in Pilot Training: A Conversation with CAE’s Philippe Perey

Iilot training has come a long way from the wooden Link Trainers of World War II vintage. For many years, full-flight simulators (FFS) such as those made by CAE — with their realistic interactive cockpits, wraparound high-fidelity projection screens, and 6-axis range of motion — have defined the state of the art in immersive flight training, an experience that is as close as possible to the real thing.

The advent of virtual reality (VR) goggles is taking education to a new and more affordable level. Today, a new student can put on a pair of VR goggles, sit down and take hold of realistic, yet simplified aircraft controls, and begin their journey to the skies. This provides a more affordable path to earning wings, because VR-based education can reduce the time in class and makes training in the aircraft more effective.

VR-based training can also help existing pilots maintain or upgrade their skills wherever they may be, rather than having to pack their bags and head to flight school. This saves time and money and allows these pilots to remain available for their regular duties.

Philippe Perey
Philippe Perey

Philippe Perey is head of technology, defense and security with CAE Inc. He recently spoke with Aerospace Tech Review magazine about the progress of VR in pilot training.

ATR: Is it true that VR is now becoming an integrated element of modern pilot training at CAE?

Perey: Yes. Although we have been working with VR in our labs going back to 2014, this technology is just now emerging into real training opportunities and programs for CAE and their customers.

The proof is the CAE Trax Academy, which uses VR as a central part of its training approach. Launched by CAE at I/ITSEC 2019, the CAE Trax Academy is the culmination of extensive market assessment and end customer interviews. Students were keen to embrace new training methodologies in a complete training ecosystem centered around the individual learner.

The CAE Trax Academy allows each student to progress through the segments of Learn, Practice and Perform.

During the “Learn” phase, the student gains knowledge through a mobile app that provides computer-based training. When they are ready, the student can visualize the maneuver using embedded immersive courseware seen through a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) VR headset. The courseware includes instructional voice and text callouts to guide the student. The courseware is also interactive, so the student may need to select specific buttons or switches to continue through the training sequence.

CAE has been contracted by the U. S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), as part of the USAF Pilot Training Transformation, to provide a knowledge management component. CAE has delivered Augmented Reality (AR) training suites for rear-crew training, as well. CAE images.
CAE has been contracted by the U. S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), as part of the USAF Pilot Training Transformation, to provide a knowledge management component. CAE has delivered Augmented Reality (AR) training suites for rear-crew training, as well. CAE images.

During the “Practice” segment, the student moves to the CAE Sprint Virtual Reality training device. Wearing their VR goggles and using simulated physical aircraft controls and seating, they can practice a specific maneuver with the assistance of an AI virtual coach. Progress on skills acquisition is assessed and tracked. In this segment, a very high-end VR headset with eye-limiting acuity in the central area and high refresh rate is used. The student also experiences force-feedback cueing to the stick and rudders, seat vibration and audio/sound cueing.

All of the aircraft controls are functional in the CAE Sprint VR trainer, and the student can select modes and controls via CAE’s cockpit interaction software.

Finally, during the “Perform” segment, the student will typically join the instructor in a traditional high-end flight training device or full-flight simulator to show what they’ve learned and be evaluated. All the student’s performance data is available to the instructor prior to the session to better guide and prioritize the areas for review and instructor assessment.

ATR: CAE is also providing AI-based training to the U. S. Department of Defense.

Perey: That is correct. CAE has been contracted by the U. S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), as part of the USAF Pilot Training Transformation (PTT) 2.5., to deliver a knowledge management component. This component uses an AI engine to analyze students’ progress relative to the cohort and recommends detailed micro-learning events the student needs to address specific performance issues.

CAE also provides more traditional, immersive full-flight simulators like these shown here at the CAE London Gatwick training center that opened in 2019. CAE image.
CAE also provides more traditional, immersive full-flight simulators like these shown here at the CAE London Gatwick training center that opened in 2019. CAE image.

The objective of CAE’s role in this project is to provide better insight into the progression of student pilots, and to identify students who are underperforming and provide immediate remediation recommendations based on the nature of performance metrics such as knowledge, skill, or ability.

This adaptive learning approach has the potential to personalize the training for each student based on their profile, experience, and proficiency. This reduces costs, accelerates training, and leads to better student engagement.

CAE has also delivered sophisticated Augmented Reality (AR) training suites for rear-crew training and is currently working on the second-generation system to be delivered to customers in Europe and the Middle East in the coming year. This solution provides multi-crew operation, and tasks such as hoisting, gunnery and support for confined area landings.

ATR: How have these advances translated to the personal pilot end of the market? Can training now be done with VR goggles?

Perey: We view the VR-based training as a complement to the overall training program and other training aids (e.g., full-flight simulators). Currently, most aviation authorities do not yet recognize VR-based training. This is changing, and we expect regulatory guidance in the coming year for how and where VR-based training can be used as part of a complete pilot training curriculum.

ATR: Just how far has simulator-based flight training advanced, in terms of its ability to properly train pilots?

Perey: Modern full-flight simulators are now so representative and immersive that 100% of civil aircraft conversion training can be performed in the simulator. The first time a new pilot flies a specific transport aircraft, it is with a full load of passengers. This may seem risky to some readers, but this approach has been in use for many decades and the safety record of airlines using this approach is outstanding.

However, in the early phases of a student pilot’s career, real aircraft flight is essential to feel — and be comfortable with — the subtle flight cues and the sense of flight. New pilots must be able to deal emotionally with the potential risks of flying and ensure they can tolerate sustained turbulence and stressful situations while maintaining focus and adherence to standard operating procedures. We do not expect this to change significantly, regardless of current or future advances in simulator technology. On the military side, pilots will also spend many hours flying their aircraft to ensure they are fully mission-ready.

ATR: Are these lower-cost VR simulators making it easier to train new pilots, and making flight school more affordable?

Perey: Yes. We fully expect that once these new VR-based training devices (and the supporting training performance analytics) are approved by the regulatory authorities that this will help reduce pilot training costs, increase throughput, and shorten the overall training program.

We anticipate this to be an iterative approach where such VR-based training devices are initially used as a complement to traditional ground-based devices, and that over time selective training tasks are “downloaded” from the aircraft and/or higher-end simulators.

Downloading is not new: CAE has many “lower end” training devices such as Desktop Trainers, Cockpit Procedure Trainers, Integrated Procedure Trainers and Part-Task Trainers. Each of these allows specific training to be performed. The advent of VR trainers adds to that suite of possibilities.

ATR: Finally, what are the limits of these advanced systems of pilot training? What still has to be done in an actual aircraft?

Perey: My earlier answer addressed the need for live flight experience as it relates to training new pilots. For conversion training — going from one type of aircraft model to another — this can currently be performed 100% in high-fidelity (Level-D) full-flight simulators.

We don’t see the limits in this educational approach as being tied to the fidelity of simulators, but rather the necessity to validate that the student pilot can operate safely in the real aircraft. Given the need for regulatory authorities to maintain the highest safety standards — for both the student and the general population — we do not expect this to change significantly in the years ahead as it relates to training brand new pilots.

VRM Switzerland Committed to VR Training

VR-based flight training is all that VRM Switzerland does. And they do it well: The company has successfully qualified its first VR flight simulator training device as a Robinson R22 FNPT II VR helicopter trainer under EASA regulations.

Ground-level maneuvers that require a 3D display and high-resolution imagery, such as hovering and slope operations, can be performed just like in the real helicopter, VRM Switzerland says. VRM image.
Ground-level maneuvers that require a 3D display and high-resolution imagery, such as hovering and slope operations, can be performed just like in the real helicopter, VRM Switzerland says. VRM image.

VRM Switzerland has since developed an Airbus H125 VR helicopter trainer. Both models are now being used at the Heli Austria Flight Academy, while another H125 VR Trainer has been purchased by Colorado Highland Helicopters, the company’s first U. S. customer. Both trainers combine VR head-mounted displays with a 6DoF full motion chair and helicopter control system that the student interacts with, connected to a computer and three monitors at an adjacent instructor’s table. Thanks to this combination, students can feel their simulated helicopter’s motion while physically operating the controls that they see in VR, resulting in a truly immersive training simulation experience

VRM’s visual system is easy to use and has photorealistic scenery, responsive reaction, a high-resolution virtual cockpit and an animated avatar. VRM image.
VRM’s visual system is easy to use and has photorealistic scenery, responsive reaction, a high-resolution virtual cockpit and an animated avatar. VRM image.

“Our team’s passion at VRM Switzerland is to build the most realistic and affordable flight simulation training device in the helicopter market today,” said company founder and CEO Fabi Riesen. “Our goal is to provide a true flight experience in virtual reality for demanding pilots.”

According to Riesen, the fact that VRM Switzerland’s simulators are VR-based does not make them less capable than traditional FFS trainers. “In fact, with our VR approach to training, the pilot can see a full 360-degree view of their surroundings by moving their head,” he said. “In a traditional FFS, the visuals are shown on projection screens, so there isn’t the same level of 360-degree situational awareness.”

In this VR training world, the student doesn’t see their own body in the aircraft. Instead, they see an avatar that interacts with the cockpit environment. This avatar is accurately synchronized to the student’s actual body positions and movements, thanks to a “Pose Tracking System” that monitors their body in real time.

VRM Switzerland says it has conducted countless tests with professional helicopter pilots to reach its most realistic simulation level ever. VRM image.
VRM Switzerland says it has conducted countless tests with professional helicopter pilots to reach its most realistic simulation level ever. VRM image.

“The Pose Tracking System creates a virtual skeleton that it uses to create and animate the avatar,” said Riesen. “As a result, the avatar’s motions are an accurate reflection of what the student is doing in real-time.”

Given VRM Switzerland’s success in gaining EASA approval for its R22 trainer, achieving the same for its H125 model is only a matter of time. Going forward, the company can keep developing other type-specific VR trainers as the market demands them, because the overall VR training approach would be common to them all.

TruWeather Solutions Forges Partnership with Iris Automation for UAS Weather-enhanced Ground-based Surveillance

Micro weather data and analytics firm Weather Solutions has joined forces with safety avionics pioneer Iris Automation to integrate TruWeather’s micro weather services and cost-effective weather sensors into Iris Automation’s Casia G ground-based surveillance system (GBSS). 

This meshed network will provide real-time integrated communications, collision avoidance and micro-weather data to operators.

Micro weather or low-altitude local atmospheric conditions can often substantially differ from that in higher altitudes, injecting uncertainty into the safety equation. This can significantly impact uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) operations and revenue.

According to an FAA-funded MIT Lincoln Lab study, currently only 3% of the U.S. has accurate surface weather and cloud ceiling report measurements. 

“This is what we refer to as a data desert,” said TruWeather CEO, Don Berchoff. “Up to 40% of crewed aviation flights that are either canceled or delayed due to weather could have flown. Even higher scrub rates will occur for UAS’ flying beyond-visual-line-of-sight, with no pilot on board to spot problems, unless the surface and low altitude weather measurement gap can be closed. The industry requires even more low altitude weather measurements to increase data fidelity and flights per airframe. Without this, uncertain micro weather and wind conditions will result in conservative business decisions. Failure to resolve this problem will result in fewer flights, disgruntled customers and significant revenue losses.”

That’s where additional weather sensors come into play. TruWeather recently turned its focus to sensor placement and density optimization to capture microscale features with rapid update, at the lowest cost possible. Incorporating weather sensors into Iris Automation’s non-radar based passive ground based system, Casia G, simply made sense for both companies.

Casia G is a ground-based detect and avoid solution, to allow operators to better detect approaching aircraft and avoid collisions. It leverages the same artificial intelligence and computer vision technology used in the company’s Casia® series of onboard integrated systems, including its 360 degree / 6-camera system, Casia X. The Casia product line provides unparalleled situational awareness for intelligent decision-making, including alerts and manual or autonomous collision avoidance.

All Casia onboard systems can detect a small general aviation aircraft at an average distance of 1.2 km with a 93.2% detection rate. Comparatively, Casia’s milliseconds reaction time exceeds that of human pilots, who take about 12.5 seconds on average to avoid collision threats.

Because Casia G is sensor agnostic, it can be easily integrated with weather sensors to add real time weather data to nodes (the UA, Casia G, the command center), in addition to its already seamless air and ground-based communications. 

“Micro weather information is critical to commercial drone operations, avoiding aborted flights and unnecessary risks and overhead in order to meet the FAA 107 weather minimums. combined with Casia G, the TruWeather solution provides up to the minute, highly localized climate information to ensure safe drone operations in one easy setup,” said Lori DeMatteis, VP of sales, marketing and customer success at Iris Automation. “This meets the FAA’s stringent requirements and offers the ability to bring together all the required data in one dashboard. This partnership will drive the expansion of BVLOS safety best practices, offering clients immediate value to ensure operational safety, and rapidly changing climate information for emergency preparedness activities, ensuring both public and personnel safety.”  

The vast deployments expected around the world with this solution will also feed continual learning and reporting improvements into TruWeather’s micro-weather products and services.

Revima Offers Digital APU Fuel Saving Solution

In times of unprecedented oil price volatility along with the urgency to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint, FlightWatching by Revima is offering to airlines a digital solution to cut fuel costs and carbon emissions on ground. Its patented digital platform connected in real time to the aircraft is monitoring APU use, scrutinizing the cheapest & lowest carbon intensive power source on ground and providing live recommendations.

“We are glad & enthusiastic to take our part in carbon emission reduction solutions in aviation together with offering substantial savings opportunities for airlines,” Olivier Legrand, president & CEO of Revima Group said.

Following customer experiences in Asia and Europe, Revima says the APU fuel savings digital platform has allowed to cut APU Total Operating Cost (TOC) (MRO 30% / Fuel 70%) by 10% to 50% depending on the aircraft type and airline operations. It also simplifies the Corsia reporting by providing an accurate count of carbon emissions based on aircraft verifiable data.

No aircraft modification is required and deploying the solution takes only a couple of weeks. 

The various levers to reduce use of carbon intensive sources of power on ground are all integrated into “FlightWatching by Revima” unique and patented digital platform. 

·       APU runs are monitored in real time and live alerts are sent as soon as overuse is detected (fuel wasted by long run or by dual GPU and APU runs). 

·       Recommendations on APU optimum start times can also be sent to optimize cabin cooling depending on outside air temperature and time of departure.

·       Whenever a cheaper and lower carbon intensive power source is available at the airport (FEGP, PCA, GPU, ACU), airlines can be notified in real-time and they can take actions.

Legrand added: “in these particular challenging times for airlines, Revima is further extending its scope of services and bringing additional value to its customers thanks to disruptive solutions.”

FlightLogger Completes Growth Equity Investment With Arcadea Group to Accelerate Expansion

Flight Training Management software provider FlightLogger announced the close of its growth equity recapitalization with Arcadea Group, the only permanent-capital growth equity investor in software companies globally.

The transaction will see FlightLogger’s Founder, Kenneth Jeppesen, maintain a material equity stake and continue in his role as CEO, leading the business through accelerated growth, innovation, and geographic expansion.

“Flight schools – from ab initio, to type rating, and everything in between – are increasingly demanding a modern, cloud-native solution to help administer their business, a clear departure from the legacy vendors that exist in this market,” said Kenneth Jeppesen, CEO. “The demand for our products and services has never been stronger. Having been pursued by many investors and acquirors, Arcadea was the obvious choice given their expertise in investing and operating businesses like mine, and given their long-term approach to growth that no other firm seems to offer in the market.”

Paul Yancich, managing director & co-founder of Arcadea Group, said, “We engaged with every vendor in this market in our search for the right partner. FlightLogger is the clear leader in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and, increasingly, North America. The feedback from both potential and current customers was resoundingly positive.” He went on to say, “It’s notable that FlightLogger’s founder and core team have direct aviation experience– customers get not just the best products on the market, but a team that lives and breathes their industry. We see this as being highly correlated with great products in vertical markets.”

“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with FlightLogger’s founder in this transaction,” said Daniel Eisen, managing director & co-founder of Arcadea Group. He added, “The business is a perfect fit for Arcadea as a bootstrapped, highly efficient software business that wasn’t interested in selling out to the volume aggregators, PE’s, or the strategics of the world. We look forward to partnering with and supporting Kenneth and the team in decades to come.”

FlightLogger CEO Jeppesen said being able to maintain a long-term approach was a crucial factor in partnering with Arcadea, “While other private-equity-owned players in the North American market are optimizing for a quick asset flip to yet another financial owner in the very short-term, FlightLogger customers can rest assured that the company will pursue a long-term, healthy vision that puts the customers – not financial buyers – first.”

FlightLogger will continue to be based in Denmark but will see global expansion of the team to support significant demand from a variety of international markets.

FAA Commissions New Air Traffic Control Tower at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today dedicated the newly commissioned and environmentally sustainable air traffic control tower at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“Aviation is an invaluable part of our American life and our national economy. The new, taller control tower will enable the airport to continue to expand its flight operations to grow alongside the vibrant Charlotte economy,” said FAA Deputy Administrator A. Bradley Mims.

The 370-foot-tall air traffic control tower has an 850-square-foot tower cab that provides air traffic controllers a bird’s-eye view of the airfield. At the base, a 42,000-square-foot building houses an expanded terminal radar approach control (TRACON) that handles flights departing and arriving into the Charlotte airspace. Both are designed to accommodate current and future operations.

“The commissioning of the new air traffic control tower by the Federal Aviation Administration is a testament to the importance of Charlotte in the National Airspace System,” said CLT Chief Executive Officer Haley Gentry. “The tower is equipped with the latest state-of-the art NextGen technology to keep up with the current and future demand of our growing airfield. This modern infrastructure is another display of the strong partnership we have at CLT and we are grateful to the FAA for this investment to make air traffic more efficient.”

The new Charlotte tower is the second-tallest tower in the nation after the 398-foot-tall tower at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The existing tower was commissioned in 1979. The facility’s operational growth, new air traffic control technology and the airport’s addition of new runways and taxiways made the height and size of the old tower obsolete.

A total of 179 FAA employees work at the Charlotte tower and TRACON – 136 in air traffic services and 43 in technical operations. Technical Operations employees install and maintain air traffic control equipment. The tower became operational in late February 2022. The estimated final cost of the project is approximately $94 million. 

GE Achieves 400 Million Flight Hours and 37 Years of Navigation Database On-Time-Delivery

GE Aviation recently achieved 400 million flight hours and 37 years of on time delivery of their navigation database to airlines globally.

GE’s navigation database (NDB) provides worldwide coverage and access to more than 18,000 airports. Each NDB is customized for the customer and allows the ability to include their own tailored terminal procedures and company routes from a GE navigation database and test them against FMS flight planning and predictions software. GE’s experts provide 24 hour per day, seven days a week customer service.

“We are grateful to have the dedicated team, technology and experience to enable us to produce and make 150,000 navigation database deliveries to our airline customers,” said Jeremy Barbour, general manager, Connected Aircraft for GE Aviation. “This support of our flight management system portfolio provides a range of compatibility and functionality for an airline’s navigation data requirements.”

GE Aviation offers a variety of tools, data products and services in support of its flight management systems, and with a wide range of compatibility and functionality designed to meet the many navigational data needs of the airline community. One such tool is GE’s NDB Explorer which enables an interactive view into the content of the navigation data through browse, search and compare functionality, and even allows customers to view NDB content graphically.

GE has long-standing partnerships with leading global data-service providers. These partnerships and supporting processes have been in operation for decades and ensure that deliveries are on time and compliant with relevant international quality standards. GE also works closely with the data-service provider to explore opportunities to enhance data-service offerings and deliver increased value to the airlines.

GE’s flight management system (FMS) assists military and airline flight crew in managing and optimizing a flight from takeoff to landing. Included in GE’s FMS advancements are the TrueCourse FMS and Connected FMS providing connectivity and new software architecture allowing FMS functions to be developed as modular components for ease of update.

GE continues to make advancements in its flight management technology to help customers and operators stay ahead of the technology and below the cost curve. With GE’s Connected FMS, operators will be able to achieve even greater gains for their fleet through applications that take advantage of on-board high bandwidth connectivity and electronic data exchange.

GE Aviation’s flight management software provides increased situational awareness and operation efficiencies on more than 14,000 aircraft including Airbus A320/330/340/A330 MRTT, Boeing 737 (all variants), P-8, E-6B, USAF E-4, C-130J, LM-100J and KC-46. GE certified their first flight management system in 1984.

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