Techbytes Jan12

Aircraft Parts Marketplace

The aviation spare parts search and deal making platform introduces a new mobile phone application allowing an even faster access to its services. From now on the company’s clients will be able to connect to directly from smartphones and browse through an extensive database of aviation spare parts as well as manage, send, receive, and answer RFQ’s;

Boarding Gate Readers

Access IS, a data input technology company, displayed new near field communication (NFC) readers at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center recently. Transport agencies in Europe, the U.S., and Japan have recently trialled the use of NFC in mobiles phones. It's a standards-based, short-range wirless system for implementing instantaneous, secure, contactless communications between two enabled devices from a range of up to 4cm. Access demonstrated a new device that reads contactless smart cards, NFC, and 2D bar codes on travel documents and boarding passes. The integrated, multifunction reader saves desk space, reduces maintenance requirements, and speeds-up passenger transit through checkpoints;

End-To-End Bag Drop

ICM Airport Technics and TAGSYS have signed a cooperative agreement to produce and supply end-to-end bag drop systems for the aviation industry. The end-to-end bag drop systems include a RFID UHF Gen 2 Permanent Bag Tag (PBT) and self-service systems through equipment enabling fast bag dropping for international flights. The PBT proposed by TAGSYS is optimized to be processed by ICM Self-Service Bag Drop. In order to be used internationally at airports that do not already have an RFID infrastructure, the tag offers a unique feature on the market: a small e-ink-based display providing visual data such as flight number, owner name and possibly a bar code;

Flight Billing

Satcom1 recently announced the launch of Flight Billing, the first of its individual billing solutions for charters, fractionals, airlines, and business jet operators. The Flight Billing Solution was developed to make passenger communications billing easier and more efficient for providers, and poses less risk of leaving providers with large communications charges; Flight Billing is currently available for SwiftBroadband. Satcom1’s Flight Billing Solution takes the inconvenience out of offering satellite services on aircraft as it automatically charges usage of each flight to a specific customer, according to the company;

Gate-Side Survey

According to a gate-side survey conducted by FlightView, 78 percent of travelers are often frustrated by the lack of timely, accurate information – particularly when flights are delayed. FlightView’s survey was conducted at four major U.S. airports – Boston Logan International, Denver International, San Diego International, and Myrtle Beach International. Of the travelers surveyed, 70 percent expect updates on flight changes in real-time. When flights are delayed, 45 percent of travelers surveyed said their biggest frustration was not knowing where their airplane was or when it would arrive. Another 34 percent said their biggest frustration was not receiving fast enough or accurate updates on new departure times;

HMS Mobile App

The B4YOUBOARD mobile app is now available to users of Android phones, including the Samsung Charge, HTC Evo 3D, and the Motorola Droid Bionic. Now, travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s Lindbergh Terminalcan can use the B4YOUBOARD app on their Android or iPhone to order food and have it delivered directly at the gate while they wait for their flight. HMSHost-run restaurants include French Meadow Bakery & Café, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, and Chili’s Too! Menus from the three restaurants include breakfast, lunch, and dinner options; mobile ordering is available from 7am through 8pm, seven days per week;

Online Flight-Tracking

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) announced that it added the WebTrak Flight-Tracking and Noise Information system to the Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (JAXEX) page of the JAA website. WebTrak is a system that allows individuals to watch the movement of flights to, from, and overflying all four airports in the Jacksonville Aviation Authority's system. Displayed information includes the aircraft's beacon code, altitude, and the point of closest approach to a designated address. In addition, if the aircraft filed a flight plan, aircraft type, registration number, originating, and destination airports are displayed;

Personnel Screening

L-3 Communications announces that U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has purchased 300 ProVision ATD personnel screening systems for use at aviation checkpoints. The contract value of the order is $44.8 million and production of these units is underway. TSA is also in the process of upgrading 250 existing ProVision units deployed at 40 U.S. airports with the new image-free ATD software under a separate contract with L-3. The millimeter wave-based ProVision ATD automatically detects potential threats and highlights their location on a generic mannequin that appears on a monitor attached to the ProVision ATD;

Self-Service Revolution

The number of smartphones carried by airline passengers has doubled over the last year making them an important tool for travelers wishing to check-in remotely, access flight information on the go, or use a range of flight-related applications, according to the 2011 SITA Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey. Possession of a smartphone has jumped from 28 percent in last year’s survey to 54 percent this year; 74 percent of first/business class respondents and frequent flyers were carrying one. At the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta, 75 percent of survey respondents were carry a smartphone. Among respondents carrying a mobile device, 73 pecent would like to use mobile boarding passes while 17 percent had already used them at least once;