LONDON, October 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
This year's Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas played host to the continent's largest dedicated display of aircraft interior products and services, welcoming over 2,180 attendees (pre-audit figure) to Seattle from 1 - 3 October. The exhibition featured 125 exhibiting companies, representing 13 countries, across 37,000 sq ft of floor space. Following the event's success, Reed Exhibitions has confirmed that Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas will return to the Washington State Convention Center from 14-16 October 2014.
A busy exhibition floor hosted a range of first-time exhibitors and innovative technologies, whilst the Seating & IFE Integration Symposium proved a particular highlight. Over 265 delegates (pre-audited figure) attended the one-day Symposium, sponsored by Skypaxxx Interior Repairs, which focused on two key areas of cabin investment - seating and IFE/connectivity systems - exploring emerging trends and issues in four interactive sessions.
The international audience included senior representatives from all chief air framers alongside delegates from major airlines and cabin interior suppliers. Gary Weissel, Vice President co-Managing Officer Aviation & Aerospace Practice at ICF SH&E, provided an interesting opening address, which set the tone for an engaging symposium, focused upon 'Consumer trends: the impact of smart mobile technology'. He was followed by Jim Cangiano, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas, who discussed 'Evolving seat-centric technology'. The subsequent session addressed 'The evolution of the connected cabin' and was led by Kevin Callahan, Associate Technical Fellow at Systems Concept Center and inspired Alan Wan, Product Line Manager from Thales Avionics to discuss cost-savings in a presentation entitled, 'Saving time, saving money by working smarter'. The morning's final session took the form of a specialist panel which discussed the 'Business case for closer integration' and motivated a range of insightful questions from the audience.
Jamie Lutkus, Certification Manager at Armstrong Aerospace, addressed the audience in the afternoon's inaugural session entitled, 'Meeting the certification challenges' and specifically focused upon regulatory challenges facing electromagnetic interference, static testing, seat track loading, power harmonics, Head Injury Criteria (HIC) and flammability for seat and IFE integration.
A recurring theme which emerged from this session, and influenced the subsequent round-table discussion entitled 'Working through the integration issues' was that improved collaboration between respective seat and IFE OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) was essential to the successful completion of certification projects. In Mr Lutkus' opinion, the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) new policy of increased delegation implies that improved collaboration will progressively dominate future processes as the industry is increasingly entrusted to develop a reliable process.
The round-table discussion that followed was moderated by Gary Weissel and in addition to Jamie Lutkus, other panellists included: Zuzana Hrnkova, Head of Aircraft Interiors Marketing, Airbus; Sage Secilmis, Integration Manager for Electrical Engineering, Northwest Aerospace Technologies; and Alan Wan, Product Line Manager, Thales Avionics Inc.
The final session, combining the perspective of the airline, seating manufacturer and IFE manufacturer under the heading of 'Delivering innovation', featured a case study by Jason Johnson, Director, Technical Services and Engineering at Omni Air International entitled 'New models for delivering seat-integrated IFE and collaborative working practices - Omni Air International B777 IFE Integration case study'. This airline perspective and experience provided an overview of factors including the pitfalls for IFE selection, project managing IFE integration and establishing clear lines of responsibility across a multiple vendor project. Mr Johnson was joined on the podium by Rick Lockhart, President at Skypaxxx Interior Repairs who provided the seating manufacturer's perspective and Jared Siqueland, Programme Manager at Zodiac In-Flight Innovation who offered a view from the IFE manufacturer.
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