|Aircraft Electronics Association Meets in
IS ON, AVWEB IS THERE
From the latest wonderboxes to the
tools that highly-trained specialists use to troubleshoot and fix them,
chances are that if it has a circuit board it's at the Aircraft
Electronics Association annual meeting in Orlando. The show opened
Thursday and AVweb's Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli is on the
convention floor. Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of registrants
are in Orlando for the show, which AEA says will include the
introduction of at least 30 new products and critical updates on
regulatory issues. Guest speakers include FAA administrator Randy
Babbitt and Jeff Skiles, the first officer of US Airways Flight 1549.
BABBITT ON NEXTGEN AT AEA
The FAA Administrator took the
occasion this morning at the Aircraft Electronics Association annual
meeting in Orlando to describe some of the advantages of NextGen, the
highly touted and much anticipated future of America's aviation system.
"5.6 percent of the nation's GDP is represented by the aviation
industry," Babbitt told the group, "and aviation impacts nearly
everyone." Babbitt cited key NextGen advantages: improved routing and
continuous descents that will save $2 billion worth of kerosene
annually, improved radar accuracy that will allow for safer yet more
fuel efficient spacing and separation, and electronic flight bags that
will allow pilots to know their position relative to potential collision
threats with pinpoint accuracy. "We can make runway incursions go away,"
Babbitt said. "You will have information available to you that you have
never seen before." He said Southwest Airlines has gotten a jump on
NextGen with a recent $175 million dollar investment to build its own
approaches at four airports that will save three minutes per arrival.
Fuel savings, according to Babbitt, mean Southwest anticipates recouping
its investment in two years. More...
NEW PRODUCT: BLUETOOTH-CAPABLE AUDIO PANEL
announced Thursday at the Aircraft Electronics Association convention in
Orlando a new, FAA-certified, Bluetooth-enabled audio panel, the
PMA8000BT, that it expects to ship by the end of Q2. The technology
allows pilots and passengers to wirelessly connect smart phones to the
audio panel, which can then distribute the phone's music, cellular
telephone access, or other audio to anyone using the intercom. It also
offers multiple distribution modes that control the
dominance/discrimination given to the Bluetooth output versus other
audio as received by up to six occupants. Bluetooth aside, the panel is
otherwise fully functional in the traditional sense with the addition of
a "monitor mode" that automatically mutes the standby frequency whenever
the primary frequency is active. More...
As any traditional Internet service
provider will attest, flexibility is key in the competitive marketplace,
and that movement has hit the relatively new field of airborne broadband
for business aircraft. At the Aircraft Electronics Association
convention in Orlando, Aircell announced that it will introduce a
pay-as-you-go program for its Internet system. Existing programs only
offer flat-rate monthly billing, which doesn't work for many customers.
"Customers with low or sporadic utilization patterns will find great
value in getting full access to the Aircell Network in a pay-as-you-go
format," said Aircell General Manager John Wade. "Adding a "per
megabyte" option to our existing unlimited plans is like adding an a la
carte menu to an all-you-can-eat buffet." More...
MOVING MAP REPLACEMENT
Moving map displays for the cabin have
come a long way since they were introduced and Flight Data Systems has
come up with a plug-and-play upgrade for some of the pioneering systems
still installed on business aircraft. The new gear fits pin for pin into
the racks holding Rockwell Airshow 100, 200 and 400 series units but
provides the most up-to-date satellite imagery at a cost FDS says may be
less than repairing the existing gear. More...