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IMS EMEA Newsletter Issue 1 - December 2009

ARINC - fighting fit at 80

Vol1 2As the end of its 80th year approaches, ARINC is in good health and more than ready to handle the challenges still posed by the global economic downturn.

“The past six months have been very difficult for aviation and we continue to face a fair number of challenges,” says Dave Poltorak, managing director of the company's UK-based Europe, Middle East and Africa operation. “But we have controlled our costs, found new business and maintained our level of service to customers, who depend on us more than ever in times like these.”

In spite of the pressures, the company is planning for a postrecession world and resurgent demand for new products and services. “Our total R&D and infrastructure spending is on a par with what we did in the best of times,” says Poltorak. “We continue to build up the infrastructure for our established VHF, HF and satellite datalink services, for instance. We're expanding our ARINC Direct portfolio of value-added products for business aviation. And we go on adding to our messaging, airport and security offerings.”

ARINC EMEA's focus on advanced airport systems includes the new CUPPS (Common Use Passenger Processing Systems) international standard, and its own remote passenger processing offerings.

CUPPS is an upgrade of the existing Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) standard for agent-facing check-in and bag-drop provision at airports, and since mid-November, ARINC has had its CUPPS platform certified by the independent testing authority. Now implemented, it could also come to embrace the common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks now being implemented in growing numbers. “The International Air Transport Association say that CUPPS ratification is likely to take another year,” says Poltorak. “Meantime, we have a fully compliant product ready to go.”

ARINC already has early implementations of remote check-in and bag-drop provision in service at Las Vegas hotels and at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It is now working to introduce a pair of standardised products supported by Multi-Channel middleware installed at its Tulsa, Oklahoma, data centre to mediate between the remote locations and the airlines' own systems. Express Drop is about to be piloted at Tokyo Narita in preparation for commercial availability from the beginning of next year. Express Check is due for introduction by the end of the first quarter.

Recent ARINC Direct initiatives include web-based Advance Passenger Information System (e-APIS) services for US business jet operators. The US authorities now require business operators to file pre–departure advance passenger information in the same way as the airlines.

ARINC Direct recently launched a web-based service that allows operators to file passenger details for just $25 per flight. It also supports an “approved travellers” scheme for frequent business-jet fliers, who are expedited through customs and immigration on arrival.

Monitoring and reporting of emissions under the European ETS is due to start at the beginning of next year, with the scheme coming into full force in 2012. “With our flight planning and other services we're well placed to provide the information that the operators will need to be compliant,” says Poltorak. “We're already working with customers on things like the calculation of exact great-circle distances, which are needed to calculate the emissions produce by each flight.”

As well as developing new products to meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace, ARINC EMEA has just introduced a new way of delivering its airport products. Earlier in October the division finalised its first channel partnership agreement, with Italian aviation electronics specialist A-ICE (Aviation-Information & Communications Engineering).

The programme is designed to bring highly efficient check-in systems and other modern automation to mid-size and smaller airports and this agreement has already resulted in two contracts, covering vMUSE common-use check-in workstations for the airports at Verona and Brescia in northern Italy.

By the time the candles are lit on its 81st birthday cake ARINC could have still more service and product innovations in the hands of its customers. These include Oi, the Inmarsat satellite-based onboard internet offering for air transport and business aviation; mobile APIS for transit passengers; and a European ETS compliance system for the airlines.

 

 

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Next:

Vol1 3smallARINC keeps Vueling connected

ARINC is supporting the Vueling as the low fare Spanish carrier's preferred service provider for aviation IT services.

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