Singapore’s CAAS signs deal with SITAONAIR for VHF comms: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and SITAONAIR have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the deployment of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) voice communications for air traffic management (ATM) in the Singapore Flight Information Region. The agreement was signed by Kevin Shum, director general of CAAS, and David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR. “Space-based VHF voice communications represents the next level of ATM communications capability. When used in combination with space-based air traffic surveillance systems, it can overcome the limitations of terrestrial based ATM solutions1. This MOU is the third2 collaboration on space-based VHF voice communications that CAAS has established. By bringing together strong complementary capabilities to develop space- based VHF voice communications, we hope to further enhance safety and airspace efficiency within the Singapore Flight Information Region,” said Shum. As part of the MOU, SITAONAIR, one of the primary Digital Service Providers (DSP) providing Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) services (digital datalink services) for transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground station via satellites, will contribute to various studies focusing on dual voice and data capability. SITAONAIR will also engage the industry to explore the implementation of unmanned aerial platforms which would hover around 60,000 feet above the earth’s surface, in the stratosphere. This solution could potentially be an alternative to a space-based approach to serve high-traffic routes and regions.
ACI World takes on cybersecurity at ICAO Assembly: At the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly in Montreal, Airports Council International (ACI) World has called for international cooperation, joined up governance, and coherent and practical policies for addressing cybersecurity risks. Cybersecurity has become a real risk for the aviation sector, requiring resilient systems and robust and efficient defences. While ACI is working with airports to promote best practice, the sector needs a clear ICAO vision and strategy that considers safety, security and operations working across all disciplines.
ACI has presented a cybersecurity paper to ask that the assembly:
- Support the ICAO Aviation Cybersecurity Strategy which has been drafted by the Secretariat Study Group on Cybersecurity (and presented to the Assembly);
- Require that ICAO work with States and industry to develop an action plan in support of the strategy;
- Recognise the immediate need for a multi-disciplinary approach to cybersecurity;
- Request ICAO to rapidly complete an assessment of the current governance structure for cybersecurity, with serious consideration for a Panel responsible for cybersecurity that considers security, safety, resilience and operational continuity issues together;
- Request that Council involve the industry as well as States when defining policy, a strategy, plans and standards for aviation cybersecurity.
“Cybersecurity threats are a serious concern for the aviation sector and are expected to increase in number and impact for the foreseeable future,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said. “It is therefore essential that aviation stakeholders establish a programme of cyber resilience and maintain robust and efficient cybersecurity defences. All businesses, including airports, are at risk from cybersecurity threats, whether they have a straightforward set of systems or the most sophisticated IT digital transformation programmes. There is a clear need for international cooperation, joined up governance, and coherent and practical policies to address cybersecurity, coupled with practical solutions for information sharing, oversight, capacity building and training. The current siloed approach does not effectively address the issue; a clear ICAO vision and strategy and joint working across all disciplines is needed that considers safety, security, operations and resilience.”
IATA launches gender diversity campaign: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched the 25by2025 Campaign—an airline industry initiative to advance gender diversity in the airline industry by 2025. The 25by2025 Campaign is a voluntary commitment by participating IATA member airlines. Key among the commitments of airlines participating in the 25by2025 Campaign are:
- Increasing the number of women in senior positions (to be defined by the member airlines) by either 25 percent against currently reported metrics or to minimum representation of 25 percent by 2025;
- Increasing the number of women in under-represented jobs (e.g. pilots and operations) by either 25 percent against currently reported metrics or to a minimum representation of 25 percent by 2025;
- Reporting annually on key diversity metrics.
IATA member airlines who have already signed up to the 25by2025 Campaign include China Eastern, Lufthansa Group and Qatar Airways.
There is currently no comprehensive airline industry-wide gender diversity statistical report. But, with women representing around 5 percent of the global pilot population and 3 percent of CEOs, the gender imbalance in the industry is clear. “Aviation is the business of freedom. An example of that is the freedom for 2.7 million women and men to develop exciting careers within this industry. But women are under-represented at senior levels and in some professions within airlines. Airlines understand the value that a diverse and gender-balanced workforce delivers. The 25by2025 Campaign provides a global context and encouragement for the many initiatives our members are already taking to address the gender imbalance. I am confident that 25by2025 will be a major catalyst for progress—progress that will set the industry up to achieve even more in this important area. Our work will not be done in 2025, in fact, this is only the beginning. Our ultimate aim is of course for a 50-50 gender split with equal opportunities for everyone in every part of our industry,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
In addition to the commitments from member airlines under the 25by2025 Campaign, IATA will also be making the following commitments:
- Increasing the representation of women in IATA’s senior management (directors and above) from the current 19 percent to at least 25 percent by 2025;
- Working with member airlines to increase the number of women they appoint to IATA governance roles from the current 17 percent to a minimum of 25 percent by 2025
- Ensuring that the number of women participating as panelists / speakers at IATA conferences is a minimum of 25 percent by 2025;
- Creating a forum for sharing diversity and inclusion initiatives and best practices across the industry and publishing annual industry statistics on gender diversity.
TIACA board members join sustainability programme: Four new strategic partners, including Brussels Airport, Flexport, Oman Aviation Services, and Turkish Airlines, have signed up to back The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) new Sustainability Programme. They join CHAMP Cargo Systems, sponsors of TIACA’s inaugural Sustainability Award, which is a key part of the project. The programme, headed by Celine Hourcade, TIACA’s new project manager, was launched this summer with the aim of driving sustainability goals within the air cargo industry. TIACA and its strategic partners will be working until the end of the year to design the sustainability programme and agree on action points where the association and its members can make a sound contribution.
Vision-Box signs contract with Australia’s Home Affairs: Vision-Box, a provider of biometric-based travel and digital identity solutions, has entered into an extended five-year contract with Australia’s Department of Home Affairs for Departure SmartGate services. In the short term, the focus will be on the extension of the Support & Maintenance agreement until June 2026 together with some innovation in the area of Departures SmartGates for Automated Border Control. Vision-Box will support Home Affairs in implementing several initiatives that improve the operational efficiency of border processes. The relationship between Vision-Box and Australia’s Department of Home Affairs was initially sustained by a very successful program that began in 2015, after the Australian Government selected the company to provide biometric border control SmartGates at all Airports’ Departures.
VietJet adds A321neo cabin flex: Vietjet has added the world’s first 240-seat Airbus A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) to its fleet. The A321neo ACF aircraft has a revamped cabin structure to ensure comfortable seating areas and provide the optimal flight experience for passengers. The aircraft helps to reduce fuel consumption by at least 16 percent and also reduces noise and emissions by up to 75 percent and 50 percent respectively.