Aviation News in Brief: Collins Aerospace; ST Engineering; AAR; Lufthansa Technik Component Services; SIA & Sabre; Cebu Air & SmartKargo

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The Chinese site is part of Collins‘ Aerostructures business unit, supporting jet-engine nacelle systems, include composite-component manufacturing; engine podding; and aftermarket maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.

Collins Aerospace Systems’ Tianjin facility celebrates a decade of growth: Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its site in Tianjin, China in September. The site is part of Collins‘ Aerostructures business unit, supporting jet-engine nacelle systems, include composite-component manufacturing; engine podding; and aftermarket maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. Since opening in 2009, the Tianjin site has grown to approximately 200,000 square feet and is home to approximately 350 employees. On the MRO side of its business, Tianjin has more than 20 service agreements with airline customers, covering approximately 500 aircraft under various Airbus, Boeing and Embraer programs. “Tianjin is an important part of our global MRO network and a key contributor for our original-equipment nacelle systems business,” said Marc Duvall, president for aerostructures at Collins Aerospace Systems. “As airline fleets continue to grow in the Asia-Pacific region to meet rising passenger demand, the need for best-in-class MRO services in the region is also increasing. As the original-equipment nacelle supplier for many of these aircraft, Collins is especially well positioned to provide premier MRO services, including onsite support, rotable spares assets and easy access to technical expertise, customised to meet each customer’s needs.”

ST Engineering acquires US satcom company: Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) announced that its US subsidiary, iDirect Government (iDirectGov), has acquired 100 percent ownership of Glowlink Communications Technology for US$20 million plus an employment-based retention payment of up to US$5 million subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. Based in Mountain View, California, Glowlink’s products mitigate satellite interference and improve the quality of satellite communications (satcom). Its satellite network management solutions are able to detect and remove satellite signal interference in an increasingly dense satellite space. As more satellites are launched in the coming years to meet the exponentially growing demand for connectivity, there will be a significant increase in demand for anti-jamming capabilities. Glowlink’s products span carrier and spectrum monitoring, interference detection and mitigation, geolocation, and satellite capacity planning which will augment iDirectGov’s advanced bandwidth-efficient, scalable and highly secure satellite solutions.

AAR wins parts supply contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines: AAR said it has signed its largest commercial deal in Japan to date, a multimillion dollar parts supply agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines (MHIAEL). AAR will begin work immediately as the parts supplier for MHIAEL’s PW4000 engine maintenance with international commercial airlines. AAR will supply parts for MHIAEL’s demand of PW4000 94-inch fan engines used in thousands of commercial aircraft and will also have the capability to provide solutions from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Unison and Eaton, for engine technological platforms. The announcement follows AAR’s recent completion of its certification from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) allowing the company to also serve Japan-based airlines.

Lufthansa Technik Component Services gets CAAC approval: Lufthansa Technik Component Services (LTCS), based in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the US, said it has received the approval of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The Chinese authority has approved LTCS as an “adequate organisation to accomplish maintenance of components”. Additionally, LTCS has become the 33rd design department of Lufthansa Technik’s EASA 21/J Design Organisation (DO) and the first one in the Americas. The DO status allows LTCS to create its own approved data which differentiates the company from many other repair stations. LTCS said this “is a big step forward in developing further repair methods to improve the component services of the company. Customers can benefit from shorter turnaround times, reliability improvements and from overcoming material obsolescence”.

Boeing and Safran invest in Electric Power Systems: Boeing and Safran said they have made a joint investment in Electric Power Systems (EPS), a company offering certifiable and lightweight energy storage products that provide power for aerospace and other markets. The joint investment will help EPS develop an automated industrial base capable of producing aviation-grade energy storage systems at scale. The investment will also support the advancement of technologies to further reduce the costs of battery systems for electric airplanes. “EPS’ battery technology meets Boeing’s high standards of safety and can enable significant cost savings for customers,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “This strategic investment accelerates the development of clean, quiet and safe urban air mobility solutions.” Boeing HorizonX Ventures and Safran Corporate Ventures jointly invested in EPS during this Series A funding round. EPS is the second advanced battery solutions company to join the Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio, following an investment in Cuberg, an advanced lithium metal battery technology company, in 2018. Safran Ventures also recently invested in OXIS Energy, a UK-based leader in lithium-sulphur cell technology for high energy density battery systems.

Singapore Airlines and Sabre in NDC deal: Sabre said it has entered into a collaboration with Singapore Airlines for the expansion of its NDC programme, KrisConnect. Effective November 2019, the venture will provide select Sabre-connected agents in Singapore with the ability to access and book unique NDC content from Singapore Airlines.

Cebu Pacific Air Cargo renews deal with SmartKargo: Cebu Pacific Air has renewed its contract with QuantumID Technologies to ramp up SmartKargo for CEB Cargo. The partnership will continue the cloud-based real-time management of CEB’s air cargo business using the advanced SmartKargo operating system.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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