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Formed in 2000. Thales Systems Aeroportes conducts surveillance and flight test, jet airplane operations for its customers.
27 Avenue Gustave Eiffel
F-33608 Pessac, France
December 2000: DC-9-21 (47308, F-GVTH) delivery.
December 2004: Main Base: Bordeaux.
March 2005: Its LFV Group has deployed its new air traffic management (ATM) system, Eurocat, at the Stockholm and Malmo control centers. The new System 2000 is part of the LFV Group MATS program and will equip Sweden with state-of-the-art en route & approach (ATM) system to improve operational efficiency and safety. It includes a fully integrated training system with standby capabilities that allow "real situation" testing. In addition, Malmo has a locally based engineering center that will support & develop further enhancements.
July 2005: Patrice Durand, VP & CFO.
December 2005: Panasonic Avionics Corporation joined Thales (THL) as a recommended in-flight entertainment system provider for the 787, Boeing said. Panasonic will offer a wireless version of its X-Series platform called X-Series Wireless. Thales (THL)'s offering, the wireless TopSeries I-8000, was chosen by Boeing early last month.
January 2006: Thales (THL)'s "Repair by the Hour" avionics support package was selected by AirAsia (ASW) for its 60 new A320s.
February 2006: Thales (THL) signed a deal with (LAN) Airlines for retrofit and line-fit installations of its TopSeries i-4000 video and audio on-demand system for 18 767s and four A340s, with options for three additional 767s. Delivery will begin next month.
(THL) was selected by Shanghai Airlines (SHA) to supply two 737-800 Level D full-flight simulators and support training equipment in a contract valued in excess of $20 million.
March 2006: Lufthansa (DLH) Flight Training (LFT) announced that it will have an A380 flight simulator from Thales (THL) available from early 2008. Currently, (LFT) operates 32 flight simulators of 20 different airplane types and provides training outside the Lufthansa (DLH) companies to 100 other airlines.
(THL) wins Germanwings (RFG) avionics contract.
(THL) is forecasting a stable, or slightly higher, level of organic growth in 2006, with a booming civil market expected to offset only "slight" increases in European defense budgets. The group posted overall 2005 revenues of Euro 10.3 billion/$12.4 billion, flat on the previous year's level, representing a +3.8% increase in underlying organic growth after exchange rate and consolidation is taken into account. Net income was up at +Euro 334 million (+ Euro 325 million). "The group's ambition, as compared to its current position, is to achieve, by 2008, a +25% growth in revenues, +15% from organic growth and the remainder through acquisitions," Thales said. The group's order intake rose in 2005 to Euro 12.8 billion (Euro 9.4 billion), leaving the group with an order book of Euro 20 billion at the end of the year. Thales Aerospace Division (THL) revenues were up at Euro 2.3 billion, Euro 200 million higher than 2004, while air systems revenues edged up from Euro 1.4 billion to Euro 1.5 billion.
April 2006: Irish Aviation Authority, LFV Group (Sweden) and Naviair (Denmark) signed a contract with Thales (THL) (ATM) marking "the initiation of a purchasing agreement known as COOPANS." Each of the air navigation service providers previously procured under separate contracts (THL)'s Eurocat (ATM) System. Under the COOPANS agreement, the ANSPs jointly will procure upgrades to their existing common (ATM) systems.
(THL) said its TopSeries i-4500 all-digital In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system was certified by Embraer for Air Canada (ACN)'s EMB-175s and EMB-190s.
May 2006: Thales (THL) will provide three additional 787 training suites, including "full flight simulators, flat panel simulators and desktop simulation systems" to Alteon, Boeing (TBC)'s training subsidiary. (THL) is supplying six suites under a previous agreement. Boeing (TBC) said the additional simulator orders are owing to the strong sales success of the 787.
June 2006: Air France Industries (AFA) and Thales (THL) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for maintenance, logistics, supply chain, repair and overhaul of the Top Series In Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems for Air France (AFA) A380s. The companies said they will "jointly explore innovative modes of cooperation to ensure cost-effective (IFE) maintenance and high level of (IFE) system reliability and availability." This cooperation will lead to a common support offer on a Paris (CDG) platform for other potential (THL) TopSeries (IFE) customers.
(THL) will supply a Level D full flight simulator to Turkish Airlines (THY). It will be ready for training in December and will be installed at (THY)'s training center at Istanbul Ataturk. Thales (THY) also will upgrade a 737-400 Full Flight Simulator (FFS).
July 2006: Alteon Training will place 787 "training suites" in Australia, India and Singapore, adding to previously announced locations in Seattle, Tokyo, London Gatwick and China, the Boeing subsidiary said last week. The suites include full flight and flat-panel simulators, desktop simulation systems and door trainers. Thales (THL) will supply the suites, which will be in place by summer 2008.
CMC Electronics was selected by (THL) to supply its CMA-9000 FMS for the Thales Avionics Suite onboard the Superjet 100.
(THL) delivered to Airbus (EDS) the first lab unit of its TopFlight Satcom Satellite Data Unit (SDU) just 11 months after being awarded the contract. TopFlight is part of the technology behind the Airbus (EDS)/(SITA) OnAir joint venture that will enable passengers to use their mobile phones or other PEDs to make voice calls to terrestrial telephone and mobile networks and connect to the Internet without interfering with airplane operating systems. Pricing levels will be similar to international roaming with billing direct to the user's account. The system later will be expanded to include a cockpit air traffic management capability.
The TopFlight (SDU) will use the SwiftBroadband service provided by Inmarsat's 14 geostationary satellites to route calls and data to the ground. It will offer a high-speed data capacity of up to 432 kbps per channel and support two channels simultaneously, giving a bundled data capacity of as much as 900 kbps. (THL) said the (ARINC) 781 unit is compact (housed in a single 6 MCU box), lightweight (10 kg) and cost-effective (basic off-the-shelf unit cost in the region of $100,000 per airplane as opposed to closer to $200,000 for conventional systems). In addition, it is adapted for the new-generation antenna systems compliant with (ARINC) 781 characteristics that are approximately three-quarters the width, half the length and half the height of existing antennas.
Certification of the system is expected by year end and Air France (AFA), (TAP) Air Portugal and bmi (BMA) are launch customers, with operational trials expected to start in early 2007.
Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) awarded Thales UK (THL) a $24 million contract for two A320 and one ATR full flight simulators (FFS). The contract also includes an A320 maintenance/flight training device and a turnkey maintenance support package. The equipment will be provided from (THL)'s Formation family of products that covers civil aviation crew training from desktop to (FFS).
September 2006: Thales (THL) and Smiths Aerospace announced that Lufthansa (DLH) selected the Topflight Flight Management System, a joint product of the two companies, for seven new A340-600s. (DLH)'s decision represents a switch from Honeywell (SGC).
December 2006: Thales (THL) said it will supply the "majority" of critical avionics on up to 90 new A320s ordered by Air One (ADH). The deal includes (THL)'s Topflight Line of avionics and an (LCD) head-up display. Airplane deliveries are scheduled through 2008.
(THL) also signed a 16-year deal with GoJet Airlines of St Louis to provide spare and component services and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on avionics on GoJet's fleet of 15 CRJ-700LRs.
February 2007: Thales (THL) was awarded a contract to install its TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on 23 Air-India (AIN) 777s.
March 2007: (ICE) announced contracts for a new Thales (THL) In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) i4500 system and new seats from Aviointeriors worth a combined ISK1.8 billion. The deals are part of its effort to renew its 757 fleet and "a clear statement that Icelandair (ICE) intends to offer full service on board," CEO, Jon Karl Olafsson said.
May 2007: Thales (THL)'s TopSeries In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system was selected by Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) for installation on the carrier's 787s, the first of which is slated to enter service next year.
(THL) was selected by Sichuan Airlines (SIC) to supply and support two Level D full flight simulators to be installed in a soon-to-be-built (SIC) training center in Chengdu. Also ordered was an A320 (THL) Formation Systems Trainer. (THL) valued the contract at in excess of >$20 million.
June 2007: Thales (THL) won an order from Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) to retrofit its "TopSeries i5000" In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on 22 777-200s with the first scheduled revenue flight in June 2008, and also announced an order from Afriqiyah Airlines (AQY) for "TopSeries" (IFE) systems on nine new A319s/A320s, with the first airplane set to enter service in September.
(THL) VP & General Manager (IFE), Alan Pellegrini told reporters that (THL) is now the second biggest supplier of (IFE) systems behind Panasonic, and has captured about 40% of the global market. Some 35 airlines either have its "TopSeries" product or have ordered it, including 10 that have ordered it for 787s. Pellegrini estimated the global market for imbedded (IFE) in 2007 at $1.7 billion and projected +10% annual growth. "We still see significant growth ahead in (IFE), because it has now become essential and expected, even on narrow bodies," he said. "We've come up fast [as a player in (IFE)]. We're now a contender for every deal."
(THL)/Smiths Aerospace "TopFlight" Flight Management System (FMS) was chosen by Lufthansa (DHL) for retrofit on 39 single-aisle and wide body Airbus (EDS) airplanes, plus all 42 new A320s, A330s and A340-600s recently ordered by the airline.
(THL)'s TopFlight line of avionics products and (ACSS)'s surveillance products suite were chosen by London Gatwick-based GB Airways (GBA) for installation on the carrier's recent order of seven A320s plus seven options.
July 2007: Mxi Technologies said Thales (THL) selected Mxi Maintenix software to provide maintenance management for in-flight entertainment systems (IFE)s.
September 2007: Jordan Airline Training & Simulation (JATS), formerly the training subsidiary of Royal Jordanian (RJA), but now is a privately held company offering simulation and training to a variety of customers from its facility adjacent to Queen Alia International Airport outside Amman, inaugurated an A320-200 full flight simulator (FFS), that is the first Thales (THL) (FFS) to meet Airbus (EDS) Standard 1.4.0, allowing it to replicate a variety of A320 tail numbers. The $14.5 million simulator was certified as Level D by the French (DGAC), approved under (JAR)-STD 1A and launched at a ceremony attended by Prince Faisal Ben Al Hussein, and launch customers (RJA) and Syrian Arab Airlines (SYR), which signed three- and two-year training deals, respectively. It is the second A320-200 simulator at (JATS), which was privatized in 2000, and now is majority owned by Eastern Investment Group Holding. It also offers A310-300 and 727-200 (FFS)s, as well as extensive cabin service and safety, door, slide and classroom training on a variety of airplane types. (JATS) Advisor to the General Manager, Abdul-Rahman Arekat said that A320 usage is growing among the small and mid-size airlines that constitute the facility's likely customer base. He said (JATS) is negotiating use of the new simulator with Middle East Airlines (MEA), S7 Airlines (SBR), SriLankan Airlines (LNK), Cyprus Airways (CYP), Air Malta (MLT), Jazeera Airways (JZI), and Air Arabia (ABZ). Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Airblue (ABU)also are potential customers.
The company's wide body ambition is not limited to the less-popular A310. With (RJA) committed to up to 12 787s, (JATS)' next move will be for a 787 (FFS). General Manager, Nasri Nowar said it will talk to Alteon about a partnership, and is targeting a delivery date in the second half of 2009 "if everything goes well."
(JATS) recently signed a training contract with Tarom (TRM) for A310 training and, according to Nowar, expects to work with Airbus (EDS) in the near future to secure (TRTO) certification from (EASA).
A J Walter Aviation (AJW) will help (THL) Training and Simulation, support customers of its flight simulators, by providing maintenance and spare parts supply of airplane avionics and instruments fitted to the simulators. Initially, (THL) will use the service to support its contract to maintain Qatar Airways (QTA)'s three C2000X simulators for the A320, A330 and 777.
October 2007: Thales (THL) was awarded a contract from (ITT) for the supply and life cycle support of (ADS-B) radios for the (ITT) team's winning bid to deploy the ground stations for the (FAA)'s (ADS-B) program. (THL) said the initial contract term is three years, with a value of up to $40 million, rising to $140 million if all options are exercised.
November 2007: Thales (THL) announced that Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) selected the TopSeries i5000 In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system for its 22 777-200s. The system includes on-demand video, music and games, and comes with a laptop power connector, USB port and RCA jack. It will be retrofitted onto the airplanes, with first flight scheduled for June. (SVA) also will install the Aeromobile System, enabling passengers to use mobile telephones during flight.
Airbus (EDS) received Category IIIb approval from (EASA) to utilize (THL)'s (MLS) precision approach and landing system on A320 family airplanes. British Airways (BAB) will be the first to use (MLS), implementing it at London Heathrow on A320s and A321s. "(MLS) uses microwave signals that are less susceptible to interference . . . from other airplanes moving on the airport surface or buildings than the current [ILS]," Airbus (EDS) said. "Airports equipped with (MLS) will be able to increase their traffic flow during bad weather conditions, no longer having to reroute airplanes when visibility is low." The manufacturer said the approval is the result of "a significant joint development" by itself, (THL), (BAB), plus UK and French airport and air transport authorities. Both the onboard (MLS) receiver and airport (MLS) ground station are manufactured by (THL).
December 2007: Thales (THL) will provide avionics and In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems for AirAsia X (ASX)'s forthcoming fleet of 15 new A330-300s. Systems include the (FMS), (T2CAS) Terrain & Traffic Collision Avoidance System, and Mode S. The contract covers 15 years of after-sales repair and maintenance support through (THL) Repair by-the-hour and Turn Key Maintenance packages.
(THL) said that it has received Category IIIb approval from (EASA) to utilize its (MLS) precision approach and landing system. Airbus (EDS) said last month that (EASA) certification had been granted for (THL)'s (MLS) system on A320 family airplanes and that British Airways (BAB) would be the first to implement it at London Heathrow in 2008. (THL)'s announcement appeared to signal across-the-board certification for all airplane types, but did note that (BAB) would be the first to use it. "This application of the (MLS) technology, is a world-first and means that more flights will be able to land safely in difficult weather, where air traffic is dense and where interference from buildings or objects around the approach to the airport is extensive," (THL) said. The technology, which employs a microwave signal and has been under development since the 1980s, is dependent upon both a ground station and an onboard system. A multimode receiver onboard the airplane computes position and determines the ideal approach path using a C-Band digital signal sent by (MLS) ground transmitters.
January 2008: Thales (THL) was awarded a S$300 million/$209.4 million contract by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore for the LORADS III Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. The first phase is slated for completion in 2010, and the second phase in 2012.
(THL) will provide a package of avionics and cockpit systems for the A350 XWB, including the Integrated Modular Avionics Suite, Interactive Control and Display system, plus Air Data and inertial reference unit. The contract is expected to generate up to €2 billion/$2.9 billion in revenue over the first 20 years of in-service life, (THL) said. The airplanes are slated to enter service in 2013.
February 2008: Thales (THL) opened a 15,240-sq-m facility in Montreal to accommodate 145 employees and future growth. The inauguration marked the company's 10-year anniversary of aerospace operations.
(THL) will provide US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) with its Topflight FMS for Airbus (EDS) airplanes. Features include undo functions, multi-revision temporary flight plan capabilities, and a versatile display system.
The third runway at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) has been put into operation following a successful flight test acceptance of a new CAT III Instrument Landing System (ILS) *1 provided by (THL). (PEK) is the busiest airport in China, with more than >48 million passengers transported in 2006 and an average of 1,100 landings/departures per day. The previous two-runway operation mode would not have been able to meet the requirements of increased traffic expected for the 2008 Olympic Games. The new runway, designed also to serve the A380, is now fully equipped for CAT III *2 landing requirements, and represents the highest international precision landing standard to help support the expected +30% traffic volume increase. The (THL) CAT 111 (ILS) is capable of safely guiding airplanes on automatic precision landing in very low visibility conditions (down to 200 meters horizontal visibility). (THL) has more than >300 Navigation systems installed in recent years, to help to safely support the dramatic air traffic growth in the country.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), which is responsible for Changi Airport (SIN), has awarded (THL) a contract worth more than >S$300 million/$209 million to provide a customised Air Traffic Control (ATC) system.
NAVIAIR, the Danish ANSP, has gone through the transition process now making the new (THL)-supplied EUROCAT system fully operational since December 2007. The DATMAS contract was awarded to (THL) in June 2202 for the supply of the latest state-of-the-art integrated EUROCAT air traffic management system. With close to 80 air traffic controller (ATC) positions, these new centers will provide a complete en-route and terminal control capability for the airports of Copenhagen, Roskilde, and Billund. NAVIAIR has been working with (THL) for many years and will now benfit from a fully proven system that has demonstrated its operational capabilities in 16 European countries. (THL) has supplied a total of 260 air traffic control (ATC) centers worldwide, all designed to comply with international standards abd meet customers' requirements for enhanced air traffic safety and security. The Danish EUROCAT system will enhance traffic capacity, safety and security, offering NAVIAR controllers a complete set of latest-generation tools, including advanced flight plan functionalities, e.g., trajectory profile and Medium Term Conflict Detection (MTCD) working in 4 dimensions.
April 2008: Thales (THL) reached a deal with Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) to provide its TopSeries in-flight entertainment system for 10 forthcoming 787s. The contract includes media services and maintenance support.
June 2008: Airbus (EDS) selected Diehl Stiftung & Co and Thales (THL) as the preferred bidder for its Laupheim site. (EDS) and Diehl/(THL) will enter into negotiations toward arriving at a final sales agreement. (THL) and Diehl already are partnered in Diehl Aerospace, an airplane component and systems supplier, formed in 2000. Diehl holds 51% of that venture and (THL) 49%. The selection "also includes A350 XWB cabin work-packages for Laupheim," according to (EDS). The Laupheim plant employs 1,100 and produces cabin linings, cabin crew rest compartments, baggage bins and air ducts for all (EDS) products. Earlier efforts to sell other plants have been unsuccessful. Last month, the company terminated talks with Latecoere regarding the sale of two industrial plants in France.
Thales Aerospace (THL) appointed Emmanuelle Grave, Senior VP Solutions for Aircraft sector; Pierre-Yves Chaltiel, Senior VP Solutions for Governments sector; Pierre-Yves Pommellet, VP Services & Business Transportation sector; and Alain Paul, Director Operations.
July 2008: Rockwell Collins and Thales (THL) were selected by BOC Aviation (SIL) to provide avionics and cockpit systems for up to 47 new A320 family airplanes with deliveries commencing in the fourth quarter. Collins' package includes the WXR-2100 MultiScan Hazard Detection System, VHF Data Radio, HF radio system, VOR receiver, DME, ADF, TCAS II, ATC transponder and MMR including GPS. (THL) was selected to provide a comprehensive package of flight management systems (FMS) including the (FMS), radio altimeter, angle of attack sensor, pitot probe, combined RMI, and ATC control panel.
November 2008: Thales (THL) said its TopSeries In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system was selected by British Airways (BAB) for the 777-300ER, 787 and A380 airplanes it has on order. Screen size will be 15.4 inches in first class (F), 12.1 inches in business class (C), 10.6 inches in premium economy, and 8.9 inches in economy (Y). (BAB) will offer (USB) and (RCA) ports at each seat.
(THL) was selected by Airbus (EDS) to supply the head-up display (HUD) for the A350 XWB as a customer option. (THL) said its (HUD) will support features such as Enhanced Vision Systems "and potentially Surface Guidance Systems and Synthetic Vision Systems." The new (HUD) has been redesigned with improved head clearance, "and the graphical generation is embedded within the Display Units, allowing a simplified architecture for the overall cockpit solution." This higher level of integration means a weight saving of around 16 kg in a dual installation, it said.
(THL) said it is introducing an all-digital TopSeries In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system for single-aisle airplanes and regional jets. The system can be configured by class of service as an interactive audio-only system, interactive overhead video system or full-functioning in-seat (AVOD) system. The first installation is scheduled for 2009 on an A320 for a Middle East carrier.
(THL) signed a contract with Aviation Training Centre of Tunisia for a second A320 full flight simulator to be combined with a Thales Formation System Trainer.
January 2009: (ACSS) said it was selected by Air Berlin (BER) "to launch a collaborative program to implement and certify its SafeRoute Merging & Spacing function in the European airspace." (ACSS) is a joint venture between L-3 Communications (ESM) and Thales (THL). SafeRoute uses ADS-B to improve situational awareness and enhance an airplane's operating efficiency during takeoff, flight, approach, landing and taxi, according to (ACSS). The Merging & Spacing Function "makes flying more efficient by providing the pilot (FC) with speed cues that enable an airplane to reach its approach point with greater precision . . . It will also allow (BER) to fly Continuous Descent Arrival procedures."
(THL) will supply Air France (AFA) with a 777-300ER Full Flight Simulator (FFS). The technology includes (THL)'s eM2K motion system featuring hydraulic mass compensation and transmission. The USA (FAA) Level D certification is expected.
February 2009: Thales (THL) said Wataniya Airways (WYA) selected its TopSeries In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system for nine A320s, the first of which was delivered last month.
Thales (THL) and (ACSS), a (THC) and L-3 Communications (ESM) joint venture, said Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) selected its T3CAS integrated surveillance platform for installation on 42 firm and eight optional A320s. Expected to lower ownership costs, enhance power efficiency and reduce wiring and weight, the technology combines a traffic alert and collision avoidance system, terrain awareness warning system and Mode S transponder. ADS-B capabilities include (ATSAW) with (ITP).
The Thales Aerospace & Space segment finished 2008 with revenues of 4.1 billion euros, an increase of 14% from 2007. The segment recorded earnings before taxes of 203 million euros, a 10% increase. However, this represented 4.9% of revenues, down from 6.3% in 2007.
March 2009: The (CAAC) (CAC) put an A320 full flight simulator (FFS) into service at its Hua-Ou Aviation Training Center, the facility's third (FFS). The Thales (THL) simulator will increase Hua-Ou's training capacity by more than >25%, it said.
April 2009: Thales (THL) announced that its microwave landing system received UK approval for ground installations for Cat IIIb operations at London Heathrow (LHR). (THL) received European certification for its on-board airplane installations to Cat IIIb in November 2007. British Airways (BAB) is the first airline to implement the system, using it on its (LHR)-based Airbus (EDS) single-aisle fleet throughout 2008. The system became fully operational on March 25.
(THL) was awarded a contract by (DFS), the German air navigation service provider, for the delivery, installation, training and commissioning of the PAM-FRA1 wide area multi-lateration system.
May 2009: Thales (THL) will supply two RealitySeven full flight simulators (FFS) to Turkish Airlines (THY) under a rwecently announced contract. The (FFS) features a common core element that allows various airplane modules to be "swapped out." (THY)'s simulators will be compliant with the A320 and A330/A340.
June 2009: Thales (THL) signed the first customer for its Asset Management Services, which it launched at the Paris Air Show. Turkish carrier, Onur Air (ONU) signed a five-year contract with (THL) for comprehensive after-sales services including on-site inventory, repair management and return to inventory for its fleet of eight A321s. To guarantee asset availability within 4 hours, (THL)s holds a consignment stock based at Istanbul Ataturk and is partnering with Turkish AirLogic for logistics services.
Asset Management Services is part of (THL)'s strategy to grow its presence in after-sales support of avionics components, Head of Civil Aerospace Services Worldwide, Daniel Malka said. The basic Asset Management Services contract will cover all (THL) avionics equipment and a range of components from three partner Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)s: Diehl Aerospace, Liebherr Aerospace and Zodiac. The (ONU) contract, however, covers a wider range of components and (OEM)s. Malka did not detail (THL)'s target for the new service and said only that the five-year business plan provides for gradual country-by-country development. "We are focusing on clusters of smaller airlines that have no agreement in place with (OEM)s. This is why we started with Turkey," he said.
August 2009: Airbus (EDS) told airlines that Thales (THL) pitot probes should be replaced with Goodrich (BFG) models on all A330s/A340s as a "precautionary measure" and (EASA) said it will issue an order within two weeks calling for at least two of three (THL) speed sensors on those airplane types to be replaced with the (BFG) versions. The move comes after weeks of concern over (THL) pitot probes sparked by the May 31 Air France (AFA) Flight 447 crash in which malfunctioning speed sensors were "a factor" in the A330-200's demise, according to the French (BEA). (AFA) has confirmed that it has had subsequent pitot probe problems. (EDS)'s recommendation does not include a call to replace Thales (THL) probes on A320s.
(EASA) said that it too "will recommend that all A330 and A340 (EDS) airplanes currently equipped with Thales (THL) pitot probes should be fitted with at least two Goodrich (BFG) probes." (THL) told "Agence France Press" that its pitot probes "fulfill the specified requirements and . . . have been certified by the authorities."
Thales (THL) said it completed "phase four" of Mexico's nationwide air traffic control (ATC) modernization program for air navigation services provider (SENEAM). The phase involved the upgrade of the sites at Mazatlan, Hermosillo, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose, and Tijuana airports. Mexican (ATC) centers "are now operating exclusively with the Thales Eurocat ATM system," the company said.
September 2009: The (FAA) will give USA airlines until early January to replace the Thales (THL) speed probes on A330s and A340s with Goodrich (BFG) probes, according to "Bloomberg News," which cited a Federal Register notice it said is scheduled for publication today. (EASA) already has mandated the replacements be made on A330s/A340s operated by European airlines in the wake of June's Air France (AFA) A330-200 accident. Among USA carriers, Delta Air Lines (DAL) (inherited from Northwest Airlines (NWA)) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) operate the A330.
Lufthansa (DLH) Flight Training took delivery of an A380 cockpit simulator from Thales (THL). Training sessions at its Frankfurt center will begin in January.
October 2009: Thales (THL) UK announced that it has signed contracts with Belfast International and Cardiff airports for the program management, supply and installation of co-mounted primary surveillance and monopulse mode S secondary surveillance radars, complete with Eurocat air traffic control (ATC) systems. These systems will be installed later this year and become operational early next year.
The (THL) STAR 20001 and co-mounted RSM 970 S2 Mode S MSSR radar equipment are state-of-the-art solid-state radars that will feed data into the (THL) Eurocat-C (ATC) center. These systems use advanced technology that is continuously improved and updated to remain at the forefront of radar technology.
Belfast International and Cardiff airports are owned by Abertis Airports, who manage British airport operator (TBI) through a company owned by Abertis (90%) and Aena Internacional (10%). (TBI)’s network currently covers a total of eight international airports. Three of these are located in the United Kingdom (London Luton, Cardiff, and Belfast International).
Thales (THL) announced that its Head-Up Display (HUD) was certified by (EASA) on the A380 in single (left seat only) and dual configuration (left and right seats). Air France (AFA) is the launch customer.
December 2009: Thales (THL) signed a five-year repair-by-the-hour agreement with (EVA) Air for support and maintenance of a selection of avionics equipment aboard its 11 A330s.
January 2010: SEE ATTACHED FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL ARTICLE ON ADS-B IN AUSTRALIA - - "THL-2010-01 ADS-B."
February 2010: Thales (THL) said it installed its Eurocat air traffic management system, Aermac messaging system and a voice communication system at the recently inaugurated air traffic control (ATC) center in Santiago, Chile.
Thales (THL) said Belgocontrol, the Belgian air navigation services provider, inaugurated CANAC2, its new Air Traffic Control (ATC) system for Belgian airspace management built on the Thales (THL) Eurocat E-product platform. CANAC2 was installed in a new operational room dedicated to en route and approach control inside Brussels Airport's control tower and its contingency tower, as well as in towers at Liege, Ostend, Charleroi, and Antwerp.
March 2010: Longtime Thales (THL) executive, Philippe Duhamel, moved to ThalesRaytheonSystems as Chief Executive Officer for French operations, succeeding Herve Multon, who has been appointed deputy to the Senior VP Strategy at Thales (THL).
August 2010: Air Arabia (ABZ) selected Thales (THL) to supply an avionics package for its 44 new A320s.
December 2010: (ACSS) said that its (T3CAS) Traffic Management Computer was certified by Airbus (EDS) for the A320 family. The unit includes (TCAS) incorporating Change 7.1 software, (TAWS) and (ADS-B) capability. The first installations of (T3CAS) start this month on A320 family airplanes to operators in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. (ACSS) is owned by L-3 Communications (ESM) and Thales (THL).
March 2011: Thales (THL) won a contract from Belaeronavigatsia to supply three radar stations for Grodno, Mogilev and Minsk airports in Belarus. Two sets of co-mounted STAR 2000 primary radars and RSM 970 S secondary radars will be deployed at the GNA and MSQ, (THL) said. One additional RSM 970 S secondary radar will be located at MVQ.
April 2011: On April 22nd, Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia and Thierry Mariani, French Secretary of State responsible for Transport, inaugurated the Thales (THL) Monopulse Secondary
Surveillance Radar (MSSR) system installed at the Poti Airport in Georgia. The implementation of this advanced technology radar system including full Mode S compliance will provide complete airspace security for western Georgia in conformity with European standards.
“This new radar will improve the security of the Georgian skies, increase safety, capacity and efficiency and is key to supporting the future challenges in terms of air traffic,” said Giorgi Karbelashvili Deputy Minister of Economy & Sustainable Development of Georgia. “The inauguration is an important milestone in the modernization of the country’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) systems.”
June 2011: the Tunisian Civil Aviation and Airports Authority (OACA) has selected Thales (THL)’s technology for its air navigation systems. The Thales (THL) (VHF) Omnidirectional Radio Range (VOR) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) will be securing the Monastir, Gafsa, Sidi Ali Ben Aoun, and Djerba airports. These systems will be used for both en-route and terminal area guidance. As part of this contract, (THL) will ensure the installation, training and all other logistical activities. Production of the systems will be completed in the next couple of months at the (THL) Gorgonzola site in Italy and will be delivered to (OACA) by the end of the year.
Massimo Sanvito, Head of the Air Operations business in Thales (THL) Italy said, ” We are proud to have been selected to help (OACA) provide the highest level of safety for the Tunisian airspace. Thales (THL) was already selected to supply similar (VOR) and (DME) systems to the Tunisian Air Force.”
The high performance capability of the (THL) (VOR) and (DME) systems are the key to this new success and confirm (THL)’s ability to deliver advanced technology on time and on budget for both civil and military Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Only two years after the initial contract awarded to Thales (THL), the new Air Traffic Control (ATC) center delivered to Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) is now officially operational. The inauguration ceremony took place at the Nikola Tesla Airport and was attended by Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia , Nikola Stankov, President & CEO, Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency and Jean-Loic Galle, Thales Senior VP, Air Operations Division. This brand new (ATC) center is now responsible for en-route, approach and tower control services for the entire Serbian & Montenegro airspace. This two year programme schedule is one of the fastest Air Traffic Management (ATM) system deployments in Europe and was completed on time and on budget.
“(SMATSA)’s new control center will improve European air navigation services and safety. It finalises an ambitious modernization program, successfully completed within the project time-frame, this was a result of an excellent cooperation between (SMATSA) and (THL) teams” said Nikola Stankov , President & CEO of (SMATSA).
The state-of-the-art (EUROCAT) system, Future Air traffic Management Modernization & Upgrade (FAMUS) is based on the state of the art (EUROCAT) product. (FAMUS) relies on a realistic 4D trajectory prediction, and supports advanced capabilities such as (ADS-B) and the associated Multi Sensor Tracking System (MSTS), fully integrated air-ground (ATN) data-link services, or the latest On-Line Data Interchange (OLDI) standards, the foundations of the future (SESAR) operational concepts.
With the (FAMUS) system, (SMATSA) now exceeds Single European Sky system recommendations, and is fully interoperable with other Air Navigation Service Providers who have (ATC) systems in line with “Functional Airspace Blocks” and (SESAR) European initiatives.
As a member of the (SESAR) Joint Undertaking, Thales (THL) is fully committed to the modernization of European (ATM) systems by coordinating and concentrating its research and development efforts across Europe. In parallel, (THL) has created 2 innovation labs, France & Australia, to anticipate market evolution and future (ATM) needs and develop new concepts.
(THL) delivered a completely new (ATM) system to the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). The system went operational on 6th April 2011. This advanced automation system located in the new (ATC) tower of Abu Dhabi International Airport provides a fully integrated gate-to-gate solution that covers both approach and aerodrome air traffic control services. The commissioning is the result of an important project launched in 2008 to introduce cutting edge airport facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport, including a spectacular 109 metre, 20-storey tall Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower. (THL) was selected as the (ATM) systems prime contractor by (ADAC) in order to enhance the airport’s operational capabilities, increase airport safety and facilitate speedy traffic-handling operations from the (ATC) tower.
The operations in Abu Dhabi International Airport now rely on:
* State-of-the-art (EUROCAT) system featuring the Multi-Sensor Tracking System (MSTS), the first (MSTS) to be commissioned in the world;
* Integrated Tower Solution, combining the (THL) Electronic Flight Strip System and the (THL) Advanced Surface Movement Guidance Control System which is fed by Surface Movement Radar and Multilateration surveillance data. It allow seamless operations with silent coordination within the tower cab or adjacent approach units. This integrated system is the foundation for the development of the (SESAR) Integrated Tower Working Position concept.
* (AERMAC) Aeronautical Message Handling System and (ANAIS) Aeronautical Information System;
* (EUROCAT) training and simulation systems, which can also operate as a back-up of the main system.
This project demonstrates (THL)'s unique capability to deliver turnkey (ATM) Systems solutions to meet a wide range of requirements, including communication and surveillance infrastructure. To meet (ADAC) requirements, (THL) has integrated 15 different systems into a single (ATM) solution. Similar turnkey projects have been delivered to Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.
The new Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower will enhance traffic safety and security thanks to unprecedented safety nets for approach and aerodrome (ATC). The (THL) system will allow (ADAC) to triple its capacity within the next decade.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (ARO) has selected the Thales (THL) TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) for its fleet of 16 777-300s. The system will be configured for 402 passengers and will be line-fit into the new airplanes with first delivery scheduled for January 2013, according to (THL).
The new 777 airplanes will have audio and video on-demand entertainment at every seat. In business class (C), in-seat screen sizes are 15.4 inches. Other features include in-seat power, (USB) and iPort, which enable passengers to interface their portable devices (and also iPhone, iPod, iPad) to the system, allowing them to enjoy their own content through the in-seat screen. In addition, passengers will have the Thales (THL) Touch Passenger Media Unit, a handheld media device that brings to the passenger endless Android applications common to the consumer world. In premium economy (PY) and economy (Y), in-seat screens are 10.6 and 8.6 inches, respectively.
July 2011: Thales (THL) and the (CEO) of its German operation, Dr Markus Hellenthal, have parted ways by mutual agreement.
Luc Vigneron, Chairman & (CEO) of the Thales (THL) Group, commented as follows: "We thank Dr Hellenthal for his commitment and valuable contribution to the growth of our global business activities in Germany and wish him all the best for the future."
Peter Obermark, VP Thales Defence & Security Systems GmbH since 2007, will be the new (CEO) of Thales Deutschland. He will assume the position in addition to his other duties until further notice.
August 2011: Air China (BEJ) introduced into revenue service the first of its 15 777s equipped with the Thales (THL) TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems on board. The airplane has a total of 311 seats in an 8F First, 42C Business, and 261Y Economy configuration. The (THL) TopSeries system includes a range of audio and video on-demand entertainment and information using 23-inch, 15.4-inch and 8.9-inch touch screen displays and tethered passenger control units in First (F) and Business (C).
(THL) said (BEJ) is the first to fly with its 3-D moving map powered by Geofusion, which allows passengers to track the airplane in motion as it flies over a high resolution 3-D globe represented by satellite imagery. “There is no comparison between the other versions of (IFE) with this TopSeries system. This one feels almost the same as if we are playing on an iPad. We made a good choice of (IFE) system,” said Quan Hong Bing, Deputy General Manager of Air China Technic. Other new applications on this new airplane include Connecting Gate and 3D audio capabilities.
Air China (BEJ) flies with the (THL) system on its 20 A330s and future 787 airplanes.
September 2011: Francis Sheller, Thales (THL) VP Communications & Government Relations USA, resigned to join the USA Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) as VP Communications.
October 2011: Thales (THL) was awarded a contract by the Agency for Air Navigation Security in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) for the harmonization and modernization of their air traffic control (ATC) centers in six countries, including Senegal, Congo, Niger, Ivory Coast, Chad, and Madagascar. (ASECNA) is in charge of 5 Flight Information Regions (FIR), controlling the largest area in the region.
The new air traffic control systems will include a Multi-Sensor Tracking System, integrating all surveillance means including radars, ADS-B, ADS-C, Multilateration and Wide Area Multilateration. The harmonization of the air traffic control centers will reduce operation and maintenance costs and offer smoother air traffic control services to airlines flying through the airspace, according to Thales (THL). (THL) will also deliver a training and test platform for air traffic controllers, allowing (ASECNA) to optimise airspace monitoring and achieve its mission of offering smoother (ATC) services to airlines passing through this region.
(THL) is consolidating its position in Africa, where Eurocat system is covering more than 70% of the continent’s (FIR)s.
Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) selected Thales (THL) to provide its TopFlight (SATCOM) system on its new airplanes.
Thales (THL) TopFlight (SATCOM) system consists of an (ARINC) 781 compliant Satellite Data Unit (SDU) and its configuration module (SCM), bringing a breakthrough in (SATCOM) size and performance. Housed in a single enclosure, the (SDU) makes it a cost-effective solution equally applicable to short haul and long haul airplanes, as well as regional airplanes.
Taking full advantage of Inmarsat Swiftbroadband new I-4 series satellites, (THL) TopFlight (SATCOM) offers data rates of up to 432 kbps average per channel. In addition, this new standard of (SATCOM) continues to support Inmarsat Classic Aero Services for flight deck voice and data connectivity, an essential part of oceanic Future Air Navigation System (FANS) and Air Traffice Services (ATS) communications. The two channel cards can be configured for “Classic Aero Services” or Swiftbroadband (SBB) allowing to provide mandatory cockpit voice and data communications with one card, and leaving the second card available for either a second cockpit voice or an (SBB) connection at 432 kbps.
These additional capabilities of Internet Protocol (IP) based broadband provide a efficient and cost effective growing path for ground-air communication as part of Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and airplane system monitoring.
November 2011: Thales (THL) UK received a contract from British Airways (BAB) to supply one A380 full-flight simulator. It will be delivered to the (BAB) Flight Training Center in January 2013, initially used to provide advance training for (BAB) pilots (FC) and aircrew.
January 2012: Three years after Thales (THL) signed the contract with the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation (NDCA), the country’s new air traffic control (ATC) center has now entered operational service. The inauguration ceremony on 7 December 2011 at Windhoek was attended by His Excellency Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia.
Under this contract, (THL) supplied the latest version of its Eurocat system, which fuses data from co-mounted (THL) primary and secondary radars at Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, as well as from (WAM) stations supplied by (ERA). Eurocat also incorporates flight plan and (ADS-C) data into the display system. Thanks to Eurocat’s advanced functionality, (NDCA) controllers are now able to guide airplanes anywhere within Namibia’s flight information region with high levels of precision, safety and security. This new configuration also enables Namibia to significantly reduce airplane separation within its airspace while considerably enhancing flight safety at the same time.
March 2012: Thales (THL) was awarded three new contracts to supply the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority with Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. For the first time in the country, (THL) will also provide an Air Traffic Center (ATC) to be located in San Andres island, 720 kms North East of the Colombian Atlantic Coast. In Cerro Verde, near Medellin, (THL) will install, deploy and commission, STAR 2000/RSM 970 S co-mounted radars with a range of 200 nautical miles together with another RSM 970 S radar station in Flandes (South-West of Bogota).
Remi Gille, (THL) VP, Air Traffic Management (ATM) Business, says “We are proud of these three new successes that demonstrate the outstanding technical and operational performance of (THL)’s systems. We are keen to build on these successes to develop a longstanding relationship with the Aeronáutica Civil of Colombia.”
With more than >130 radars and 25 Air Traffic Centers (ATC)s already installed in Mexico, Santo Domingo, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, as well as navigation aids systems in operation in nearly all the countries of the region, (THL) confirms its strong leadership in the broader Latin American region, where it has been present for more than 40 years.
(THL) continues to innovate in Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) by extending its solution with "FlyBrief," a pilot (FC) briefing application on iPAD®.
FlyBrief enables pilots (FC) to create and prepare their flight briefing directly on their iPAD® through an intuitive geographical interface, and to update their briefing at the last minute. During the flight, pilots (FC) can consult their briefing and visualize meteorological and NOtice to AirMen (NOTAM) information displayed on a map, relative to their current Global Positioning System (GPS) position. Finally, when pilots (FC) arrive at their final destination, they can export and visualize their flight trajectory on a 3D viewer.
FlyBrief is the first application of its type in the (AIM) domain and improves safety through up-to-date and geographical presentation of validated aeronautical information. FlyBrief will be soon downloadable from any Apple Store.
(THL) has continued to extend its footprint in the (AIM) and Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) domains in the Latin America region with three new successes in Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia. In December 2011, (THL) signed a contract with the Chilean Civil Aviation (DGAC) to provide an Aeronautical Information Systems (AIS) system in Santiago, at the San Pablo Air Traffic Control Center. This project sets the foundation of a wider transition towards (AIM) for the Chilean (DGAC) and is already fully compliant with the new 2012 Flight Plan format in this country.
In January 2012, the (AIS) and (AMHS) systems were successfully delivered and put into operation in Ecuador, in line with the expected schedule. This system has replaced the existing (THL) Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) which has been serving the national civil aviation authority’s messaging services for more than >15 years.
Finally, the (AMHS) system in Bolivia was deployed countrywide accepted and became operational in September 2011. Even though the project started in 2010, the products delivered were already in line with the 2012 flight plan regulations.
These three additional successes in the region illustrate the (THL) excellent recent relationship established with these civil aviation authorities. With more than >130 radars and 25 Air Traffic Centers (ATC)s already installed in Mexico, Santo Domingo, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, as well as navigation aids systems in operation in nearly all the countries of the region, (THL) confirms its strong leadership in the broader Latin American region, where it has been present for more than >40 years.
April 2012: L-3 Communications (ESM) is buying the civil aircraft simulation and training business of UK-based Thales (THL) Training & Simulation (TTS). The deal will see L-3 (ESM)’s military simulation unit, Link, expand into the airline market.
(ESM), said it will buy (TTS)’ Civil Aircraft Simulation & Training business assets for £83 million/$132 million cash and integrate it into its Arlington, Texas-based Link unit.
(ESM) said it expects to close the transaction this summer subject to regulatory approvals. “For the 12 months ending December 31, 2012, the new civil aircraft training and simulation business is expected to generate sales of approximately $150 million. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to (ESM)’s results of operations,” (ESM) said.
The (TTS) unit is based near Gatwick Airport, south of London and has its roots in the former British company Redifon, which later became Rediffusion Simulation. From 1988 until 1994, it was owned by Hughes Aircraft, which then also owned what is now L-3 Link, and was called Hughes Rediffusion Simulation. In 1994, Thomson-CSF bought Hughes Rediffusion, changing its name to Thales Training & Simulation when the French company underwent a brand change.
(TTS) employs about 400 people and has an installed base of more than >540 simulators as well as a joint venture training center in Bangkok.
Link makes simulators for a wide variety of military airplanes, including the F-22, F/A-18 and F-16 jets and AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
“With this acquisition, (ESM) will strengthen its existing military training and simulation business by adding full flight simulator capability and expanding into the civil simulation market. The business, when combined with our existing military training and simulation business, will enable (ESM) to offer a full range of total training system solutions to military and commercial customers,” said Michael Strianese, (ESM) Chairman, President & (CEO).
Thales Training and Simulation was formed by the purchase of Redifussion Simulation and what used to be Singer-Link-Miles. Link-Miles was a subsidiary of Singer-Link (Binghamptom, New York) and was bought by Thomson-CSF following the break-up of Singer after its' purchase by a corporate raider. Singer-Link was bought by (CAE) (Montreal) and eventually became L-3 Link. With Link's purchase of Thales Simulation's Civil Division, it would appear that the wheel has gone full circle.
May 2012: Thales (THL) has signed an agreement with Airbus (EDS) which extends its current position onboard the A320neo Family.
(THL) is progressively introducing enhancements during 2012 to ensure a seamless transition into A320neo Family deliveries, scheduled for entry in service in 2015. Having now secured its position on the A320neo, (THL) supplies avionics to every Airbus (EDS) airplane, including the A330 Family, A380 and A350 XWB. (THL) is also a key avionics supplier to Airbus (EDS) Military on the A400M program.
August 2012: L-3 Communications (ESM) has completed the acquisition of Thales (THL) Training & Simulation’s civil airplane simulation and training business.
(ESM) paid £83 million ($130 million) for the Crawley, UK-based business, which is now known as L-3 Link Simulation & Training UK and becomes a part of L-3 (ESM)’s existing Link Simulation & Training division.
The deal was first announced in April.
September 2012: Thales (THL) will partner with Honeywell (SGC) to bring the global broadband airplane connectivity to the world aviation industry. The companies are working to integrate the Honeywell (SGC)-developed (GX) Aviation Ka-band satcom avionics and antenna systems, operating over Inmarsat’s (GX) Aviation Ka-band satellite constellation with Thales (THL) cabin network solutions. The combined offering will give commercial airline operators and their passengers four times the in-flight connectivity bandwidth enabling real-time TV channel viewing and social media connectivity, as well as virtual office functionality for video conferencing, the companies said.
“Inmarsat’s (GX) Aviation Ka-band satellite connectivity system is a game changer and continues our tradition of providing the commercial aerospace market with innovative, proven and reliable products," said Jack Jacobs, VP, Honeywell (SGC). “We expect that this connectivity system will provide airlines with significantly larger bandwidth at a cost-effective price.”
The combination of state of the art satellite communications equipment and a range of highly capable airplane networks, applications and services will provide the industry with an unparalleled opportunity.
“(GX) Aviation satellite constellation provides huge volumes of bandwidth and is optimized for mobile platforms which guarantee seamless satellite handover and global systems management, guaranteeing to enhance the passenger experience," said Stuart Dunleavy, Thales Avionics, VP Media & Connectivity.
(ACSS), an L-3 Communications (ESM) and Thales (THL) joint venture company, said US Airways (AMW)/(USA) received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) on its A330 airplanes for DO-260B (TSO c166b) capability using (ACSS)’s XS-950 Mode S Transponder. DO-260B is the highest level of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast transmission (ADS-B Out). US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will equip 20 A330s as part of the (FAA)’s NextGen implementation program.
The XS-950 in 2011 was certified to DO-260B, which enables (ADS-B) transmission of more information about an airplane’s position, speed and intent.
“US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and our other airline partners understand and embrace the opportunities and savings NextGen provides for operators,” said Terry Flaishans, General Manager of (ACSS). “Our investment in (ADS-B) avionics is helping airlines fly the most efficient routes to their destinations.”
“A lot of time and hard work has been invested by (ACSS), the (FAA) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) in reaching this milestone,” said Ron Thomas, Managing Director, (AMW)/(USA) Flight Technical Operations. “US Airways (AMW)/(USA) is proud to partner with these organizations to help demonstrate the benefits of (ADS-B Out), including the more precise position information it provides to enhance situational awareness and create a safer environment for all users.”
Interjet AAE) has selected the (ACSS) T³CAS integrated surveillance system for six A320s. Phoenix-based, (ACSS) is a joint venture of Thales (THL) and L-3 Communications (ESM).
Thales (THL) said its T³CAS integrated surveillance platform features a traffic alert and collision avoidance system, terrain awareness warning system and a Mode S Transponder in a single line-replaceable unit (LRU).
“T³CAS will deliver Interjet (AAE) the most advanced surveillance capability for its A320s,” said Scott Duffin, Director Sales at Thales (THL). “Through its higher level of integration and technological advancement, T³CAS delivers the full suite of surveillance functions with less weight and volume of federated systems, with reduced wiring and improved power efficiency.”
November 2012: Thales (THL) has a seven-year avionics-by-the-hour contract from Luxair (LUX) to continue to provide avionics support and services for (LUX)’s fleet of six DHC-8-400 airplanes.
December 2012: Thales (THL) on December 20 appointed Jean-Bernard Levy as its new Chairman & (CEO), to replace Luc Vigneron, who resigned this month. Luc Vigneron stated he had lack of support from the company's two main shareholders. France, with a 27% stake and Dassault with a 26% stake are the two main shareholders.
Levy served as (CEO) at French multi-media company Vivendi for seven years prior to leaving in June.
Thales (THL) USA President & (CEO) Allan Cameron will retire at the end of the year, the company said. VP & General Manager of Thales Avionics, Alan Pellegrini, will succeed Cameron as President & (CEO).
"Allan Cameron has had a very successful career at Thales, working diligently to increase the company's footprint in the USA defense, civil and commercial markets and setting high standards for improving organizational efficiencies in the USA," said Pascale Sourisse, Thales Senior Vice President, International. "As a result of his dedicated efforts targeting strategic growth markets in the USA, he has built a foundation for continued growth and opportunity for his successor, Alan Pellegrini."
Cameron joined Thales in 2004 leading the naval business in the U.K. and was appointed as President and (CEO) of Thales USA in 2006.
Pellegrini has more than 20 years of combined experience in the avionics and commercial aerospace industry. He joined Thales six years ago, as CEO of the In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) organization. He was previously the CEO at Integrated Media Solutions and has held executive level positions at Panasonic Avionics Corp., Rockwell Collins and Hughes Electronics.
February 2013: The Civil Aviation Authority of Cyprus and integrated electronic communication services provider Cyta have selected Thales (THL) to modernize the country’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. The upgrades will increase capacity and enhance punctuality. The system provided be compliant with the latest international standards, including the new (ICAO) Flight Plan 2012 format, (OLDI) over (FMTP), and the meteorological (GRIB) 2 format. The contract will include a TopSky simulator for training purposes.
April 2013: Gogo and Thales (THL) are teaming up to offer a joint service as in-flight connectivity and in-flight entertainment (IFE) become more closely entwined. Announcing the deal at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, the new partners described the deal as a “collaborative agreement” rather than a joint venture and said they hoped to draw on one another’s complementary technologies.
“We needed a way to integrate in-flight connectivity with (IFE),” Gogo President & (CEO), Michael Small said. “We got to know each other and we think it is a good partnership.”
Gogo and Thales (THL) began working together over a year ago on the implementation of a connectivity system for a domestic USA carrier. They have been working more closely together over the last couple of months and said that “given the direction the business is going in, it made sense” to join forces. “We recognize that (IFE) and in-flight connectivity are increasingly going together,” said Thales (THL) USA President & (CEO), Alan Pellegrini. “We have agreed to work closely to market our solutions to airlines.”
Under the deal, Gogo connectivity will be combined with Thales (THL)’s TopSeries (AVANT) platform, delivering “a single equipment solution”, however, the agreement is non-exclusive, so the partners will still be able to work with other technology providers.
The use of head-up displays (HUDs) in Chinese commercial airplanes has made a key advance in China with the decision by one of the country’s three biggest airlines, China Eastern (CEA), to introduce the technology into its narrow body airplanes.
With the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) (CAC) targeting near-universal use of (HUD)s by 2025, (CEA) has ordered Rockwell Collins (HUD)s for 58 737s, with deliveries due from mid-2013 to 2015.
Okay Airways (OKA), a much smaller carrier, has ordered the same equipment for 10 737s, with similar delivery dates to (CEA)’s.
(HUD)s are becoming steadily more common in commercial aviation globally because they increase safety and landing opportunities in bad weather by keeping pilots (FC)’s attention outside of the airplane, and they also can help guide the landing. But the (CAAC)’s policy is making manufacturers optimistic that the Chinese market will mature early.
Thales (THL) and Rockwell Collins are well positioned as the suppliers for the A320 family and the 737, respectively.
The Chinese market alone is considerable. Rockwell Collins, for example, says its (HUD), the Head-up Guidance System (HGS), has a catalog price of about $350,000 per set. On that basis, the two contracts announced on April 2 are worth about $24 million, before discounts.
Shandong Airlines (SHG) appears to have been the first Chinese carrier to begin using (HUD)s. It ordered the (HGS) for 737s around the middle of last decade, says Rockwell Collins Commercial Systems in China.
China Southern (GUN) ordered its five A380s with Thales (THL) (HUD)s. Xiamen Airlines (XIA) uses Rockwell Collins (HUD)s on its 737s.
Thales (THL) is planning to offer an in-flight entertainment (IFE) system based on its Avant platform, which can be controlled by gestures or eye movements.
May 2013: Thales (THL) and the Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS) Company of South Africa have a new agreement to replace the legacy air traffic management (ATM) system in the region with a modernized system. The agreement will launch the Thales (THL) TopSky system, the company's (ATM) automation system launched in 2012 consisting of the Thales (THL) Eurocat data fusion, Simcat air traffic control (ATC) simulator, Flowcat air traffic flow management, Aeronautical Information Management and Integrated Tower products.
"South Africa is emerging as one of the fastest growing and complex (ATM) regions in the continent," said Patrick Oszczeda, VP & (CEO) of Thales (THL) South Africa. "This technology acquisition will allow (ATNS) to deploy a truly future proofed technology capable of not only dealing with the issues and challenges of Africa today, but also capable of growing and adapting as the airspace becomes more complex."
June 2013: Thales (THL) demonstrated the results of its in-flight entertainment (IFE) research and development efforts at the Paris Air Show, displaying flat-screen displays designed for airplane cabins with eye-tracking and gesture-control capabilities.
Stuart Dunleavy, Thales (THL) VP Media & Connectivity Business, said the two functions are the result of more than >18 months of work. The eye-tracking system allows users to select movies, games, television shows and moving map applications by looking at the screen and moving the cursor with their eyes. "To be honest, we're not sure this will ever see the inside of an airplane cabin, but there may be some other uses for this in the future," Dunleavy said, adding military, particularly on the company's "TopOwl" head-up guidance system, may be an application of the technology.
The gesture-control system, which utilizes the company's next-generation (AVANT) system (along with two additional cameras) works similarly to home gaming systems, allowing users to control the system with the wave of a hand. "The model here is you're sitting in a first-class seat and you're able to control the system from a long way away," Dunleavy said.
The application within this system could include digital magazines, 360 degree views of destinations, interactive maps, movies, television shows and games, according to Dunleavy.
Development of the system is further advanced than the eye-tracking system, as the company has already seen interest from airlines for their premium cabins. This capability could be installed in airplane cabins in 12 - 18 months, Dunleavy said.
July 2013: Sabena Technics (SAB) and Avionics Services Worldwide, a Thales (THL)’s Avionics unit responsible for support of civil aerospace, has signed a five-year maintenance services agreement. Sabena Technics (SAB) gets access to Thales (THL) technical and parts support for in-house maintenance, while (THL) offers repair service with guaranteed turnaround times. The agreement covers mainline and regional airplanes, narrow body, and long-range airplane models.
Thales (THL) has appointed Dominique Giannoni as the new (CEO) of its In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity business.
August 2013: (BAB)'s new A380 and 787s are equipped with the Thales (THL)-provided TopSeries In-Flight Entertainment System (IFE). (BAB), which has ordered a total of 12 A380s and 24 787s, took delivery in the United Kingdom of the first A380 in July and first two 787s in June. The second A380 is due to be delivered in September.
The Thales (THL) TopSeries System, which (BAB) agreed to buy in 2008, allows passengers to watch movies and TV, follow breaking news, play games, and listen to music, radio and podcasts. The system also includes a 3-D moving map application. Arrival and flight-connection information is also available. “Thales (THL) is looking forward to more passengers being able to experience in-flight entertainment products and services fitting of the new state-of-the-art airplanes,” said Andrew Musgrave, Thales VP In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) for the United Kingdom & Ireland.
The new airplanes will be maintained at the Thales (THL) London Heathrow maintenance hub, which already services 31 (BAB) airplanes.
(BAB) has 18 777-200s in service with Thales (THL) (IFE) equipment.
LAN) Airlines recently began testing a new in-flight connectivity system from Thales (THL) on an A320.
The system, "TopSeries (AVA)," is being flight tested on an A320. According to Thales (THL), the system allows passengers to connect their own portable electronic devices to the Thales (THL) TopSeries head-end server through wireless access points within the airplane cabin.
(LAN) is currently flying the system on domestic and regional routes as part of a six month trial. (THL) obtained (FAA) certification for the TopSeries system in May, and is looking to use (LAN)'s flight trials as part of a large-scale movement of content from (Thales) (IFEC) California operation to (LAN)'s hub in Santiago, Chile. "This enables for the first time to have a content load to be delivered end-to-end without the need for physical touch or intervention," said Dominique Giannoni, (CEO) of Thales (THL).
Both companies are looking to use passenger surveys to gauge the popularity of the new system. - - SEE ATTACHED - - "THL-2013-08-THALES TOPSERIES HIGH END SERVER FOR LAN."
September 2013: Thales (THL) and Inmarsat announced a new agreement at the (APEX) Expo in Anaheim, California, that will make Thales (THL) a marketing partner for Inmarsat's in-flight connectivity solutions. Under the new agreement, Thales (THL)'s TopSeries in-flight entertainment and connectivity platform (IFEC) will use Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband as its primary satellite service. When (GX) Aviation enters service in 2015, (THL) will add that as a primary satellite service for TopSeries as well, the company said.
"The ultimate aim of this agreement is to achieve today in the airline market, what network operators and mobile phone manufacturers achieved a decade ago by making passengers and systems connected anytime, anywhere," said Dominique Giannoni, (CEO) of Thales (THL) (IFEC) division.
Inmarsat currently provides satellite communications for more than >15,000 connected airplanes, and will look to increase their market share through the new partnership with (THL).
Thales (THL) plans to deliver a new version of its moving map on airplanes in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Android-based 3DMaps application will be adapted to the company's Avant (IFE) system, which includes passenger media units that respond to touch gestures to re-orient the 3D map and zoom in on destinations. The map includes an updated interface and simulated views of the cockpit and windows. Twelve airlines with a total of more than >400 airplanes will use the new application. A previous version is available on six airlines flying nearly 200 airplanes in total.
October 2013: Recent acquisitions and company division mergers have lead to Thales Communications to change its name to Thales Defense & Security, the company said.
The navigation, surveillance and simulation segment of Thales' Air Traffic Management (ATM) organization and the former Thales USA Defense & Security have both merged with Thales Communications under the new brand. Tampa Microwave, which makes tactical (SATCOM) terminals, plus Visionix and InterSense, developers of helmet mounted display technologies will also merge and operate under the new brand name. All three companies were acquired by Thales (THL) in 2012.
“Thales (THL) has essentially consolidated its USA defense and security businesses under one company,” said Alan Pellegrini, President & (CEO) of Thales USA. “This has created a larger, stronger company with operational and market synergies that will benefit both shareholders and customers.”
Going forward, the company will continue to focus on providing solutions for ground tactical, airborne and avionics, naval/maritime, public safety and security domains.
Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer (RMB) has awarded Thales (THL) a contract to supply Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders for the upgrade of A1M fighters and E-99 (AEW) surveillance airplanes in service with the Brazilian Air Force (BRF). A total of 48 airplanes will be retrofitted with the new (IFF) transponders.
Thales (THL)will supply its TSC 2030 and TSC 2050 transponders, which are part of the company’s BlueGate range of (IFF) products and provide a digital identification capability in line with (NATO)’s (MKXA) standard. The airplanes equipped with the new (IFF) systems will be fully interoperable to overcome risks of friendly fire.
“This (IFF) retrofit program for the Brazilian Air Force (BRF) shows that Thales (THL)’s BlueGate (IFF) solutions are an excellent fit for upgrading existing airplanes,” said Jean-Michel Lagarde, (CEO) of Thales Communications & Security.
The panel mounted TSC 2030 transponders and the remote 2050 transponders rely on the latest technologies and meet all the most recent standards and regulations defined by (NATO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They are designed to operate either in national secure cryptographic mode or in the secure identification modes used by (NATO) forces (Modes 4 and 5).
November 2013: Thales (THL) and the airberlin (BER) Group have signed a long-term component services agreement for 64 A320s.
December 2013: Thales (THL) has a new contract with Iraq's Civil Aviation Authority to provide technology that will improve and modernize the nation's air traffic operations.
Thales (THL) will provide its TopSky-(ATC) automation platform and three RSM970S secondary radars to support the Iraqi airspace modernization project. The contract brings the total number of Thales (ATM) centers and towers in the Middle East to 16, as the company also provides radar coverage for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan, making it the biggest air traffic management (ATM) provider in the region.
January 2014: China Eastern Airlines (CEA)'s new Airbus (EDS) single aisle fleet will feature surveillance systems, flight management systems and head up displays' from Thales (THL). (CEA) will add (THL)'s latest avionics solutions to a fleet of 60 A320s that it purchased for $5.4 billion in 2012. Delivery of those A320s is scheduled to begin this year.
According to Daniel Malka, VP & General Manager Avionics Services worldwide at Thales (THL), said the purchase should prepare the airline for future Air Traffic Management (ATM) requirements in China. Airbus (EDS) signed a partnership in September to modernize the nation's air traffic system, focusing on air traffic flow management and the implementation of Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches at Chengdu Airport and Instrument Landing Systems at Beijing Capital Airport.
“China Eastern, already one of our main customers for (FMS) systems, has now become our largest customer for (T3CAS) Surveillance Systems and Head-Up Displays (HUD) in China, which we feel will lay the foundations for future (ATM) requirements in this region," said Malka.
Among the (THL) solutions selected by (CEA) is the company's (ACSS) (T3CAS) surveillance platform, which is compliant with future (ATM) requirements in Europe. The system features a performance based Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) and an (ADS-B) capable transponder in a 6 (MCU) package, along with a full range of (ADS-B) In functions; which would prepare (CEA) for (ADS-B) future airspace mandates in the region, should regulations follow USA (FAA) directives.
(CEA) will also likely use the new Thales (THL)-equipped aircraft on several new routes that were introduced using A320s in December, including flights between Ningbo (NGB) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK), and Wuxi (WUX) to Singapore (SIN).
China is expected to lead the global increase in passenger demand on domestic routes through 2016 with an additional +193 million passengers projected to travel domestically on Chinese carriers over the next three years.
Thales Alenia Space has delivered its third Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) to Orbital Sciences Corporation (ORB) for integration in the Cygnus spacecraft that will transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
The module was shipped from Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Turin, Italy to the (NASA) (NAS) launch facility on Wallops Island in Virginia, where Orbital will integrate it with the Service Module to form the Cygnus spacecraft that will carry out the first operational resupply mission.
Thales Alenia Space will provide Orbital with six more pressurized cargo modules, which will ferry crew supplies, spare parts and scientific experiments to the International Space Station. The company is providing a total of nine units under the Commercial Resupply Service (COTS/CRS) contract awarded to Orbital by (NASA) (NAS).
The (PCM) unit delivered yesterday will be followed by one more unit in the standard configuration, capable of transporting up to 2,000 kg of cargo, and by five enhanced units, offering cargo capacity of up to 2,700 kg.
The CygnusTM spacecraft comprises a Service Module (SM) from Orbital, and the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) developed by Thales Alenia Space. Building on 30 years of experience in space infrastructures and transportation systems, the Cygnus (PCM) developed by Thales Alenia Space calls on the company’s skills and expertise developed through previous programs for the International Space Station, extended by at least 2024, such as the Multipurpose Logistics Module (MPLM), built by the company on behalf of the Italian space agency for (NASA) (NAS), and the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Cargo Carrier, built by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency (ESA). Thales Alenia Space supplies half of the International Space Station’s pressurized volume, as prime contractor for the Station’s Node 2, Node 3 and Cupola, and is a key player in the Columbus laboratory.
February 2014: Thales (THL) and Turkish Airlines (THY) announced the Thales TopSeries AVANT in-flight entertainment (IFE) system has been officially selected on board 25 of its A321 and 20 of its 737 airplanes.
Turkish Airlines (THY) is the world’s largest carrier by number of destinations and enjoys an average fleet age of just over >6 years, well below all its main European peers. (THY) achieved a huge +23.6% growth in 2013 with over >50 million passengers. It utilized this success and young fleet to develop a bold and successful strategy, positioning itself as one of the top airlines for passenger comfort. As a result, SKYTRAX, the world’s premier airline review service has, for the past three consecutive years voted (THY) Europe’s best airline.
This commitment to the passenger experience is reflected in the (THY)’s choice to operate the latest generation, award winning Thales TopSeries AVANT (IFE) system. The system is easily equipped on all advanced, single and twin aisle Airbus and Boeing airplanes and its unique design eliminates the electronics box under each cabin seat therefore improving passenger comfort and driving weight efficiency, both key drivers for the single aisle segment. The system’s scalable design allows (THY) to offer differentiation between classes such as single touchscreen in economy (Y) and interactive multi-screen in business (C). The AVANT system is also based on the Android Operating System, which accommodates a wide range of both off-the-shelf and airline specific applications easily integrated using the unique Thales Software Developers Kit (SDK).
A further element of the selection was (THY)’s ability to use (THY)’s highly experienced global service and support network to ensure optimal system performance, especially in fast turnaround situations, driving maximum passenger satisfaction and comfort.
March 2014: A second initial 4D (i4D) trajectory flight trial has been conducted as part of a joint project by members of the European Union (EU) (funded Single European Sky (ATM) Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking (SJU). The first flight trial was in 2012. This second flight trial was conducted using Airbus (EDS)’ A320 flight-test airplane, (MSN001), with a Honeywell (SGC) Flight Management System (FMS) on the outbound leg from Toulouse via Copenhagen to Stockholm, and a Thales (THL) (FMS) on the return journey.
Its goal was to demonstrate the technical and operational benefits of i4D in a live traffic environment, following the initial feasibility trial conducted in February 2012. Using the same airplane on the same test route, the 2012 trial was the world’s first flight using four-dimensional optimized and upgraded air traffic management (ATM) technology. The core objective of i4D is to ensure that airplane flight trajectories remain synchronized between air and ground throughout all aspects of flight to optimize the airplane trajectory in three dimensions plus time. This should result in safer and more efficient handling, and certainty of flight profiles. Airbus (EDS) said the flight trial “confirmed that i4D offers safety and environmental gains, with reductions in fuel costs, increased flight predictability and overall network efficiency.”
Controllers can clearly see on their screens expected ground and airborne trajectories, which allow them to resolve discrepancies and anticipate flight paths with greater precision. Similarly, airplanes can better manage their speed profile, resulting in fuel savings and an environmentally optimized flight profile. The sharing of trajectory also means that airplane sequences can be more efficiently managed and delivered into Terminal Manoeuvering Areas (TMA)s.
The (SJU) said the flight “proves that the [i4D] technology, systems and procedures are ready for large-scale demonstrations and therefore one step closer to deployment.” If the validation process is a success, i4D should be implemented by the entire European aviation industry around 2018.
(SJU) members involved in the trial were Thales (THL), (NORACON) (a consortium of eight European (ANSP)s:- Austro Control (Austria), Avinor (Norway), (EANS) (Estonia), Finavia (Finland), (IAA) (Ireland), (ISAVIA) (Iceland), (LFV) (Sweden) and Naviair (Denmark), the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), Indra, Eurocontrol, Honeywell (SGC), and Airbus (EDS). One of Airbus (EDS)’ key roles has been to test the upgraded (FMS) and communication systems with each other and to integrate them into the real airplane architecture.
April 2014: Thales (THL) is aiming to close its $400 million acquisition of JetBlue (JBL)’s LiveTV subsidiary this summer.
OnAir and Thales (THL) TopConnect has connected Saudia (SVA)’s Boeing 787s with Wi-Fi Internet and mobile phone services over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband.
Thales (THL) has unveiled a prototype of its “Immersive Business (C) Class Seat,” - - SEE ATTACHED - - "THL-2014-04-IMMERSIVE C SEAT" developed in partnership with (BE) Aerospace and (BMW) Design Works, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. “This is a five- to seven-year projected technology seat. If we had [an order] tomorrow, we could possibly do it [get it to market] within three to four years,” Thales (THL) In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) & Connectivity Director, Innovations/R&D, Brett Bleacher told a small gathering of media in Hamburg.
The demonstrator features a 24-inch ultra-high definition display, which can be controlled by eye movements, hand gestures, near-field communication (NFC) with the passenger’s mobile phone, a tracker pad or a combination of those inputs. “We have airlines very interested in both the eye tracking and gesture [controls]. We’re in bids right now. They like those technologies because you’re quite a long way away [from the screen in premium cabins], so touch technology is not possible, and these are the only ways to interface, other than to have a controller. We’ve also just introduced a touch pad,” Bleacher said.
The gesture and eye-tracking controls have not yet been certified for aviation use, although Bleacher said this should be “pretty easy” and he believes the weight would be very similar to current day seats.
Voice control would be another potential interface, but it remains extremely challenging for in-flight applications because of the high levels of background noise and placement of the microphones.
“We’re going to incorporate voice into the next version,” Bleacher said. “We’re trying to figure out where to put the directional microphones. For the time being, Thales (THL) has settled on mounting the directional microphones under the headrest. Voice commands could then be used to control the (IFE) system, or incorporated with eye-tracking controls as a way of confirming the passenger’s selection. Currently, eye-tracking technology uses a three-second visual pause to select an item as an input, although this may be replaced with a touchpad tap in future. The eye-tracking system also halts the movie when a passenger looks away from the screen; if the passenger falls asleep, it resumes where it left off.
The immersive seat prototype also features a 3D surround sound audio system, built into the headrest to remove the need for headphones. Immersive transducers create audio feedback, so the user can “feel” explosions during films, and this doubles up as a four-zone massage system. The transducers are more durable and lighter weight than motors.
Also, if a passenger reclines the seat, the screen tilts and synchronizes with the new seating angle. These future technologies are largely driven by predicted changes in consumer electronics, although Thales (THL)’s eye-tracking innovations were based on innovations for the disabled community.
“We’re kind of testing the waters for all these different technologies. That’s why we added all of them [to the concept seat]. Is one technology going to win, or is it going to be a combination of technologies?” Bleacher asked, adding it is unlikely all of them will make the final cut into tomorrow’s passenger cabin.
Thales (THL) will supply a total of 25 navaids to the General Authority of Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (GACA), for deployment across several of the Kingdom’s airports. This contract is part of the country’s continuing efforts to modernize current navigation surveillance capabilities, ensuring a significant improvement of safety and efficiency.
The deployment of these Thales (THL) Navaids, is aimed at ensuring airports can continue to offer all-weather tactical, en-route navigation and approach services conformant to the highest Safety (ICAO) standards and provide safety and efficiency in the Saudi Airspace.
Thales (THL) has been a partner to (GACA) and for more than >30 years and is the Kingdom’s prime supplier of air navigations systems. This contract is testament to their renewed confidence in (THL) as their system provider of choice for the provision of comprehensive and technically advanced ground based air navigation systems. With a base of over >7,000 units deployed worldwide, (THL) is the world leader in the supply of Navaids.
May 2014: Following an international competitive tender, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply & Communication of Zambia has chosen Thales (THL) for the supply, delivery, installation, and commissioning of the country’s air traffic management (ATM) and radar surveillance system.
Zambia joins an extensive community of African countries that use Thales (THL) systems and pursue regional harmonisation; an initiative strongly supported by Thales (THL). The Group will supply its "TopSky-(ATC)," the world’s most advanced air traffic control (ATC) system, to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone. The Thales (THL) solution will be delivered alongside two primary radars and two secondary surveillance radars equipped with full Mode S. All systems are fully compliant with the new (ICAO) Flight Plan 2012 format and EUROCONTROL standards.
Before Zambia, other African countries (including Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa) have deployed this air traffic automation and surveillance system. Zambia will therefore benefit from a greatly enhanced air traffic management (ATM) network, seamlessly interoperable with all other regional systems, most of which are also equipped by Thales (THL).
Over the years, (THL) has become dominant in Africa’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) market. Over >70% of the continent’s control centers now feature "TopSky-(ATC)," the world’s most successful (ATC) turnkey solution - used by over >16,000 controllers globally.
May 2014: Thales (THL) and its industrial partner (CIT) Lao are pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the (CNS)/(ATM) Improvement Project is completed and was officially handed over to the Ministry of Transports & Public Works of Lao (PDR) at a ceremony held in Vientiane, capital of Laos.
A new, fully equipped air traffic control (ATC) center housing the Thales (THL) TopSky-(ATC) system was officially opened at the ceremony. The air traffic management (ATM) system integrates the new Thales (THL) TopSky-(AMHS) with Thales (THL)’s state-of-the-art full Mode S radars and (ADS-B) functionalities. As part of the project, (THL) and (CIT) Lao have also delivered and installed new Navaids equipment across the country, (ADS-B) stations in Vientiane and a new radar system in the south of the country.
Lao (PDR)’s airspace is experiencing significant growth in volume, with up to 1,600 flights per month compared to just over >700 in 2008. The system is therefore geared up to manage increasing traffic flows, by providing up-to-date meteorological information from all the country’s airports to the control centre in Vientiane, and sharing this with pilots (FC) alongside all other mission critical information prior to take-off.
June 2014: Thales (THL) has closed its $399 million acquisition of JetBlue (JBL)’s LiveTV business, which has become a fully owned subsidiary of Thales USA. The deal strengthens Thales (THL)’s in-flight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) business, giving it a new live television, wireless video and connectivity platform.
“The combination of this offering with the advanced Thales (THL) (AVANT) entertainment system firmly aligns the (THL) in-flight entertainment & connectivity business to its long-term focus on connected services for passengers and airline operators within all industry segments, from premium to low cost,” (THL) said.
Now that the deal has closed, Thales (THL) is expected to disclose its plans for LiveTV, including whether to change its branding. The two companies also plan to form a partnership that focuses on innovation for passengers and airline operations.
LiveTV has equipped more than >700 airplanes worldwide. It employs over >500 staff and is expected to generate in excess of >$150 million in revenue for 2014. The unit will report to Dominique Giannoni, who is (CEO) of Thales (THL)’s (IFEC) business. In April, Giannoni indicated that other acquisitions could potentially be in the pipeline.
July 2014: (L&T) Technology Services, a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited, has purchased 74% of the equity of Thales (THL) Software India, the Indian subsidiary of Thales (THL). The move should enable Thales (THL) to select the new group as its Indian offset partner, resulting in an inflow of offset revenue.
September 2014: Honeywell Aerospace (SGC) and Thales (THL) will collaborate to integrate Honeywell JetWave hardware with Thales cabin network solutions for Airbus A350 XWB and other commercial airplanes. The combined offering will give commercial airline operators and their passengers the same in-flight connectivity experience as they would have at home or work (enabling real-time TV channel viewing, live chatting, video streaming and more).
Following an international competitive tender, (NATS), the UK's main air navigation service provider, has chosen Thales (THL) to supply their new "Safety Nets Server." The technology will be deployed at Swanwick and Prestwick Air Traffic Control (ATC) Centers, as well as at (NATS)’ Corporate Technical Center and will be integrated into a fully virtualized environment.
Based on the (THL) TopSky–Safety Nets system, this innovative technology guarantees earlier conflict detection and a lower nuisance alert rate than standard safety nets. It is anticipated that TopSky–Safety Nets will help extend (NATS)’ outstanding safety record.
This contract underscores Thales’ leading position in the provision of air traffic management (ATM) systems in Europe.
(THL) is proud to partner with (NATS) and aspires to their vision for the future of air traffic management (ATM) in Europe. This contract is evidence of (THL)’s edge in delivering components perfectly integrated into the actual (ATC) system and virtualized (ATM) solutions.
(NATS) joins over >40 Air Navigation Service Providers across the globe that have already chosen TopSky–Safety Nets for their (ATC) centers.
(THL) is the leading manufacturing industry contributor to (SESAR) and its TopSky–Safety Nets are used extensively in (SESAR) validations and are fully compliant with (ICAO) Aviation System Block Upgrades, Block 0 and 1.
Thales has signed a new contract with the Bulgarian Air Traffic Services Authority (BULATSA) for the delivery of one approach radar at Sofia Airport and two en-route radar systems. The en-route radars will consist of co-mounted (TRAC2000N) L-band primary radar and (RSM970S) Mode S secondary radar. They will be installed at Vitosha and Varbitsa sites to improve surveillance coverage across Bulgarian airspace and enhance the integrity and quality of surveillance data for controllers.
The choice to replace end-of-life radars with the latest proven Thales (THL) systems, including the advanced (TRAC2000N), the most powerful L-band transmitter on the market, was made following an international tender.
November 2014: News Item A-1: Over the next two decades, China will become the world's largest air passenger market, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who projects the country will surpass the United States by adding +16.9 billion new passengers. To accommodate for that massive growth in the number of airplanes flying into and out of China, the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) has implemented avionics equipage requirements for its domestic airlines, presenting big opportunities for well-established American and European avionics manufacturers. Airshow China in Zhuhai this month presented the opportunity for one of the industry's most active players in the region, Thales (THL), to discuss equipage requirements with airlines and also enter into new business opportunities with operators in the region.
In 2012, the (CAAC) published its "Head up Display Application Roadmap," requiring airlines to equip 10% of their fleet with Head up Displays (HUDs) by 2015, then increasing that to 50% by 2020 and finally equipping 100% of the fleet with the technology by 2025. Thales (THL) is the sole supplier of (HUD)s for the entire Airbus (EDS) airplane family, from the A318 to the company's latest model, the A350 XWB. The (CAAC) is making (HUD) technology a priority for its airlines, in order to improve safety and efficiency, Daniel Malka VP Avionics Services at Thales (THL) told Avionics Magazine.
"In China, you have more and more airplanes flying. They have a lot of difficulties managing the increasing number of flights into China. The airlines that have the (HUD)s installed, they will benefit from improved situational awareness and safety," Malka said. "Beijing for example has one of the world's most congested airports, causing very significant delays. I can remember one time having to wait four hours on the airplane for our flight to leave, and these delays are caused by the significant growth in the number of flights they've experienced recently. The (CAAC) is very concerned with improving that, so they started to ask for this (HUD), because one of the ways that you can safely get more airplanes into the airspace is by improving pilot (FC) perception and situational awareness with that technology."
According to an emailed statement from Thales, the company believes the HUD system allows smoother transitions for pilots (FC) between "eyes in" and "eyes out" flight operations. The technology also has the possibility of allowing for reduced landing minima on suitably equipped runways in China. Over the next five years, the (CAAC) has authorized the construction of 70 new airports in China to help accommodate for projected air traffic growth.
(Thales) (THL) will not be the only avionics company benefiting from (CAAC)'s (HUD) requirement either. Rockwell Collins is the supplier of (HUD)s for the Boeing 737, 777 and 787, thus, the Chinese carriers adding Boeing air transport airplanes to their fleets over the next decade will receive one of their displays. Through 2025, (IATA) expects one third of all new production aircraft from the major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)s to be delivered to Chinese operators. Malka also said that the (CAAC) will be requiring airlines to equip their airplanes with satellite communication systems to assist with communication between pilots (FC) and flight dispatchers.
"There is a request from the (CAAC) to install satcom on their airplanes and as more airplanes continue to be added by the airlines there, more will have to be equipped with both forward fit and retrofit installations in the future," said Malka. "There are also three stages in this recommendation from the (CAAC), which is in fact, in 2013, 20% of the fleet equipped with satcom. We will see between now and next year that they have to reach 70%, and the third stage, which is 2016, they have to reach 100% equipped with satcom."
One of Thales (THL)'s major competitors, Honeywell (SGC), is also seeing opportunities for growth in China as the country's civil aviation industry continues to develop and become managed, as it is in Europe and North America. Currently Honeywell (SGC) employs about 400 aerospace engineers in its research and product centers in China, with that number expected to increase to over >700 by 2017. In the past, Honeywell (SGC) engineers served mostly in a support role to Chinese carriers, but that focus has been shifting to a leadership role in domestic production and engineering development, said Thea Feyereisen, an engineering fellow in the Flight Safety Systems group of Honeywell (SGC)'s Aerospace Advanced Technology organization.
"Before, most of our in country engineers were more of a product support, and now they're becoming more involved in actual development of technology, and so they'll support our traditional product lines, though they also are creating new market space and new products specifically developed for the region," said Feyereisen.
One of the current projects Feyereisen is working on involves helicopter pilots (FC). Honeywell (SGC) engineers in China are currently working on a system that produces voice activated safety alerts in Mandarin for Chinese helicopter operators.
Thales (THL) is also showing interest in the Chinese helicopter industry, especially with the (CAAC)'s decision to relax its rules around low-level flying, leading to increased rotorcraft flight operations. During "Airshow China," (THL) announced a new partnership with Shanghai Avionics Corporation (SAVIC), to begin jointly developing avionics solutions for the country's growing helicopter market.
"Two-thirds of all new airports currently under construction in the world are in China. With the tremendous market needs and burgeoning demand, the rising presence and emphasis of China in aerospace appears as a forgone conclusion," Feyereisen said in a recent blog post. "China has the second largest economy in the world and the Chinese aerospace industry is just beginning to takeoff."
News Item A-2: ThalesRaytheonSystems (THL)/(RAY) has completed system testing for the National Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Air Command and Control System (ACCS) program. The tests demonstrated the system’s ability to operate in a network configuration, linking the pilot sites at Lyon Mont Verdun in France, Glons in Belgium, Uedem in Germany and Poggio Renatico in Italy.
During the tests, the system handled a daily number of military air movements several times higher than for any operations conducted up to now, proving its ability to interconnect (NATO) and National Air Command and Control (AirC2) units across four European nations into a single integrated (AirC2) system.
December 2014: News Item A-1: The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of Hong Kong is approaching operational status for a new network of eight Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations in the Hong Kong flight region. The (CAD) approved Thales (THL) to provide its (ADS-B) ground solutions following a series of stringent acceptance and flight checks to support the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) regional plan to implement (ADS-B) throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
According to (THL), the French aerospace manufacturer's ground station is designed around a Central Data Processor (CDP) that will fuse data not only from the local (ADS-B) ground station network, but also from foreign stations. Among the foreign stations that will provide data, those in Taiwan and Indonesia, among others, already have Thales (ADS-B) stations deployed. "This is achieved by means of a remote data connection between the countries that feeds data into the Thales (CDP). The (CDP) then merges all the data so as to provide a continuous plot for arrival/departures/over flying airplanes or helicopters. The system not only provides another sensor to their (ATC) system but it also fills in the gap for some areas not covered by radars as well as very low-level altitudes. It also increases the update rate of [airplane] plots from one in four to five seconds to one per second."
The Hong Kong International Airport (among other local general aviation airports) will see the biggest surveillance benefits from the new ground stations.
Hong Kong will soon join the USA in requiring airplanes flying within its airspace to become equipped with mandatory (ADS-B) avionics, according to (THL). (THL) is now awaiting Hong Kong's civil aviation department to complete their internal procedures regarding the operation of the new ground stations. The ground stations are expected to become operational by the end of Spring 2015.
News Item A-2: Thales (THL) appointed M Philippe Logak as acting Chairman & (CEO), following the resignation of Jean-Bernard Levy.
February 2015: (ACSS), an L-3 (ESM) & Thales Company (THL), announced that Boeing (TBC) has certified its NXT-800 Mode S transponder for Boeing 767 airplanes. The (NXT-800) offers the most advanced level of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out transmission, which will be required to meet the approaching global mandates for (ADS-B) Out capability.
March 2015: Thales (THL) announced they will supply the new Air Traffic Control (ATC) system for the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport; Thales systems now monitors 60% of China's airspace.
Thales (THL), through its BEST Joint Venture (JV), has been awarded a contract by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) to supply the main (ATC) system for the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport in China, using Thales TopSky (ATC).
Thales (THL) has a long history of partnerships with Chinese aerospace industries. The company has been working with the (CAAC) for over 30 years in which it has deployed 9 air traffic control (ATC) centers, over >300 Navaids and over 220 radars and (ADS-B) stations. Thales (THL) systems now monitors 60% of China's airspace. In further support of China's developing (ATM) infrastructure, in January 2015, Thales (THL) (CEO), Patrice Caine traveled to China to sign a letter of intent (LOI) with the (CAAC), in the presence of French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls and Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, for continued cooperation toward strengthening the safety of China's airspace through technology sharing and training in air traffic control (ATC) and avionics.
April 2015: Thales (THL) has announced it will reshape its In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) activities into the Thales (THL) InFlyt Experience. This shift aims to focus on the passenger experience, which (THL) enables airlines to offer, and the airline experience, where customers engage with (THL) to design, deliver and support their solutions.
According to (THL), passengers require an immersive, personalized and connected experience, and the company has reshaped its offering to meet this demand.
June 2015: News Item A-1: Thales (THL) announced that Kuwait Airways' (KUW)’s newest fleet of Airbus A330-200s was fitted with the (AVANT) in-flight entertainment system.
August 2015: The US Air Force (USF) has awarded Thales (THL) a contract to provide Deployable Instrument Landing Systems (D-ILS). The systems will be used in airfield environments, where the ability to provide precision guidance to aircraft on final approach during low-visibility or low-ceiling weather conditions are critical.
The (D-ILS) will provide the equivalent of fixed-based Instrument Landing System (ILS) capability at tactical airfields and environmentally diverse regions such as areas of natural disaster or humanitarian relief efforts. Thales (THL)’s (D-ILS) is a Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) system based on the company’s (ILS 420) (a fixed- based, dual-frequency (ILS) for civil and military applications).
The contract includes delivery of two Production Representative Units (PRUs) along with technical orders and provisional technical documentation, training development and conduct, system analysis, architecture and engineering, and contractor support. The (USF) plans to purchase up to 38 systems over the coming years.
Thales (THL) has extensive experience in designing and supplying Navigation and Surveillance systems in configurations that meet the unique needs of customers worldwide. For more than >80 years, (THL) has partnered with the aviation community, providing air traffic management solutions to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the USA Department of Defense, as well as Air Navigation Service Providers and airports worldwide. Today, >99% of the instrument landing systems (ILS) at USA airports are Thales (THL) systems, and more than >7,000 (THL) navigation aids are deployed around the world.
September 2015: China Southern Airlines (GUN) has selected Thales (THL) Dual Head Up Displays (HUD) configuration across 30 of their new Airbus A320s, alongside the company’s Flight Management System (FMS) and Low Range Radio Altimeter (LRRA). The order represents Thales (THL)'s largest contract for (HUD)s and the first for a dual configuration system since the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) made it mandatory for all Chinese registered aircraft to be equipped with (HUD)s.
The dual configuration developed by (THL) was certified by Airbus (EDS) in early 2015. The group will equip its (HUD)s across China Eastern (CEA), Sichuan Airlines (SIC), and Loong Air (CDC), as well as Spring Airways (CQH.
October 2015: On the opening day of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Global Show in Dubai, Thales (THL) announced its continued growth in China with the signing of a contract to implement its latest Air Traffic Management (ATM) automation systems for the Shanghai Metroplex air space.
(THL) and Beijing Easy Sky Technology (BEST), a Thales – (TEDC) joint venture (JV), have jointly signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), East Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB), in order to implement a new (ATM) automation system in Shanghai.
Through this contract, (THL), together with (BEST), will upgrade the Shanghai airspace and airport management systems. This will include the Shanghai terminal manoeuvering area and surface operations at Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao airports.
The contract includes implementation of Thales "TopSky-(ATC)." Thales will also deploy "TopSky-Tower," its advanced, integrated tower automation suite, at both Shanghai airports. Airport and airspace traffic flows will be sequenced and balanced using (MAESTRO), Thales's fully integrated arrival and departure management system.
This is a crucial contract for the region, as collectively, the Shanghai Metroplex (incorporating both Shanghai airports) ranks just behind Beijing in China, and is in the top 10 in the world, in terms of air traffic movements. With air traffic in the region set to grow at a steady +20% over the next 10 years, the modernization program will be instrumental in maintaining the projected growth rate, while supporting excellence in air safety for the Shanghai Metroplex.
November 2015: News Item A-1: IndiGo (IGO) has extended its long-term maintenance agreement with Thales (THL) for A320s. The contract will cover avionics maintenance for up to 250 aircraft, including A320neos.
December 2015: Juneyao Airlines (JYA) selected Thales (THL)’s avionics suite for its new Airbus A320 family fleet. (THL) will equip an initial 17 Airbus single-aisle aircraft with the Thales (THL) Flight Management System (FMS), alongside the THALES/(ACSS) (T3CS) surveillance platform. The new fleet will also feature the low range radio altimeter and emergency location transmitters.
January 2016: JetBlue (JBL) will be launch customer for Thales (THL)’s Next-Generation TV Solution, STV+. STV+’s light-weight design reduces operating costs and its larger screens and more entertainment choices deliver "At-Home-in-the-Air" passenger experience.
February 2016: News Item A-1: "Singapore Airlines Selects Thales A350 (IFE)" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, February 16 2016.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will equip its mid-haul Airbus A350s with Thales (THL)’s (AVANT) in-flight entertainment (IFE) and Ka-band connectivity from when the aircraft enters service with (SIA) in 2018.
Announcing the deal at the Singapore Airshow February 17, (THL) Chairman & (CEO), Patrice Caine described it as a “very strategic contract,” however, he declined to comment on the value or scope of the agreement.
“This is a very important announcement for us because of the reputation (SIA) has across the world for excellence in cabin experience and passenger comfort. It also underscores a milestone in our effort to become number one in (IFE) in the years to come.”
(SIA) has historically been a Panasonic user, however Caine said that Thales (THL)’s local presence in Singapore, being “very, very close to the customer” throughout the tender process and a focus on innovation helped win (SIA)’s business. (THL) will add more staff in Singapore for the roll-out.
“It was all about proximity and understanding what the customer really wants, beside the (IFE) system. What they wanted is a company that could co-innovate with them. (SIA) is one of the most innovative airlines in the world in terms of passenger experience. This morning, I had a (CEO) to (CEO) discussion on innovation (not only bringing new features to (IFE), but clearly disrupting the passenger experience in a positive way).”
This personal engagement, Caine said, demonstrated to (SIA) that Thales (THL) is “serious” about the (IFE) business. “This is not a one-shot, we will be here and with them for a long time.”
The system is seat-back based, with high-resolution and low-weight displays, which are up to -30% lighter than earlier models. The new display is already under development and will be flying by the end of this year.
“This is more than delivering a system; this is emerging into partnership,” (THL) Inflyt Experience (CEO), Dominique Giannoni said. “We see this as a starter for a long-lasting contract.”
Singapore Airlines (SIA) last year signed with Panasonic Avionics to become the first airline to introduce a mobile app that personalizes a passenger’s journey end-to-end. The Companion app is an intelligent, personalized mobile application that is integrated with the airline’s (IFE) and connectivity systems.
(SIA) will deliver Companion app via its own app and the functions will integrate with the carrier’s Krisworld (IFE) on board product.
News Item A-2: "Thales Expects 98% Passenger Connectivity on Upgraded JetBlue A320s" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, February 29, 2016.
Thales (THL) is aiming for 98% connectivity for passengers on JetBlue Airways (JBL)’s upgraded in-flight experience being rolled out by (JBL) on its Airbus A320s starting next year.
“Sometimes I do think we have to remind ourselves that you’re flying through space and if you lose email for 2% of your flight, you will live,” Thales (THL) USA (CEO), Alan Pellegrini told reporters during a February 29 briefing at the company’s Arlington, Virginia office.
In January, (JBL) unveiled an A320 cabin “restyling” that will include what (JBL) is calling a fully connected inflight experience. Thales (THL) and ViaSat will enable gate-to-gate high-speed Internet access, which will be connected to new seatback TV screens and be available for free. A streaming TV in-flight entertainment (IFE) system will be provided by Thales (THL) via its STV+ product.
Pellegrini conceded that 100% gate-to-gate connectivity won’t be possible. “There can be physical disruptions that occur,” he said, noting that any route that goes over the Atlantic at a good distance from the USA East Coast, such as many (JBL) flights to the Caribbean, will lose connectivity to satellites. “Those situations [of flying out of satellite range] are improving over time,” he said.
Pellegrini said “severe weather” can cause “attenuation” of in-flight connectivity. “If you have heavy rain and you’re at a low altitude,” disruptions will likely occur, he explained. Pellegrini said “98% is the basic measure” of connectivity Thales (THL) is aiming for. “It’s not dissimilar to disruptions you might get if you’re at a bar watching a game,” he explained. “Largely you can get high 90% availability [on flights], which is quite good.”
Pellegrini said the (JBL) upgrade is “mostly about the next generation of TVs” being installed on the airline’s A320s. Each seat will have a new 10-inch, high-definition, touch-screen television. “From a passenger perspective, it will be a high-definition, wide-screen format [with a] more appealing user interface,” he said. “From an airline perspective, the equipment is lighter.”
March 2016: News Item A-1: "A New Passenger Privacy Issue Airlines Must Soon Confront" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, March 1, 2016.
Do airline passengers want airlines to keep track of their in-flight entertainment (IFE) activity? If you’re a frequent flyer, do you want Airline X to keep a data file on which movies and television programs you watch during flights? Which websites you browsed while flying? How much time you spent sending emails during your last flight? Do you want an airline to have access to your Outlook calendar so the carrier can better accommodate your schedule when a flight is delayed or canceled?
These are questions that soon will have to be confronted by airlines that increasingly have the ability to collect, track and analyze reams of data on passenger behavior. What is the line between providing passengers with customized customer service and violating privacy?
Part of a video presentation during a briefing Thales USA (CEO) Alan Pellegrini gave journalists this week caught my eye. It was an animated overview of an aircraft cabin. Labels showed what passengers in various seats were doing. The passenger in one seat, say 8A, was sending emails. The passenger in another seat was watching a specific movie, and so on. With more sophisticated, Internet-enabled (IFE) systems being installed on aircraft (and passengers able to connect their own mobile devices to on board Wi-Fi and (IFE) provided by carriers) airlines more and more will be able to know and track exactly what a passenger is doing while flying.
Pellegrini was careful to note that Thales (THL), among other things a major player in the next-generation (IFE) market, won’t be collecting and storing any of this information. But it will be an “enabler” to allow airlines to track and gather such information.
Pellegrini pointed out that consumers using, for example, iPads and Kindle are already familiar with this kind of information tracking. He cited the way iPad’s “Genius” feature works regarding books. “If you liked reading Don DeLillo’s "Underworld," you would like this book by Philip Roth,” suggests the iPad feature, so rather than searching for a “needle in a haystack,” the feature lets you quickly move on to another novel, Pellegrini explained, adding, “Airlines will be able to do similar things once they know and understand your habits and experiences.”
This can be part of an “enhanced customer experience” in which airlines tailor services, particularly for frequent flyers. A passenger can take his or her seat and, based on the films they watched on their last flight or flights, can be recommended a movie by the (IFE) system. With (IFE) systems increasingly having vast libraries of entertainment options, “you can spend the first hour of your flight trying to figure out what you want to watch,” Pellegrini said, noting that carriers could help passengers significantly shorten this search time.
How about an airline having access to Outlook calendars? If there’s a flight cancellation, an airline could “recommend the next flight to you based on what’s in your Outlook,” Pellegrini explained. “How do I treat this passenger who has flown 2 million miles? Maybe it’s giving him a conference room in an airport lounge because you know he’s going to miss a meeting” based on having access to the passenger’s Outlook calendar.
Airlines need to consider the privacy implications of all of this. So far, Pellegrini noted, privacy concerns in aviation have largely been associated with security. “Everyone’s been so focused on security, [but] now privacy [related to, for example, (IFE) habits] is becoming an issue,” he said. “Airlines want to do what’s best for passengers [in terms of customizing the flying experience], but at the same time they have to be respectful of privacy. We haven’t confronted that in all aspects in aviation yet for sure.”
One solution may be allowing passengers to opt in (or out—of) giving airlines permission to track their (IFE) habits and Outlook calendars. This is an issue that will have to be confronted sooner rather than later, because airlines are realizing they can access this kind of information to better customize the flying experience, especially for their highest-spending passengers. “For airlines, the light has gone on,” Pellegrini said.
News Item A-2: Avionics and in-flight systems company, Thales (THL) said it won its recent deal with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to supply (AVANT) in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment partly as a result of its Asian development team.
The contract, which was announced at the Singapore Airshow, was to supply (SIA)’s upcoming Airbus A350 XWBs with (IFE) and Ka-band connectivity on aircraft supplied from 2018. It will enable Thales (THL) to establish a foothold in what has traditionally been Panasonic-held territory.
“With the input of the Thales Singapore Innovation Hub (TSIH), we were able to develop [a system] with a significantly local feel,” (THL) (IFE), (CEO), Dominique Giannoni said.
The inclusion of Singapore-based developers into the product team for the new system proved a significant advantage, (THL) (CEO), Patrice Caine said. Caine said the deal was “a very strategic contract,” which was clinched partly by the inclusion not just of new features, but of what he called “the local passenger experience.”
“Being based in Singapore counted a lot for us; we were close to the customer, which allowed us to be a ‘co-innovator’ with (SIA) on the project,” he said.
(THL) said (TSIH) used a multidisciplinary approach inspired by Asian concepts, Asian innovation and Asian thinking, and by collaborating with Singaporean institutions and innovation teams such as the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD).
Giannoni said the new (IFE) system was designed to be as flexible as possible to allow it to evolve and upgrade its offerings on a lightweight (LCD) screen that offered -30% weight savings over conventional systems. “This [locally tuned] system marks the start of a long relationship [with SIA] for us,” he said. “We will increase the number of staff at (TSIH) to support it. This will be our flagship product,” he said.
News Item A-3: Thales (THL) unveiled its remote tower offering, an extension of automation system TopSky-(ATC). (THL)’s remote tower offering provides increased situational awareness through a combination of sensors and cameras, enabling remote air traffic management at a reduced cost, without an impact on safety or availability.
News Item A-4: Thales (THL) has been selected by the Egyptian National Air Navigation Services Company to replace and renew the Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems at Hurghada and Taba International airports.
News Item A-5: Thales (THL) launched ECOsystem, a data-drive solution providing decision support for efficiency, capacity and operations optimization. ECOsystem provides a suite of tools and predictive analytics to enable each stakeholder to optimize their own operations as well as contribute to global optimization through data sharing and collaborative applications.
July 2016: Thales (THL) Alenia Space has assembled the communication module of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network satellite.
September 2016: News Item A-1: Thales (THL) and Beijing EasySky Technology (BEST) Ltd, a joint venture (JV) between (THL) and the Civil Aviation Air Traffic Control Technology & Equipment Development Company Ltd, have been selected by North China Air Traffic Management Bureau of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), to automate the terminal maneuvering area, area control airspace and operations at Beijing Capital International Airport and the new Beijing Daxing International Airport.
Air traffic in China is forecasted by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) to add another +758 million passengers to its existing 440 million over the next two decades, bringing the total number of annual passengers to 1.2 billion by 2034. To support this growth, China is embarking on airport construction and efficiency improvements to safely increase the number of flight arrivals and departures. The deployment of Thales (THL) TopSky -(ATC), the most widely used air traffic automation system in the world, will support this effort through seamless integration with the Beijing Area Control Center. The system features advanced redundant capability including complete flight plan fallback processing and flight plan synchronization, as well as multi-sensor processing and alerting to enable consistent operations during any main system outage or maintenance period.
The airports’ and airspace traffic flows will be sequenced and balanced using (MAESTRO), (THL)’s fully integrated arrival and departure management system. (MAESTRO) will provide seamless integration between area control, approach control and tower systems (so all controllers will share the same sequence information and can manage airport configuration changes collaboratively, including Advanced Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) control times). Additionally, it will support the integration of required arrival delay absorption into sector displays to enable efficient traffic sequencing and reduced airborne holding. Further, advanced runway allocation processing will enable efficient airline operations and reduce taxi times.
This latest modernization project will be completed in 2019. The project is an extension of (THL)’s commitment to partnering with the (ATMB) to create China’s next generation Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. China uses Thales (THL) (ATC) systems to manage 60% of the country's air traffic. As the largest air traffic management (ATM) supplier in China, (THL) has deployed 39 radar systems, 11 (ATC) automation systems (including 5 provided by (BEST)), and more than >550 Navaids, as well as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and multi lateration systems.
News Item A-2: Satellite-based Aircraft Tracking on the way for Airways New Zealand" September 22 2016
A new satellite-supported system designed to replace radar as New Zealand’s main airplane tracking technology is a step closer. Airways New Zealand has secured a supplier of ground infrastructure for its Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS–B) network.
“The network will provide a more detailed picture of our airspace than is currently possible with radar. It will enhance the way airplanes are monitored in domestic airspace and will play a crucial role in supporting the growth of air travel in New Zealand,” Airways’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) Pauline Lamb said.
(ADS-B) uses satellite (GPS) systems, airplane transmitters and a network of ground station receivers to follow airplanes with a more precise level of accuracy. With a network of ground receivers installed even in remote locations, the system will detect airplanes in places where there is limited radar coverage, like behind mountain ranges and at low altitudes in regions such as the Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and much of the South Island’s west coast.
(ADS-B) is the global standard for airspace surveillance and its introduction here is a key part of the New Southern Sky program, the Government’s 10-year plan to modernise New Zealand’s aviation system.
An intense period of air traffic growth is forecast for the Asia Pacific region. Visitor numbers to New Zealand are set to hit 4.5 million annually by 2022 and with 99% of them arriving by air, (ADS-B) will help to provide the airspace capacity to handle increased numbers, Ms Lamb said. “The precise tracking ability and increased surveillance coverage (ADS-B) provides allows us to reduce the separation between airplanes to have them safely fly closer together and on the most direct route, improving the flow of traffic and reducing environmental impacts,” Ms Lamb said.
“In an emergency or search and rescue situation, this level of detail would mean we would be able to provide help to an airplane in distress much more quickly.”
"Airways" has awarded a contract to French multinational Thales (THL) to provide ground equipment for the $12 million network. Installation work will begin in early 2017 and the first phase of the network will be operational by the end of December 2018, when a Civil Aviation rule is planned to be implemented requiring all airplanes flying in controlled airspace above 24,500 feet in New Zealand to be using (ADS-B). The requirement will be extended to all controlled airspace by the end of 2021, when the current radar system will be de-commissioned.
The relatively low cost of (ADS-B) ground equipment compared to traditional radar makes it the most cost-effective option for expanding New Zealand’s surveillance capability. A smaller radar network will remain in place in New Zealand as a back-up.
News Item A-3: Thales (THL) announced that Air Navigation Services Aruba (ANSA), the air navigation service provider responsible for monitoring and securing the skies over Aruba, an island in Dutch Caribbean, has selected (THL) TopSky-(AMHS) & Thales TopSky-(AIS), as well as the implementation of Wide Area Multilateration (MLAT/ADS-B).
The 1st project includes equipment and training for a complete Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) and Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) which includes flight preparation services and capacity for (NOTAM) office and Meteo preparation services.
(THL) has also been chosen by (ANSA) to implement Wide Area Multilateration (MLAT/ADS-B) for cooperative surveillance within Aruba’s airspace and increased Air Traffic Management (ATM) capabilities. This 2nd project will enable (ANSA) to process surveillance data from sensors and display them on the existing TopSky-(ATC) system supplied by (THL) at the Reina Beatrix International Airport, Aruba.
These projects confirm the long standing partnership with (ANSA), which started in 1989 when (THL) supplied (VOR)/(ILS)/(DME). These equipment were modernized in 2004 and in 2011 Aruba renewed its confidence in (THL) to supply its TopSky Air Traffic Control Center.
“(THL) has always been and is a reliable partner and their commitment to quality is extraordinary. The implementation of the TopSky-(AMHS), TopSky-(AIS) and (MLAT)/(ADS-B) projects will help propel Aruba to the next level of safety and efficiency in the benefit of all our airspace users” declared Mr Nilknarf E I Kock (CEO) of (ANSA).
This contract also underlines (THL)’s increasing presence in Latin America for (ATM) solutions following the recent success with Jamaica & (COCESNA) in 2015 and deployment in Mexico, Dominican Republic and Panama over the last years.
With >150 radars and 25 Air Traffic Centres already installed in Aruba, Mexico, Santo Domingo, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, as well as navigation aid systems in operation in nearly all the countries of the region, Thales (THL) confirms its strong leadership in the Caribbean & Latin American region, where it has been present for > 50 years.
October 2016: Thales (THL) has acquired AvioVision, one of Europe’s most innovative software and services providers to the aviation industry. With the acquisition of AvioVision, (THL) will be able to extend its Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) offer, ranging from full systems to state-of-the-art applications.
December 2016: Thales (THL) has been selected by Airways New Zealand, New Zealand's air navigation service provider (ANSP) which monitors all air traffic in the country, for the supply of a nationwide (ADS-B) network.
The contract has been awarded following an international tender and a set of trials. The (ADS-B) network (THL) will supply, will include 28 locations equipped with Ground Stations to ensure full air traffic surveillance in areas with limited radar coverage, such as Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and much of the South Island's west coast.
Airways New Zealand is ranked in the top 5% of the most efficient (ANSP)s in the world. They have recently deployed a number of improvements that have reduced in-flight delays from 3 minutes to <23 seconds, successfully saving $16 million per annum in airline fuel. These successes come in the face of significant growth in passenger numbers in the country, which is expected to surpass 4.5 million annually by 2022. As a result, Airways New Zealand has identified (ADS-B) technology as essential to maintain operational excellence. In addition to optimizing air traffic by safely reducing airplane separation, (ADS-B) technology will help reduce CO2 emission, a very important Government policy in New Zealand.
January 2017: Thales (THL) was selected by Azul Brazilian Airlines (AZL) to supply avionics packages for 58 Airbus A320neos.
May 2017: Technology provider Thales (THL) is hoping to automate new movie releases on its "AVANT" in-flight entertainment (IFE) system from around 2020 and to introduce live TV replay functionality by 2018. Currently, movies have to be manually uploaded to the aircraft by a technician (MT) on the ground, meaning that it may take a while for pre-release content to reach passengers.
However, speaking at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Thales (THL) VP Global Sales & Marketing General Manager International Operation William Huot-Marchand said work is underway to beam this content to the aircraft by satellite as soon as early content rights permit. This functionality, which will be available as an option to (THL)’s customers, is likely to come online around 2020, although (THL) is hoping to go live sooner if possible. The wait is largely dependent on available bandwidth and satellite capacity, such as (SES) 17, which will not be available before then. “This is something we are developing and will launch soon,” Huot-Marchand said.
The service, which will simplify processes, speed up early content roll-out and cut costs, will initially be available in North America and on transatlantic flights. A wider global roll-out is complicated by rights issues and will depend on (GX) satellite coverage.
In the shorter term, (THL) is also working on functionality that would allow passengers to pause and rewind live TV such as sports events.
Huot-Marchand said this should be available, with global coverage, from around 2018 through Thales (THL)’s (AVANT) platform.
October 2017: "Thales Creates New Artificial Intelligence Hub in Montreal" by Natalie Wong, Frederic Tomesco, Bloomberg News, October 10, 2017.
Thales (THL), whose products range from aerospace to defense, security and transportation, is opening an artificial intelligence center Montreal and will hire 50 people for the new facility.
The new hub, called the Center of Research & Technology in Artificial Intelligence eXpertise (cortAIx), will focus on creating solutions for airlines, satellite operators, air traffic controllers, rail operators, armed forces and critical infrastructure managers.
(THL) will be committing about C$25 million/US$20 million to the center over the next 4 to 5 years, Philippe Keryer, (THL)'s Executive VP Strategy, Research & Technology, said in Montreal. (THL) chose Montreal due to the wealth of scientists, PhD candidates and universities working in (AI). Labor costs in the city are also about -30% lower than in the USA and government subsidies makes the city an attractive investment, according to Keryer.
Canada is becoming a destination for foreign companies working in (AI). San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc set up shop in Toronto earlier this year to help improve its autonomous vehicle software, while Alphabet Inc's Google also has an (AI) presence in Toronto and Montreal. Facebook Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have also opened (AI) research labs in the Montreal, Canada's 2nd-most populous city.
(AI) is a "national priority" in Canada, Keryer said. The new center will be working with the Google-backed Vector Institute of Toronto, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute of Quebec and the Institute of Data Valorization.
Thales (THL)'s Montreal facility will also focus on automated trains, an area of interest for Germany's Deutsche Bahn and France's (SNCF), which are both looking for autonomous train solutions by 2022 or 2023, said Keryer. "Automated trains are not a myth," Keryer said. "It's a project, a road map, a reality."
1 DC-9-21 (JT8D-11 HK) (474-47308, /69 F-GVTH), TESTBED FOR AVIONIC PROBE EQUIPMENT.
Click below for photos:
THL-1-JEAN BERNARD LEVY - 2012-12
THL-2-ALAN PELLEGINI - 2013-04
M PHILIPPE LOGAK, ACTING CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), THE THALES GROUP (2014-12).
PATRICE CAINE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
JEAN-CLAUDE VERGNERES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
PHILIPPE DUHAMEL, (CEO) FRENCH OPERATIONS, THALES RAYTHEON SYSTEMS (2010-03).
JEAN-MICHEL LAGARDE, (CEO) THALES COMMUNICATIONS & SECURITY.
VICTOR CHAVEZ, UK (CEO) (2010-12).
PETER OBERMARK, (CEO) DEUTSCHLAND (2011-07).
ALAN PELLEGRINI, PRESIDENT & (CEO) USA (2012-12).
MS DOMINIQUE GIANNONI, (CEO) IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY (2013-07).
MARION BROUGHTON, MANAGING DIRECTOR THALES UK AIR SYSTEMS.
TODD DONOVAN, PRESIDENT THALES AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (ATM).
PHILIPPE KERYER, EXECUTIVE VP STRATEGY, RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY, MONTREAL, CXANADA.
EMMANUEL GRAVE, SENIOR VP SOLUTIONS (AIRCRAFT SECTOR) (2008-06).
PIERRE-YVES CHALTIEL, SENIOR VP SOLUTIONS (GOVERNMENT SECTOR) (2008-06).
JEAN-LOIC GALLE, SENIOR VP AIR OPERATIONS DIVISION.
PATRICK OSZCZEDA, VP & (CEO) THALES SOUTH AFRICA.
HERVE MULTON, DEPUTY SENIOR VP STRATEGY (2010-03).
PATRICE DURAND, VP & CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO) (2005-07).
STUART DUNLEAVY, VP MEDIA (IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT (IFE)) & CONNECTIVITY), THALES AVIONICS.
PIERRE-YVES POMMELLET, VP SERVICES & BUSINESS (TRANSPORTATION SECTOR) (2008-06).
FRANCIS SHELLER, VP COMMUNICATIONS & GOVERNMENT RELATIONS USA, RESIGNED TO JOIN US AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (AIA) AS VP COMMUNICATIONS (2011-09).
REMI GILLE, VP AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (ATM) BUSINESS.
DANIEL MALKA, VP & GENERAL MANAGER AVIONICS SERVICES WORLDWIDE.
WILLIAM HUOT-MARCHAND, VP GLOBAL SALES
ALLAIN PAUL, DIRECTOR OPERATIONS (2008-06).
BRETT BLEACHER, (IFE) & CONNECTIVITY DIRECTOR, INNOVATIONS/R&D.