First image of black hole captured

A network of eight telescopes around the world has captured the first image of a black hole, some 500 million trillion km from the earth, located in a distant galaxy which scientists say measures about 3 million times the size of our planet.

Professor Heino Falcke of Radboud University in the Netherlands who proposed the experiment said the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87, about more than 55 million light years away from the earth.

The picture captured by Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight linked telescopes, shows an intense “ring of fire” surrounding a perfectly circular dark hole with a bright halo caused by superheated gas falling into the hole, scientists explained.

Dr. Katie Bowman, a 29-year-old computer scientist, led the development of an algorithm program that created the first image of the black hole.

Bowman, who began the algorithm three years ago as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), says in her Facebook post “Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed.”

She was assisted by a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the MIT Haystack Observatory for the project which opens a new era for astrophysics.

UAE, Saudi Arabia sign MoU to develop digital education system

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop a digital education system that will benefit their respective national development plans.

The Ministers of Education from the respective countries signed the MoU along with several Emirati universities signed twinning agreements with their Saudi counterparts.

The signing took place during the participation of an Emirati academic delegation in the 8th International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education, IECHE, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

UAE Minister of Education Hussain Al Hammadi expressed his happiness at the advancing cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the area of education, which he hopes will achieve their aspirations to create a modern education system that will serve their national development plans.

Saudi Arabia Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al Sheikh highlighted the importance of the signing of the agreements, as well as the joint cooperation between the two countries in advancing their education sectors, including the digital education system, with the participation of Emirati higher education institutions, universities and colleges, as well as Saudi government and civil universities and colleges.

The UAE has one of the most advanced and comprehensive education systems in the Middle East with 95 percent literacy rate. It has led many research initiatives and projects across the region promoting literacy and higher education.

ZIA Cargo Russia’s new modern gateway

ZIA CARGO can handle any type of cargo, including oversize, thermosensitive, dangerous, valuable goods and live animals, without restrictions….It has enormous growth potential. For example, we are the only enterprise in our region that can potentially offer cargo transportation by air, road, rail (the airport has access to a nearby industrial line connected with the Moscow Railway) and river transport (in the vicinity of the navigable Moskva River).

Globalization and economic liberalization continue to unfold in different ways in many parts of Russia nearly three decades since the collapse of the communist Soviet Union in 1991.

In the city of Zhukovsky, located about 40-km southeast of Moscow, whose economy is mainly anchored on aviation and scientific research, investments are pouring in mainly on the aviation and transport industries.

In 2016, the city opened a new airport—the Zhukovsky International Airport also known as the Ramenskoye Airport—owned and operated by Ramport Aero, a joint venture between the international holding company Avia Solutions Group and the Russian state corporation, Rostec. Ramport Aero is mainly engaged in airport construction, development and management with projects across Russia, Poland, Italy and Lithuania.

The fourth airport in Moscow after Domodedovo International Airport, Sheremetyevo Airport and Vnukovo Airport, the Zhukovsky Airport, which used to be a testing facility during the Cold War, is open for both classic and low-cost airlines and is designed to handle up to 12 million passengers by 2020.

In 2018, the airport which has the longest runway in Europe (5,400 m), paved the way for the opening of the Zhukovsky International Airport Cargo (ZIA CARGO) which mainly handles air freight and mails for Central Russia.

Flexible & limitless

Zhukovsky Airport’s rapid development in terms of passenger traffic three years since its establishment creates opportunities for ZIA CARGO to grow and its long runway also enables the air freight company to receive and serve any type of aircraft without any take-off weight restrictions.

“ZIA CARGO is a cargo and mail handling operator located at Zhukovsky International Airport (Moscow Region, Russia), a new and rapidly-developing airport. One of the advantages provided by the airport is the longest runway in Europe (5,400 m). It allows us to receive and service any type of aircraft without any take-off weight restrictions,” Evgeny Solodilin, CEO of ZIA CARGO, told Air Cargo Update in an email interview.

Though commercially driven, ZIA CARGO’s main goal is to provide reliable means of air transport for Russia in general and foreign airlines and operators at Zhukovsky International Airport.

“Our number one task is to establish an efficient and reliable service provider for Russian and foreign airlines, both for the current partners of Zhukovsky International Airport, and the upcoming cargo operators and airlines,” Solodilin explained.

“In fact, for companies from the European, Middle Eastern and Asian regions, ZIA CARGO is a new way to central Russia. And we will do our best to make this journey as convenient and simple as possible. It’s not about market dominance. Our mission is to provide our potential customers with different options,” he added. Strategically located in the economic center of Russia, ZIA CARGO is fast becoming an important component of business operators in Russia and other nearby countries in the central region.

“We are located in the economic center of Russia: statistics show that Moscow and the Moscow Region account for up to 80% of the runway and the volume of air cargo in Russia. This opens up wide possibilities for the development of the chosen business model,” Solodilin said.

“The proximity of federal and regional highways, a developed system of warehousing and logistics center in the region and, of course, the airport’s dedicated air zone, everything speaks in favor of Zhukovsky International Airport. I am certain that ZIA CARGO will eventually become an impactful player in the air cargo market of the region.”

Transport & Logistics Hub

Encouraging passenger and cargo volumes on Zhukovsky Airport and ZIA CARGO’s opening along with the long-term business plan for the city convinced Ramport Aero to invest an additional US$35 million to fully transform it into a transport and logistics hub.

The project involves constructing a modern multimodal warehouse complex, a cargo terminal and an additional aviation apron for servicing cargo aircraft.

“The development of the transport and logistics complex will take place in several stages. Currently, total project investments amount to $35 million. We will be able to double the production capacity of the complex by 2023 with the help of additional funds,” explained Solodilin.

ZIA CARGO is designed to handle any type of cargo, including oversize, thermosensitive, dangerous, valuable goods and live animals, without restrictions, says Solodilin. The company’s current expansion project which includes building an additional aviation apron (82,000 sqm) will enable it to simultaneously handle multiple freighters.

“The project implementation will allow us to simultaneously service 4 cargo aircraft of the B747 type (or up to 6 aircraft of the B737 type). As of April 2019, these projects are 80% complete. The opening of the complex will take place in the second half of 2019,” Solodilin explained.

ZIA CARGO is also envisioned to operate 24/7 and the construction of a modern cargo terminal is crucial to this.
“The infrastructure of the cargo terminal is designed to meet the modern requirements for efficient and safe storage and transfer of cargo. It will support 24-hour and precisely accurate tracking of cargo operations, including loading and unloading  aircraft, organizing storage and subsequent & transportation of any cargo types ,” the company CEO noted.

Since its opening in 2018, ZIA CARGO had seen slow but steady increase on air freight volumes.
“2018 was the first year of ZIA CARGO’s operation, so it may be too early for any concrete results. This was a period of much testing and training. Cargo handling is currently operating under the conditions of limited customs infrastructure: we are engaged in receiving and shipping domestic cargo that does not require complex terminal handling,” said Solodilin.

“For the first year, we have already handled 5,000 tons of cargo. This figure may seem extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but what we ultimately achieved is a five-fold increase in volume while using the same infrastructure. This year, with the new terminal’s timely start of operation, 12,000 tons of cargo will be handled. And the full projected capacity of 100, 000 tons per y e ar w i l l b e achieved in 2022-2023,” he added.

Growth in the horizon

Zhukovsky International Airport handled 1.16 million passengers in 2018, more than double its 2017 record of 425,500 passengers. But with the Russian government aggressively pushing to entice more domestic and international tourists to visit the country, it’s envisioned to handle as much as 12 million passengers by next year.

Increasing cargo volumes with its growth was factored in, thus, the construction of a modern cargo terminal for ZIA CARGO was also put in place.

“The construction of a modern cargo terminal was originally included in the development plans of Zhukovsky International Airport, since the efficient operation of an international airport in a region as busy as Moscow and the Moscow Region is simply impossible without a cargo handling sector,” shared Solodilin.
“The lack of specialized solutions is

a serious limiting factor. In fact, the formation of the ZIA CARGO was the first step taken of the second stage of the development of Zhukovsky International Airport’s ground infrastructure. The development of cargo transportation is a crucial part of the airport operation,” he continued.

The multi functional transport and logistics hub complex would tremendously increase cargo capacity at Zhukovsky Airport by as much as 100,000 (250 tons per day).

With total area of 9,200 sqm, the complex boasts of temporary storage warehouse, customs and other vital facilities like office areas, shipment tracking service, among many others.

“ The cargo site will provide simultaneous reception and processing of shipments through six cargo gates: 2 for domestic lines, and Evgeny Solodilin, CEO, ZIA Cargo

4 for international flights. The areas inside the terminal will be divided in a similar fashion. In addition to the cargo infrastructure, the building will contain offices of the partner organization and government services,” said Solodilin.

Quality & value

With Zhukovsky considered as the Russian center of research and development in the aircraft industry, a significant part of cargo hauled in the area consists of aviation components, spare parts and equipment, but other types of general cargoes are also being transported on a regular basis with the city growing.

Solodilin said ZIA CARGO stands ready to offer its partners/customers a really good deal with high level of service.
“We are able to offer our partner a really good deal. And we are not talking about pricing policy only. Customers will be able to take advantage of the full support cycle. Various products will be offered. For example, the possibility of providing additional services within the logistics chain, especially the first mile and last mile services,” Solodilin noted.

Adding: “We are also ready to offer integrators and major forwarders the Time Advantage service that will allow for a unique advantage – a dedicated airside, which will help the customers with large cargo turnover to receive accurate and timely flight service strictly on schedule and devoid any risk of delay due to the air traffic.”

ZIA CARGO, the CEO also stressed, offers a cargo package that involves hauling goods on air and land as well with the company’s links to key modes of transportation in Russia.

“Cargo handling services will be provided in a single package: transportation via road and air, handling documents, customs clearance. If necessary , new enterprises will be created for these services, including a specialized track delivery company,” he said.

“ZIA CARGO has an enormous growth potential. For example, we are the only enterprise in our region that can potentially offer cargo transportation by air, road, rail (the airport has access to a nearby industrial line connected with the Moscow Railway) and river transport (the airport is located in the vicinity of the navigable Moskva River).The key to success lies in studying the needs of the customers and offering individual solutions,” he concluded.

A mother, lawyer & aviation executive rolled into one loves spending time with family, reading and traveling

Sonja Strand, VP and General Manager, Honeywell Global Airports Business, is one of few women in modern- day aviation who holds a senior executive role that impacts airports and passengers on a global scale.

The daughter of the former CEO of Paderborn Airport in Germany who owns a private plane, Sonja developed a passion for aviation as a child. She spent her Sundays with her father and her siblings flying for leisure across different places, widening her perspectives in life and the possibilities for women in different fields.

“My father was the CEO of Paderborn Airport in Germany and he owns a private aircraft,” Sonja fondly recalls. “We were allowed to fly with him every Sunday so that’s where the passion came up at an early age for aviation.”

She took up practical training in a travel agency as a young adult, later completing her undergraduate and graduate studies in Business Administration before pursuing a law degree. Linking both professions with aviation, Sonja’s knowledge and experience in the industry further grew and today she leads Honeywell’s Global Airports Business, highly regarded for its innovative tech solutions.

“I was always passionate about the aviation industry. I pursued everything that I had to know about it,” Sonja shared with Air Cargo Update.

At the recently concluded Airport Show 2019 held in Dubai, Sonja, representing Honeywell, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects on advanced IoT-enabled solutions that empower safe and efficient air traffic operations for Dubai, one of the busiest regions in terms of air traffic.

Honeywell’s global expertise in providing innovative solutions will bring benefits to DANS through enhanced knowledge transfer on airport ecosystems, airport operations, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and understanding the combined, complex challenges faced by the industry.

Sonja’s position is extremely challenging that requires constant traveling, managing offices at different time zones and making major decisions. And yet this mother of two young boys aged 5 and 11 still makes it a point to
enjoy quality time with her family.

“I spend my time mostly outdoors. I have two kids—five and 11 years old—both boys. When we’re in Dubai, we go swimming, go to parks or play basketball. And I surely read a lot, especially on aviation, to get new ideas,” she said.

“And we love to travel. When you travel and you’re head is free, you can share so many ideas with the team,” she added.

As a woman in aviation, Sonja says it’s quite difficult but with confidence, creativity and passion, women will shine.
“First it’s hard work. Whether you’re a woman or a man doesn’t matter. You have to be ready to work hard,” Sonja shared when asked what advice to give women who would like to follow her career path. “Second: Be passionate about it. Don’t accept something that is said to be impossible because it’s not. Think differently. What is important is to never give up. Have that mentally and use it as your strength. And remember that women have unique creativity.”

IVECO Trucks: Your partner for growth and sustainable transport

IVECO is best known for manufacturing vehicles—special vehicles, light, medium and heavy duty trucks, military vehicles, buses and even engines—that can withstand any conditions, tailor-made based on market needs that can last up to two decades.

Talk about high-powered stylish or fast-racing cars and Italy instantly comes to mind. In the trucking industry, Italy also tops offering durability, fuel efficiency and innovative solutions for the daily needs of practically every industry.

One of the leading global trucking companies highly regarded for its innovative solutions is IVECO which stands for Industrial Vehicles Corporation, an Italian industrial vehicle maker based in Turin, Italy with more than 150 years of history, which in 1975 became a merger of Italian, French and German brands, owned by CNH Industrial Group which accounts for the sales of about 150,000 commercial vehicles annually across the world with approximately turnover of EUR10 billion.

In 1980, IVECO made global history when it built the first turbo diesel engine for heavy industrial vehicles. Four years later, it launched the TurboStar, a heavy on-road vehicle and in 1985, it introduced the first light diesel engine with direct injection.

Marco Torta, IVECO Area Manager for Gulf Area, Iraq and East Africa, a company veteran for the past 33 years, said he’s proud to be part of a trucking firm that helps businesses save money and enhance productivity through innovative solutions for their daily needs.

“I joined IVECO 33 years ago. In 1993, I was assigned to Egypt where I stayed for eight years. In 2001, I was moved to Morocco and stayed there until 2005. Between 2006-2010, I was stationed in Ethiopia. I moved back to Egypt in 2010 . In 2011 , I was entrusted to handle the UAE, East Africa, Cyprus and the Iraq markets,” Torta shared.

“ Our company is known for offering innovative solutions that help businesses grow by saving on fuel consumption, comfort for drivers and best of all safety,” he added in an interview at their corporate office at Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA).

I V E C O is best known for manufacturing vehicles—special vehicles, light, medium and heavy duty trucks, military vehicles, buses and even engines — that can withstand any conditions, tailor- made based on market needs that can last up to two decades.

The Daily Hi-Matic

IVECO’s New Daily Hi-Matic is the only vehicle in its segment to offer two engines optimized to deliver the best performance in every mission.

Its 2.3-litre F1A engine is now available in both light- and heavy- duty homologation, with rated power ranging from 116 to 156 hp while the 3.0-litre heavy-duty F1C engine offers three power ratings with increased performance ranging from 160 to 210 hp, as well as a Natural Power compressed natural gas version.

The Daily Hi-Matic Euro 5, which belongs to this family of vehicles, Torta explained, is best suited for all deliveries for all types of businesses. It is capable of carrying 3.5 to 7 tons.

It’s available in chassis cab, single and crew cab, and also as van. The van has 20 cubic meters of capacity and best in class in this segment. It can be custom-built based on the market needs of its owners.
Generally, IVECO’s Daily Hi-Matic can save up to 10% in fuel in urban missions and offers up to 10% maintenance cost reduction.

With a host of features, it stands out for its “fuel economy” feature which boasts of efficiency , responsiveness in transient conditions and the exclusive Class A Super Eco Low Rolling tyre s specifically designed for the Daily and the new 220A (12V) alternator further contribute to the Daily ‘s fuel efficiency.

It also has the new Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, which monitors tire pressure in real time so that it is always at optimal level, further improving fuel efficiency and safety. It is the only vehicle in its class to offer this feature on both single and twin-wheel models. On top of this, the new, bigger oil sump, which was designed for long-distance missions, extends service intervals to 60,000 km.

“I joined IVECO 33 years ago. In 1993, I was assigned to Egypt where I stayed for eight years. In 2001, I was moved to Morocco and stayed there until 2005. Between 2006-2010, I was stationed in Ethiopia. I moved back to Egypt in 2010. In 2011, I was entrusted to handle the UAE, East Africa, Cyprus and the Iraq markets.”

The New Eurocargo

The New Eurocargo is IVECO’s answer for a global call for more environment-friendly vehicles in the digital age. This multi-awarded model is built with fuel efficiency, new functionality and design, comfort for the driver, among other unique features.

About half a million customers in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Australia and Latin America have chosen this model which offers lower fuel consumption, versatility and durability.

“Eurocargo is very fuel efficient. It is based on European standards, thus, it is sustainable and offer low total cost of ownership and comfort for drivers,” said Torta.

Medium range vehicles are mainly used for missions such as urban distribution and municipal services: this is why Iveco has set performance improvement and fuel consumption reduction as a top priority.
With a range of eight engines, the new Eurocargo adopts two Iveco Tector 5, 4-cylinder, engine power between 220 and 280 HP optimized to suit the typical operating conditions of urban missions.

In addition to the steering wheel airbag and steering wheel controls, the new Eurocargo is available with all the key driving assistance systems, such as the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). To improve safety and visibility when driving, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) have also been adopted as standard. Xenon headlights can be specified as an option.

The New Stralis X Way

The Stralis X Way raises the stakes in light off-road missions with the biggest payload in its segment.
The best engine technology delivers higher fuel efficiency which ultimately leads to low maintenance costs, ergo, exceptionally low cost of ownership.

X Way is available with Euro III or Euro 5 engines, 8 – 10 and 13 liters, with power of 310HP up to 540 HP. It’s available with mechanical or automated gearbox and now also with full automatic version.

The Stralis X Way offers 3 three types of cab: Active Day (AD), short cab with low roof, Active Time (AT), sleeper, medium roof and Active Space (AS), sleeper cab which was designed around the driver for long haul mission of the

To satisfy the needs of this area, the X Way is designed with mechanical suspensions and can be supplied with single or hub reduction. Its wide choice of features and components, its structural strength and low kerb weight result in a vehicle that can be configured for an extensive variety of missions.

New Trakker

IVECO’s new Trakker, the quarry and construction vehicle redefines the meaning of impossible and enables work on impenetrable, broken terrain, and tackle constant stresses with extraordinary performance.
“Difficult missions, insurmountable obstacles and insuperable limits? Yes we can do it with IVECO Trakker,”
says Torta.

The New Trakker comes with the guarantee of cursor engines for maximum power and durability. It offers top quality of life on board too with three cab versions. And it raises productivity beyond limits while further reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and minimizing running costs.

This model is very well known in the region with IVECO selling more than 2000 units in the last 5 years.
The New Trakker is available in 2 -3 and 4 axle configuration, prime mover and chassis cab. Its cursor 13 engine is ideal for the most demanding applications in the toughest environments and most adverse conditions. Available on 410 and 450 HP versions, it delivers high torque at low engine speed thanks to its waste gate turbo system.


Dozens of new technologies and innovations at Dubai Airport Show 2019

Now laptops and liquids can stay in bags while being screened at airports with advanced screening system invented. AI-powered Smart Corridor now on trial in Dubai after successfully introducing Smart Gates. Unique loading system, baggage handling system with virtual reality and more will change the face and pace of airports across the world.

With speed and convenience among travelers paramount without sacrificing security, airports are strongly relying on new technologies and innovations to produce new solutions for today’s modern-day travel experience.

At the recently concluded 19th edition of Dubai Airport Show, the world’s largest airport exhibition, more than 50 new technologies and innovations in the aviation industry were unveiled.

Smiths Detection unveiled Hi-Scan 6040 CTiX security screening system that uses computed Tomography technology for cabin baggage. The advanced detection capability offered by CTix eliminates the need to remove electronic devices and liquids from hand baggage.

“This means passengers need not take out their laptops and bottles with liquids while screening at the airports,” said Tom Squier, Smiths Detections Managing Director for Middle East.

The company also showcased the next-generation portable desktop system, the Ionscan 600, to detect and identify trace amounts of explosives.

ADP Ingénierie, which is known for designing greenfield airports and maintenance, unveiled a Baggage Handling System (BHS) using virtual reality which gives airport operators virtual view of the end results of what they are designing.

The technology can be used for optimizing the existing systems, said Philippe Martinet, Deputy Managing
Director, ADP Ingenierie.

This year, 20 companies participated under the Swiss flag, showcasing cutting edge technologies. Chris Watts, Consul General of Switzerland, said Swiss companies have contributed to the
development of the region.

One of them, EuroPoles, unveiled a unique loading system, and signed a deal with Dubai Airports for the calling points systems and energy saving systems.

Nokia, meanwhile, showcased its innovative technologies, along with managed services for building highly reliable and secure mission-critical domestic as well as international aviation networking. These technologies help both airports and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) meet key regulatory and unique network communications upgrade challenges.

“As ATC infrastructure forms a critical foundation for the aviation industry, one of the most important aspects is to ensure the support of legacy applications and services while moving toward an IP environment. Nokia has helped many ANSPs overcome these legacy application support issues with robust network solutions allowing seamless connectivity and reduced costs,” said Kamal Ballout, head of the TEPS MEA & Global Energy Segment,

ITW GSE announced its launching its new battery powered Nissan leaf battery packs for GPUs (ground
power units) to support the green airports and a better working environment for the airport staff. A battery powered 400 Hz unit that will help airports reduce their carbon foot print, replacing their diesel powered GPUs by clean eGPUs.

“The challenges are congested airport, flexible infrastructures, carbon emissions control, noise, health and safety for operators in the ramp,” said David Feuga, Sales Director, Middle East and Africa, ITW

DFS Aviation Services showcased the PHOENIX Web Innovation System. This web-based cloud solution enables air traffic controllers to use PHOENIX tracker not only at their controller working position but also anytime and anywhere. The product targets ANSP’s, airports and airlines as well as any other stakeholder involved in ATM.

“We believe that airports will have to tackle positive challenges like growth and expansion. We look forward to strengthening DFS Aviation Services in the UAE and Middle East market as a competent and reliable partner for ATM and consultancy, ” said Oliver P Cristinetti, General Manager, DFS Aviation Services.
Saudi Ground Handling Services ( S G S ) said it’s studying some projects outside Saudi Arabia, with different partners from these countries.

“With Vision 2020 and Vision 2030, we have lots of changes in the government to open up the tourism industry to make it attractive for foreigners. There are big expansion plans at the airports,” said Abdullah Marie Al Ghamdi, Director, Commercial, Saudi Ground Handling Services. “We are implementing a new system, InForm system, which will link manpower, rostering and equipment. It is an IT solution linking planning, equipment, manpower which will give real- time of equipment needed. This we are implementing in Jeddah and later will be used in other airports.” Ground Handling Logistics of Saudi Arabia showcased their PRM ( Passenger swith Restricted Mobility) technology. PRM products and equipment give special care for people with special needs.

“We try to provide all equipment and system to make all the airports accessible for passengers with special needs,” said Yasser Kusibati, Chief Business Development, with Ground Handling Logistics.

Smart Dubai

Handling about 90 million passengers annually, Dubai International (DXB) remains the world’s top airport for international airports. Of the figure, a record 11.25 million used Smart Gates at all terminals, a top government official said.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA- Dubai ) , said the number of passengers who used the Smart Gates at the airport increased from 5.5 million in 2017 to 11.25 million in 2018.

He said a number of technology- driven initiatives have been in place to facilitate the faster movement of passengers for completion of border control formalities at two international airports – Dubai International and Al Maktoum International – in the run-up to and during the Expo 2020 which will bring 25 million visitors to Dubai when it hosts the first Expo in the Middle East, North Africa and South
Asia (MENASA).

The multimodal biometric Smart Gates can identify a traveller by either their passport, Emirates ID, e Gate card or a QR barcode generated via a Smartphone app. As many as 127 Smart Gates are available across all the terminals of Dubai International. Smart Gates were first introduced in 2013 at Terminal 3 of Dubai International. This helps in reducing the average transaction times to under 10 to 15 seconds.

Another Seamless Passenger Experience product is Smart Corridor which enables passenger to enter the corridor in a sequence and their Iris will be captured on the fly without the need to present any travel document or stand in queue for Iris capture.

Smart Corridor is currently under operational experiment at Terminal 3 Departure. Because of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities and Iris recognition biometrics, officials are allowed recognition while the passengers are moving, wearing sunglasses or contact lens, and even running – accurately and quickly.
Another government organization which has been fast deploying smart technology in its operations is Dubai

Dr. Hussain Al Fardan, Head of Innovations Centre at Dubai Customs and Chairman of Ideas Arabia, said Artificial Intelligence have been playing a crucial role in the drive towards making airport security better and better each passing day. More than 114 world-class innovations have been made so far by Dubai Customs, one of the earliest government departments in the emirate dating back to more than 100 years.

He explained the various initiatives of Dubai Customs including the world’s first customs female inspection robot, an Android-based facility which it launched in 2015 at Dubai International T3.

The other initiatives include the world’s first government AI Investors Application (AIIA), world’s first Customs Smart Inspection Table, based on Machine Learning and the world’s first government Open Innovation Smart Gate. This smart app made it one of the first government department in the UAE to transfer employees’ imagination to reality using 3D Printing and Virtual Reality (VR).

Harald Jentsch, Head of Baggage Handling Solutions at Smith s Detection, a global technology company with presence in 50 countries, said when using the AI, the detection rate had been found higher than 90 percent and also equal or even better than the human capability.
He said the majority of European and Middle East airports were currently in the process of implementing Europe an Civil Aviation Conference ( E C A C ) Standard 3-approved Explosives Detection Systems (EDS). The new standard is being implemented to detect higher levels of threats, while lowering operational false alarm
rates (FAR).

The European Commission passed a legislative framework requiring all hold baggage screening (HBS) in Europe be equipped with ECAC Standard 3-approved EDSin the Europe by 2020 and 2022 in specific

Upgrading from Standard 2 to Standard 3 – approved systems requires redesigning and reconfiguring the Baggage Handling Systems (BHS). In many Standard 2 configurations, the first level of screening is handled by a standard X-ray system, while a more powerful, Computed Tomography ( C T ) technology is used at Level 3. With the new mandate, Standard 3- approved machines will now be used right at Level 1.

Dubai Airport Show 2019 drew 375 exhibitors from 60 countries with record participation of 211 Hosted Buyers from 30 countries, up from last year’s 180.

Next year’s edition will be bigger by 1,000 sqm exhibition space which has been added to this edition’s 15,000 sqm. Three new co-located events have been added for the next year edition: Ground Handling, GSE
and Air Cargo.

Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), Aviation Security and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Forum will continue its journey of success in the 2020 edition. Reed Exhibitions Middle East, the organizers of Airport Show, said this year’s much- anticipated show was a stupendous success taking into account different parameters, including the increased number of deals & strategic alliances signed between the participating companies and hosted buyers.

Blockchain aviation potentials explored

First ICAO Blockchain Aviation Summit and Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi as industry mulls Blockchain Technology’s application on commercial aviation, cargo manifests, among others…

Aviation experts and professionals thoroughly discussed for three days in April the potentials of Blockchain on aviation which will strongly impact the movement of people and goods in the coming years.

The First ICAO Blockchain Summit and Exhibition was held on April 2-4, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, co-sponsored by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA , and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Some 800 delegates from 90 countries participated in the event.

Blockchain literally means just a chain of blocks which mixed with technology in today’s digital age meant distributed, decentralized ledger stored in a public database resistant to modification. Simplified, the records or transactions between the parties are referred to as “blocks” linked via cryptography with each  block containing cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data, in an open or public databas e known as the “chain.”

Global air traffic volumes are anticipated to double within the next 15 years and increases in the number of aircraft and flights translate to increased ground, passenger, ticketing, and cargo handling activities, and a parallel expansion of the associated tracking , documentation, approval, and certification requirements, noted ICAO, a specialized body of the United Nations.

ICAO said the application of Block chain technology can be envisioned for almost all areas of the aviation system where complex and safety critical records are managed and updated, such as personnel licensing, aircraft maintenance, operational approvals, or cargo manifests and even traveler identity.

While offering many benefits, the integration of the technology would none the less present many challenges , and could cause fundamental changes in the structure of today’s aviation systems, experts agreed.

“The aviation system today relies mostly on human agent so r intermediaries to assume validation activities, and so we can foresee that the integration of block chain processes in support of a State’s aviation safety oversight system, for example, would likely require substantial adjustments to related regulations, procedures, a n d responsibilities,” explained Dr. O l u m u y i w a B e n a r d A l i u , ICAO Council President.
The ICAO official continued there are risks involved like cyber security, among others, but Blockchain is something that could also bring benefit to civil aviation customers and operators. The key, he said, is a strong collaboration between states and stakeholders to prevent any coordinated global cybersecurity threats against the civil aviation

“Blockchain has the potential to virtually exclude loss, distortion, or forgery of vital log data in all aviation sectors where certificates are issued and controlled,” Dr. Aliu said. “It can ensure the integrity of the ever growing certification-based system which is integral to aviation, with the potential to increase efficiency while reducing errors, and therefore, enhancing both safety and security.”

UAE and Aviation
Accounting for nearly 50 percent of the Arab aviation industry, the UAE continues to lead the region in commercial aviation and air freight sector with potential for more growth.
S a i f M o h a m m e d A l S u w a i d i ,
Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said the estimated total investment in the UAE’s aviation sector amounts to AED1 trillion. This investment includes improvements to airport infrastructure and a fleet of 884 commercial aircraft, reflecting the UAE’s position as a significant competitor in the international aviation sector.

Not resting on its laurels, the UAE is still aiming to increase its air traffic and airspace capacity by re-planning internal routes to extend t o neighboring countries as well as by introducing a new navigation management system by 2020 which is designed to generate annual financial savings of over AED50 million for airline companies.

At the summit, Al Suwaidi said tackling the potentials of Blockchain Technology is working towards a sustainable growth for the civil aviation industry without compromising security and safety.

“This summit is a pivotal point towards the adoption of the Blockchain technology by the aviation sector that will help in overcoming the challenges that hinder the sustained development of this crucial sector. The level of participation we have witnessed in the event is a testimony to the commitment of the aviation industry towards a sustainable growth of the civil aviation system while maintaining security and safety worldwide,” Al Suwaidi said in his speech.

“Ensuring cooperation between government entities, the international aviation industry partners and the multitude of stakeholder is an important cornerstone in overcoming challenges. Today, the UAE is proving again its commitment towards promoting cross border cooperation, through the creation of interactive platform getting Blockchain gurus, the aviation industry and government agencies together to collaborate and share knowledge and information,” he added.

In 2018 , the aviation sector contributed 15 percent to the UAE GDP. GCAA recorded some 69,467 flight movements during the same period. Since the construction of UAE airports, more than 1.4 billion passengers had been served and the government anticipates that figure to rise to 2 billion in less than five years with aviation industry’s continued growth.

The UAE is hosting for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa Expo 2020 Dubai which is expected to draw as much as 25 million tourists during its 6-month duration— October 20, 2020 through April 10, 2021—where more than 190 countries are participating with the theme “Connecting Minds. Creating the future.”

Atlas Air exceeds first quarter expectations

First quarter results exceeded expectations for Atlas Air with adjusted income rising by $3.5 million to $27.3 million.

The adjusted results exclude the impact of warrant accounting, with unrealized losses totaling $46.6 million, pushing reported first quarter losses to $29.7 million.

Volumes in the first quarter increased 19% to 77,061 block hours, and revenue grew by 15% to $679.7 million.

Increased ACMI revenue of $306.5 million reflected an increase in flying, with block-hour growth coming from extra Boeing 767 services for Amazon, Boeing 777s for DHL and starting up Boeing 747-400 flights for new customers.

Charter revenue of $305.1 million came from increased flights, and higher block-hour volumes reflected more military passenger and commercial cargo demand that were partially offset by a decrease in military cargo flying.

Dry leasing revenue rose to $69.9 million, reflecting maintenance payments related to the scheduled return of a 777F in March 2019 as well as the placement of incremental aircraft with customers.

William Flynn, president and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide says, “We are benefitting from a full year of flying the 16 aircraft we added during 2018 for customers such as Amazon, Asiana Cargo, DHL Express, Inditex and SF Express, as well as the three aircraft for Nippon Cargo Airlines that we are adding this year.”

He says the focus on express, e-commerce and fast-growing markets provides a solid foundation for future business and earnings growth.

Flynn says, “We were pleased to announce an expansion of our relationship with Amazon in March. We are scheduled to begin flying five 737-800 aircraft on a CMI basis for Amazon this year, including two starting this month, with up to 15 more by May 2021. This opportunity provides a path to continued expansion in a desirable aircraft type, and it will enhance scale in the 737 platform we operate through Southern Air.”

New date set for Cargolux’s beluga whale flight to Iceland

A new date has been set for the flight of the beluga whales, after the initial travel date had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

Little Grey and Little White were due to fly from China to Iceland with Cargolux in April because of rough seas preventing ferry travel between Iceland’s mainland and Heimaey.

The two belugas are now due to fly on 19 June, embarking on a 6,000-mile journey from Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, China to the large sanctuary in a natural bay in Heimaey, off the south coast of Iceland.

From Changfeng Ocean World, Little Grey and Little White will travel by road to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, fly to Keflavik Airport in Iceland, then drive to the ferry port for a 30-minute crossing, drive a short distance to Vestmannaeyjar.

Once at the sanctuary, they will be transferred to a landside facility and placed into a special care pool to be assessed following their journey.

DB Schenker renews contract with CHAMP for its TRAXON cargoHUB

DB Schenker has renewed its agreement with CHAMP Cargosystems for its TRAXON cargoHUB, allowing the freight forwarder to communicate digitally with supply chain partners.

TRAXON cargoHUB features ones of the largest air cargo communities with electronic access to over 100 airlines and 3,000 forwarders operating from 9,000 branches worldwide.

By improving the quality of data and completeness in the supply chain, TRAXON cargoHUB connects the airfreight community irrespective of their IT configuration or systems.

Laurent Jossa, head of sales – distribution services at CHAMP Cargosystems says, “The cargoHUB community – and CHAMP’s other supply chain integration services – is an integral part of the air cargo supply chain. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to nurture such long-lasting relationships within it.”

Niklas Wilmking, executive vice president of global airfreight at DB Schenker says, “Our ongoing use of CHAMP’s TRAXON cargoHUB solution demonstrates its effectiveness and ability to adapt to changing times. We are delighted to continue this relationship and hope to have many more fruitful years to come.”