Honeywell receives radiation-hardening support contract for microelectronics.
Industry shows exhibit optimistic streak
As many industries peer nervously over the edge of the economic crevasse, wondering how deep it is, the suppliers of cabin systems and services are aiming to fly clean over it. Next month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg is set to be the biggest yet, and the World Airline Entertainment Association has announced that its 2010 conference and exhibition will be co-located with AIX Americas for a second year.
Among the planned highlights of the 10th edition of Reed Exhibitions’ AIX Hamburg, which will run from March 31 to April 2, are the first ever live World Airline Awards ceremony and the prizegiving for Hamburg’s own Crystal Cabin Awards.
Organised by World Airline Survey publisher Skytrax, the World Airline Awards have been running for ten years, as has AIX Hamburg. This year for the first time the awards will be presented to the winners in person on April 1 during an event to mark the show’s tenth birthday. With 26 categories this year, the awards are based on a survey of more than 15.4 million airline passengers over a 10-month period.
Established three years ago and sponsored by the city of Hamburg, the Crystal Cabin Awards recognise innovation in cabin technologies. The laurels are offered in five categories: entertainment and communication; materials and components; cabin health and safety; passenger comfort; and interior design.
Last year’s winners included B/E Aerospace for its first-class Sky Suite, Dasell (washroom with integrated urinals), STG Aerospace (WEPPS emergency lighting system), Airbus (Universal Wireless Backbone system) and Lufthansa Technik (radio-frequency asset tagging).
In the running this year are more than 50 companies from 14 countries, including Boeing, Bombardier, Teague, Recaro, Iacobucci, Pierrejean Design and, going for repeat wins, Airbus, Lufthansa Technik and STG Aerospace. Competing entries include economy-class seating, electronic security systems for passengers and crew, air cleaning tools, shower concepts and first-class cabins.
The show itself is expected to feature a range of passenger comfort innovations, particularly in the areas of reduced noise, increased personal space, and advances in seating and IFE, consultant and former Lufthansa managing director Jan-Peter Jansen said last week. Environmental issues and energy efficiency would be on the agenda once more, with lightweight products and technologies being showcased.
Briefing German journalists on the state of the industry, Jansen said there would be a softening in demand for its products and services in the short term, followed by a return to robust growth after the recession. “We expect a short-term decline in demand and some consolidation,” he said. “But this is still a growth industry, and profit and growth will both return. This will be helped by the introduction of new aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, which both offer more opportunities in terms of developing their interiors and cabin systems.”
This year’s edition of the long-running WAEA conference and exhibition will be held in Palm Springs, California, in October. In 2010 the association will repeat last year’s successful experiment, which saw the event co-located with AIX Americas in Long Beach, California. “The positive feedback from our membership on the 2008 co-location made the decision an easy one for us,” says WAEA executive director Richard Owen.
Details of WAEA 2009 can be found on the organisation’s new-look Website, which was beta-launched last week (www.waea.org).
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