Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How Google and RailTel are bridging the digital divide in India

Pictures-Copyright-Neelam Mathews

Jan 8, 2018

A relic of the British colonial era, India’s railway stations are undergoing a transformation. Since 2016, Indian Railways subsidiary RailTel has worked with Google to provide free wifi through a fiber optic network to railway stations across the country. Today, over 250 stations offer wifi to ten million passengers every month.
That number might seem like a drop in the bucket, given that over 23 million passengers travel every day across the stations, but work is in full swing for the joint partnership to offer wifi at 400 stations by March, as confirmed by RailTel chairman and managing director Ashutosh Vasant during a recent conference.
RailTel enables Internet as the ISP through its “RailWire” service via a fiber network. For its part, Google sets up the wireless infrastructure and provides tech support.
The RailWire service is available to any user who has a working mobile connection on a smartphone. It is currently offered free-of-charge for the first hour, but users see a drop in speed during the final 30 minutes of that session.
Trains are the lifeblood of India, and passengers spend an average of at least an hour at train stations, something not overlooked by the RailTel-Google partnership.
Railway stations have been recategorized into three groups to help structure the project – non-suburban (of which there are 5,976 stations), suburban (484 stations) and halt (stations with irregular train service, numbering 2153), for a total of 8613 stations.
But Piyush Goyal, India’s Railway and Coal Minister, recently tweeted about a further effort to extend wifi to 7,000 rural stations......read more on Runwaygirl

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Body scanner tests continue at Delhi


18 December 2017
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), operator of Indira Gandhi International Airport, is continuing to evaluate different body scanning technologies.
DIAL trialled the L3 Security & Detection Systems ProVision 2 scanner for about six weeks, but Jane’s understands it also intends to begin trials of a system from an Indo-Russian joint venture (JV) called Densho Solutions in January 2018. The Densho product is based on technology from....more in JAR

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Work starts on New Pokhara

Jane's Airport Review

Neelam Mathews

China CAMC Engineering Co (CMAC) has begun construction of New Pokhara International Airport, about 100 km from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
Designed as the second international airport in Nepal, Pokhara is scheduled for completion by ....Read more in JAR

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Platov warms up for kick-off in 2018

Neelam Mathews - IHS Jane's Airport Review
11 December 2017
A programme of test flights has been completed at the new Platov International Airport in Rostov-on-Don, southern Russia, paving the way for all airline services to switch from the existing airport, which will shut down on 1 March 2018.
Azimuth – the newest carrier in Russia – has confirmed that it will be based at Platov International, having signed an agreement with airport operator Airports of Regions.
UK-based Twelve Architects designed the new airport, which is expected to handle traffic for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. “The terminal building is organised on an orthogonal and repetitive 16 x 16 m grid and has been designed to easily accommodate future expansion,” Twelve Architects announced in a statement.

(116 of 156 words)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Indian military yearns for larger UAV inventory

Pix Neelam Mathews (copyright)

Neelam Mathews
Dec 6, 2017

The Indian military’s desire for UAVs will soon be boosted with further RfPs. While the army is already processing an RfP for mini-UAVs, India is looking to push on towards integrated army, navy and air force buys for MALE and HALE UAVs, for which RfIs have already been issued ...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Breaking! A Feather in the Dynamatic Cap

Neelam Mathews

Dec 5, 2017

To all cynics, often myself, who believe India will never take off in defense manufacturing, all I can say is Think Again. From becoming the world's largest supplier of hydraulic gear pumps, Bangalore-based Dynamatic Technologies has taken on the East and the West for aerospace manufacture.
Dec 10 2017 will see the 100th shipset of airframe structures of the Su-30MKI being handed over to HAL that gave the company the 'Best Supplier Award 2017', making it a hat-trick. 

Air Astana Sees Rebound Tied to Kazakhstan’s Recovery

Dec 4, 2017

As Kazakhstan’s economy starts to bounce back after two years of currency devaluation, GDP declines and suppressed oil prices, Almaty-based Air Astana has resumed expanding its scope of operations in Russia, the Central Asian countries, South Asia and China. Located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Kazakhstan stands geographically well positioned to attract transit traffic, which accounts for a growing proportion of Air Astana’s revenues.  
Air Astana flies to 46 international and 20 domestic destinations. “We are conscious the domestic market is very limited…That is why we are here [in India],” Air Astana CEO Peter Foster told AIN during a recent interview in Delhi. “Because of our geographical location, we can fly from nowhere to anywhere.”
Seventeen Airbus A320neos, five Embraer E190s and three Boeing 787s have fueled Air Astana’s fleet expansion. It expects to take delivery of another two A320neos by the end of the year, and plans call for the fleet to more than double in size, to 64 aircraft, by 2025.
Having completed 13 years of service in India, Air Astana plans to increase its three-times-weekly service between Astana and Delhi to a daily flight, followed by service to Mumbai in 2019. However, securing slots at the two capacity constrained airports presents a major challenge, said Foster.
“In Delhi, we can get the slots, not the best timings,” Foster told AIN. Of course, airport overcrowding isn’t specific to India: the airline had planned to add two more frequencies to Beijing this year but had to withdraw because of a paucity of slots.
“This debate is all about slots as Air India has air traffic rights on prime international routes,” said Foster in reference to the possible privatization of Air India. “Slots have started to feature on several airlines' balance sheets as assets. While they are not a tradeable commodity, they are becoming so.”
Plans for expansion to Asia Pacific include more flights to Bangkok, Seoul, Chengdu, and Xian by 2020 and to Hong Kong next year in codeshare with Cathay Pacific Foster expects to sign soon. At this point New York remains only a possibility. “If we decide to, it will be using the 787,” he said.
Foster confirmed the airline—49 percent owned by BAE Systems and 51 percent by Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna—would release its planned initial public offering with the stock exchanges of Astana and London in October 2018. Its cost per available seat kilometer (ASK) remains below five cents, making it one of the world’s lowest cost full-service airlines.