AMC/AEEC attendance up as avionics engineers are bullish on market
Posted by John McHale
Attendance at the Avionics Maintenance Conference (AMC)/Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) event this week in Memphis Tenn., was up by nearly 20 percent over last year's event, according to AMC organizers -- this is particularly noteworthy considering this is the first year they charged $500 per person to attend. However, the positive vibes I was getting from avionics suppliers, airframers, and airlines about the market health is probably a big factor in the improved turnout.
Attendees are particularly excited about opportunities in new aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner while the retrofit market looks promising for electronic flight bag (EFB) designers as airlines and operators beging to upgrade their fleets to eb compatible with future air traffic management mandates such as SESAR in Europe and NextGen in the U.S.
Airline representatives were more reserved, expressing concern over rising fuel prices. During AEEC committee meetings there was growing doubt about the whether or not SESAR and NextGen
-- when fully deployed -- will have similar architectures and nomenclature, making it the transition to these systems much easier on the airlines.
The monumental task of just getting different European countries on the same page within the SESAR initiative seems daunting -- let alone harmonizing with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) NextGen program.
The airlines are also looking for solid avionics roadmaps from SESAR and the FAA so they will know what to adopt, when to adopt it, and how much it will cost.