Public Service Assoc. says privatisation of NSW POLAIR threatens community safety

THE Public Service Association of NSW (PSA) has warned that it was "gravely concerned" with recent developments at the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) Aviation Support Command (POLAIR).

Among other cultural and safety issues currently being addressed at POLAIR, the PSA has been made aware of a push towards the privatisation of pilot positions.

This initiative by NSWPF and POLAIR chief pilot Salli-Ann Ward could risk the lives of the community and police, according to the PSA, which represents POLAIR pilots. 

PSA members were advised on Friday, March 10, that six vacant positions -- made up of four rotary aircraft and two fixed-wing -- would be outsourced and filled by contracted staff, privatising these positions which would usually be held by fully trained and qualified special constables.

“Contract pilots lack the experience and specialised training that is provided to Special Constable pilots who up until now have operated NSWPF aircraft,” PSA general secretary, Stewart Little said.

“Special constables are trained to use weapons and to use equipment like bullet proof vests. Without this training and experience, the PSA holds serious concerns that the utilisation of contract piloting staff will lead to a serious incident or accident.

“The circumstances around this initiative are also troubling, there has been no consultation with the PSA, with staff only being notified last Friday about the commencement of contract pilots," Mr Little said.

“There has been no information in relation to whether there was a fit and proper tender process conducted by the NSWPF in awarding the contract for pilot services. 

“There is no information as to how this private company was able to secure these positions and provide services usually performed by members of the NSWPF.

“This lack of transparency or consultation is the norm for current POLAIR management.

“This is privatisation by stealth, it’s the pilots this week, next week it’ll be the engineers who maintain police aircraft," he said.

“These are full time public service roles, the public has an expectation that POLAIR pilots have their mind fully on the job not on moonlighting as skydiving pilots on weekends.

“The PSA position is firm – the government needs to reverse this appalling decision immediately.

“The PSA has sought a meeting with the Commissioner of Police to discuss this matter urgently,” Mr Little said.



H3 Dynamics develops mobile hydrogen filling stations for UAVs

INTERNATIONAL hydrogen-powered aviation group, H3 Dynamics has developed the world’s first mobile hydrogen fuel station for hydrogen drones and UAVs of all shapes and sizes. The mobile stations are branded H2FIELD and they produce hydrogen on site and offer automatic refilling in the field.

The H3 Dynamics solution solves the problem of hydrogen access in remote locations by producing fuel on-site. The automatic storage tank filling system is easy to use and enables 24/7 operations.

Now H3 Dynamics – which has three regional headquarters in Singapore, Toulouse, France and Austin, Texas in the US – is looking to develop larger systems addressing airfield and airport operations.

“We are the evolutionary starting point to increasingly large hydrogen powered flight platforms, where testing, certification and regulatory approval challenges vary based on aircraft weight,” H3 Dynamics CEO and co-founder Taras Wankewycz said.

“We want to mature hydrogen technology in today’s existing uncrewed aviation market – and that includes working out hydrogen logistics and refueling systems.”

The H2FIELD system can service hydrogen-powered airshipsmulti-rotorsvertical take-off and landing UAS and various fixed wing systems.

H2FIELD’s rugged IP-65 trailer-based solution brings hydrogen production to different drone operation locations. It can also be dismounted as a permanent installation and connect to solar panel arrays.

H3 Dynamics can supply various configurations, with slow or fast charge options down to minutes per fill, a spokesperson said, “depending on client requirements”.

“H3 Dynamics’ system is extremely compact and can produce hydrogen on site – not just dispense it from other storage forms,” the spokesperson said.

“For hydrogen drone operators, H2FIELD-1 solves fundamental hydrogen accessibility in remote areas, unlocking a major logistical barrier for a growing base of hydrogen drone operators in industrial, defence, or even academic sectors. The only feedstock input is water.”

H3 Dynamics has been working on a first transatlantic hydrogen-electric flight using liquid hydrogen storage systems currently being tested in France with ISAE-SUPAERO in Toulouse. Last week H3 Dynamics announced its hydrogen propulsion partnership with French airship maker HyLight, and the week prior with Australian VTOL UAV producer Carbonix whose airframes are made by Quickstep, Australia’s innovative aerospace composites producer.

The spokesperson said 2023 would see more of these announcements as H3 Dynamics continues to transition battery-UAS manufacturers to hydrogen technologies.

According to the H3 Dynamics spokesperson, compared with batteries, hydrogen electric systems increase battery-drone flight durations by several orders of magnitude, “opening up many new possibilities in a market that is expected to grow five-fold to $100 billion by 2030”.

H2FIELD-1 marks the start of H3 Dynamics’ foray into hydrogen infrastructure solutions for small, unmanned and increasingly large aircraft, from airfields to airports – with increasingly large output power and hydrogen storage capabilities.

Taras Wankewycz said H3 Dynamics was on a mission to decarbonize aviation. 

“While the commercial opportunities around passenger-scale hydrogen aviation propulsion will take many more years to mature, the company is following a ‘start small’ product and services roadmap that solves safety, technical, regulatory challenges by adding scale, weight and complexity over time.”

The company employs 94 team members from its three regional headquarters in Toulouse, Austin and Singapore. H3 Dynamics is a member of the Alliance for Zero Emission Aviation under the European Commission, Sustainable Aero Lab, the Lufthansa Cleantech Hubthe Paris Advanced Air Mobility Alliance, and Aerospace Valley in Toulouse



Brisbane ‘AI-rport’ uses Brainbox to cut emissions

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

WHAT CAN the world learn from Brisbane Airport? For a start, Brisbane Airport Corporation is the first airport manager in the world to use artificial intelligence (AI), provided by global corporation Brainbox AI, to reduce emissions.

Airports are the second largest emitters of greenhouse gases and the new AI technology allows the airport to focus on reducing emissions in its buildings. The AI can predict internal temperatures of buildings with a confidence interval greater than 95 percent. On some sites, it’s 99 percent.

“Ask yourself, when were you last 99 percent sure of something?”  BrainBox AI head of the Asia-Pacific region, Ben Gill told Talking Business. “So effectively, once we know something is going to happen, we can effectively see into the future and that means we can start turning things off, down or sideways. 

“So without any human intervention, the AI will actually go ahead and make changes to the H-VAC, to your air-conditioning, to your heating in the building and, ultimately, it can do it smarter and quicker than what we can as humans.”

This is important because heating, ventilation and air-conditioning generates up to 70 percent of a building’s energy use in shopping centres and hospitals.



The technology has been developed by the Brainbox team in Montreal, Canada. They include building engineers, software developers, AI architects, (“These guys have brains upon brains,” Mr Gill said) and a data streams team.

He said this technology can be used wherever there are air conditioned buildings. Hospitals and shopping centres would be prime sites.

“When you start to think about the eco-systems that live within these buildings, and the way buildings can actually interact with each other, whether they would ne shade lines, or whether they be shared power, or shared cooling,” Mr Gill said. 

“Something we’re just dipping our toes into now is how these buildings can trade energy with each other. Things like peak demand and sharing those arrangements.”

Mr Gill said cities were now interconnected with traffic and pedestrian movements and the use of energy was now coming to the fore.

“AI will play a role in many aspects of society, pleasingly in reduction of emissions,” he said.

He said Brainbox was now operating in most states around Australia, except for Tasmania. It is also operating in Canada and North America and pushing into Asia



Mr Gill said it was significant that Brainbox was now using its technology on an airport.

“We know we have proven technology in commercial buildings, in office towers. We know it in shopping centres, we know it in universities, we know it in schooling,” he said.

“This is the first time we have seen an airport operator do it. Sometimes it comes down to less about the building and more about the attitude of people.

“Ultimately, we are asking people to give up a little bit of control in what they’re doing and let the AI make decisions,” Mr Gill said.

“Part of my job and my team’s job is putting in place the procedures and also the trust and the confidence.”

Mr Gill compared data with water.

“It’s often dirty, it needs filtering, it needs sanitisation, it certainly needs plumbing, you need to have storage for it,” he made the analogy.




Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.



Australia’s Monarc Global partners with UK’s Aviation Data Solutions

TWO INDUSTRY-LEADING aviation technology software companies, Monarc Global, based in Australia, and Aviation Data Solutions (ADS), based in the UK, have announced a strategic partnership.

Monarc Global's in-house Travech pricing technology provides solutions to aircraft operators and owners, including a global distribution system for the travel industry. ADS’s Airport Pricing Calculator is the aviation industry’s go-to for sourcing the most accurate airport and handling agent costs in the UK, Europe and, soon, worldwide.

Combined, ADS will utilise Travech’s instant and accurate private charter booking capabilities, and Monarc Global will have access to ADS’s ever expanding pricing coverage.

According to Monarc Global CEO Royce Crown, the new partnership will see both companies’ products and services deliver “real-time, accurate and instantaneous airport calculations and pricing for aircraft operators, owners and the travel services industry”. 

“We are pleased to reveal this partnership with ADS, one of the world’s best for providing accurate data for the aviation industry,” Mr Crown said. “We wanted to work with a company that mirrored our company’s product and service quality and, when joined together, both would provide a stronger and elevated service and outcome for our clients.

“This is another step for us in introducing Travech to an international market. We see this very much as a symbiotic partnership; because it fits perfectly with what we are trying to achieve,” Mr Crown said.

ADS has an impressive list of more than 800 services, 1400 unique service calculation methods and over 900 aircraft types, variants and engine combinations modelled with all certified business aviation types covered.

The ADS map of pricing coverage is an ever expanding and updating network of airports and handling agent brands. Notable examples include United Aviation, Omni handling and Argos VPH.

“This partnership with Monarc Global is a fantastic landmark for ADS and the way forward to bringing simplicity and transparency into the complex world of charter booking and sales,” ADS managing director Adrian Parsons said.

“At ADS, we are all about quality and accuracy to the highest standard. We believe that working together with Monarc Global, who closely echo our own business values, will elevate our combined services to a whole new level.”

Next month, representatives from both companies will come together for their new partnership at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE 2022).




Monarc Global takes double win in Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 Awards.

AVIATION technology software company Monarc Global took home a double win at the recent 21st Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards. Monarc Global was named the Tech Fast 50 Winner and company co-founder Monica Zagrodny won the Female Leadership Award.

It marks the first time in the history of the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Awards that a nominee has won in two categories.

The awards pinpointed 50 of Australia's fastest-growing companies, with the list’s cut-off rate rising above 300 percent. Monarc Global saw a phenomenal growth of 6,331 percent between 2019 and 2021 and, as a result, was recognised as the Fastest Growing Tech Company in Australia.

Monarc Global is an aviation-centric software company providing solutions via its in-house technology, branded Travech, to aircraft operators and owners, including a global distribution system for the travel industry.

Monarc's innovative product and service in the aviation and travel space was what set it apart in both the Fastest Growing Tech Company in Australia category and for the Technology Female Leadership Winner. 

“I am honoured to win Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 Female Leadership Award,” Monica Zagrodny said. “To be included amongst a list of other female lead companies is a testament to the amazing work we are all doing and a great step towards giving female leaders opportunities and recognition in business acumen within their industry.

“This is a fantastic achievement for our team, since its inception in 2017 and armed with our mission to provide solutions for aircraft operators and owners and change the aviation industry to do better when it comes to business operations, particularly automated pricing,” Ms Zagrodny said.

“Monarc Global is part of a wider landscape of other companies and founders who are paving the way for promising innovation within Australia. Thank you to all the nominees on the list, the entire Monarc Global team and all of our supporters.”

In the past, companies such as Afterpay, Vinomofo, Seek, Realestate.com.au, Atlassian and Webjet have taken out the top spot.

Since 2017, Brisbane-based Monarc Global has helped aircraft owners, charter operators, travel services, and airlines automate their pricing and booking systems with their dynamic in-house built pricing software, Travech.




UNSW aviation conference to land heavily on COVID impact

THE INTERNATIONAL AVIATION conference being hosted by the UNSW School of Aviation this weekend will touch down on the global impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

The 24th Annual Air Transport Research Society (ATRS) three-day conference runs online from August 27-29, featuring international experts. It will feature the latest research on airport efficiency, air transport economics and airline management as well as results of the ATRS airport benchmarking report, outlining the productivity of the world’s airports. 

The conference was postponed last year due to COVID-19 and will be held online for more than 400 attendees for the first time in its history.

Head of the UNSW School of Aviation, professor Gabriel Lodewijks, is an expert in aviation logistics and technology and he beleives it can help to kick-start the 'next generation' of global aviation.

“Now is the time to discuss how the industry can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, how to address the environmental impact of aviation and to show the world how this crisis creates opportunities for the next generation in aviation,” Prof. Lodewijks said.

Conference chairman and honorary senior lecturer with the UNSW School of Aviation, Ian Douglas said some international markets were reopening after border closures brought international aviation to a standstill in early 2020.

“The grounding of many Airbus A380 and Boeing B747 jets will change the shape of international travel as markets emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns, with a lesser focus on mega-hubs a likely outcome,” Dr Douglas said. He is a foremost expert on air transport regulation and airline market development, with a focus on ASEAN aviation.

ATRS president and expert in operations and logistics in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Colombia, Prof. Anming Zhang said the post-pandemic industry development depended largely on the resilience of the entire aviation supply chain, including airlines and airports.

“These external shocks will reoccur in the future, perhaps taking on a new form, so the most important consideration is to ensure that the entire system is resilient,” Prof. Zhang said.

“The industry will be impacted, but we must try to minimize the damage. On the other hand, air travel contributed to the spread of a local epidemic to a global pandemic.

“So in the future we must consider how to cut off or minimise this potential channel.

“We hope the scientific ideas discussed and exchanged in this conference can contribute towards a better understanding of these important problems.”

The ATRS welcome address will feature the dean of UNSW Science, Prof Emma Johnston, Prof Anming Zhang, Prof. Gabriel Lodewijks and Dr Ian Douglas on August 27 from 3.45 pm. 

The  ATRS keynote speach is by Dhruv Gupta, the chief aviation officer at Sydney Airport, on August 27 from 4pm-4.45pm. This will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr Ian Douglas and featuring international operations and aviation development manager at Tourism Australia, Trent Banfield, along with head of strategy at Virgin Australia, Alistair Hartley.



Aviation tech leader Monarc Global joins forces with global company Portside

MONARC GLOBAL is already a world leader in providing technology solutions for aircraft owners and operators. The Australian company’s new partnership with global aviation tech group Portside is going to provide extra lift for Monarc’s international ambitions.

Monarc Global CEO Royce Crown said his company was “excited to announce” its partnership with Portside, one of the world’s leading companies in aviation technology.

The new partnership will allow aircraft owners and operators to have a more comprehensive and robust solution to their business operations by enabling them to price accurately with Monarc Global’s Travech system and manage prices using the Portside platform.

Portside recently raised US$17 million to grow its cloud-based software. With offices located in Houston, Hong Kong, London and San Paolo, Portside’s integrated platform for business aviation allows operators to have permission-based access to live schedule, maintenance, finance and expense data 24/7.

In addition, the Portside platform allows for better insights, more intelligent workflows, effective automation and fewer errors, Mr Crown said. 

“Our goal is to streamline and provide impactful solutions for the aviation industry, particularly aircraft operators and owners,” Mr Crown said.

“Working together with other like-minded companies was a part of making this happen, so it only made sense to partner with Portside. Together we can deliver gratifying results for our customers when it comes to centralising all their business operation needs,” he said.

“We are also looking forward to announcing new partnerships with other organisations soon.”

Together with Portside’s innovative business platform and Monarc Global’s automated pricing software Travech, he said “the business of aviation charter just got faster, smarter and better.”

Monarc Global’s stated purpose is to support aircraft owners and operators to evolve and scale steadfastly within their industry. Monarc Global is achieving this by building connections and partnerships with like-minded organisations and bringing their sophisticated, business and technology-induced products and services to operators worldwide.

Since 2017, Brisbane-based Monarc Global has helped aircraft owners, charter operators and airlines automate their pricing and booking systems with their dynamic in-house built pricing software Travech.

Portside supports over150 operators with more than 2,000 aircraft in 25 countries. Portside’s integrated platform connects with the most commonly used aviation software, including in-house systems, which allows the company to deliver a variety of cost effective solutions tailored to meet aviation business needs, supporting their digital transformations and enterprise requirements.



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