Virtualitics’ Maintenance Decision Intelligence AI Application Transforms Enterprise Asset Management

Virtualitics has introduced its latest AI-powered application, Maintenance Decision Intelligence (MDI). Designed to transform maintenance operations for asset-intensive industries, MDI drives significant improvements in efficiency, reliability, and decision-making.

Virtualitics AI-driven Decision Intelligence applications are built with Explainable AI (XAI) at their core to ensure that answers provided by the platform can be trusted and empower users to get even more competitive advantage out of their data. MDI delivers AI-powered intelligence and recommendations to guide enterprise maintenance organizations to proactively respond to anticipated failures, improve asset availability, and enhance overall operational efficiency. MDI enables organizations to identify failure points and determine the best corrective actions, significantly reducing unplanned downtime and giving teams unparalleled efficiency and insight.

Developed for the U. S. Department of Defense, the application is a proven solution ready to deliver impact in commercial enterprises. Virtualitics’ technology includes multiple U.S. Patents, and the MDI application has already been field-proven capable of analyzing over a decade of historical data and millions of records.

“Our MDI application revolutionizes asset and supply chain management by providing proactive maintenance operations recommendations,” said Michael Amori, CEO and co-founder of Virtualitics. “We are setting a new standard for making AI both powerful and explainable, so organizations can ensure asset uptime and confidently accelerate impactful decisions.”

MDI integrates asset management and resource planning data sources to inform users when planned or open maintenance jobs cannot be scheduled or executed due to missing resources. This AI-driven approach enables organizations to optimize supply chain and maintenance demands while meeting evolving customer needs.

MDI also benefits from Virtualitics’ latest platform feature, Pathfinder, an innovative AI-powered tool designed to simplify data analysis for new or less experienced users. Pathfinder democratizes advanced analytics for maintenance operations use cases by reducing the amount of input required and presenting actionable insights that empower users to confidently make maintenance decisions. By integrating advanced AI routines and Explainable AI capabilities, Pathfinder guides users through key analysis paths—Segmentation, Key Drivers, and Outliers—enabling them to unlock the full potential of their data with minimal effort.

These easy-to-use tools empower maintenance teams to predict asset failure and optimize resource allocation, which can improve the efficiency of scheduling processes by more than 30% while ensuring maximum asset uptime and operational success. Virtualitics is committed to enhancing the usability and impact of its AI solutions. The MDI application and Pathfinder functionality exemplify this commitment by making advanced analytics accessible to all users, regardless of their technical expertise.

AFI KLM E&M Partners with Croatia Airlines for A220 Component Support 

Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance announced a new partnership with Croatia Airlines to provide comprehensive component support for their Airbus A220 fleet. This collaboration marks a significant step in enhancing the operational reliability and performance of Croatia Airlines’ new generation aircraft. 

AFI KLM E&M will offer a wide range of component support services, including repairs, access to a dedicated pool of spares and logistics support. Leveraging decades of experience in aircraft maintenance, AFI KLM E&M’s support for the A220 is backed by their technical knowledge and track record in managing new-generation aircraft. The collaboration will enable Croatia Airlines to benefit from AFI KLM E&M’s repair facilities and maintenance solutions, ensuring optimal aircraft availability and reliability the MRO says. This agreement underscores the commitment of both companies to deliver top-tier aviation services. It also highlights AFI KLM E&M’s role as a trusted partner for airlines operating the latest aircraft models. 

”AFI KLM E&M’s expertise and extensive support network are invaluable as we introduce the A220 to our fleet,” Tomislav Imprić, technical director of Croatia Airlines, said. “This partnership ensures that we can maintain the highest standards of safety and efficiency, delivering a superior travel experience to our passengers.”  

“We are delighted to partner with Croatia Airlines in supporting their A220 feet. Our complete component support services are designed to meet the specific needs of new-generation aircraft, and we are committed to providing Croatia Airlines with the highest level of operational excellence and reliability,” stated Marcel Kuijn, VP sales Europe & key accounts of Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance. 

Jet Agency Partners with Inspirato to Offer Members Access to World-Class Travel Accommodations

Jet Agency announced a new partnership with Inspirato which will give their members access to their private collection of beautiful, spacious homes in unforgettable destinations.

By combining the simplicity and clarity of Jet Agency Membership with Inspirato’s exclusive collection of vacation homes in more than 150 destinations across the globe, we provide a seamless and elevated travel experience.

“Creating value for our members is a top priority for Jet Agency, and this partnership with Inspirato is an excellent example,” said Jordan Brown, Jet Agency’s CEO.

“Creating value for our members is a top priority for Jet Agency, and this partnership with Inspirato is an excellent example,” said Jordan Brown, Jet Agency’s CEO. “Inspirato shares Jet Agency’s desire to create curated experiences for our members, and I am excited we get to do that together.”

As a part of this partnership, Jet Agency members will benefit from complimentary Inspirato travel membership for a year, including access to their extensive collection of luxury homes and personalized services. Inspirato’s dedicated concierge offers a local view into the best restaurants and activities or simply ensures the refrigerator is stocked with favorite foods.

Jet Agency takes a modern approach to membership, offering an easy-to-understand, fixed-rate program without costly membership dues or hidden fees. Jet Agency allows travelers to get closer to their final destinations without the hassle of complicated flight connections through packed international hubs. Inspirato complements this by providing the perfect place to stay, making every journey as exceptional as the destination.

IBAC Holds Inaugural Industry Advisory Forum – Elects Bruce Parry as First Chair

The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) hosted its first Industry Advisory Forum (IAF) following the closing of EBACE 2024 and elected Bruce Parry, senior advisor, industry affairs, Bombardier, as the inaugural chair for the group.

Kurt Edwards, director general, IBAC, said, “We are excited to launch this new forum where our growing number of industry partners, now standing at 17 organizations, can collaborate with the IBAC team and our member associations further to strengthen our work for the global business aviation sector at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It is gratifying to see such enthusiastic participation as we continue building the global community for business aviation.”     

Bruce Parry, the first chair of the IAF, commented, “It is an honor to be elected chair of this new program and I look forward to working with the entire team. As a non-profit industry association, IBAC has an important role, representing our entire sector at ICAO, and it’s important for our sector to get involved and support these efforts that involve flight operations, safety, security and the environment.”

The session brought all parties together for the first time to discuss IBAC objectives, understand industry priorities at the global level, and to outline the critical importance to business aviation of ICAO, where IBAC acts as the sole voice of the business aviation sector. Plans are underway for the next IAF in conjunction with the NBAA Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (BACE) this upcoming October.

Volato Announces 2024 Safety Summit, June 25-26 in Atlanta, GA

Volato Group, a private aviation company and the largest HondaJet operator in the United States, announced its second annual Safety Summit, a two-day event dedicated to advancing safety standards across the private aviation industry. The summit will take place June 25-26th in Atlanta, GA.

The event will bring together industry stakeholders, aviation professionals, and thought leaders to share knowledge, discuss emerging trends, and collaborate on best practices.

“Safety is at the core of everything we do at Volato,” said Matt Liotta, CEO of Volato. “We are committed to not only maintaining the highest safety standards for our own operations, but also to sharing our expertise and fostering greater collaboration to elevate safety standards across the private aviation community. This summit is a testament to that commitment.”

Building on the success of last year’s summit, this year’s agenda will broaden its scope to encompass safety beyond HondaJet operations. Industry partners including the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Flight Safety International, Wheels Up, and Polaris Aero, will present on key safety issues, including the recent safety management system regulatory mandates for Part 135 operators. The summit will also feature an interactive panel discussion focused on top safety concerns of private aviation passengers.

For additional information about the Safety Summit, or to register for the event, please email SafetySummit2024@flyvolato.com. Summit attendees can also take advantage of a discounted rate at the event venue, Hotel Colee.

COGNIZANT TO ACQUIRE BELCAN FOR APPROXIMATELY $1.3 BILLION

Cognizant announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Belcan, a global supplier of Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) services, at a purchase price of approximately $1.3 billion in cash and stock.

Belcan provides mission-critical digital engineering services for a long-standing customer base across the commercial aerospace, defense, space, marine and industrial verticals, primarily in North America and the United Kingdom (UK).

The acquisition will significantly expand Cognizant’s ER&D capabilities, building upon the company’s leadership in the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital engineering practice areas. Combining with Belcan will also add scale and enable Cognizant to “establish a leadership position in the high-growth aerospace & defense (A&D) industry with a blue-chip client base, deep domain expertise and significant technological capabilities with over 6,500 engineers and technical consultants,” the company said in a press release.

The revenue the acquired business will contribute to Cognizant in 2024 depends on the timing of the close but is expected to be more than $800 million on an annualized basis. Revenue from the acquired business has grown at an 8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last two years.

“We believe that acquiring Belcan will strengthen Cognizant’s position in the sizable and fast-growing ER&D services market,” said Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar S. “Belcan’s deep engineering capabilities and domain expertise across the aerospace & defense market will be complemented by Cognizant’s scale and own multi-decade digital engineering expertise, providing Belcan’s blue-chip client roster access to our advanced AI, Cloud and Data technologies.”

Kumar continued, “We see the opportunity to immediately accelerate revenue growth and create compelling shareholder value through our combined engineering capabilities. Belcan’s clients would gain access to Cognizant’s full suite of technology services, while Cognizant’s clients across the manufacturing, automotive, energy, and high-tech sectors we believe will benefit from Belcan’s engineering skills.”

As a result of this transaction, Cognizant expects to: 

  • Significantly expand its access to the ~$190 billion ER&D services market, which is expected to grow at an over 10% forward CAGR through 2026, complementing its existing IoT and Digital Engineering practice areas
  • Diversify into the fast-growing A&D, space and marine sectors, with a stable set of blue-chip clients
  • Add a highly skilled, technical and accredited workforce and an employer of choice in ER&D services
  • Create shareholder value through enhanced growth opportunities and expected EPS accretion in 2026; expected to be broadly neutral to EPS in 2025
  • Deliver over $100 million in annual revenue synergies within three years, with additional cost synergies expected over time
  • Complement the highly talented and strong US/UK based workforce of Belcan with the talent pool from Cognizant’s global delivery network to support global programs in the Belcan client base

Lance Kwasniewski, the CEO of Belcan, is expected to continue to lead Belcan, which will continue to operate under the Belcan name as an operating unit of Cognizant. Cognizant will also establish a dedicated integration program office to drive execution against strategic and financial goals for the transaction.

“We are excited about this unique combination and the value creation it will bring to our customers, along with the opportunities it will provide for our employees. Cognizant will better position our team to capitalize on compelling tailwinds, including increasing outsourced ER&D spend, the transformative impact of digital engineering adoption rates, robust commercial aerospace demand, and favorable long-term defense and space spending,” said Kwasniewski. “Belcan’s experienced team has built a growth-oriented business delivering highly complex, mission-critical, scalable services to our long-standing customer base. I look forward to continuing to lead our team as we unite and leverage Belcan’s and Cognizant’s comprehensive services and cross-industry clientele to execute on our collective strategy, ultimately earning the role of our clients’ most trusted partner in intelligent engineering.”

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics Mourns the Loss of Former President and CEO John W. Winter

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics announced the passing of John W. Winter, former President and CEO, on May 27, 2024, in Wichita, Kansas. Winter was a well-known member of the aviation community whose ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit helped shape the industry, the company says.

“My father mastered a unique trio of skills, being an exceptionally good mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and astute businessman,” said his son, current Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics president and CEO, Todd Winter. “He set the bar high for himself and all to follow; supporting the pursuit of education as a means to achieve success. He taught us all not to shy away from obstacles or challenges, to be action oriented, and focus on achieving results. When I became president of the company, he handed me a commemorative plate with a picture of President Harry Truman, and one of his favorite quotes: The buck stops here!”

Winter’s passion for aviation began early, serving his country in the U.S. Navy as an electronics officer aboard the USS Leyte aircraft carrier during the last days of the Korean War. Throughout that time, Winter dedicated himself to upgrading and improving air search radar systems. As a result, he was nominated as a candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship by his commanding officer. LTJG Winter left active duty in 1955 and continued to be a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve until 1967, at which time he was honorably discharged.

Following active duty, Winter earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Yale University. He began working at Aircraft Radio Corporation in 1958 and later transitioned to the role of Chief Engineer and then President at Aviation Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (AIM) in 1961. It was there that he became a pioneer in the field of flight instruments and aviation gyros, developing one of the first general aviation autopilot systems. He served in similar roles at Narco Avionics and Aerosonic, after leaving AIM in 1975.

“My grandfather was ahead of his time,” said Van Winter. “His master’s thesis at Yale was the investigation and design of flush-mounted radio antennas. This interest stemmed from his naval experience when the ship’s operational readiness was compromised by damaged, protruding antennas on the World War II era aircraft,” he continued. “Ultimately, flush-mounted antennas became critical to the design of modern stealth aircraft.”

In 1980, Winter purchased Mid-Continent Instrument Company in Wichita, Kansas. During the next two decades, he and his son, Todd Winter, grew the organization and its commitment to serving aviators around the globe, adding new manufacturing capabilities and establishing a second location in California. Today, Mid-Continent operates a large, full-service instrument repair station.

John Winter was a long-time, highly regarded member of the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), serving on the board of directors from 1988 to 2000 and elected treasurer from 1994 to 2000. In recognition of his dedication to the industry he loved, he was named AEA’s Member of the Year in 1995 and received AEA’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, two honors that he was deeply proud to receive. 

Aviation was hiss passion and his legacy and commitment to quality, integrity and innovation live on through his family, the company, its employees and his many friends and colleagues within the industry, a company statement said.

Bluestreak I Bright AM Achieves CMMC Registered Practitioner Organization Status

Bluestreak Compliance, a division of Bluestreak | Bright AM, a quality management and manufacturing execution system software company, proudly announces its approval as a CMMC Registered Practitioner Organization (RPO) by the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (Cyber-AB). This significant achievement enables Bluestreak Compliance™to offer expert consulting services to defense contractors and suppliers aiming to comply with CMMC cybersecurity standards and prepare for their Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) audits.

In January 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) introduced the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program to ensure that contractors have implemented adequate security measures to protect sensitive data across its extensive 300,000-contractor supply chain, known as the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The CMMC 2.0 framework includes three certification levels, from Foundational to Expert, covering 14 control families and 110 practices aligned with NIST SP 800-171 R2.
Although CMMC 2.0 has not been fully released, the DoD plans to implement the CMMC program under a four-phased plan starting as early as Q1 2025, with all new solicitations for contracts involving Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Federal Contract Information (FCI) by October 1, 2026, to secure DoD contracts.

“CMMC certification is critical for your business because it sets clear and rigorous cybersecurity standards, ensuring that all contractors meet essential security requirements to protect sensitive information and strengthen our national defense,” said Joe Coleman, cyber security officer, CMMC-RPA. “If you do any work for a DoD contractor or handle CUI in any way, you must become certified.”

AAR Named to Newsweek’s America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2024 

 AAR announced that it has been recognized as one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2024 by Newsweek and Plant-A Insights Group. 

This survey included publicly available data, interviews with HR professionals and an anonymous online survey conducted among a diverse group of employees at companies in the U.S, resulting in more than 1.5 million reviews. Companies awarded to the list were recognized for their efforts to nurture an inclusive culture and to respect and value employees from different walks of life.  

“Diversity is a widely discussed topic – and it remains a crucial factor as people look for an employer or a business partner. Newsweek and market-data research firm Plant-A Insights are proud to introduce ‘America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2024,’ highlighting companies that are committed to offering a diverse and inclusive work environment,” said Nancy Cooper, global editor in chief of Newsweek.

“One of AAR’s core values is ‘Work as one. Be inclusive.’” said Tracey Patterson, AAR’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “AAR is proud to have an inclusive culture as it makes us more innovative and creative as we deliver solutions to our customers.”

Accuris and CTG Partner to Improve Aerospace and Defense Supply Chain Management

Accuris and CTG announced a new partnership that will integrate CTG’s comprehensive inventory into Accuris’ Haystack Gold logistics and supply chain management platform. This collaboration will expand Haystack Gold’s sourcing capabilities beyond government and military parts to include dual-use and commercial components from CTG’s extensive inventory.

CTG, a Division of Blue Raven Solutions, is a leading supplier to many of the world’s largest commercial and defense aircraft OEMs, MROs and distributors, as well as government and defense agencies. The integration of Haystack Gold will address customers’ supply chain challenges and offer an expanded array of sourcing options, shortening workflows and cycle times to locate hard-to-find parts. The integration will help streamline procurement processes by providing customers with a single portal to identify, locate and procure items efficiently with advanced searching, indexing, and cross-referencing. 

Haystack Gold, a logistics and supply chain management solution, “leverages cutting-edge technology and the most extensive collection of government and commercial data,” according to the company and says “the platform seamlessly integrates trusted content into customers’ workflows.”

“This collaboration between Accuris and CTG is more than an inventory expansion – it’s a strategic partnership that alleviates common supply chain challenges faced by engineers and businesses alike,” said Duane Newman, chief product officer at Accuris. “CTG has an exceptional range of parts and components that are now available through a platform known for its reliability and innovation. It’s a win-win for Haystack Gold users and the broader defense and aerospace community.” 

“Joining forces with Accuris reflects our continuous commitment and dedication to solving supply chain challenges and increasing readiness,” said Mike Boyd, CTG’s Divisional President. “By introducing Haystack Gold’s extensive user network to CTG’s expansive and trusted inventory of reliable, hard-to-find and obsolete parts, we offer a significant resolution to obsolescence and diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages (DMSMS) challenges. This collaboration is a force multiplier, substantially improving accessibility to mission-critical parts and increasing operational readiness.”

The partnership will also provide CTG with heightened visibility and access to Haystack Gold’s diverse customer base while enabling Haystack Gold to enhance its product offering with CTG’s complementary parts catalog. This integration will also include collaborative marketing efforts, with Haystack Gold being the first platform to incorporate CTG branding and logos directly into the user experience.

CTG’s extensive inventory can be cross searched in Haystack Gold along with millions of items in the U.S., UK, and Canadian Federal Supply Catalogs, as well as data from over 70 U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and related government and commercial data sources.