ICAO Conflict Zone Task Force to Meet on 14-15 August

​MONTRÉAL, 5 August 2014 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced that the recently-established Task Force on Risks to civil aviation arising from Conflict Zones (TF RCZ) will be convened for its first meeting  from 14 to 15 August 2014 at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal, Canada.


The Task Force was agreed to at a special high-level meeting on 29 July, hosted by ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin. They were joined on the occasion by the Directors General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO). The findings of the Task Force are to be submitted to a special meeting of the ICAO Council within weeks.


The 29 July meeting was held in light of the recent downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 and to ensure greater clarity on the respective roles and procedures relating to conflict zones and civilian airspace.



Resources for editors:


ICAO, IATA, ACI, CANSO 29 July Joint Statement on Risks to Aviation arising from conflict Zones.

Applicable releases and 29 July press conference video in the ICAO Newsroom.

American Capital Energy & Infrastructure’s Azura-Edo Power Project Receives $50 Million Financing Commitment from OPIC

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (“ACEI”) announced today that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has approved up to $50 million in direct financing to support construction and operation of the Azura-Edo power plant project near Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria.  The Azura-Edo power project is a 459MW open cycle gas turbine power station that begins construction in 2014 and represents the first phase of a potential 1,000MW power plant facility. 

The announcement was made at a signing ceremony between ACEI CEO and co-founder, Paul Hanrahan, OPIC President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, and the Managing Director of Azura Power Holdings, David Ladipo, on August 5 at the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC.  The three-day event welcomes nearly 50 leaders from across the African continent to further strengthen U.S. ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions.  The Summit focuses on trade and investment in Africa and highlights U.S. commitment to Africa’s security, its economic and democratic development, and its people.    

ACEI’s affiliate has committed to invest up to $130 million in Azura Power Holdings Ltd., the company responsible for developing the Azura-Edo power project, to fund both the first and second phases of the Azura-Edo power project as well as future acquisitions and greenfield projects in Nigeria.  In addition to OPIC and ACEI, the international team of debt and equity investors for the project include African and European infrastructure funds, development and commercial banks and the Edo State government.  The Azura-Edo power project is the first new project-financed independent power producer in Nigeria in over a decade.  

“As the lead investor in Azura Power Holdings, we are excited to facilitate OPIC’s critical participation in the Azura Edo power project,” said Paul Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of ACEI.  “It is relationships with OPIC and other development institutions that underpin ACEI’s strategy to create and grow power companies in high growth markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

“OPIC’s participation in this project is a prime example of how we mobilize private capital to support development in Africa and throughout the developing world,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO.  “Chronic power shortfalls in Nigeria impede growth and development, and OPIC’s support to ACEI will help the Azura-Edo project move forward and contribute to Nigeria’s overall energy capacity, which will help foster crucial economic advancement there.”

David Ladipo, Managing Director of Azura Power Holdings, noted that: “The United States’ investment in the Azura project, represented by OPIC and American Capital, is complemented by the advisory support given to our public sector counterparts by United States Agency for International Development.  These three institutions have recognized the tremendous growth potential that exists in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and they have acted on this insight with energy and alacrity.  We welcome their vision, their partnership spirit, and their audacity.”

“OPIC’s approval is another achievement for the Azura team, who, in conjunction with their Nigerian government counterparties, have worked tirelessly on the first greenfield independent power producer under President Goodluck Jonathan’s power sector reform program,” said Lisa Pinsley, Director of Africa Investments, ACEI.  “The Azura-Edo power project’s suite of contracts are template-setting for the industry and will unlock a growth in the power sector above and beyond Azura’s first 459MW.”

ACEI is a partner of Power Africa, a U.S. Government initiative launched by President Obama that is focused on supporting economic growth and development in Africa by increasing clean and reliable access to electrical power.  As a partner of the initiative, ACEI is actively pursuing investments in African power companies to originate, develop, finance and operate regional energy infrastructure assets in West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa, which, over the next four years, could reach $800 million in total investment.

American Capital Energy & Infrastructure manages investments in global energy infrastructure assets, including power generation facilities, power distribution and transmission networks, energy transportation assets, fuel production opportunities and product and service companies focused on the power and energy sectors. ACEI is part of American Capital, Ltd.’s (Nasdaq: ACAS) (“American Capital”) asset management affiliate, American Capital Asset Management, LLC.  For further information, please refer to www.ACEI.com.

American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) is a publicly traded private equity firm and global asset manager.  American Capital, both directly and through its asset management business, originates, underwrites and manages investments in middle market private equity, leveraged finance, real estate, energy and infrastructure and structured products.  American Capital manages $19 billion of assets, including assets on its balance sheet and fee earning assets under management by affiliated managers, with $84 billion of total assets under management (including levered assets).  Through an affiliate, American Capital manages publicly traded American Capital Agency Corp. (Nasdaq: AGNC), American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (Nasdaq: MTGE) and American Capital Senior Floating, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACSF) with approximately $11 billion of aggregate net book value.  From its eight offices in the U.S. and Europe, American Capital and its affiliate, European Capital, will consider investment opportunities from $10 million to $750 million.  For further information, please refer to www.AmericanCapital.com.

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guaranties, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.

Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs.

Azura is a world-class power development company that was created to focus on the development, construction, acquisition and operation of power generation facilities in Nigeria and over time, West Africa.  Azura utilizes its project development and financing skills, in addition to the capital and expertise of its founder Amaya and its investor American Capital Energy & Infrastructure, to develop and acquire large scale gas-fired Independent Power Plants in Nigeria.  For further information, please refer to www.azurawa.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements regarding expected results of American Capital Energy & Infrastructure and its affiliates are subject to various factors and uncertainties, including the uncertainties associated with the timing of transaction closings, changes in interest rates, availability of transactions, changes in regional, national or international economic conditions, or changes in the conditions of the industries in which American Capital Energy & Infrastructure has made investments.

Paul Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer
Richard Santoroski, Managing Director
Lisa Pinsley, Director, Africa Investments

Touchscreen Controller Suppliers Atmel, Cypress and Synaptics Enable Better Experiences on Ever Larger Smartphone Screens says Strategy Analytics

BOSTON, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Leading TSC vendors Atmel, Cypress and Synaptics have developed bespoke noise reduction techniques which are enabling new display implementations able to accommodate multi-finger touches and 3D gestures, including touch detection through gloves, hovering, tracking wet or sweaty fingers accurately across the screen as well as providing fine-tip stylus support.

Stephen Entwistle

Stephen Entwistle

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/NE56457LOGO-b
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140805/133524
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140805/133525

The recently released Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service report, “Touchscreen Controllers: Enabling New Features and Advanced Capabilities in Smartphone Designs” explains that smartphone vendors faced with cut-throat competition and a need to differentiate their products, are introducing larger and more sophisticated screens with new and advanced touch capabilities. This is placing an increasing burden on touchscreen controller (TSC) suppliers, who must design their products to meet ever more stringent technical specifications.

Altering the physical and electrical properties of touchscreens and accommodating advanced new features means that state-of-the-art TSCs increasingly need to have faster scanning and higher data processing capabilities, more sophisticated power management to minimize power consumption and, in particular, much improved signal-to-noise ratios.

Stuart Robinson, Director of Handset Component Technologies research notes “The latest touchscreens are able to accommodate multi-finger touches and 3D gestures, including touch detection through gloves, hovering, tracking wet or sweaty fingers accurately across the screen as well as providing fine-tip stylus support.  TSCs now use advanced algorithms to detect these very small signals whilst rejecting the larger, unwanted signals from the user’s hand, from power supplies and other noise sources.”

Stephen Entwistle of the Strategic Technologies Practice added “The display, particularly an LCD display, is a major source of noise, and the introduction of new integrated sensor/display designs exacerbates this problem. Leading TSC vendors such as Atmel, Cypress and Synaptics have developed bespoke noise reduction techniques which are enabling new display implementations such as display-integrated in-cell and on-cell touch systems and even single-layer in-cell sensor designs”.

About Strategy Analytics
Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success. www.StrategyAnalytics.com 

Main Contact: Stuart Robinson +44(0)-1908-423-637, srobinson@strategyanalytics.com 
Additional Contact: Stephen Entwistle, +44(0)-1908-423-636, sentwistle@strategyanalytics.com

Strategy Analytics: Will TV Providers get beaten to the punch by Smart TVs and Media Devices?

– Value-added Features on Smart TVs and Media Devices Make the Set-top Box Seem Obsolete

BOSTON, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Smart applications and more interaction with the TV, both with different devices and for better navigation without a cumbersome TV remote, are priorities for consumers’ next TV purchase in the UK and US.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/NE56457LOGO-b

A recent study from the Digital Home Observatory (DHO) at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) surveying consumers in the UK and USA, found that functionalities such as being able to mirror a smartphone’s display, or providing a simplified human-machine interface (HMI), for example through voice or gesture control, were highly appealing features. However, such capabilities come at a cost. Rather than snapping up a more expensive smart TV, consumers are now looking to less costly media solutions such as Google Chromecastor and Roku, to provide such features.

Taryn Tulay, Senior Analyst and report author commented, “As traditional TV continues to be threatened by over-the-top subscription based video-on-demand (OTT SVOD), TV providers cannot allow smart TVs and media devices to beat them to the punch by providing the consumer with the value-added features they want making it easy to cut-the-cord to pay TV for good. Consumers are going to continue streaming OTT SVOD as it continues to provide a less expensive source of TV/video content. The opportunity to offer added features and applications in a set-top-box (STB) may keep consumers subscribing to pay TV, while at the same time providing a device they simply cannot live without”.

Diane O’Neill, Director, UXIP added, “Consumers are finding less and less incentive to continue subscribing to costly TV packages.  It’s time for cable/satellite TV providers to revamp the set-top box as it’s full of glitches and is often unresponsive; its design is unappealing and there is a lack of DVR storage and connected applications/features. While simplicity and ease of use is provided by most STBs, more and more often consumers are beginning to see the big box as too basic and obsolete. Traditional pay TV providers need to give the consumer value for money.”

About Strategy Analytics 
Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success. www.StrategyAnalytics.com 

About Digital Home Observatory
The Digital Home Observatory forms part of the User Experience Innovation Practice (UXIP) at Strategy Analytics. Focusing on user behaviors, motivations and interests within automotive, wireless devices, connected home and digital media research areas, UXIP helps clients meet consumer needs, develop usable solutions and deliver compelling user experiences. Extensive expertise and highly experienced in large-scale survey work, in-depth interviews, focus groups and observational sessions, UXIP’s research methodology allows strategic user-centric analysis on the potential for new technologies that would otherwise be unavailable. Providing actionable insight, go-to-market strategies and business recommendations, UXIP is a leading supplier of consumer knowledge to the technology industry. Click here for more information.

Press Contacts

US Contact: Taryn Tulay, +1-617-614-0746, ttulay@strategyanalytics.com
European Contact: Diane O’Neill, +44(0)-1908-423-669, doneill@strategyanalytics.com

Middle Eastern Airline CEOs Flock to World Routes

MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

CEOs of Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways & Etihad Airways confirm participation at World Routes Strategy Summit 

The World Routes Strategy Summit, taking place at World Routes in Chicago, 20-23 September 2014, will see speakers from all three major Middle East airlines, as well as many other senior airline leaders. Middle East speakers include Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways; James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways and Sir Tim Clark, President & CEO of Emirates.

Mr Hogan will give a keynote address; Mr Al Baker will take part in a panel discussion on Critical Issues in Air Transport Today whilst Sir Tim Clark will be interviewed one-to-one during the Summit. In addition, major airline speakers at the event will include Scott Kirby, President of American Airlines, Jim Compton, Vice Chairman of United Airlines, Vitaly Savelyev, CEO of Aeroflot and Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

Occurring on Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd September, the World Routes Strategy Summit is open to all attending World Routes delegates and will open the 20th World Route Development Forum in Chicago, Illinois, USA co-hosted by the City of Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism organisation.

“World Routes is where the industry meets, and where critical issues in aviation, travel and tourism are debated to advance the industry. We have a great set of executive speakers this year in Chicago,” said Mike Miller, Head of Content and Industry Relations for Routes.

The Strategy Summit is the only forum where senior leaders and key stakeholders from aviation, tourism authorities and governments come together to participate in discussions that will set the commercial and political agenda for the industry. The event will bring these industry thought leaders under one roof to participate in a number of discussions covering topics affecting the industry today such as route development, infrastructure, airport processing and security, sustainability and how new aircraft will alter route planning.

The 20th anniversary World Routes event will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the largest convention facility in the Western Hemisphere.  With the most diverse economy in the United States, and home to several of the aviation industry’s leading companies, Chicago makes the perfect home for the 20th World Route Development Forum.

For more information and to register for World Routes in Chicago visit http://www.routesonline.com

Notes to Editors 

About Routes 

  • Routes organises world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and global Route Development Forums. Each year, there is one global event and one regional event in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and CIS respectively. http://www.routesonline.com
  • Routes was founded in 1995 as part of the Manchester UK‐based ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports. http://www.asm-global.com. Routes and ASM are part of the UBM Live division of UBM plc.
  • UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets.  Through premiere brands such as MD&M, CPhI, IFSEC, TFM&A, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show, the Routes portfolio of events, Airport Cities and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, websites and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors. http://www.ubmlive.com

Follow us on twitter: @Routesonline, @TheHUBRoutes, @VictoriaRoutes, @NLPROU, @airlineroute

About UBM plc 

  • UBM plc is a global events-led marketing services and communications company.  We help businesses do business, bringing the world’s buyers and sellers together at events and online, as well as producing and distributing news and specialist content.  Our 5,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into expert teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.
  • For more information, go to http://www.ubm.com; follow us on Twitter at @UBM_plc to get the latest UBM corporate news; follow @UBM for news from all UBM’s businesses; follow @UBM for a flavour of UBM from selected members of UBM’s Twitterati.