n395ajb727-233amerijet19maart2011miamiint8269112277.jpg.crop_display Maarten Visser

Tracking High-Value Air Cargo By GPS

The Internet of Things has increased as a going concern in commercial aviation MRO, being used to track everything from aircraft health monitoring to components.

High-value air cargo, particularly perishable cargo such as cut flowers and cargo which needs very careful handling (such as pharmaceuticals and temperature-sensitive electronics), needs to be monitored carefully throughout its journey – from its arrival at the outbound cargo warehouse or drop-off point to its unloading and passage through the warehouse at the flight’s destination.

With this in mind, Fort Lauderdale-based Amerijet, a US scheduled cargo carrier which has offices in 78 countries, ships more than 300 million pounds of freight annually and operates a cargo-route network linking the USA with the Caribbean, Central and Latin America, has acquired advanced tracking technology to monitor the high-value cargo its aircraft carry.

To satisfy its requirements for tracking delicate air cargo and monitoring its condition throughout every phase of every flight it operates, Amerijet has chosen Starcom Systems Americas’ Kylos Air GPS tracking device for use on board its Boeing 767-200 and 727-200 freighters.

"Being able to know exactly where cargo is, and being able to track or monitor it on your smartphone, desktop or via your own tracking platform is critical to the next generation of services we intend to provide," says Pamela Rollins, Amerijet’s senior VP business development in a news release announcing Amerijet’s selection of the Starcoms Systems Americas units.

"Starcom Systems’ latest development with the Kylos Air allows for close monitoring of high-value air cargo, temperature sensitive products and equipment,” says Rollins. “The units go into ‘Airplane Mode’ while in the air, but communicate the moment they exit the aircraft, helping minimise the ramp time of sensitive cargo."


Each Kylos Air GPS tracking device has a built-in accelerometer, as well as light, temperature and barometric sensors. The system triggers an alert if it is subjected to any irregular event, such as a change of location or temperature, an impact, or exposure to light.

At each point in the shipping process, Amerijet receives a real-time alert from the Kylos Air GPS sensors and thus knows immediately when the product has left the warehouse, when it has arrived at the destination airport and when it has been delivered to its final destination.

Temperature alerts from the Kylos Air units notify Amerijet of temperature deviations, as well as in the event of a fire or a cargo-container door opening. The Kylos Air unit’s light sensor provides an alert if there is a theft attempt. The unit is suitable for use both with standard airline ULD (Unit Load Device) pallets and ULD containers, according to Starcom Systems Americas.

Via computer or mobile-device displays, the control system which accompanies each set of Kylos Air units provides shippers with records of historical sensor conditions and special-event alerts, assisting investigation of any incidents experienced while the cargo being monitored is shipped.

According to Starcom Systems Americas, each Kylos Air unit complies with US Federal Aviation Regulations. The unit’s cellular modem is deactivated during take-off and is reactivated automatically upon landing.

Starcom Systems Americas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starcom PLC, designs and manufactures a variety of battery-operated and direct-wired GPS-based tracking devices for use on board transport vehicles, as well as GPS padlocks and other sensor units for specific industrial applications.

Amerijet’s primary cargo hub is at Miami International Airport and it also operates a regional hub at Piarco International Airport serving Trinidad’s capital Port of Spain.

Its 210,000-square-foot export and 100,000-square-foot import air cargo-handling facilities at Miami International Airport include a custom-built 10,300-square-foot (227,419-cubic-foot) perishables handling centre. This centre provides refrigerated, frozen and chilled storage to maintain the cold-chain integrity of pharmaceuticals and perishables during the transport process.

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