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Sunday, February 18, 2007

RH: Inflight Immigration and Other Clearances for Airbus A380

Robert HO Jan 18, 8:03 pm show options

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
From: Robert HO - Find messages by this author

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 12:03:29 +0800
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RH: Inflight Immigration and other clearances for Airbus 380

1. Now that the Airbus A380 will soon be taking to the skies in
commercial flights, carrying 550 to as many as 800 passengers, it is
time to revise aircraft and immigration procedures to cater to this
larger number of passengers descending on already busy airports.

2. To begin with, there is no reason why some immigration clearance
procedures cannot be done inflight, where there is lots of time, with
passengers usually sitting idly waiting for arrival at airports. For
example, suppose a flight takes off from New York to land at Heathrow.
There is no reason why this flight cannot carry a British Immigration
Officer or two, or three, on board. These Officers can then very
leisurely [which means more effectively] examine the passports and
travel papers of the passengers intending to land at Heathrow. [Those
going on to elsewhere can then be cleared by the other airports'
Immigration Officers who board [replacing the British Officers] at
Heathrow to check their arrival at, say, Berlin.

3. And because there is so much time, [compared with the few minutes a
passenger can only be detained for at busy airports], this inflight
immigration checking can be vastly more effective than the usual
clearance at airports after passengers land. Passports and other travel
papers can be examined at leisure and stamped. If there is any suspicion
of impropriety, the Officers can, at leisure, question or interrogate
the passenger to their hearts' content.

4. After checking the passengers' passports and travel papers, and
stamping them [or, the stamping can be done at the ground airport], the
passport and travel papers can then be scanned into a computer and
emailed or faxed from the plane to the arrival airport's customs and
immigration officers who would then have a ready list of passengers to
clear long before the plane arrives. These ground officers can then
simply double-check [thus even more secure and faster] the passports
against their scanned copies and thus clear the passengers much more
quickly, since the more rigorous checks have already been conducted
inflight. Those who have the highest clearances say, Category A out of
say, 3-5 grades, would then proceed through a Pre-Cleared or express
lane through and out of, the airport, thus making clearance even faster
than today. Those with uncertain or dubious passports or papers would
then have to clear immigration in the usual queues.

5. Since these British Officers would also depart the plane at
Heathrow, they are also in a good position to accompany and explain or
help to clear the passengers they travelled with on the plane.

6. This idea of inflight clearance is now feasible since, with the
sheer size of the A380, carrying a few more Customs and Immigration
Officers at nominal or even no cost, becomes cheap and even practical,
with the bigger numbers of passengers carried.

7. However, even if the Category A Clearance passengers pass quickly
through the Pre-Cleared express lanes, they may still be stuck waiting
for their baggage to arrive onto the conveyor belts. With 550-800
passengers, this could still be a long wait. Hence, my second idea : ALL

8. This is not that revolutionary an idea. It does not mean that the
passengers have to struggle with their baggage themselves. There are
always porters and other security baggage handlers to do that. What it
means is that the PASSENGER AND HIS BAGGAGE ARE IN THE SAME CABIN, NEAR EACH OTHER. This has many advantages, including the possibility of the
passenger retrieving some article from his baggage in mid flight. Of
course, all baggage must be security checked as usual. The only
difference is that after the checking in of the baggage, and after the
security x-rays, etc, the passenger then has to accompany his baggage
onto the plane and both stay in the same cabin, near to each other.
Currently, the baggage are handled by baggage handlers who often damage
the baggages due to rough handling, usually throwing the baggage around
from plane to truck. This idea avoids damage to baggages, too.

9. This means that in the passenger cabins itself, there must be
lockers or shelving for the baggages. Again, thanks to the huge space of
the A380 interior, this is easy and ultimately better, if not also
cheaper, than the old way of dumping all the baggages into the luggage
hold. Those who have travelled by train would understand all this. It is
exactly like travelling on a train with lots of baggage. You get a
porter who places all your baggage onto the train, usually with special
shelves just for this purpose. And you sit in the same cabin as your

10. This idea then allows another idea : inflight clearance of baggage.
Since the Immigration Officers would take only an hour or two to check
the arriving passengers' travel papers, they also have time to security
check and customs check all the baggage that passengers have brought
with them into their cabin. This can be on an option basis. Those who
prefer to have their baggage checked and cleared inflight can offer them
for checking and the Officers can leisurely check these, putting a
special seal to signify that these baggage have been checked inflight.
Those who prefer to have them checked and cleared at the ground airport
can also do so, joining the queues. Checking can be by manual
inspection. It is also possible to use an x-ray machine, which are now
quite safe and cheap, as well as lightweight.

11. To facilitate all this, it is probably more practical to set up a
Customs and Immigration Booth INSIDE THE A380. Again, thanks to the vast
space of the A380, this is possible now when it was not so before.

12. With the vastly bigger number of passengers, 550-800, it may be
necessary to relook at the basic assumptions of air travel. For example,
with several hundred people, would it not need a policeman or two to
keep order, with the right to handcuff drunks and other disorderly
people? Would it not need a qualified medic or even a doctor, to look
after the medical needs or even emergency needs of the passengers? Think
of the A380 as a small village community. Would there not need some
clearly thought out and established legal procedures to deal with
drunkards or riotous behaviour, including fistfights? Medical
emergencies? All these are now possible or even required due to the
almost village-sized community that each A380 carries. And if these
'extras' are provided for, it may make this superjumbo an even better
way to fly. And the first choice of all airlines.

Robert HO
19 Jan 05 1202

RH: "Flexible Interiors Concept" for Airbus A380
Robert Ho Oct 4 2004, 10:40 pm
Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
From: h...@pacific.net.sg (Robert Ho)
Date: 4 Oct 2004 22:40:23 -0700
Local: Mon, Oct 4 2004 10:40 pm
Subject: RH: "Flexible Interiors Concept" for Airbus A380
1. The Airbus A380 can carry up to 550 passengers, in the biggest
fuselage in aviation history. However, this capacious capacity may
mean that in some seasonal variations of low passenger bookings, or
sudden low passenger bookings due to say, a terrorist scare or another
SARS scare, the plane may carry below capacity leading to waste of
space and opportunity cost.

2. By employing a judo tactic, this waste of space may be converted
into a huge advantage. Introducing my Flexible Interiors Concept.

3. This concept is simply, to put the waste of empty seats to other
uses than seating passengers to give the remaining passengers more

4. For example, rows of empty seats, or even whole sections,
depending on the number of empty seats, may be removed and replaced
with say, single or even double beds to offer passengers a true Hotel
Bed experience, at some extra cost, of course. Passengers can either
sign up for these Hotel Beds beforehand or on the spot after
inspecting the facilities.

5. While real beds will probably be the most desired service, other
possible variations can include Massage Cubicles with trained

6. Hotel Beds and Massage Cubicles can be quickly partitioned by
heavy curtains, etc, for light weight and quick installation. Hospital
bed curtain systems are a guide to possibilities.

7. Other flexible interior ideas can include a Reading Room, Lounge,
Children's Playground, Video Game Arcade, Casino, even a small band or
string quartet in attendance in a soundproofed Concert Chamber.

8. For those who fear deep vein thrombosis, there could be an
exercise or Gym area for light exercise. This could be very important
to reassure passengers they can combat DVT and thus fly safer. As
important commercially as Hotel Beds. There need not be many gym
equipment, just some light equipment but mostly space to stretch out
and relieve the cramped positions of sitting for hours in a plane
seat. A trained air steward/ess can be in part time attendance,
together with helpful videos and posters to suggest quick and useful
exercises. Thus, you literally fly safer on an Airbus A380.

9. This Flexible Interiors Concept also allows alternate rows of
seats to be removed to become instant premium seating with much more
leg space. Alternatively, only 1 or 2 rows in a section need be
removed and all the rest of the seats may be slid forward or backward
to produce more even extra leg space for all in the section. This
would involve slight modification to the current seats, which are
permanently bolted down. My idea would be to remove 1 or 2 rows and
the resulting space be distributed to all the rest simply by sliding
the remaining seats forward or backward, exactly like we slide our
front car seats to adjust to our preference. The difference is that
maybe, the passengers should not be able to slide their seats, this
adjustment of seats being done by the plane's mechanics ground staff
before the plane takes off.

10. For accurate weight calculations, which is important for safety,
all the possible configurations must be calculated beforehand. For
example, say, Row 1 may be removeable and the entire Section A then
share the increased leg space. All this can be pre-configured and
pre-calculated beforehand. Or, say, a Gym Area with say, half a dozen
Walking Treadmills all bolted down in exactly calculated positions. Or
a Casino with pre-calculated parts all known to the last kilogram, etc.

11. There will need to be a new system of bolting down the seats and
any change to interiors, say, the installation of Hotel Beds. A new
system of bolts and under-floor bolt-taking beams with pre-configured
bolt holes need to be developed. Once developed, all that needs to be
done is to quickly unbolt and remove unwanted seats and bolt on the
new feature, such as Hotel Beds. Or, say, unbolting 1 or 2 rows of
unwanted seats and redistributing the freed up space for all the rest
of the remaining seats by simply unbolting a locking bolt to slide the
entire remaining rows for more leg space. Expansion bolts are a
possible way to do all these.

12. Airlines ordering the A380 or plane interior designers can start
to design such Instant Parts, etc, that can be safely bolted down
within an hour or so, using Knock Down parts much like Ikea furniture,
etc. These should be easily transported and assembled into the plane interior and bolted down within an hour or so. This is not at all difficult. Modular furniture
has existed for decades.

13. Transportation of the parts is dead easy because airports already
have all the trucks, trolleys, container loaders, etc, to load parts onto
planes. The only snag may be that currently, planes are designed to
load even big containers, into the cargo bay area and not directly
into the passenger areas. This is not a huge problem because a little
modification to the door and entry areas and maybe the installation of
a lift or lifting platform from the cargo deck to the passenger deck
is all that is needed. In fact, if there is spare cargo space in the
cargo hold, the plane itself can carry the Instant Parts needed for

14. So, with this Flexible Interiors idea, big planes that find
themselves with many untaken seats can quickly, within an hour or so, outfit the
spare and unused space with generous facilities from Instant Lounges,
to Instant Pubs, to Instant Gyms, to Instant Hotels, to Instant
Library or Reading Rooms, to Instant Playgrounds for children, if say,
the airline is carrying many children like on a school excursion, say,
or even Instant Golf Putting Green, etc, etc. The potential is limited
only by the imagination.

15. Imagine the kind of advertising and marketing that this Flexible
Interiors idea can generate! Most airline marketing and advertising
suck because airlines and planes are practically identical. With this
Flexible Interior idea, instantly, marketing and advertising will be,
of course, FLEXIBLE! Airlines can now pitch their services with all
kinds of offers. Some can offer Golf In The Air, others Hotel In The
Air, others Playground In The Air, others Video Games In The Air,
others Internet In The Air, etc.

16. If this idea works, this could be the biggest idea in air travel
since passenger travel was invented.

Robert HO
5 Oct 04 1340

17. If the slider seats concept proves feasible, then it may be
worthwhile to have powered seats for all seats on the plane, like
powered slider seats in cars. It could all be controlled from the
pilots' cockpits or control panels in the cabin, protected by password
or special keys or even some other security features to prevent any
adjustments from unauthorised people. Then, all that the pilot or
technician need to do is to input the new parameters, say 2 rows
removed, and all the motorised seats will move into their new positions
automatically. This powered seats idea will automate the sliding of
seats and take only minutes to reconfigure the seating arrangements.

Robert HO
19 Jan 05 1023