viasat-amsterdam-flight-ops-it-2017

See ViaSat EFB at MRO and Flight Ops IT Conference, Amsterdam, 7 – 8 June

The Airline and Aerospace MRO and Operations IT Conference is the world’s only event to address the key issues relating to the development of IT and its importance for flight ops. This June, you can experience ViaSat AeroDocs airline document management system demos, and enjoy a product showcase of ViaSat EFB.

AeroDocs-airline-document-control-software-Arconics-2.gifThis Aircraft Commkerce event provides a single source for airlines, aircraft operators and independent MROs, to discover – in just 2 days, over June 7 – 8, 2017 – more about how new technology can streamline and increase their operating efficiency as well as reduce costs dramatically. According to the organisers, the conference provides 3 great opportunities:

  • Software Demos: A large exhibition area allows airlines, aircraft operators and MROs the opportunity to try out and demo the major software and hardware systems from the world’s leading vendors. The solutions you will be able to demo include: MRO/M&E: Fully integrated MRO / M&E systems, ERP Integrated Software, Paperless Systems, Supply Chain Management Solutions, Digital Documentation Management Solutions, Paperless Manuals, Documentation Scanning Solutions, Mobile/Tablet solutions for the Hangar, etc;  Flight Operations: Digital and Paperless  Solutions for the Flight Deck, EFB, ETL, Flight Planning Systems, Fuel Management / Efficiency, Aircraft Connectivity, Crew & Scheduling Solutions, Load Management and more. 60+ IT and hardware vendors are exhibiting their solutions including ViaSat. We will offer demos of our EFB and our aviation specific document management system, AeroDocs.
  • Agenda of Presentations: A 2-day agenda of presentations, given by industry experts and the IT users themselves, will discuss the latest key issues and trends in this rapidly developing sector of the industry. Case studies and interactive workshops are included to ensure that delegates receive key, varied and fresh information. Look out also for the new ‘Vendor Showcase’ section, at which we will present ViaSat EFB and the Flight Path to the Connected Aircraft!
  • Network with your peers: 300+ key executives from airlines, operators, MROs, OEMs, IT Vendors, Regulators and Consultants from across the EMEA zone will be in attendance, allowing for exceptional networking and the exchange of ideas. We value this event for the opportunity to network with aviation professionals and to learn more about what’s driving IT development.

The ViaSat team would be delighted to meet you at this event. Just click here and tell us which day and time suit you best, or simply visit us at our stand. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.


Learn more

Conference agenda and registration info: http://www.aircraft-commerce.com/conferences/EMEA2017/default.asp

In-flight internet from ViaSat: https://www.viasat.com/services/commercial-aviation

ViaSat wireless IFE software: https://www.arconics.com/wireless-ife-cloudstore/

AeroDocs, the Safety and Compliance Document Management System for Aviation: https://www.arconics.com/safety-compliance-document-management-aerodocs/

Our modular electronic flight bag software: https://www.arconics.com/efb-eff-aerodocs/

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Sleigh Connectivity Delivered to Santa Claus by ViaSat

Learn more: Santa Claus selects ViaSat sleigh connectivity

We just got a call on our red phone from the North Pole’s most famous aviator – Santa Claus. After much ho-ho-ho-ing, he told us that he’s done the research, accepts that the future will be connected, and feels the need for immediate sleigh connectivity. Surely it would make sense for the electronic flight bag on the sleigh (our AeroEFB product, which Santa selected last year) to integrate with sleigh data and then send it back to North Pole base in real-time? We agreed. So the Arconics integration elves got to work…

We’re so proud that our most famous EFB customer came back to us to take the next step to satellite connectivity! Now that Arconics is part of ViaSat, we can offer a fully-connected aviation app suite, with connectivity across the sleigh (including the SID, Sleigh Interface Device), into the EFB and with direct data links back to base.

Santa connects to the ViaSat satellite network so that he can catch up on his favourite non-linear TV shows and movies on the long flight legs across the wilderness. He can also stay connected to his base in North Pole for any naughty/nice updates and even feed data from his sleigh back to the elves in Flight Ops so they know where he is and how the sleigh is performing. The Flight Ops elves can also send weather updates in real-time. Santa’s connected! It’s kind of magical!

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Santa’s EFB

Sleigh – Manuals/Minimum Equipment List

What would Santa do if Rudolph’s red nose stopped working? Luckily, the Sleigh’s full suite of operating manuals (OEM and elf-produced), including MEL tells him exactly how to react.

Santa’s MEL outlines all the necessary equipment he need for a successful Christmas Eve, including:

  • Reindeer X 8 (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen).
  • Rudolph X 1 – essential for his integrated anti-collision light system.
  • Back-up anti-collision light systems.
  • Back-up back-up anti-collision lights.
  • Bells, to make those cute jingly bell sounds.
  • Magic power source.

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Santa’s EFB

Sleigh – Charts

We tried to do the math about how fast Santa needs to travel, including all those tricky take-offs and landings, so he can make every delivery across racing time zones. But our heads started to hurt.

With handy charts on his EFB, Santa knows that he’ll have the best chance possible of maximising his efficiency on Christmas Eve. Santa’s charts include:

  • North Pole take-off runway, with reindeer zones and Aurora zone well-marked. This is especially useful on the return leg, as Santa will be fairly exhausted by sunrise on Christmas Day.
  • Toilet rest stop locations, because all those little drinks and snacks soon add up.
  • Fresh carrot patches in the southern hemisphere so the reindeer can stay at maximum performance.

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Santa’s EFF

Sleigh – Weather/Flight Plans

It’s critical that Santa has his finger on the pulse with a clear view of weather activity all around the globe. He’ll be taking off from an area where temperatures can get down to -9C/15F, with snowstorms a daily occurrence. Last Christmas (Hi George!), AeroDocs EFB weather was updated dynamically whenever Santa he got within range of wifi. This year, with full satellite connectivity to his sleigh, weather updates can be constantly updated, wherever on the planet he may be.

Along with weather, Santa’s Electronic Flight Folder – EFF – includes Flight Plans so that Santa has his routes optimised.

Santa needs to access multiple weather resources, including:

  •  Jet stream location. Avoid this when travelling west.
  • Blizzards, so he doesn’t miss a single chimney.
  • Black ice, because slippery landings may cause toy loss.

We’ve been revamping our EFB, in response to Santa’s data demands and customer needs, and are delighted to bring it to market for 2017. You can check out our AeroDocs EFB page, request a demo or download our Aer Lingus case study here: https://www.arconics.com/efb-eff-aerodocs/

Discover our full app suite here: https://www.arconics.com/arconics-apps-product-suite/

Let us know if we can help you to deliver a genuinely paperless cockpit, data EFB, wireless IFE, cabin management and full satcom connectivity across your fleet in 2017. Arconics connectivity solutions mean that there’s no need for elves or Santa’s magic to help everyone in your airline perform more efficiently and to keep your passengers coming back again and again!

The Arconics crew would like to wish you, your family and your colleagues a Happy Holiday season and best wishes for a great new year. We look forward to staying in touch in 2017.

 


 So, how was it for you? So much happened in aviation in 2016. Test your memory in our annual quiz…  How will you stay up-to-speed with the rapidly changing world of aviation in 2017? Please take our 2 minute survey…
 
 

Flight-Ops-IT-LHR-Arconics-aircraft-software

Experience Arconics Aircraft Software at 10th Annual Flight Ops Conference, LHR, 29-30 Nov 2016

The Aircraft Commerce 10th Annual Flight Operations Conference is the world’s leading Flight Operations event and focuses wholly on the key, strategic issues that affect commercial aircraft operations.

This year, amongst other key items, the event is focusing on the following key issues:

  • Live Flight Tracking
  • EFB Case Studies
  • The Digital / Paperless Flight Deck
  • Latest Aircraft & Engine Types Performance Analysis (A350 / 787 / A320 neo)
  • High Bandwidth Flightdeck Connectivity
  • Live EFB Weather Data
  • Aircraft eEnablement
  • The Latest ATC Developments
  • Biofuel and Fuel Efficiency Case Studies
  • The Latest Flight Deck Technology Innovations

The Flight Operations Conference provides airlines and aircraft operators with an outstanding one-stop solution to streamline, increase efficiency and ultimately save costs within their aircraft operating procedures.  The conference provides 3 great opportunities:

  • Agenda of Presentations: A 2 day agenda of presentations, given by industry experts and airline / aircraft operator executives.  Case studies, Regulator updates and the latest innovations are included to ensure that delegates receive key, varied and fresh information. The key topics for this year’s conference are listed above; speakers include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Alaska Airlines, SWISS, Qatar Airways, plus lots more…
  • Large Exhibition Area – latest Flight Operations Innovations: A large exhibition area allows airlines and aircraft operators the opportunity to try out and demo the latest innovations in Flight Deck technology including major software and hardware systems from the world’s leading vendors. The solutions you will be able to demo include:  Digital / Paperless Solutions for the Flight Deck, EFB, ETL, Flight Planning Systems, Fuel Management / Efficiency, Aircraft Connectivity, Crew and Scheduling Solutions, Load Management, Live Flight Tracking, etc. You can meet Arconics at stand E25 for a demo of our aircraft software solutions.
  • Network with your peers: 300+ key executives from airlines, operators, OEMs, IT vendors, regulators and consultants from across the world will be in attendance, allowing for exceptional networking and the exchange of ideas.

Airline delegates can book their places directly from Aircraft Commerce: 

http://ultrasafe2.net/~aircraftx2/FlightOps2016/

Arconics will demo our software solutions in safety and compliance document management, electronic flight bag and the connected aircraft software platform. Click here to arrange a meeting.


Learn more:

Arconics Aircraft Software Platform: https://www.arconics.com/aircraft-software-platform-arconics/

AeroDocs, the Safety and Compliance Document Management System for Aviation: https://www.arconics.com/safety-compliance-document-management-aerodocs/

AeroEFB, the modular electronic flight bag solution: https://www.arconics.com/efb-eff-aerodocs/

CloudStore Wireless IFE product info: https://www.arconics.com/wireless-ife-cloudstore/

PaxApp Cabin Management app info: https://www.arconics.com/airline-cabin-management-paxapp/

Arconics Press Centre: https://www.arconics.com/media-kit/

EFB-software-AeroEFB-Arconics

EFB Users Forum, Hawaii, 1 – 3 Nov, 2016 – Meet Arconics

EFB Subcommittee Meeting

The Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Subcommittee and Users Forum will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA from October 31 – November 3, 2016. Co-Chairs are Maurice Ingle, American Airlines and Sonja Schellenberg, Lufthansa Systems and the event is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.

ARINC 834

A321neo_Hawaiian.jpgThe EFB Subcommittee will meet on October 31 and November 1, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The purpose of the meeting is to continue development of Supplement 7 to ARINC Specification 834: Aircraft Data Interface Function (ADIF) as described in APIM 11-012C.

Specifically, expanded print capabilities are under consideration to be added. Printer management and other improvements will also be reviewed.

Related Activities

Several other EFB events are being planned for this week in Honolulu:

  • EFB Expo November 1: 1400-1900 (Hilton Hawaiian Village)
  • EFB Users Forum November 2: 0900-1700 (Hilton Hawaiian Village)
  • EFB Users Forum November 3: 0900-1700 (Hilton Hawaiian Village)

Users Forum Topics

The Honolulu session topics will be:

  • Regulatory,
  • Security and Connectivity,
  • Mitigation Strategies,
  • Operator Experiences (everyone’s favourite!).

Building on progress from Munich, the forum will address all of the hottest issues including: satcom, own-ship position enroute, cockpit wifi, and more. In addition, FAA representatives will review pending regulatory changes and the latest developments in nextgen efb.

AeroEFB-ipad_pro.pngMeet Arconics at EFB Users Forum

Arconics will again attend the EFB Users Forum as we find it to be one of the most interesting and useful events on the aviation calendar. We will be demonstrating AeroEFB, our modular electronic flight bag software and also AeroDocs, the safety and compliance document management system for aviation, at the expo and during the supplemental expo on forum day one. We will also attend all forum discussions so that the needs of the world’s airlines feed into our ongoing product development process. It would be great to meet you, to learn about your EFB and document projects and to hear your ideas about how this exciting software sector continues to grow.


Learn more

Read the Arconics report from the EFB Users Forum, Munich, May 2016: http://blog.arconics.com/blog2/full-report-efb-users-forum-munich-2016

AeroEFB, the Arconics modular electronic flight bag solution: https://www.arconics.com/efb-eff-aerodocs/

AeroDocs, the safety and compliance document management system for aviation: https://www.arconics.com/safety-compliance-document-management-aerodocs/

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MRO and Flight Ops IT Conference, BKK – Meet Arconics

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Arconics will be in BKK, at stand E8 – let’s meet!

The Airline and Aerospace MRO and Operations IT Conference, in Bangkok on October 26 and 27, 2016, is the world’s only event to address the topical issues relating to the development of IT and its importance in safe and efficient flight operations.

This event provides the ideal opportunity for airlines, aircraft operators and independent MROs to learn, over just two days, more about how new technology can streamline and increase their operating efficiency as well as dramatically reduce costs.

Arconics will be showcasing, and providing live demos of, two of our key software solutions, AeroDocs and AeroEFB. Drop by stand E8 and learn why airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus and Philippine Airlines are using our software to ensure safety and compliance and maximum operational efficiency.

AeroDocs – our world-leading, aviation grade, airline document distribution, tracking and viewing software

AeroDocs is available in three solutions, each designed to meet different needs. The upgrade path is easy and the software is scalable to any fleet size.

AeroDocs CONTROL – The fast track to the paperless cockpit

Incorporates the document distribution and viewing modules and is designed to appeal to airlines that want to adopt the paperless cockpit and also airlines that are currently using non-aviation-grade solutions, often from more than one supplier. AeroDocs ensures complete control over an airline’s processes and documentation. Boasts the world’s best pilot EFB viewer.

A350_XWB_Cathay_Pacific_TAKE_OFF_c87819faa2.jpgAeroDocs COMPLIANCE – Adds nextgen XML functionality for pilots and compliance

Adds XML editing module to distribution and viewing functionality. Enables easy XML editing of Airbus and Boeing manuals, as well as general ops manuals in one seamless, end-to-end system. Advanced regulation tagging helps ensure regulatory compliance.

AeroDocs ENTERPRISE – Delivers efficiencies from the cockpit to the boardroom

Full product functionality suite, fully customised to handle an airline’s ops and corporate document needs. The ultimate document safety and compliance solution for aviation. Installed on airline’s own servers, enterprise license.

AeroEFB – our modular electronic flight bag solution with best-in-class viewer app

AeroEFB is a Portable, Type A/B software electronic flight bag designed to create Electronic Flight Folders, and also distribute and view Airbus and Boeing XML aircraft manuals, plus internal manuals produced by the airline. This aviation-specific software enables viewing of flight documents and dynamic content on iPad and Windows portable devices, in any operating environment, with advanced day/night mode functionality. Safety and regulatory compliance are made easy with workflows, tracking and content linking. Data security is paramount. Manuals can be updated in PDF or XML format. Our app enables pilots to quickly find the information they require – crucial when quick decisions need to be made on the flight deck. Arconics software is built around the needs of the professional pilot and consists of a suite of tightly-integrated modules: Manuals, Flight Briefing, Forms, Weather, Read+Sign, Viewer and Distributor.
We look forward to seeing you in Bangkok. You can tell us what day works best for a meeting or demo, by completing this form: http://info.arconics.com/contact-arconics-0

If you’d like to learn more about our software right away, we’d love to hear from you! You can email us at hello@arconics.com or fill out this form and tell us about your project: http://info.arconics.com/contact-arconics

ขอบคุณสำหรับการ ลดลง และเราจะ เห็นคุณใน กรุงเทพ !

K̄hxbkhuṇ s̄ảh̄rạb kār ldlng læa reā ca h̄ĕn khuṇ nı krungtheph!


Image credit

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 XWB, document delivery and control by AeroDocs – Airbus

Read our Cathay Pacific Customer focus here.

EFB-Forum-Hamburg-2016-Arconics-airline-software

EFB Operator Experiences – Users Forum – Munich 2016

EFB-users-forum-munich-2016-arconics-airline-software-cityEFB Users Forum, Munich, 24-26 May 2016

Co-chaired by Capt Dr Philipp Haller, A320, Austrian Airlines, and Will Ware, Southwest Airlines, the EFB Operator Experiences forum session was billed as the most interesting event at the forum. That’s why it was saved ‘til last – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

It seems that we’ve reached a stage in the deployment of EFBs where it’s time to pause, take a breath and work to make the most of all the software, hardware and data that we’ve got. We must now ensure that we fully enable the connectivity and data flow between all the people that make the magic of civil aviation happen. We had an opportunity to listen to detailed reports from Austrian Airlines, Aer Lingus, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa and Southwest on real-world experiences around EFB deployment, XML manuals, airport moving maps and connectivity.

Will Ware made the point that pilots complain of too many apps and that it must be made easier to switch between apps in the EFB environment. He stressed the importance of connecting the full team around the aircraft and asked the room for a show of hands. How many have connected the aircraft with AID? A small few. How many are using fixed EFB? A tiny few. How many of those using fixed are planning to go portable? All those currently using fixed. Patterns emerged.

 

EFB Next Generation – Portable, connected EFBs on Austrian Airlines aircraft

Capt Dr Philipp Haller, A320, Austrian Airlines, Operational IT

Captain Haller told about how, in the old days, pilots spread out paper in the cockpit where they thought it would work best. But Austrian Airlines has deployed a new electronic flight bag solution: One EFB for each pilot, with mount, power and AID (Aircraft Interface Device). Austrian are using Microsoft Surface Pro 3 devices.

Airbus_A320-214_Austrian_Airlines_AN2026105.jpgEFB allowed them to replace 15-20kg of paper weight per aircraft. EFB increases safety and efficiency of all flights. Plan to connect cabin to EFB network with tablets. Currently use a mixture of HTML, XML and PDF. Need to go all XML. PDF is not the preferred document form in the long term. Techlog is one of the most complex projects in the EFB world.

Challenges include keeping to the timeline – everything takes longer when dealing with external suppliers. STCs for server, longer aircraft downtime, internal manpower, budgetary constraints. Consider using final STCs as opposed to being launch customer, to speed up the process. Cooperation between different providers is vital and, amazingly, aircraft layout dimensions can be different within same type so don’t assume anything. Ever.

Type 1 was a good introduction to EFB but the future is fixed and connected to aircraft data. Pilots connect tablets to ethernet at base to speed up doc updates. Surface doesn’t have 3G, AID does. 10-15% spare devices held, for 970 pilots and there were problems with battery power. It took 2 years to fit 70 aircraft, 5 types. Can communicate with EFB via ACARS. Office is installed for pilots, no personal apps allowed.

In an exclusive comment to Arconics, Capt. Haller was asked whether more use needs to be made of aircraft data on the EFB or in connecting the EFB to the ground, and stated:

“I think both connectivity issues are essential. Using aircraft data in an EFB offers new possibilities for applications like electronic triplog, enroute moving map, performance software with FMS-crosscheck etc., which enhance the situational awareness and contribute to safer and more efficient flights. Connecting the EFB to groundsystems in-flight and on-ground is also essential to have real-time data available on the EFB.”

On the potential for confusing pilots with too many apps, Capt. Haller said:

“I do not see a problem having different applications on an EFB as long as they are easily accessible via a clearly structured Portal or Application Manager.”

And on the benefits of XML over PDF:

“The transition to XML is, of course, a challenge and requires editors and users to change some of their old habits but overall I see more advantages in moving to XML than remaining on ‘poor’ PDF or similar type of documentation.”

 

Delta Air Lines – Building a business case for EFB-to-ground and flightdeck-to-cabin connectivity to report maintenance irregularities

Shane White, Delta Air Lines, Tech pilot, B757

Chris Groover, Manager – PM office, Delta Air Lines Mobility Working Group

Delta Air Lines has moved from Surface 2 to 3. There’s a Catch 22: Apps need connectivity to be justified, but they can’t justify connectivity without apps. Connectivity is key.

Currently testing eCabin logbook app for maintenance reporting. Connectivity everywhere, on ground and in flight. Pilots used iPads, BYOD. Replaced with Surface 2. Refresh programme now: Surface 3 W10. Delta has 12,000 pilots, breaking 10-15 tablets per week. Use Gogo SSID ife wireless system to create secure crew channel, pushing weather updates. On ground, use wifi connectivity. In-flight Gogo for Flight Weather Viewer (turbulence).

Delta_A330.jpgWhat next: pilot and cabin crew connectivity. Business case required to justify investment, operational or safety enhancement. Strategy: cross-divisional team to identify apps and EFB functionality that can justify cost of all crew member connectivity. Delta needs to start somewhere: Pick an app with great potential for operational efficiency. Techlog too broad, focus now on eCabin app. eCabin logbook POC aims to prove the benefits of peer-to-peer connected devices. eCabin app is just one app out of many that can support the case for crewmembers using seamless EFB connectivity everywhere. Connectivity study: Building heatmaps of airport wifi/3g/4G/LTE deficiencies. Then fill in the holes. Infrastructure is a challenge.

Why change cabin maintenance reporting? Master copy is paper logbook. Reported via ACARS or radio by pilot. Maintenance control enters in SCEPTRE. Flight attendant creates paper write-up and slides under cockpit door. Then reporting via ACARS or radio. Maintenance Control enters in SCEPTRE. Aircraft paper logbook in cockpit remains master record. Why challenging? Slow. Inaccurate. Often happens during descent while pilots are busy. Benefits of eCabin logbook: Fast. Accurate. Enhanced reliability and revenue potential.

What next? Full aircraft e-logbook, leveraging EFB instead of ACARS. Crew member comms tools. Pilots>FAs, pilots>maintenance, pilots>dispatcher. Company to crew and back. Everyday comm tools that allow each employee associated with a flight to receive the right data at the right time.

Hard to justify connectivity without apps that show a financial or operational ROI. Starting with one or two connected apps enough to justify and build on. Success with current projects will lead to expanded funding for seamless worldwide connectivity for all employees and investment in servers or AIDs (Aircraft Interface Device) on every aircraft.

 

EFB Deployment at Aer Lingus

Richard Niland, Aer Lingus, Senior Flight Ops Engineer, EFB Administrator

Aer Lingus use Arconics AeroDocs XML authoring and the Arconics CrewPortal is very successful. AeroDocs enables Aer Lingus to give pilots offline access to all manuals and notices, and Lido briefing pack, on crew mobility devices, plus company portal and email.

Avoided PDF and went straight to XML airline documents. Use Flightman software for journey log, fuel, delays. Integrations: aircraft/crew scheduling, mainframe systems, content management, performance. Flightman integrations: A/C library,  ALPS performance application.

Class 1 EFB achieved objectives of removal of paper manuals (except QRH) and optimising performance. Toughbooks never became popular with pilots. New solution: Surface Pro 3, Navaero installed, AID. Still using Flightman, Arconics library, ALPS, introduced LIDO eRoute.

EFB-users-forum-munich-2016-arconics-airline-software-aer-lingus-dublin-airportSurface Pro 3 – popular, responsive, fast to boot. Windows 8 is not launched in use. Volume switch has been modified and now controls brightness. Problems: Min brightness still too bright. Device loses time. Some device failures: touchscreen unresponsive, failed to boot. Still, overall very happy.

Navaero hardware – some issues with network drops during some power transitions. Aircraft data feeds, AID – Navaero API. Discretes – weight on wheels, oil pressure each engine. ARINC 429 ADIRU, CFDIU/CMC, FMCEG. ARINC 717. Navaero provide raw data – steep learning curve. Differences between aircraft types. Surface Pro 3 has no 3G, so Aer Lingus use a USB modem in tablet mounting.

EFB device control software: With tablets, it’s a more complicated system, networked devices, data sharing (Flightman/Lido). Difficulty diagnosing problems. Developed in-house device manager application, manages startup of apps. Lido eRoute very popular, en route moving map, own ship position desirable. Live weather desirable.

Regarding onboard connectivity, Panasonic eXconnect on A330 fleet, wifi, dedicated EFB SSID for live weather updates and critical data updates.

Future plans include expanded use of data feeds. Cross-check pilot inputs, weight, take-off speeds. Airport moving map. Live weather. Route optimisation.

In an exclusive comment to Arconics, Richard was asked about what the Aer Lingus focus is now, data or connectivity, and stated:

“In Aer Lingus, our focus now is to develop the EFB system to make greater use of the data and connectivity that will be available to our devices. We are in the final stages of fitting an AID to our entire fleet and will shortly have an en-route data connection for the EFBs on our A330 fleet. We would like to develop the system further to make greater use of these facilities, by implementing, for example, a real-time weather application and/or airport moving map. For us, it is important now to use all of the hardware and data that’s available to us to its greatest potential, so as to improve the EFB functionality and maximise operational efficiency.”

And that concluded a very successful EFB Users Forum. While many of us went straight to Munich’s quite splendid airport – complete with beer garden atrium! – many of the attendees made their way back to the legendary Hofbräuhaus in the centre of Munich. To talk EFBs, of course!

IMG_1654-1.jpg


Learn more

AeroEFB Modular Electronic Flight Bag Software by Arconics: https://www.arconics.com/efb-eff-aerodocs/

AeroDocs Airline Document Control Software by Arconics: https://www.arconics.com/document-control-compliance-aerodocs-dms/


Photo credits

Munich skyline – Arconics Crew

Inside the EFB Users Forum – Arconics Crew

Austrian Airlines A320 in retro livery – By Alan Lebeda [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Delta Air Lines A330 – By Gietje (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Aer Lingus A320s at Dublin Airport – Arconics Crew

Hofbräuhaus, Munich – Arconics Crew


Keywords

efb, electronic flight bag, users forum, munich 2016, aid, connectivity, data, Austrian Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, Southwest

Arconics CCO speaking at Inmarsat Aviation Conference

Arconics Chief Commercial Officer to speak at Inmarsat Aviation Conference

Meet Arconics at the  Inmarsat Aviation Conference where aviation’s top trendsetters are meeting in Lisbon this 8th & 9th June. This can’t-miss event will feature exclusive access to aviation industry’s most influential players as they discuss strategies and share insights on empowering the connected aircraft.

Join Arconics Chief Commercial Officer, Fergal Murray for a session on Enabling Disruptive Applications during which you’ll learn about how connectivity allows realtime data from flight deck and cabin. Fergal will also cover how data can be turned into actionable insight with the right integration to enterprise systems and give examples across EFB, Cabin, and Flight ops of specific ways that real-time data translates to saved fuel, higher loyalty, improved efficiency, and higher profits.

For conference details please go to the Inmarsat website.

Looking forward to see you there!

arconics team

Aviation Industry Awards

Arconics shortlisted for the Aviation Innovation Award

Arconics are delighted to be shortlisted for the Irish Aviation Authority Aviation Industry Awards 2015 in the category of Aviation Innovation for its AeroDocs EFB content management product.

Arconics set about extending its AeroDocs product as a solution for flight crews to becoming one key element of a complete nose-to-tail e-Enablement platform, on which several mobile applications could be installed – for flight crews, cabin crews, passengers, engineers and airline management and administrative staff.

The first customer of the expanded platform was Aer Lingus, an airline with a long tradition of IT innovation.

With results such as lower costs, reduced timescales, reduced workload, improved audit compliance and better staff awareness, both Aer Lingus and Arconics consider the project a great success given the high level of acceptance from flight crews within Aer Lingus.

Further, the regulator has allowed Aer Lingus to remove paper copies of manuals from the aircraft, saving some 35-40kg per aircraft, per flight –a significant weight and hence cost saving for the airline.

Such was the success of the platform, in 2014 it was purchased by Cathay Pacific Airways, the flag carrier of Hong Kong.

Arconics will also announce another customer for the platform in June 2015 – a top-tier and one of the fastest growing airlines in the world with some of the newest aircraft flying today.

About Aviation Industry Awards

The Aviation Industry Awards celebrate excellence in the aviation sector in Ireland. The trophies will be handed out at the glamorous Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 28th 2015 in Dublin.

 

AeroDocs modules

Arconics at Aircraft Interiors EXPO

Arconics at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015

Meet Arconics at the Aircraft Interiors Expo at the very front of IFE Zone in Hamburg 14th to 16th April 2015 and see how we help operators worldwide increase revenues, reduce costs and improve loyalty.

Our Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) , Inflight Entertainment and Cabin Management mobile apps provide amazing user experiences to pilots, cabin crew and passengers. Our platform securely connects everyone across the airline, from crew and ground staff to senior management, flight ops, tech pubs, retail, and marketing. Customised dashboards and big-data analytics provide granular insight and measurably improve real-time decision-making. Arconics software powers over 1,000 aircraft worldwide.

If you would like to meet at the event contact us or stop by booth 4C45. To access information on our innovative technology visit the Arconics website.

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arconics team

4step_puzzle_Aerlingus_case_study

More than an EFB project – Aer Lingus Electronic Flight Bag case study

Paul Stanley, EFB Project Manager and Capt. Eamon Kierans, Manager Flight Operations Compliance, Aer Lingus share an EFB case study with an eye to broader airline connectivity

Aer Lingus EFB case study

Aer Lingus Electronic Flight Bag implementation team

The EFB program at Aer Lingus follows in a long tradition of innovative IT applications:  Aer Lingus has always been in the vanguard of IT in commercial aviation, having been the first company in Ireland to operate a mainframe computer in the early 1960s. By  the mid-sixties the airline was part of a group of operators to develop and implement IPARS (international programmable airline reservation system) reservation and check-in system and has continued to be an innovator ever since, including being an early adopter with web presence in the early 1990s, and an early online booking engine. So it was quite in character when Aer Lingus looked at digital information systems in 2006 and, in 2007, considered the possibilities for EFB.

However, we quickly realized that even if we had been able to immediately implement EFB in the cockpits it would not have been possible to use it because we were not prepared with the necessary supporting capabilities on the ground, in the back office… in our administration functions. Of course, we knew that there would be major benefits from EFB including the paperless cockpit and improved distribution of content which, in turn, would support better compliance and the streamlining of processes: but, in light of the lack of supporting capability already mentioned, we were finding it difficult to build a business case.

It was decided that the best approach would be to break the program into different phases. This, it was felt, would minimize the risk to each phase, allow us to assess feedback for each individual phase and maximize the cost effectiveness of implementation.


PHASE 1:

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT IMPLEMENTATION

 

The first phase, which commenced in 2007 and ran to 2011, was to implement an electronic document authoring and content management system and to assess the benefits of digital delivery. It was during this phase that we started to work with Arconics, using their applications and expertise as we progressed along the program. At the outset, we already had pilot and cabin crew portals that had been built in-house and were maintained by the airline’s Cabin Crew and Pilot section. The first decision was to replace those portals with a new content management system (CMS), implementing an XML authoring application so that we could move to electronic manuals and a simplified editing process — a number of past features in Aircraft IT have explained the benefits of XML authoring.

Before embarking on this, we went through a process to define our requirements from which an RFP (Request for Proposal) enabled us to consider a number of vendors. As a result of this process, Arconics was selected to supply two of their web based tools… Manual Manager, which is a guided XML authoring tool and PublishPort, Arconics’ content management system, from which we developed new pilot and cabin crew portals. These first implementations went live in the first quarter of 2009 and any implementation issues that arose were quickly dealt with by the Arconics and Aer Lingus teams overseeing the program.

mel_&_aerlingus_screen

MEL manual & Aerlingus Portal

The extent to which the implementation was a success can be judged from the fact that we soon felt able to develop additional functionality so that PublishPort is now used to support all portals in Aer Lingus and the staff intranet.

By 2011, Aer Lingus had digitized most of the key manuals including FCOM (Flight Crew Operations Manual), MEL (Minimum Equipment List), OMA (Operations Manual Part A) and ACSP (Air Carrier Security Program). A number of content types were also digitized, including flight crew notices, cabin crew notices, airfield briefing sheets, rosters and flight briefing packs. Because it’s a single content management system, we can publish content once and it becomes available everywhere through all relevant portals.

Finally, we assessed the benefits that had been achieved from this phase of the program which included:

  • Lower documentation editing costs;
  • Reduced information distribution timescales;
  • Lower Flight Crew information production costs;
  • Lower information delivery costs;
  • Lower audit costs for compliance on proof of training evidence;
  • Reduced Flight Crew community workload with information more easily available through one portal;
  • Improved staff awareness;
  • Better crew situational awareness pre-flight;
  • Lower rostering costs.

These results were very encouraging and added confidence as we moved into the next phase.

PHASE 2:

CLASS 1 ELECTRONIC FLIGHT BAG IMPLEMENTATION

 

From 2011, the second phase of the program was to implement the Class 1 EFB solution using Windows. We had first needed to have a documentation system that was available on the ground, which we achieved with the new portals; by the time we set out on this second phase, every part of the airline had a portal that could be accessed through the intranet.

toughbook

The next step was to bring this all on board the airplane. In 2011, we got management approval but, at the time, class 2 devices to be viewable and available throughout all stages of the flight were very expensive: as a result we opted to get approval for a class 1 project using a laptop computer. The device that we chose was the Panasonic Toughbook for a number of reasons including that we knew that the case and the shape of it wasn’t going to change.

When we built a lockable docking station in the cockpit (to store the device during take-off and landing and while on the ground, and to charge the batteries) it was unlikely that we’d have to change that for a later generation of the device. We also used a local (Irish) company called Flightman for the device management software: but more important than being local, they had a good back end system that gave us tracking facilities which pleased our EFB administrator.

Based on the successful experience we’d had with the ground portals, we wanted to introduce the Electronic Flight Bag and bring onto it the Arconics Manual Manager and viewer system.

One reason for that was that Manual Manager uses XML documents and we also wanted these devices to be able to be updated using 3G.

Arconics has a system whereby we won’t need to run around aircraft with USBs to update the EFBs – that would be tedious and labor intensive – but will be able to update everything over 3G. After discussion with our mobile provider about stability, we have opted to use a more stable 3G M2M (machine to machine) secure private network platform managed service. Arconics’ system is able to compare new issues of manuals or documents with the previous issue to identify the differences so that it only needs to send the difference, the Delta changes, over 3G which makes for much lower 3G costs.

The software on the device has the capacity to replace the old version of a manual or document with the new amended version to be viewed. We used an in-house performance application called ALPS (Aer Lingus Performance System) which is also on the Toughbook. And we have set up an EFB administration in Aer Lingus’ Flight Operations Engineering Department where the head of performance engineering is also the EFB administrator who set up the EFB manual and accompanying procedures. Furthermore, we’ve designed SOPs (standard operating procedures) for the flight crew to use the devices which are assigned to aircraft rather than to pilots. There are two devices on each airplane, on the left and on the right, and they are registered to that aircraft so that, for sections such as the FCOM, only the information applicable to that specific aircraft will be displayed.

As far as the implementation was concerned, we wanted to achieve some specific cost savings including a reduction of the cost for producing paper manuals right across the organization, a reduction in the cost of distribution of manuals and notices and some cost improvements on the performance side with the ALPS performance calculator allowing us to use, for instance, optimal flap settings and being able to get better flexible take-off thrust figures for reduced power take-off.On the corporate side we needed to address some extra details. We have an electronic journey log that records all times – ‘off-gate’, ‘take-off ’, ‘landing’, etc. – as well as letting the flight crew enter reasons for delays, to support better data gathering and better analysis tools.

Also, on the ground handling side, we have a form for the flight crew to record if all the ground handling services that they’re supposed to get at the station where they have arrived were actually available and delivered. This helps our financial department when dealing with the ground handling services providers.

PHASE 3:

FULL MOBILE DEVICE IMPLEMENTATION

 

iPad_screenshots_notices&manuals

 

On completion of phase 2, the general view was that it had been a success, so much so that we got a lot of feedback from crews including that they wanted some information to be available off the aircraft. This was largely because we had decided to fix our EFBs in the cockpit but the flight crew wanted access to items like the flight briefing packs in advance of arriving in the cockpit or even arriving in the operations area at the airport.

This is particularly useful for overnight crew stays at stations such as New York or Chicago where they can download their flight plan briefing pack onto a mobile device and even be reading it on the bus to the airport to get the information in advance.

This works really well and for that project we decided that the iPad would be the best device and we’re now feeding the information that the crew needs also onto an iPad so that they can have access to everything, on the ground, before they even arrive at the airport. We selected Arconics again for this based on their proven success with the ground operations portal. We also thought it would be best to transfer that onto a mobile platform which Arconics built for us to give mobile devices access to all of the information on the ground portal.

Based on the successful experience we’d had with the ground portals, we wanted to introduce the EFB and bring onto it the Arconics Manual Manager and viewer system. One reason for that was that Manual Manager uses XML documents and we also wanted these devices to be able to be updated using 3G: including flight plans, weather information, security information… everything coming from our flight planning system plus some extra information from engineering about defects on the airplane and where the airplane is parked.

 

iPad_screenshots

During 2014 we issued iPads to all pilots based on a business case that saw further improvements in costs. Aircraft cost savings came from a reduced cockpit workload with improved crew awareness and preparation as a result of having more time to assimilate the information provided, plus there’s a growing body of information available digitally. The mobility aspect of the program, using iPads, started to be implemented with the third phase which commenced in 2012 and which, with the second (EFB implementation) phase is continuing in the current year.

WAS IT A SUCCESS?

 

Overall we’d say yes, the EFB program in Aer Lingus has been a success. It was a pleasant surprise for us when the crews requested the information to be available outside of the cockpit (see phase 3 above). We had decided to make the actual EFB devices ‘aircraft assigned’ to give us better control over the ships’ library and to ensure that the devices were always with the aircraft to avoid any delays in dispatching. However, we’ve revisited this to add in pilot mobility.

As with any program, this one did encounter some problems including that the docking station supplier went out of business. Fortunately, we have enough units for the whole fleet but have had to locate new sources for spares and to carry out repairs. This was a project that ran for two years until completion in 2014 and, at the start we were dealing with very new technology. There were also some teething problems with software and the 3G communications, requiring rapid team responses to deliver remediation and a re-platform of infrastructure (see above).

We worked with our suppliers on these issues and they were very supportive to the extent that we now have the regulator’s approval to remove the paper manuals from the airplane and have the confidence to be able to do that. Approval was granted during December 2014 and we are now proceeding to remove the paper manuals from the aircraft. This will remove 35-40 kilos of weight from each aircraft.

iPads, while they met one of the crews’ own requirements, were initially a cause for concern with pilots and their unions worried whether, as trackable devices, they would allow the airline to invade an individual’s privacy. We overcame this with a number of assurances from management. Other issues included working with the commercial department to release aircraft for the new equipment to be installed and we have had to extend the scope of the program to take account of new aircraft entering the fleet.

BENEFITS FROM THE CHANGES

 

Some of the gains enjoyed by Aer Lingus and its staff from the EFB and associated technologies program have already been mentioned above. We’re also moving to optimal flap settings in early 2015, although this will be a bias rather than an absolute rule so that pilots will continue to have the final say.

And while pilots might have had reservations about the EFB at the outset (when they had to work with the old and new systems in parallel, to meet the regulator’s requirements, and were still learning the new processes) the digitization strategy now enjoys high levels of acceptance among flight crews.

Once the privacy issues had been ironed out (see above) the iPad with Arconics’ software has become completely embedded in the organization and is regarded by pilots as a given in the support they get from Aer Lingus. This will be helpful in any future additions that we make to the system on the ground or in the cockpit.

aerodocs_distribution

LESSONS LEARNED

 

Following the program, we have made a few notes to ourselves for future projects starting with the need to spend time properly capturing the requirements that the project has to meet and to ensure adequate risk reduction on the new technology integration – to avoid exposing the operation to risk. It’s also important to be very careful when selecting suppliers to be sure that they’re adaptable and can work with an airline when its operation might generate particular needs that are not standard to, say, a vendor’s software. Don’t underestimate the effort involved in testing the software, communications and processes, and updates and processes to ensure they work well enough to replace the paper.

And remember that it will be important to work hardto bring the staff along with any changes, even if they are resistant at the outset, and to involve the regulator at every stage because, without regulatory approval, the program won’t fly.

Finally, the involvement of IT at every stage is critically important given the reliance on servers and communications systems, and for the provision of back-up and fallback capabilities.

NEXT STEPS

The next development for Aer Lingus will be to move to a class 2 EFB with a tablet PC mounted in the cockpit but a Windows device not an iPad because it will be easier to integrate. We’re also going to install an interface device in the aircraft which will be able to access the ARINC (Aeronautical Radio INC) data from the data buses on the airplane.

Our ultimate objective is a fully paperless cockpit with electronic charting (including ‘own ship’s position’) to be introduced over the next two years and an electronic flight folder with the integrated information flow that will need.

The business case for this has been approved and the next phase will commence in the first quarter of 2015. iPads, while they met one of the crews’ own requirements, were initially a cause for concern with pilots and their unions worried whether, as trackable devices, they would allow the airline to invade an individual’s privacy. We overcame this with a number of assurances from management.