FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions – Resources
ViaSat Connected Aircraft Platform
At ViaSat, we are committed to answering all your questions, helping you to solve your airline’s problems and delivering real benefits to your operations – and your bottom line. Please check our FAQs and comprehensive selection of resources for download. If your questions aren’t answered clearly and comprehensively, please get in touch with us so that we can help you directly.
Electronic Flight Bag
Q: What is an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)?
A: An EFB uses software installed on an iPad or other portable device to deliver a range of functions to the pilot that would previously have been in paper format. From accessing aircraft manuals and operational manuals to weather charts and pilot notes, all can now be digital, cutting down the weight carried per flight (by up to 18kg/40lbs!) with a much better user experience for the pilot. AeroEFB is a world class Electronic Flight Bag solution. It combines an intuitive Viewer with powerful document search and annotations features. All the documentation that a pilot needs can now live on an iPad or other portable device. This reduces the clutter in the cockpit, reduces the weight to be carried by the aircraft and makes it easy for flight crew to find the information they need quickly and efficiently. AeroEFB delivers on the promise of digital and a true paperless cockpit.
Q: What benefits are delivered to pilots by an integrated EFB?
A: EFB applications have evolved rapidly in recent years. Low-cost tablets have made EFB technology accessible to all airlines, but current EFB solutions typically require multiple standalone applications which must be managed and updated separately. Because standalone apps cannot share data, flight crew are forced to toggle between applications and re-key data between apps, which takes time, reduces focus and introduces errors.
ViaSat EFB is an integrated suite of EFB apps that provide completely centralised management, end-to-end security, sharing of data across modules, and rapid access to the right information for flight crew and ground staff. AeroDocs supports leaner, more efficient airline operations, greater real-time situational awareness and better long-term business intelligence.
Document Management System
Q: What is an airline Document Management System (DMS)?
A: AeroDocs, our nextgen Document Management System, makes it easy for airlines to manage the many documents that are integral to the operation of the airline, meeting compliance and safety requirements. From aircraft manuals to flight briefings to operating manuals, a modern airline has very demanding document management needs across the organisation. AeroDocs meets those needs at enterprise level, with a complete, connected solution that enables XML authoring, document distribution, synchronisation, tracking and delivery to a native iOS or Windows PED viewer, or web viewer, for pilots.
Q: Do I need an airline Document Management System? Why?
A: Yes. As regulatory compliance becomes more demanding and information flow more relentless, managing the flow of documents efficiently becomes a critical issue. The right document management system will ensure that your pilots, ground ops and everyone in your airline has access to the right documents at all times.
Q: Will a Document Management System help my airline to achieve regulatory compliance?
A: Absolutely. AeroDocs DMS features a compliance module to enable the creation of reports for auditors, detailing who has access to documents, when they were reviewed and approved, and how they were used by the airline. An auditor asks two questions: 1. Do you have proper procedures in place? 2. Can you prove it? AeroDocs helps your airline to answer these questions quickly and easily.
Q: What is XML and what benefits does it bring to an airline?
A: XML is the next generation in documents, delivering significant benefits. For crew, it delivers a superior user experience, with better search, persistent highlights and annotations, and faster downloads. For authors, XML technology speeds editing, by automating routine tasks and allowing smart sharing and reuse of data across documents. Until now, airlines have been forced to choose between arcane XML publishing tools, which can be used only by technical publications experts, and standard word processors, which require enormous effort to manage the revisions process. Neither approach delivers an out-of-the-box solution for airlines. Imagine a system that was designed from the ground up for managing aircraft and airline documents. Now you understand AeroDocs DMS.
Q: What benefits does XML deliver to pilots?
A: Digital documentation has numerous advantages when used as a replacement for paper. It offers accessibility, flexibility and portability: critically important in a crowded cockpit. AeroDocs manages XML format digital documents easily, delivering a range of benefits to pilots:
- Annotations are preserved, even when files are updated (XML format only).
- Synchronisation – get notified when a document is updated.
- Incremental updates (XML) – only changes are updated, saving time and perfect for areas with poor wireless connectivity.
- Search at amazing speeds – cross document search and scope search functions (XML).
- Fast search – respond to ECAM/EICAS warnings in seconds.
- Effectivity, so that the documents are specific to the plane’s tail.
- Download flexibility – get everything or just the individual documents that you need fast.
- Accepts Boeing and Airbus manuals in XML format.
Q: What benefits does XML deliver to TechPubs?
A: AeroDocs simplifies the entire manual publishing and compliance process. It assists airline managers and domain experts to collaborate in defining airline policies and procedures whilst ensuring all current regulations have been addressed. For Flight Operations and Technical Publications staff, it provides a proven solution for all classes of EFB on iOS and Windows operating systems.
Q: What benefits does XML deliver to IT managers?
A: Arconics understands the complexities of airline operations and integration. Working to standards including DO178c and AS9100, we’re continually evolving our engineering stack to keep pace with the best available tools and technologies to support the rigorous security and compliance requirements of our airline customers. We’ve developed a suite of re-usable adaptors to communicate with a wide variety of airline systems. These adaptors communicate with the Arconics enterprise bus and platform APIs. This approach allows us to rapidly develop and iterate new adaptors without affecting the core platform.
Our enterprise bus and platform APIs allow for both synchronous integration and asynchronous messaging. They can be horizontally scaled to handle increase in traffic loads. They are technology-agnostic, so adaptors and platform components can be written using the best tools for the job.
Q: What is a wireless In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) platform?
A: In the not-so-good old days, air passengers squinted at a distant screen or had access to a limited selection of content on a seat-back screen. Today, wireless IFE lets passengers use their own mobile device – smartphone or tablet – to access a wide range of content, streamed wirelessly from a central platform. Wireless IFE also delivers destination content and enables access to in-flight shopping and premium content, allowing airlines to boost their ancillary revenues. ViaSat Wireless IFE is a robust wireless IFE platform that comfortably meets the needs of passengers and cabin crew, delivering pleasurable flight experiences and additional scope for revenue generation.
Q: What are the benefits of the wireless IFE BYOD model?
A: Key BYOD Wireless IFE benefits:
- Turn a cost centre into a revenue centre, with super-short time-to-value.
- Lower install cost, a fraction of embedded IFE systems.
- Meet customer need for access to entertainment, even during short flights.
- Low running costs, with minimal hardware and wiring to maintain.
- Opportunity to monetise customers by offering shopping and content purchases on their own devices.
- Low impact on operating costs, with minimal additional weight to carry.
- Opportunity to personalise the journey, maintaining contact with customer from booking to arrival at destination. We view this as a key development in the near- to medium-terms, of which airlines must take advantage.
Connected Aircraft Platform
Q: Is all ViaSat software developed in-house?
A: Absolutely. We don’t supply any software that’s been developed by third parties. Our clients can be assured that we’ve written all the code that goes into their solutions. We can tailor our products to any airline’s needs and we keep on top of software innovations, updates and quality control.
Q: Which airlines use ViaSat software?
A: Some of the world’s best and most successful airlines use our software. We’re delighted to include Ryanair, Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus and Cathay Pacific on our growing client list. Read about our customers here.
Q: What is a Connected Aircraft Platform? What do you mean when you say ‘ViaSat software connects everyone onboard an aircraft’?
A: We have developed and built a connected aircraft platform through which all our software applications communicate. From pilots to cabin crew to passengers, all share data through our platform, guaranteeing connectivity, a seamless experience in nose-to-tail communications and intelligent data management. We also make it easy for ground operations to deliver content and documents to the aircraft.
Q: My airline already has elements of the connected aircraft platform in place. Can these systems be integrated into the ViaSat platform?
A: Yes. The ViaSat Connected Aircraft Platform is designed to be flexible and adaptable and to work around your airline’s needs, today and into the future. Tell us what you have and what you need and we’ll demonstrate the power of our platform.
Q: I’m interested in finding out more about ViaSat software. What should I do next?
A: We’d love to find out more about your needs so that we can arrange a demo or a trial of our world-leading connected aircraft platform and airline software apps. You can call or email us. We look forward to connecting everyone onboard your aircraft fleet. Please use our Contact Form, ask any questions you like, let us know how we can help.
We have a wide variety of useful resources and assets to help you plan your airline software project. If you have any specific questions or need anything else to help you solve your problems, please contact us directly.
This Case Study examines our fast deployment of ViaSat wireless IFE software to Tigerair Australia’s international fleet. Arconics wireless IFE turned a cost centre into a revenue centre with short time-to-value. Download here.
Our fascinating Cathay Pacific Case Study reviews the deployment of AeroDocs, the Safety and Compliance Document Management System for aviation. Click here to download.
This Case Study download goes into extensive detail on an EFB deployment by ViaSat at Aer Lingus operational base, Dublin Airport. It makes for very interesting reading if you’d like to learn more about the process of going paperless and how to engage your team.
Our PDF Guide to Nextgen XML Tools tells you all you need to help decide when your airline should begin the transition to the latest technology in document management, with all the compliance and pilot benefits that it brings.
Are you scoping a wireless IFE project for your fleet? This handy Excel template will help to identify the stakeholders that you need to bring onboard.
Our highly popular Connected Aircraft Email Newsletter is a great way to keep informed about ViaSat Aviation activities, as well as news and trends from across the aviation industry. Sign up today!
Now that we’ve answered some of your questions, maybe you can answer some of ours? Our completely anonymous research survey is designed to help us identify the operational pain points and needs around aircraft manuals and EFBs for pilots, techpubs, flight ops and compliance managers. Your assistance is appreciated. Thank you!