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The Electronic Flight Bag revolution - do you know what you need?

By James | 1st July 2019

The reality of it is, EFB's aren't new - there, we said it.

The very first versions were created as far back as the 90's by pilots making use of laptops and spreadsheets to carry out calculations and populate information. In fact, we have been engineering EFB solutions since 2007 as we have always been early adopters.

But it's in the last five years that Electronic Flight Bag technology has truly been embraced across the industry by operators looking to finally move away from outdated systems and processes by embracing technology on the flight deck and by regulators who are working to improve safety standards across a very challenging, ever changing environment.

Before we go forward, let's look back

An Electronic Flight Bag or EFB, is a completely electronic flight deck information app that helps flight crews perform flight management tasks more easily and efficiently than the traditional paper-based reporting by creating a seamless, automated data management platform on a device.

The Electronic Flight Bag is the digital replacement to the traditional pilot's bag which typically contains an estimated 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot, whereas the EFB is a fraction of the weight and doesn't use any paper whatsoever.

The EFB was originally intended to reduce, or replace, the amount of paper pilots had to take on board in their flight bag, including the aircraft operating manual, flight-crew manual, and navigational charts.

It's not just about reducing paper, other reported benefits include, saving hours of working time manually preparing briefing packs, reduced workload and improved efficiency in the flight deck, cost savings by reducing the paper and printing costs associated with producing tons of paper manuals per year, reducing weight on each flight, therefore, reducing CO2 emmissions.

Watch the EFB in action.

 

Although later eliminated and replaced with a simpler portable and installed concept, these were the three classes of EFB:

  • Class 1 - standard off-the-shelf equipment such as laptops or handheld electronic devices. These were used as loose equipment and had to be stowed for take-off and landing. They were limited to providing supplementary information only so were used alongside the traditional pilot's bag.
  • Class 2 - these were also considered a portable electronic device; however, they were connected to the aircraft power and data link port enabling it to exchange data with aircraft systems.
  • Class 3 - this EFB class was installed in the aircraft and required a Supplementary Type Certificate as well as NAA Airworthiness approval.

 

Are you EFB ready?

So, you're ready to set the wheels in motion in order to move your airline into the EFB era but have you got a plan in place? Have you considered who you are buying it for, who will be the beneficiary of this improved technology and most of all, what your actual priorities are?

We work with operators who have already invested in an Electronic Flight Bag that delivers more benefits to operators and engineering teams than it does to the flight crews who need it most. All to often, our clients have already invested a lot of time and money in platforms that don't meet their actual project requirements resulting in the need for further software investment.

This is where we come in and we can say with confidence that our proven approach will help identify core priorities and problem areas that skybook will be able to address from the outset.  

If you are about to embark on a project to improve on current processes or systems by implementing an Electronic Flight Bag, here are some key areas to consider beforehand:

  • What are the most common problems each day that an EFB will help resolve
  • Consider flight ops and dispatch, maintenance and flight crew, don't work in isolation when scoping point 1
  • What are your current processes - how much time and mnoney can be saved by embracing technology and automating these
  • Create clear objectives and benefits - it can't all be about removing paper, the right application will deliver so much more than this

 

We have a successful track record when it comes to working with airlines across the globe, using skybook to replace outdated systems and processes, using our technology to save time, improve efficiency and accountability, and above all driving performance safety improvements through improved data capture.

We can even help with regulatory approvals.

Read AKKA Technologies case study here

Our project team

Why are we any different to other suppliers? Quite simply, our product range and our team.

Our product range has been engineered to tackle the challenges faced throughout flight operations and the flight deck daily. Automation, flexibility and the ability to integrate with almost any other system ensures that skybook improves the flow of vital information required for each flight. 

The information is not only sourced but also reviewed in line with the operator settings and minima that are created during configuration and meet the exacting needs of each operator.

What does this mean - essentially skybook does the hard work for you, automatically drawing your attention to any emerging weather and NOTAM issues that could affect a flight. Best of all, you don't even need to be logged in to receive alerts. 

What next?

Want to try it for yourself, message James Cartwright to request further information.

 

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