FLIGHT OPS iTINNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

CargoAi: Digitalization for Connecting Cargo Industry

The founders of CargoAi come from the air cargo industry, and they say that sets them apart from the many e-booking platforms who are emerging. Digital transformation is no longer disruptive, it’s already here. By combining their cargo experience with world-leading technology, the CargoAi team says it is facilitating the industry’s transformation. CargoAi says their product proves how simple digitalization can be.

The idea, developed by Matthieu Petot, CEO and founder of CargoAi, is to connect 100% of airlines and GSAs to freight forwarders by simplifying the entire process via an intuitive online platform. “Forget about the traditional airfreight software that takes years of implementation and training – we have taken our inspiration from the many modern applications that have been built recently and the SaaS model where training, support and the user journey is very intuitive,” says Petot.

CargoAi allows freight forwarders to connect with 100% of airlines from every country in the world, either via direct API connections or a unique and efficient quote issuing/booking process. The company says this innovation offers an enormous advantage: it is no longer necessary to make individual connections with each airline. It is intuitive, modular, and offers fully tailor-made solutions to all airlines and freight forwarders (both large and small alike). Making connections is now possible, with or without a sophisticated IT system – and GSAs also benefit from bespoke solutions.

This level of simplification has been made possible by the CargoAi team’s proven experience of air cargo management: “Through our experience in cargo, we saw that the buying and selling processes hadn’t moved forward. We brought together the best talents, we combined their skills to create an online platform considering the obstacles of digitalization in our sector. We can then respond to the specific needs of air cargo stakeholders as closely as possible,” added Petot.

These talents include a former solutions architect at Amazon and Microsoft, head of product & design at FCS Computer Systems, transformation leader at Air France-KLM and DB Schenker, and global head of business excellence at Dyson. Dozens of people with this level of expertise have now joined the CargoAi team at their HQ based in Singapore, a tech hotspot. 

FLIGHT OPS iT

Airport Optimization and Efficiency are Key with Collins Aerospace’s Next Gen Airport Operations Solution – ARINC AirPlan

Collins Aerospace Systems, a Raytheon Technologies business (NYSE: RTX), is redefining airport operations with the launch of its all-new ARINC AirPlan solution. Available with cloud or on-premise deployments, AirPlan enables airports to manage all of their resources – including gates, check-in desks and baggage belts — from a single application on any computer or mobile device connected to their network. 

AirPlan can provide airport operations with tools to make the status of each resource readily available in one central place and with an intuitive user interface. Airports can quickly and easily move staff, deploy ground crews and get passengers checked in for flights, optimizing their operations and providing a better experience for passengers.

In addition, AirPlan can support new airport social distancing regulations by automating the process of staggering gate schedules and optimizing the use of baggage belts to limit crowding at baggage claim.

“Our airport customers made it clear that they wanted cloud technology, mobile management and a streamlined system to make their operations more efficient,” said Christopher Forrest, vice president of Global Airport Systems for Collins Aerospace. “The new AirPlan will meet all of their requirements now, and future upgrades will enable someone who manages multiple airports to manage the operations of several locations in one application.”

Additional AirPlan benefits include:

  • Efficient solution that can leverage existing platforms and solutions
  • Flight data generated from multiple information feeds to provide the most accurate picture of operations
  • A customizable interface to meet individual user needs
  • Ability to schedule swing gates ahead of time to reflect their planned international and domestic configurations
  • Customer Service support provided by experienced staff with industry-leading knowledge
  • Cybersecurity support to help ensure systems are always protected and secure
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Air Transport Services Group Selects GE Aviation for Digital Agreement


Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) selected GE Aviation for a comprehensive digital agreement including FlightPulse and eFOQA. The program gives ATSG subsidiary airlines ABX Air, Air Transport International, and Omni Air International access to advanced analytics with enriched data sets that will ultimately drive greater understanding of flight trends. This program implementation includes the Boeing 777, 767, and 757 aircraft. 

“GE Aviation’s FlightPulse and eFOQA are integral tools used by our airlines to enhance their already rigorous safety programs and further ensure that our training programs and operating policies are meeting the highest standards of operational excellence,” commented Ed Koharik, chief operating officer with ATSG.

FlightPulse is a mobile app that uses aircraft data and smart analytics to enable pilots to securely access their own flying metrics and trends. FlightPulse can be used to optimize efficiency, reduce operational risk, and improve pilot awareness through advanced flight data analytics. 

“FlightPulse will be used to put actionable and relevant pre- and post-flight information in pilots’ hands allowing them to operate at the highest level of effectiveness,” said Andrew Coleman, GM of the Digital Group for GE Aviation. “When FlightPulse and eFOQA are combined, quality and accurate data provide a major enabler to improving safety, efficiency and sustainability.”

FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance), also commonly referred to as FDM (Flight Data Monitoring), is the process of analyzing and reviewing routinely recorded flight data. Airlines and operators that adopt FOQA are better able to identify and eliminate potential safety hazards in flight operations.  

eFOQA is GE Aviation’s service for helping operators around the world understand and improve safety. GE’s patented analytics software fuses meteorological information, navigation data, and terrain mapping to identify safety events and measurements on thousands of flights every day.

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Routes and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi Announce Strategic Partnership

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Routes are delighted to announce an exclusive strategic partnership to help identify new destinations to add to Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s network.

Routes’ digital platform, Route Exchange, is continuing to play an important role in the recovery of the aviation industry, as airlines and airports around the world look to rebuild their networks and stimulate economic growth. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has launched its first Request for Proposals (RFP) via the Route Exchange platform to identify new routes to add to its initial network.

Routes says it is the brand leader for cultivating growth opportunities in network and route development within the aviation industry. With 25 years’ experience in assisting airports globally in developing new air services through conferences, data, training and consultancy, Routes will manage RFP process for Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. Routes is part of Informa.

Wizz Air currently has a fleet of 132 aircraft and operates more than 900 routes to 164 airports in 46 countries. In December 2019, it was announced that the carrier would be setting up a new subsidiary, based at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi was jointly established by Wizz Air and ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced in July 2020 its initial route network launching six destinations from its base in Abu Dhabi. The carrier’s decision to use Route Exchange to grow its initial route network is underpinned by its desire to enter key growth markets across the Middle East, Africa, Central, and South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. With plans to expand its fleet to six aircraft within the first six months of operation and to grow significantly over coming years, the RFP will play an instrumental role in the carrier identifying new destinations to add to its network.  

“The RFP process will play an important role in developing our network, our operations and presence in Abu Dhabi. By working with Routes, we will be able to establish new routes from key growth markets and expand our initial route network,” said Kees Van Schaick, managing director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi.

“We believe the key to industry’s recovery lies in strategic collaboration, creativity and innovation,” Steven Small, director of Routes, said. “We’re delighted that Wizz Air Abu Dhabi recognises the value of the Route Exchange platform to help it expand its initial network.”

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Honeywell and ForeFlight Team Up Within Forge

Honeywell will integrate Boeing’s ForeFlight Dispatch product with Honeywell Forge, a platform of comprehensive services tailored for the business aviation market. By incorporating Dispatch, ForeFlight’s new web-based advanced flight planning offering within Honeywell Forge, flight departments of all sizes will benefit from greater control over fleet operations with a single solution for planning, tracking, datalink and operational needs. The two companies say ForeFlight Dispatch gives flight departments “a powerful and reliable global flight planning product that works seamlessly with ForeFlight’s industry-leading mobile flight deck application.”

“ForeFlight Dispatch delivers a step-change in flight planning capabilities, beginning with ultrafast computation of globally valid routing optimized for your aircraft performance. Dispatch also makes it much easier to get work done across the flight department by integrating with third-party solutions up and down the value chain, from scheduling into the flight deck,” says Tyson Weihs, co-founder and CEO, ForeFlight. “By integrating ForeFlight’s flight planning products within Honeywell’s Forge solution, together we are meeting our customers’ long-sought-after goal of achieving better operational results and reducing workloads.”

Through this combined solution, the two say pilots and operators will have access to their preferred services available in the Honeywell Forge ecosystem. That ecosystem brings together operating services into a single view with closed-loop alerting, connecting pilots, operations, scheduling and maintenance. Operators can choose and save their preferred services, while keeping them integrated, synchronized and updated as their needs shift or fleets change.

“The digital approach we’ve taken with the Honeywell Forge platform lets us adapt to better serve our customers. After listening to pilot and operator needs, we set out to lower the number of separate flight services that business aviation customers manage,” said John Peterson, vice president and general manager, Connectivity Services and Software, Honeywell Connected Enterprise. “Honeywell’s integration of ForeFlight Dispatch removes one of the biggest barriers to streamlining services — the tension of switching — and brings a trusted and popular flight planning service to Honeywell Forge.”

Honeywell and ForeFlight have also integrated the Pre-Departure Clearance (PDC) service, where customers can get their datalink clearances through Honeywell and receive PDCs in ForeFlight on mobile devices. Further integration of services is planned with ForeFlight, including the ability to connect ForeFlight to Honeywell cockpit technology and hardware.

FLIGHT OPS iTINNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

Shell Introduces First Industry Solution to Meet SAP-Free Refueling Deadline

Shell Aviation, working with filtration experts FAUDI Aviation, has launched Shell Jet Protection, the only Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP)-free refuelling system available to the aviation industry today. The technology is also the first SAP-free system capable of utilizing existing filter monitor vessels to be adopted into standards by the Joint Inspection Group, the world-leading organization for the development of aviation fuel supply standards.

From 2021, aircraft systems that refuel using SAP will no longer be considered airworthy as in rare cases SAP can leak from water filters into engines during refueling, causing operational issues. Shell Aviation will convert its entire fleet of refueling trucks to Shell Jet Protection at all Shell-operated locations worldwide, with the aim of being SAP-free by the end of 2020.

“At a time when aircraft operators are focused on the path to recovery, we are committed to supporting our customers and partners across aviation in preparing for the industry’s transition away from SAP-based water filters,” Thomas de Boer, head of Operations at Shell Aviation, stated. “Filtration experts at Shell and FAUDI Aviation have been working together to find alternatives to SAP since 2015, well before the Energy Institute’s mandated change in 2017. It is a real point of pride that we have been able to deliver a solution for the industry well ahead of this year’s deadline.” 

Shell Jet Protection is specifically designed to protect aircraft and engines from the risk of SAP contamination. It replaces the SAP-based water filter with a separate AFGUARD Electronic Water Sensor (EWS) and uses it in combination with a Dirt Defence Filter. The AFGUARD EWS, extensively tested by Shell and qualified to the Energy Institute standard EI1598, continuously monitors the refuellng process and safely turns off the fuel flow to the aircraft, on the rare occasions when water is detected.

As well as safely turning off the fuel flow to the aircraft on the rare occasions when water is detected, Shell Jet Protection can be easily retrofitted into existing vessels and vehicles. In addition, while SAP filters are changed annually, Shell Jet Protection filters have a five-year service life, providing both financial savings in change-out costs and helping to reduce waste through less frequent filter replacements. 

“With the deadline for moving away from SAP fuelling systems fast approaching, it is important that the aviation industry prepares for this change now,” Marcus Wildschütz, president of FAUDI Aviation, said. “We’re proud to have worked with Shell Aviation on the only SAP-free drop in solution to protect aircraft engines from the very real risk that SAP migration poses to engine operations.”

FLIGHT OPS iT

FlightSmart, FlightSafety’s Integrated Pilot Performance Evaluation and Training Tool, Completed Acceptance Testing at Columbus AFB

FlightSafety International’s FlightSmart, a new integrated pilot performance evaluation and training tool, has successfully completed acceptance testing at the Columbus Air Force Base. FlightSafety developed FlightSmart in conjunction with IBM, a world leader in advanced analytics and AI.

FlightSafety received a contract in November 2019 for FlightSmart from the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC). It is for implementation of FlightSmart at Columbus AFB on 16 T-6A training devices, including Initial and Operational Flight Trainers.

“FlightSmart collects and analyzes pilot performance data using advanced analytics that are presented on a real-time web-based dashboard,” said Bert Sawyer, director Strategic Management. “FlightSmart facilitates a departure from qualitative-based instruction towards evidence and competency-based training. It employs Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to capture insights using evidence-based training methodologies and then predicts the best training approach to learning by providing instructors with a comprehensive understanding of a pilot’s strengths and weaknesses.”

FlightSafety is working closely with Columbus AFB instructors to optimize the design and development of the FlightSmart interface. It enables instructors to proactively address any deficiencies by optimizing the training curriculum while focusing on areas that need improvement, as opposed to repetitive actions rooted in a fixed syllabus.

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SD Reaches Major Milestone with Install of 2,000th FlightDeck Freedom

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has achieved a significant milestone for its FlightDeck Freedom datalink service by activating its 2,000th aircraft. The head-of-state customer signed for the service to take advantage of its unique configuration options, ability to integrate third-party flight planning services, evolving compliance support, and the streamlining of flight crew and ground operations workflow.

Specifically designed for business and military aviation, FlightDeck Freedom features an open architecture design to support every type of avionics and datalink-capable airframe and can be customized to meet each customer and/or aircraft platform’s mission needs.  On launch in 2007 it was the first datalink service to give customers the freedom – hence the name – to select, upload from, and communicate with preferred third-party trip planning services and today is still the only datalink service provider with a comprehensive offering of flight planning options. FDF also continues to be the only service that supports flight deck and cabin communications enabling crew to monitor connectivity and troubleshoot issues in real time to better manage passenger expectations.

In addition, FDF enhances operational safety through direct delivery of automated notifications including hazardous weather, route and security alerts, and supports real time aircraft and fleet tracking worldwide, which can be monitored from the ground and in the air. The unique GeoNotification feature details when aircraft are approaching a defined geographic area which may affect connectivity or be defined as sensitive airspace.

Integrated with SD Pro, the digital flight operations management system, data shared through FDF synchronizes flight crew with ground operations keeping team members informed about aircraft performance in real time to support improved flight operations, budgeting and maintenance scheduling. FDF also supports fleet compliancy with FANS, ADS-C and CPDLC to meet evolving Air Traffic Control safety requirements and the changing landscape of business aviation operations.

“Our focus is to always enable our customers to manage their flights and operations using the services, products and systems that best suit their needs. FDF was one of our first services built using open architecture to allow integration of third-party services,” says Chris Moore, president of Satcom Direct Business Aviation. “Reaching this milestone demonstrates the market’s hunger for integrated services that streamline the workflow. As the digitization of aviation continues to evolve, we will continue adapting and modifying our products to meet the changing requirements of flight crew, ground operations and the business aviation infrastructure.”

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Breeze Airways Selects Vistair to Provide Safety Compliance

Vistair Systems announced a partnership with new start up airline, Breeze Airways, to support their enterprise-wide safety management approach.

Based in Utah, Breeze Airways is the latest airline of JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman, which plans to begin operations at the end of 2020.

The decision to select Vistair reflects Breeze Airways full commitment to a data driven and proactive, safety and compliance culture, through an integrated safety management system that is used by some of the safest and best airlines worldwide, including Delta Air Lines, easyJet and the UK Ministry of Defence.

Breeze Airways says it has a strong focus on the latest technology and digital experience for their operational systems and tools. Identifying and partnering with reputable and expert aviation suppliers is a key strand of their strategy.

“With ambitious growth plans for the future, we needed a modern, scalable solution that will support our advancements and growth,” David Neeleman comments.

Ian Herbert, CEO at Vistair adds: “At Vistair, we believe in providing an enterprise-grade, fully supported SaaS solution that will advance the future of aviation safety. Underpinned by a modern, scalable and highly secure cloud-first architecture, our modular suite of SMS solutions creates an integrated information environment for the global airline industry to identify, monitor and mitigate safety risks.”

The agreement further includes ASAP support functionality, that will enable Breeze Airways to submit ASAP and incident reports through an easy-to-use, mobile first platform.

The carrier has ordered 60 brand-new Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in April 2021, and has leased Embraer E195 aircraft, which will be delivered in October 2020.

FLIGHT OPS iT

Cathay Pacific and GE Aviation Expand Digital Partnership

GE Aviation and Cathay Pacific Group have signed a five-year agreement to implement GE’s Event Measurement System (EMS) for flight analytics and the FlightPulse pilot app. The digital technologies will be deployed across various fleet types in Cathay Pacific Group in September as well as the pilot community later in 2020. The agreement includes Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Air Hong Kong.

“Cathay Pacific has established our own efficiency best practices for years,” said Capt. Mark Hoey, GM Operations with Cathay Pacific. “It is vital to have a flight analytics system that can easily adapt to our policies and procedures instead of the other way around. The good connectivity of the GE EMS system reduces the system migration effort, enables interaction with our corporate BI tool and maintains continuity to our users. The system flexibility and extensive library of measurements, parameters and events reduce the efforts in measuring and monitoring new best practices. After a substantial trial period with EMS, we concluded that it was the best fit for our requirements.”

FlightPulse is a mobile app that uses aircraft data and advanced flight data analytics to enable pilots to securely access their own flying metrics and trends. FlightPulse can be used to optimize efficiency, reduce operational risk and improve pilot awareness.

“We are thrilled to be chosen by Cathay Pacific to expand our growing digital partnership into the arena of flight analytics,” said Andrew Coleman, senior vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s Digital Group. “We’re merging multiple data sources, building on a comprehensive set of analytics and expanding with FlightPulse to help pilots fly more efficiently and reduce carbon emissions.”

GE Aviation’s flight analytics service uses flight data generated by the aircraft and merges it with the airline’s operational data. It applies proprietary data management and analytics technology to help Cathay Pacific better manage their aircraft operations and assets, providing previously unavailable insight into efficiency, flight safety, engineering and maintenance.

Capt Hoey noted that the FlightPulse tailored information for individual crew members enables Cathay’s pilots to conduct their own analyses and compare themselves with their peers. “The interactive report allows them to review their fuel planning, collaborate on focus areas and drive behavior changes. The ability to include safety-related analytics is another added advantage that enhances SOP implementation and improves safety. We believe FlightPulse will be welcome and supported by our crew,” said Capt Hoey.

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