Importance of digitization
In this modern world of digitization, each and every one of us realize the touch of digitization in our daily lives and aviation industry is no longer an exception. In civil aviation, the list of incidents and accidents in which incomplete, inaccurate, or delayed information plays a role, is too long. Especially, in the cockpit environment, crews need immediate access to the right information at the right time. But the critical flight information may be buried in ambiguously organized text in large volumes of papers and manuals, in the form of so called pilot’s ‘Flight Bags’. Pilots need to shed lot of their precious time and effort in searching the required information from these large volumes.
The crew's inability to locate the correct emergency information/procedure has been determined to be a significant contributing factor to one or two fatal flight accidents. The data/time management becomes more critical in rotary wing operations especially in situations where helicopters are operated in offline or remote locations. Accurate, complete, and timely information is therefore critical and imperative for effective and efficient task performance in an extremely high-risk cockpit environment whether it may be fixed wing or rotary wing operations.
Electronic Flight Bag - Transformation in Aviation industry
As appropriately said by Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh, "The engine is the heart of the airplane, but the pilot is its soul"; these pilots need immediate access to the right information for effective decision making in most critical situations. This is possible only with a digital, integrated information system.
Pilots and airlines recognize that the digital, integrated, accurate, supplementary flight information is a growing necessity. This necessity turns into reality with the introduction of an improved digital, integrated information system, commonly termed as the ‘Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)’. The EFB has emerged as an efficient and easy-to-use electronic device enabling immediate access to required flight information such as manuals and checklists.
The EFB has significantly replaced the paper-based heavy reference material which was often found in pilot’s carry-on flight bag. It offers immediate retrieval of supplemental flight information such as manuals and checklists.
In addition, the EFB will provide functions not possible with paper such as moving maps, normal and abnormal performance calculations, near real-time weather, terrain, and other situation displays. As a repository of information supporting flight crew performance, the EFB has enormous potential to play a central role in the cockpit, including decision support for effective task performance.
Significance of EFB application
At first glance, the reasons why almost all airlines are considering EFB and implementing EFB systems across their fleets may vary, but the underlying motive is obvious: To increase productivity and operational efficiency. EFB systems are becoming key tools for modernizing flight, cabin and maintenance operations.
The EFB system does not replace any system or equipment (e.g. navigation, communication, or surveillance system). The EFB system on board the aircraft displays only pre-composed or interactive information which are functionally equivalent to the conventional paper reference material.
Ramco EFB - An integrated solution
Ramco Aviation Software provides an effective Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) product which is a uniquely designed powerful information management system integrated with the core Maintenance & Engineering (M&E) system. The Ramco EFB application supports many of the on-board flight management tasks and facilitates the following:
- Integrates with downstream processes like maintenance and billing, thus ensuring significant savings on cost and time
- Performs weight and balance calculations, navigation planning and fuel planning for the aircraft
- Replaces the physical documents like reference manuals route maps used by the pilot during the journey
- Generates the flight sheet with details of the time spent by the pilot, co-pilot and instructor in performing various flight duties / activities and additional information during the journey along with the flight time for which the aircraft is accounted under various taxes
- Serves as a log book for capturing flight times, discrepancies, delays and viewing maintenance status
- Provides centralized management and control of all EFB clients, offering lowered administration costs and reduced data/software synchronization risks
Once all the details are recorded using the EFB application, the same can be uploaded to the “Aviation Solution” for the generation of journey log, billing the customer and maintaining the employee duty and activity details, for future reference. Integration with the Ramco M&E application ensures automatic and accurate update of journey details, maintenance records and parameter details.
Benefits of Electronic Flight Bags
The EFB application enables easy and quicker recording of the data, an easy access to the existing aircraft and flight related data and transfer of recorded data to the “Aviation Solution”.
- The potential efficiency and cost-benefits of the paperless cockpit concept are important to all segments of the commercial aviation industry
- Eliminates low-value labor-intensive processes (such as updating manuals and operating charts)
- Pilots can shed their cumbersome flight bags and no longer have to spend hours updating manuals, the airline's manual maintenance and updating process can be considerably streamlined
- Each flight can be made safer and more efficient by accurate, integrated, and complete supplementary flight information that is immediately available to each pilot via their own personal display unit
- Fully integrated digital information system significantly improves the safety and efficiency of cockpit operations and optimizes crew duty-time
It is fair to say that EFB technology does for the aircraft what the Personal Computers and laptops have done for our day-to-day lives. Thanks to the advancements in digital technology, in today’s world we just cannot imagine an airline travel without these improvised Electronic Flight Bags.