Feeds

Pilots get electronic flight bag

Everything but the sandwiches

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

If the Captain is conducting on-the-job flight training of junior officers, they also carry their own and the trainee's records. To speed up back office management here, Evoke is aiming to add online training records management as part of the EFB.

"Each pilot has to undertake a number of formal training exercises every year and these must be available for audit at any time," Howard said. "This does, however, demand that each pilot has access to a laptop system - either issued on a per trip basis, or as their own machine."

Evoke is again opting for a web-based user interface, with the Tablet PC as the primary target platform. It has been using the Tablet PC extensions built into Vista in its development work. "Much of the data being captured by the crew is numeric, and is therefore easier to capture by pen," Howard said. "In a flight deck environment It is easier to write 'flight level 350' than click on a box with a mouse, so the pen interface has worked very well, and better than the keyboard for much of the work, though for lengthier reports they do really need a full keyboard as well."

This does mean crews carrying Tablet PCs around with them and the company has looked at holding relevant data held on USB memory sticks as an option, but feels there are better solutions. Some airlines are looking at this as something to plug into the on-board EFBs, but Howard indicated there are numerous inherent problems with that.

"Crew can lose memory sticks, and there is the issue of validating the memory stick being inserted to check it has no viruses or that it is the company's device and not a personal one."

There can also be problems if systems are updated, when memory sticks may suddenly be seen as incompatible devices.

"The more elegant solution is for the pilots to carry the system with them, and to have an internet connection available wherever they are. Most of the major airports now have at least 3G mobile communications and they use it the same way that passengers are allowed to use their mobile phones," he said.

The current back office system is hosted by a professional hosting company, Rackspace, which holds the central database and applications. The laptops will essentially be running an offline subset of the airline's database together with their own specific data, in much the same way that anyone can use Microsoft Outlook offline, connecting and synchronising as required.

Future developments in airline training also make the EFB an attractive proposition. For example, the Alternative Training Qualification Program, a Joint Aviation Authorities initiative, is being set up to monitor the quality of training by analysing training data trends. This is designed to show how pilots are improving and developing. It also covers flight data monitoring such as fuel burn rates etc. "This is ideal for Evoke as we are already collecting all the data," he said. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.