ARINC Direct enhances its web-based flight planning.

Friday 11th May 2012

ARINC Direct returns to EBACE in Geneva during 13th-16th May (Stand 328) to promote its newly enhanced web-based flight planning solution, designed to deliver improved functionality across multiple online enabled platforms.

Recently released the new look user interface promises a better experience for users, "While the web is getting faster for some users, ARINC customers today are accessing our sites from all parts of the world, even in flight. This is part of our response to that challenge," says ARINC Direct's James Hardie.

User interface is a critical part of daily operations for our customers and our work focused on understanding interaction with browsers such as Mobile Safari, as well as touch screen technology in general. ARINC Direct also has improved server functionality at its end to better manage system resources and increase capacity as it continues to add to its service offering and customer base. ARINC Direct has a family of around 10,000 users across 2500+ aircraft worldwide for its flight planning application and this has continued to increase since the launch of its iPad application last autumn.

"During our work on the iPad application we wanted to look at how our customers interacted with our web services," said Senior Director Bob Richard. "We observed that over 50% of them are now accessing our web pages via an iPad, so it was imperative we improve the optimisation of our standard online service, while continuing to develop our iPad App."

The next evolution of web services and iPad app enhancements too.

ARINC Direct sees a combination of expanded in-flight connectivity and live data feeds being made to the cockpit via an application as a natural point of development and its consistent advances in improvements and development mirror this. Coupled with robust in-flight connectivity via Swift Broadband and the arrival of the iPad app being so keenly welcomed in the cockpits of so many aircraft types - we are keen to exploit this opportunity effectively.ARINC Direct is further enhancing its iPad application with the planned launch in May of simultaneous annotation of flight plans via Bluetooth. This will enable paper reduction in the cockpit and give operators and flight departments the ability to track aircraft on a moving map display. Both of these features have been tested over recent months by a supportive beta test user group.

Since EBACE 2011 ARINC has seen the number of tails it supports in the EMEA region increase 30%. Most of the growth has been driven by the Middle East, Russia, Europe (Italy especially). Asia is also doing well, especially China. ARINC Direct has also expanded its customer support team to better serve a growing range of customers - from smaller start up operators such as Fly Vectra, based at London Oxford in the UK (and UK launch customer of the new Cessna Latitude) to established larger fleet management companies such as Eurofly.

"We are seeing a plethora of flight-deck applications enter the market on the back of the iPad and other tablets and we are duly delivering more up to date information, automatically to our own App, whenever it is connected. This has enabled information that was previously only available via aircraft avionics to be available on board from a live feed over Swift Broadband," said James Hardie. Live weather radar and other data, coupled with mapping functionality, easily enables pilots to re-route their aircraft or make other operational decisions. The easy availability of bandwidth and point to point connectivity is already starting to have an impact in areas like engine health monitoring, and Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) data delivery, he concludes.

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