Flight planning and flight operations functions are quickly moving from traditional pen and paper to iPads, guided in part by new applications from subscription-based service providers such as Arinc and Rockwell Collins.
Arinc began offering portions of its Arinc Direct web-based flight planning service for the iPad in October, and has steadily increased the functionality of the app in monthly upgrades. James Hardie, director of Arinc Direct's Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific operation, says 50% of the roughly 2,500 subscription holders for the service have logged in with iPads in the past month.
The latest version of the software, to be available in the iTunes store this week, provides annotation capability to the iPads, allowing pilots to update certain documents during a flight and automatically send PDF versions to the operations centre or other location upon landing.
Rockwell Collins meanwhile says it has added a document management tool to its subscription-based Ascend flight information service. The app allows customers to view and edit aircraft, airport, flight leg, training or trip documents, and will also allow schedulers and dispatchers to "push these items to crew members in the form of video, images, PDFs or other file types", the company says.