Rockwell Collins (Hall A, Stand 1011) is working to develop its eFlight information management solution for Singapore Airlines after the companies signed an agreement last month.

Under the terms of the contract, Rockwell Collins will implement Class 1 Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) on Singapore Airlines' Boeing 747s, and will work with Boeing to provide applications for Class 3 EFBs on Singapore's Boeing 777 fleet. Rockwell Collins will also implement the eFlight ground system to support information delivery to Singapore Airlines' fleet and to their back office systems.

Eflight promises to streamline the air-to-ground and ground-to-ground communications for the airline, facilitating the move towards a paperless cockpit.

Data such as fuel load, flight planning information, weight and balance figures and passenger information will be moved digitally from the aircraft to the airline’s back office systems, enabling staff to reconcile elements such as fuel and catering bills much faster.

The first deliveries of the eFlight system aboard Singapore’s aircraft will commence in the autumn of 2006.

Mark Harris, Rockwell Collin’s vice president of eFlight, says: “The system will really help the airline connect their aircraft with the rest of their back office business systems. The transfer of electronic information will translate into faster turn times and meaningful cost savings.

“There are, we believe, incremental improvements that can be made in the future with real-time data, such as weather and planning changes. These will be easier to implement as the industry moves towards broadband systems like Connexion by Boeing,” Harris says.

The initial application of eFlight will largely use a GPRS data connection to move data out from the aircraft while it is on the ground. Later developments will use the Connexion by Boeing satellite communication system, where fitted, to allow eFlight data to be downloaded while the aircraft is still in the air.

One year ago Rockwell Collins announced that it had signed an agreement with easyJet to develop a fleet-wide electronic flight bag (EFB) and supporting software solution for easyJet’s fleet of 54 Boeing 737 aircraft.

Mark Harris says that this application is progressing “extremely well”.

“This is a slightly different business model to Singapore’s. Easyjet’s pilots are very involved in flight planning, but still have a 20-minute turn. This is tight and eFlight will help them reduce any variation in that turn time,” says Harris. “We are through the development phase with easyJet and plan to begin installing hardware in the spring.”

NetJets has also signed a letter of intent to award Rockwell Collins a 10-year contract for implementing a fleet-wide eFlightTM information management solution. The final agreement is expected shortly.


Source: Flight Daily News