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Delta builds case for substantial 'FOCIS' IT strategy

Delta Air Lines is in the process of building a business case for developing an information system that harnesses in-flight connectivity and can be incorporated into its airline operations.

The so-called FOCIS project or Future Operations Communications Information System would be "used across operational divisions like flight operations, ramp operations, in-flight services, dispatchers, and maintenance personnel", says Delta in a letter requesting vendor participation in a two-day event that will serve as a platform for discussing FOCIS.

The letter, obtained by ATI and Flight Global, further states: "A key component to this system will be an aircraft PC or what you probably refer to as an Electrical Flight Bag (EFB). I try and avoid the term EFB because the term leaves the impression that this evolving technology is all about removing the pilot flight bag kit. That is not the primary emphasis of the business case or this information system. Delta is looking beyond the immediate desires of the cockpit. Delta is looking at this system development with a long term point of view."

Delta is currently equipping its entire mainline domestic fleet with Aircell's Gogo broadband system. A source says the carrier wants to view each of its aircraft as a node on its network as part of FOCIS. Each individual Delta department could connect to the aircraft to make sure things are operating in the most efficient manner.

Delta could not provide immediate comment.

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