All eyes will be on the "" companies at this year's Farnborough. With the recent poor showings in the retail sector, analysts are predicting that there may be just too many companies fishing in the aviation pond to survive.

But that isn't going to stop Honeywell, Boeing, SITA, AAR and others from trying to persuade visitors that their portal is the one to bookmark. In the same way that a week is a long time in politics, a few months is an awfully long time in the turbulent "" industry.

Steve Nichols

The launch of Myaircraft -Honeywell's e-commerce offering - has been delayed until the third quarter of 2000. In the last few weeks Honeywell has signed definitive agreements with partners i2 Technologies and United Technologies, but paperwork and European Commission red tape means the site won't be up until the autumn.

"If you have ever created a new company you'll know just how much paperwork there is to get through," says Jim Taiclet, president of the company's Aerospace Services division.

"We had a foot and a half stack of documents to put together and for us to do business in Europe or with EC-based customers we needed approval from the EC."

Visitors to currently see a holding page, but Taiclet says that the group's technology experts are frantically putting together the software, servers and networks needed to get the project up and running.

"We're moving forward at the right pace and will go straight to what would have been the second phase of the web site this autumn," says Taiclet. "The technical solution is essentially ready, but we can't put it up for commercial use yet until the approval is granted.


"It's a contingency we were aware of, but we've got more and more partners and suppliers lined up and as soon as approval comes through we can go public on who they are. "Myaircraft will present a customised set of choices to a user, based on their fleet of aircraft. Ultimately, you will be able to go in by tail number and get everything you need for that aircraft."

"Initially you'll be able to find, buy and sell materials and R&O type services. But in the future you will be able to put inventory, planning and management on a similar tool, which is where i2 Technologies expertise really comes into its own," says Taiclet.Future options will include supply chain management, e-procurement, technical publications and a community of interest area complete with links to other aerospace industry sites. Taiclet stresses that Honeywell is not doing Myaircraft because it is "an interesting 'dot-com' thing. "We're doing it because if you want to get closer to your customer you need to be an information services provider as well as an activities provider. It's part of our core strategy to get closer to our customers and e-commerce is the best way to do it," he concludes.

Honeywell recently dropped the ".com" suffix from the project's name to show that it is "a real company with deep pockets," says vice-president Scott Clements.

Source: Flight Daily News