Steve Nichols  

SITA is showing airshow visitors how its latest IT and telecommunication systems can cut aircraft operating costs and increase operating efficiencies.  

The company (Hall 1, Stand D37) is using Farnborough to demonstrate its AeroNet intranet service and launch its publicly-accessible web site (  

Designed as a comprehensive information resource for its customers, AeroNet is the world's first community intranet for the aerospace and air transport community. 

With access from more than 1,500 cities in 220 countries, AeroNet uses SITA's global network and a conventional, easy-to-use Internet browser to deliver technical and other information to the desktop.  

Being intranet-based means that AeroNet is much faster than an average internet connection. It delivers information which is only of interest to the aerospace industry.  

AeroNet provides access to manufacturers' technical databases, such as Boeing's On-Line Data (BOLD) maintenance information service. Data on airframe, aero-engines, avionics, airports, maintenance and overhaul companies can all be accessed via AeroNet too.  

A productivity model product by the Technical Information and Communications Committee showed that annual savings of about $200,000 per aircraft can be made by using digital data, rather than conventional media.  


Nigel Pickford, SITA's aerospace sector manager, says: "Boeing alone sends out more than a quarter of a million microfiches each year.  

"By digitising the information and making it available globally, the cost savings are enormous and ease of access is greatly improved," he says.  

As an example, Cathay Pacific calculated that its staff access the Boeing database 1,500 times a day via AeroNet and produce more than 600 printouts. Formerly, this information was only available via microfiche, making printouts costly and time consuming.  

AeroNet was recently selected by Royal Air Maroc and Egyptair to provide access to Boeing's BOLD database, replacing their paper, microfilm and CD-ROM systems in the process.  

SITA's website is also being launched here. It boasts the latest industry news, as well as details of AeroNet and demonstrations of the company's other services.  

The company is also demonstrating its SkySwitch service which integrates aircraft data with ground operations. Using information received from both VHF and satellite links, an aircraft's "health" can be diagnosed while it is still in the air.  

This means maintenance can be planned in advance of landing, reducing ground time and cutting costs.  

SITA's data conferencing service is also being demonstrated. This allows remote users to share and work simultaneously on documents and data files wherever they are in the world. The "Virtual Workplace" allows technical drawings, photographs, spreadsheets, documents and even whiteboards to be shared over a global network.  

SITA is one of the world's leading providers of global telecommunications solutions to the air transport industry, with more than 650 customers in 200 countries.  

Its telecommunications systems are used by major international airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. Its integrated IT systems have been developed in association with Boeing, General Electric, Pratt & Witney and Rolls-Royce.

Source: Flight Daily News