SriLankan Airlines leads Asia’s race into ‘Paperless Flight Decks’ with iPad EFBs

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SriLankan Airlines enters the new age of ‘iPad electronic flying’ by switching from using bulky mandatory paper manuals, to a sleek 662 gram iPad, as SriLankan becomes Asia’s first airline to use the iPad Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) starting 29 August 2012.

Pilots no longer need to lug 84 kilograms of paper manuals from aircraft to aircraft and from airport to airport and flip through pages, when the process is now streamlined to easy electronic searching.

UL 205 bound for Muscat is the first flight to be operated utilising iPad Class 1 EFBs which are Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) that Captain Sajith Wijesinghe (left) shows off the ‘iPad Class 1 Electronic Flight Bag’ and First Officer Chulanga De Zoysa displays a bulky flight manual that is to be replaced by the EFBstore all the information that are generally available in several paper manuals, physically carried by pilots for reference. The iPad EFB is an information management device displaying data intended primarily for flight-deck or cabin use.

“SriLankan has taken the lead in Asia to revolutionise the flight deck, realising the vision of paperless flying and becoming Asia’s first airline to fly with iPad EFBs,” said SriLankan’s Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe.

“SriLankan will be the first customer airline to commence ‘digital flying’ using the Fokker iPAD CLASS 2 installation, on the Airbus A340, A330 and A320. Effectively, the process will make flying that much easier, more efficient, accurate and greatly help the airline’s bottom line, as millions of rupees will be saved,” said SriLankan’s Chief Executive Officer, Kapila Chandrasena.

iPad EFB usage will also result in reduced weight on board and paper clutter in the cockpit; reduce fuel usage due to more accurate takeoff and landing, weight and balance calculations; improved safety with on-board performance calculations; ability to increase payload with ‘real time’ performance calculations; improved route decisions; and in the whole process, save aircraft engine lifetime.

Paul-Franck BIJOU, Quovadis CEO, said: “We are glad to be part of this initiative and to support SriLankan Airlines in moving to paperless operations. By choosing to implement both PBN and iPAD operations in 2012, SriLankan Airlines clearly shows its culture of continuous innovation.”

“Implementing an EFB also requires the definition of new roles and processes to ensure a safe transition from paper to electronic data. Already selected by SriLankan Airlines to train its flight crews and dispatchers on Performance Based Navigation, Quovadis will support SriLankan Airlines in implementing the best practices, managing its documentation in electronic format and developing its operational approval package,” ensures Quovadis.

By end October 2012, the entire technical flight crew of approximately 300 pilots will be using the iPad EFBs in the all Airbus fleet of A340s, A330s and A320 aircraft.

“Fokker Services is very proud to have such a well-known and professional airline as SriLankan as the launch customer for our EFB solution in the Asia Pacific, and also for the complete Airbus narrowbody and widebody family of aircraft,” said Raj Ramanujam, VP Marketing and Sales, Asia Pacific at Fokker Services.

“We strongly believe that this is the wave of the future and that our solution provides a cost-effective and flexible way of implementing the advantages of an EFB in any fleet. We look forward to working together with SriLankan on this exciting project.”

The ‘green’ benefits of using iPad EFBs are also immense as there will be a drastic reduction in the use of thousands of sheets of paper and printing. iPad EFB usage will save approximately 264,000 gallons of jet fuel per annum and in turn reduce tons of emissions.

SriLankan has become Asia’s first to get regulatory authorisation from Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) for the use of the EFB and has opted for the EFB solution for iPad from Fokker Services in the Airbus A320s, A330s and A340s and progressively introduce Airbus FlySmart Software to calculate aircraft performance and to refer all manuals. SriLankan will also use the JeppesonFliteDeck Pro to refer charts.

“We extend our warm congratulations to our valued customer SriLankan Airlines for obtaining authorisation to use their iPad EFB solution in operations,” said Thomas Wede, Jeppesen Senior Vice President and General Manager, Aviation.

“JeppesenFliteDeck Pro on iPad will provide increased situational awareness and reduced workload for SriLankan pilots, and will improve overall operational efficiency at the airline. We are impressed with their EFB leadership in the dynamic Asian market.”

The aircraft maintenance Logbook which is arguably the most important document of the aircraft, is transferred into the versatile iPad, touch-screen device - a breakthrough for futuristic airlines, and this too will be incorporated soon into SriLankan’s foray into iPad assisted navigation.

The LogBook brings Flight operations and maintenance work together, which can be electronically transmitted in ‘real time’ while the aircraft is still air borne. Maintenance can then correlate the entry and have the necessary support ready in double-quick time.

The versatility of the iPad will also allow to introduce many more features directly related to passengers in the future.

“Although a medium-sized airline, we are pioneering a next generation pilots’ dream, achieving a milestone in the airline’s history. The iPad EFB usage will enhance operational efficiencies and greatly contribute to providing an efficient, seamless service to passengers’ said SriLankan’s Head of Flight Operations,” Captain Navin De Silva.

The use of the iPad EFB drastically reduces job-related, error-prone paperwork. With the advancement of technology and newly certified products, visionary and futuristic airlines are realising the value of a paperless ‘cockpit’.

Installation of an iPad EFB gives SriLankan a first step into the future of Crew Information Services. The vendor will eventually offer content, applications and services that connect all the data generated by an entire flight operation -- in the air, on the ground and in the hangar -- and make it meaningful to all users: pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, operations departments, airport users and other potential customers.