Cobham SATCOM and WxOps Inc. have supplied systems and software to support Hawaiian Airlines new Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) program.
To create the airplane-dispatch network called ‘eFLIE,’ Hawaiian reached out to Cobham for the satellite communication terminals and WxOps for Command, Control, Communications & Computer (C4) systems. The Cobham SATCOM system provides a single channel of SwiftBroadband Safety with prioritized ACARS/FANS over IP. The system also provides a background IP channel used for dispatch and flight crews to exchange higher bandwidth data in interesting new ways. Hawaiian's EFB system was designed to create an information sharing network to enhance safety and fuel management in real time during all phases of flight.
Inmarsat SwiftBroadband Safety (SB-S) background channel of IP enables new capabilities including airplane to airplane chat, dispatch/airplane networking and transfer of larger operational and graphic files including weather both surface and aloft, the current ATC environment and up to date airport information.
As an enthusiastic adopter of FANS and CPDLC, Hawaiian recognized the benefits of a connected cockpit and improvement to the man-machine interface are possible. It was established that over the oceans the use of spaced base ADS-B and ADS-C would be needed, but the data elements contained in these ADS position reports could be enhanced. To supplement, Hawaiian pulls data derived directly from each airplane and distributes this data across its airplane to airplane network and dispatch. Aircraft data currently being tested includes: ARINC 834, ARINC 429, ARINC 717.
Last year, Cobham SATCOM announced that their AVIATOR 300D enabled in-air connected EFBs for the first time over Inmarsat’s new SwiftBroadband Safety (SB-S). The real time EFB capability was achieved as part of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supervised technology evaluation on the flight deck.
Mark Spence, WxOps CEO, said that all the partners on this project have been working really hard and the results at the half way point of the project are excellent.
Cobham SATCOM Air Transport Sales Manager Brian Anderson, who works closely with Hawaiian, also added that the AVIATOR 300D system provides one system capable of both AOC IP data and ACARS/FANS over IP along with ICAO safety voice, all from a 2 MCU LRU.
Ken Rewick, VP Operations at Hawaiian Airlines, noted that the outcome of this program will result in some of the closest monitored aircraft in the world with the ability to see real bottom line ROI’s for operational efficiencies.