This article was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of OnWindows
Fuel is possibly the biggest headache for the airline industry. It’s the largest operational expenditure, so anything that can lighten the load of an aircraft and lower consumption is welcome. This is why passenger luggage is so carefully weighed and even pilots’ hand baggage scrutinised. Historically, pilots have had little option but to carry large trolleys onto planes with documentation and regulations describing route plans and emergency procedures. But thankfully this is changing with the development of electronic flight bags (EFBs).
Malmö Aviation in Sweden is one company that has decided to roll out EFBs. The timing was perfect since the organisation was purchasing new aircraft from Bombardier to supersede its existing AVRO fleet. At the time of the project, the airline had also begun standardising its IT on Dell technology and so Malmö Aviation approached Dell for a possible solution.
After talking to the IT solution provider, Malmö Aviation decided to implement Dell tablets – backed by Dell OEM Solutions – as part of an EFB solution that also includes navAero devices. Dell has extensive experience with the aviation industry and provides a complete set of services, including Dell ProSupport for OEM, around the commercial-grade navAero tablet, which runs on Microsoft Windows 8.0 Professional.
“We saw that Dell OEM would ensure our tablet devices complied with regulations such as the DO-160G industry accreditation,” says Anderz Forzelius, captain and flight department IT officer at Malmö Aviation. “We could also rely on Dell OEM to understand our business priorities and interest in EFB solutions.”
Things are different at Malmö Aviation today. The airline is now using Dell Latitude 10 tablets on three aircraft that didn’t already have a navAero EFB operating. Currently, the airline is looking to update the tablets to Dell Venue 11 Pro tablets.
“We believe the Dell tablets are a key part of our EFB programme. They’re helping pilots work more effectively on the ground and will eventually support all areas of flight operations,” says Forzelius. Feedback from pilots has been unanimous. “They love the Dell tablets. I regularly get pilots dropping by and saying how much easier they are to work with.”
The tablets are delivering reliable performance day in and day out. Each one comes with Windows 8.0 Professional, OEM support, spare batteries and business-grade security. “The support for our Dell tablets is very good,” says Forzelius. “They are very stable and if something goes wrong they are simple to replace.”
The information gathered via the tablets is crucial to the airline’s operations. They help create reports based on flight data, which are fed into the central systems. Staff then use the reports to determine operations like fuel procurement and scheduling. “It’s all crucial information,” says Forzelius. “Because our Dell OEM tablets are helping us capture so much data quickly and with far fewer errors, our performance as an airline will continue to improve.”
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