SkyService Business Aviation increases efficiency and productivity by using a rugged electronic flight bag Skyservice, a Canadian business aviation services enterprise and Canada’s largest corporate flight department, working with CLICK-into Inc., a leading Canadian IT solutions integrator and services provider, eliminated up to 130 pounds of on board paperwork and significantly increased its efficiency and productivity by deploying an electronic flight bag (EFB) system that includes rugged tablet PCs from General Dynamics Itronix and content management software from On Board Data Systems (OBDS).
Solution General Dynamics Itronix DuoTouch® and DuoTouch® II Rugged Tablet PCs Electronic Flight Bag software from On Board Data Systems Systems integration services from CLICK-into Inc.
Application Rugged, lightweight, portable tablet PC with superior screen viewability and wireless connectivity, combined with Internet-based content management system, increases airline’s operational efficiency and pilot productivity Operational Data Requirements • Portable electronic repository for manuals, guides and procedures • On-board electronic library • Operational procedures including weight and balance, aircraft maintenance
Overview Skyservice is a dynamic Canadian aviation enterprise servicing the needs of Canadian travellers and the business aviation community. Skyservice provides a full range of business aircraft services and maintenance , as well as Skyservice Lifeguard, a leading worldwide air ambulance and medical transport service. It operates more than 50 aircraft of more than 20 types, and maintains 30 more aircraft. They provide manufacturer-approved service and support for four aircraft manufacturers and two avionics manufacturers. As part of its standard operating procedures and to meet Transport Canada regulatory requirements, Skyservice must keep all of the operations manuals, pilot guides, etc updated on an ongoing basis, and the Jeppesen aviation charts that need to be amended every two weeks.
SkyService Business Aviation increases efficiency and productivity by using a rugged electronic flight bag Problem: Operational inefficiencies and too much paper shuffling in the cockpit Prior to implementing an EFB system, all charts and maps were maintained in multiple 3-inch binders, and many aircraft manuals and pilot guides were stored in and near the aircraft cockpits. Pilots relied on the paper system for airport diagrams, information on noise abatement issues, de-icing procedures, runway use, takeoff and approach planning, and more. For each flight, pilots might need to refer to 9 or 10 different pages in various binders. With little room in the cockpit, working with paper charts and graphs, as well as storing multiple binders, was becoming increasingly problematic. Also, carrying sufficient charts to conduct operations worldwide took up a great deal of limited storage space. To update the binders, Skyservice pilots would manually insert and replace pages, often carrying the binders into their hotel rooms to complete the task. Skyservice wanted to move all of the paper-based charts, maps and manuals to an electronic device that had a screen that was large enough to display maps and diagrams, was extremely portable, and could handle turbulent and cramped flight conditions. Laptops weren’t an option because opening and closing the lid and using a keyboard in the small surroundings of a cockpit would be impractical.
Solution: Replace binders with a wireless tablet PC that could serve as an electronic flight bag Skyservice partnered with CLICK-into, Inc., a premier provider of mobile computing solutions, to select and implement a rugged, lightweight, mobile computing solution that addressed the company’s unique requirements and complied with flight aviation certification as well as Transport Canada regulations. Skyservice also needed a solution that could fully integrate the EFB software from OBDS, to provide software management, control and security. Skyservice and CLICK-into ultimately determined that the size, durability, and integrated wireless capabilities of the General Dynamics Itronix DuoTouch II rugged tablet PC best met the their needs. Designed to support mobile workers in a variety of industries, the DuoTouch II is the most compact and lightweight tablet PC in the rugged category. It supports up to three wireless networks concurrently, ensuring the seamless connectivity that Skyservice required, and supports a real time GPS feature that offers supplementary and enhanced situation awareness. The General Dynamics Itronix tablet PC allows users to switch from active stylus to touch screen for rapid data input and great flexibility. Having a stylus made the DuoTouch a logical replacement to the pen and clipboard system the pilots were accustomed to using. The new patent-pending DynaVue display technology, integrated into all General Dynamic Itronix rugged computing devices, greatly enhances screen viewability in a wide range of lighting conditions without sacrificing battery life and processor performance, making it practical for use in or out of the cockpit.
“We chose the General Dynamics Itronix rugged tablet PC as the platform for our EFB and OBDS software because it offered the right mix of quality, durability, size and value,” said BC Campbell, Vice-President Flight Operations for Skyservice Business Aviation. “We were impressed with its robustness and reliability, by the service and support provided by General Dynamics Itronix, as well as their willingness to work closely with our software integration team at OBDS.”
Results Today, Skyservice uses General Dynamics Itronix rugged tablet PCs and OBDS software as an electronic library for the aircraft and repository for the entire collection of aviation manuals, pilot guides, and Jeppesen charts. By using the tablet PCs to electronically update information, Skyservice has increased its operational efficiency and improved pilot productivity. The 3.7-pound EFB has replaced about 130 pounds of binders, manuals and documents. In addition, the company has further reduced costs by eliminating the need to ship printed copies of manuals and other paperwork to individual pilots, not to mention a positive environmental impact. “The productivity increases that have come from replacing our paper-based library of flight manuals, charts, and maps with an electronic EFB have allowed us to enjoy significant operational improvements,” said Campbell. “The General Dynamics Itronix tablet PCs, unlike others we considered, offered the perfect combination of a lightweight, compact design, optimum screen viewability, and robust capabilities. Their support to our complex operation has been first class.”
January 2009 General Dynamics Itronix | 800.441.1306 | 509.624.6600 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.gd-itronix.com © 2009 General Dynamics. All rights reserved.