Icelandair still in selection process for EFB programme

An artist's impression of an IcelandAir 787 in flight. Image: Boeing.
An artist’s impression of an Icelandair 787 in flight. Image: Boeing.

Icelandair is still looking for a supplier or suppliers for its electronic flight bag (EFB) upgrade programme.

Captain Gretar Mar Odinsson, Boeing 757 pilot and EFB administrator, Icelandair, told the 2014 Aircraft eEnablement (Connectivity and IFE) Conference that it is finding it difficult to find one supplier to cover all its needs.

Odinsson said: “We gathered needs and requirements from our sales, marketing, technical operations and other devisions. From this we realised that a common app-based approach was not really appropriate.

“We also saw an opportunity to automate a lot of the manual processes that we have been doing a long time. As an airline we see a value in the data that is not being collected systematically.

“By focusing on data the need for an integrated system aboard the aircraft became clearer. The EFB project then became a component of an overarching e-enablement strategy.”

But having issued an RFP for the programme Odinsson said that they could not find a single supplier to cover all the airline’s needs.

“We created a functional RFP with a specific invitation for suppliers to innovate. But most of the responses were product-focused – mostly app-based, communications-based or single-component responses,” he said.

“The suppliers appeared to be not ready or comfortable with functionally-specified or systems-based solutions. There was also a reluctance to work with others.

“We didn’t expect a single supplier to provide the whole solution, but we were surprised to see that suppliers were not prepared to join together to provide one,” Odinsson concluded

Captain Michael Bryan, Closed Loop Consulting, added: “There is an advantage in looking at an EFB as a system. This consists of people, structures and processes that work together to create organisational outcomes.

“But technology doesn’t drive the system – people drive the system.

“The point we need to make is that we need to look at problems as a whole – not as a specific system. It demands a holistic strategy,” he said.

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