SITA OnAir has announced its new EFB Weather product that sends live weather data, including turbulence, thunderstorms and icing information, directly to electronic flight bags (EFBs).
EFB Weather gives pilots the necessary information to track and avoid bad weather so they can re-route the flight to make it more efficient. Passengers benefit from a more comfortable and safer journey too.
A major unnamed European airline, with a fleet of more than 200 aircraft, is trialling EFB Weather this summer, with the aim of installing it across the entire fleet by the end of 2016.
Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir, said: “EFB Weather helps airlines to cut costs and improve the passenger experience, retaining a focus on safety.
“These three tenets are the foundation of our entire approach to the connected aircraft. We already provide the widest portfolio of nose-to-tail connectivity products and solutions, and our pipeline for new products includes innovative technology that will help airlines realise the full potential of their new-generation aircraft.”
EFB Weather gives the airline a full range of benefits, In the cockpit, it offers pilots with a graphically-optimised view, specifically designed for commercial pilots, of live weather information for the entire flight.
It provides a 4D view of the weather, covers both the horizontal and vertical planes, as well as the direction of the weather’s movement. With the whole picture, they can plan the most efficient route to avoid dynamic weather conditions, reducing fuel burn and emissions, and any potential damage to the aircraft.
This provides clear benefits for flight operations, as well as airlines’ maintenance teams.
In the cabin, EFB Weather makes for safer flights, as well as giving passengers a more comfortable and convenient journey. Bad weather can cause delays and diversions; turbulence is often uncomfortable and can exacerbate fear of flying. Avoiding bad weather, therefore, improves the passenger experience.
SITA OnAir has developed EFB Weather to be totally ubiquitous. It is therefore simple for airlines to equip all their aircraft, despite many having mixed connectivity on different aircraft types.
It can operate over either a broadband link or a narrowband ACARS link, using advanced optimisation and compression technology. It can also be updated at the gate using a 3G or 4G mobile phone data link.
It is compatible with any EFB hardware, including both Apple and Windows devices, as well as the major avionics systems.
EFB Weather takes data from multiple sources across the world to produce real-time, accurate weather data throughout the flight, complementing the data provided by weather radars.
In addition, pilots can input weather conditions. It is also compliant with ground dispatch weather overlays. In particular, it complements SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, providing weather overlays that allow collaborative decision-making between the ground and the cockpit.
EFB Weather is integrated into the A429 avionics bus to receive aircraft data, enabling direct feeds to operational flight plans, thereby reducing pilots’ workload.