Shifting toward more digital maintenance operation is not a luxury that only major network carriers can afford. Often, it is cost-conscious LCCs that lead the way.
For example, Norwegian has been aggressive in deploying applications on pilots’ electronic flight bags (EFBs). Now it is moving to install electronic tech logs (ETLs) on these EFBs, says EFB Administrator Klaus Olsen.
For its EFBs, Norwegian uses Lenovo X1 tablets on its Boeing 737s and 737MAXs and Microsoft Surface devices on its 787s. At present it has installed applications for company documents, flight plans, notices to airmen, charts, weather, weights and balance and other functions. The airline continues to improve online functions while airborne through Wi-Fi to ensure updated weather and situational awareness.
“The number one priority with our EFB development has been functionality, improving on-time performance and minimizing workflow in cockpit,” summarizes Olsen. Another benefit of EFBs has been ensuring a high-level of operational control during the airline’s rapid growth, and help in satisfying regulators. “Our EFB portal is developed with several needs in mind, including easy fetching of reports and data when requested or during investigations.”
Olsen is interested in any new EFB application that will increase on-time performance and reduce the pilot’s workload. Any application that can relieve pilots from handling paper may save five minutes of time and enable and aircraft to depart on time.
But mechanic productivity is also important, and Olsen says ETLs will save time and efforts on the part of mechanics. “We will not have mechanics running up and down from the cockpits, they will receive all the information they need without stepping into aircraft.”
Once Norwegian decides on a new EFB application it must choose whether to develop it in-house or buy from a vendor. So far, it has worked with one vendor on EFB applications, but received largely customized apps from this vendor.