AirAsia has contracted Thales to provide long-term repair-by-the-hour support for the avionics systems Thales and its ACSS joint venture with L3 Aviation Products will provide for the 304 Airbus A320neos the Asian low-cost carrier group has ordered.
Thales will equip AirAsia’s 304 A320neos--deliveries of which began last October--with its TopFlight flight management system (FMS), along with the Thales/ACSS T3CAS Surveillance platform. ACSS (Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems) is 70 percent-owned by L3 Aviation Products and 30 percent-owned by Thales.
Each A320neo in AirAsia’s fleet also will have a Thales low-range radio altimeter and a Thales emergency location transmitters installed.
“The Asian aviation market is one of the most competitive in the world. Carriers like AirAsia must strive to the highest levels of aircraft utilization and efficiency in order to succeed,” says Eric Huber, Thales’ vice-president and general manager of avionics services worldwide.
According to Thales, the range of avionics and component maintenance services it has developed, such as its “Repair By The Hour” and “Avionics By The Hour” programs, has proved to be successful in serving the specific needs of its customer base in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Paris-headquartered aerospace group is no stranger to AirAsia, having partnered with Asia’s largest low-cost carrier since 2005. The airline not only has installed Thales systems in all of the group’s 200 existing A320s, but it also has selected the French company to provide all maintenance and support operations for the systems if produces.
According to Thales, its TopFlight FMS has won approximately a 70 percent market share on the Airbus A320neo and A330neo families to date. Thales claims its FMS has several key differentiating features compared with competing flight management systems, including “what you see is what you fly” technology and temporary flight plan capability.
Thales’ TopFlight FMS includes the latest certified Airbus Release 1A software. According to the company, its FMS offers flight crews unique features such as secondary flight plan and realistic navigation trajectory computations, along with FMS landing system capabilities.
The Thales/ACSS T3CAS Surveillance platform integrates a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) and a transponder in a single six-microcontroller unit (6 MCU) box on Airbus single-aisle aircraft.
T3CAS offers Required Navigation Performance--Authorization Required (RNP AR), Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness (ADS-B IN ATSAW) capability, full compliance with Airbus’ Runway Overrun Protection System (ROPS) and the first ADS-B OUT DO-260B compliant transponder on the market, according to Thales and ACSS.
The performance-based TAWS embedded in the T3CAS Surveillance platform uses a high-resolution terrain database that will allow equipped aircraft to perform RNP AR approaches to airports located in challenging mountainous terrain.
T3CAS is compliant with existing and future ATM requirements in Europe, the U.S. and Asia Pacific regions and opens the way for ADS-B IN capabilities, according to Thales.
In addition to offering integrated TCAS Change 7.1 and performance-based TAWS capabilities, along with an ADS-B-capable transponder, T3CAS also offers a full range of Airbus ADS-B IN functions such as ATSA-AIRB (enhanced Air Traffic Surveillance) and ATSA-ITP (In Trail Procedure) for the manufacturer’s single-aisle aircraft and widebodies.