Under the partnership, SITAONAIR’s new e-Aircraft® DataCapture solution will capture, dissect and deliver high-quality, immediate aircraft data, significantly bolstering performance monitoring across the airline’s Airbus aircraft. SITAONAIR’s deployment of DataCapture across this Airbus fleet began in January 2017.
The e-Aircraft® DataCapture system works by collecting, compressing and encrypting an aircraft’s Quick Access Recorder (QAR) or Digital ACMS Recorder (DAR) data, and ensures it is automatically and immediately transmitted after landing, using 3G, to a ground server provided by SITAONAIR. The complete data is then sent to Air France’s data analysis system for instant analysis and response. Many airlines manually collect aircraft post-flight and health data as part of an overnight maintenance regime, meaning a delay of hours after a flight has landed before data is retrieved. Replacing manual collection with SITAONAIR’s automatic e-Aircraft® DataCapture equips airlines with instant detailed insight into their fleets, from how aircraft are operating, to investigating incidents and performing maintenance diagnostics. This cost- and time-efficient solution also helps airlines optimize staffing resources and supports seamless transitions, which help reduce the time aircraft spend on the ground.
The service, it should be noted, does not utilize aircraft connectivity. The data transfer occurs using 3G cell communications. SITAONLINE uses the term “instant analysis and response”, but this only occurs after the aircraft is on the ground. The solution is clearly an improvement over the manual systems being used by airlines today. However, even this improvement is still not at the optimal level which would be real-time data feed. For “insight into their fleets, from how aircraft are operating, to investigating incidents and performing maintenance diagnostics” airlines are best served by having this data flow in real time. For example, predictive maintenance is organized earlier by having the data sent while the aircraft is in-flight. Especially for a large airline like Air France, so parts and engineers are at the gate to meet the aircraft. While the 3G solution is probably going to reduce time on the ground from a more manual solution, a real-time data feed would be even faster and better.