• Innovation Quarterly: Customer-centered data analytics at Boeing Vancouver

    by Rachel Kelly | Jan 31, 2017


    Harvesting data is only the beginning of integrated operational problem-solving for complex organizations.

    In the era of increasing data, countless hours are spent parsing vast amounts of information, turning data into knowledge and deriving actionable data-driven insights that help customers save money, improve efficiency and minimize disruptions.

    Airline operations involve a network of airports, a fleet of aircraft and a team of employees separated by long distances. When a disruption hits, critical and immediate decisions are required. Make the wrong decision, and schedules get off track. Passengers become frustrated. Brand loyalty is on the line.

    Getting back to schedule as soon as possible requires complex coordination with various departments across the airline. When a disruptive event occurs, airlines typically go through a decision-making process that includes identifying the issue, gathering the impacts, developing, comparing and choosing a recovery solution. Finally, the chosen solution is executed.

    One of the biggest challenges faced by airlines today is the ability to view all disruptive events in one place at one time. Airlines and their operational stakeholders must constantly monitor many disparate systems in order to gain an understanding of the current operational situation, a very time consuming task. And during day-of-operations, time is one of the most valuable resources.

    What makes understanding the severity of a disruption—and how a delay will propagate downline—even more challenging is that not all delays are created equal. For example, a 180-minute delay that only affects a single flight may not be as important to mitigate as a 30-minute delay that affects several flights downline. Connecting passengers and cargo onboard also plays a big part in saving a particular flight or mitigating a specific issue.

    Boeing Vancouver Labs, which opened in September 2016, applies data analytics, rapid product development and agile software approaches to a variety of complex problems facing the aviation industry today. The intent is to deliver tangible insights and results—challenges like prognostic maintenance, fuel optimization and integrated disruption management.

    Our goal is to develop customer-centered data-analytics software solutions that are customizable, scalable and modular, so that airlines may implement them incrementally within existing complex systems, enabling a future with no surprises.

    This includes exposing and quantifying the most significant systemic sources of disruptions in an airline’s operation with root cause delay tracing, delay cost calculation and airline delay benchmarking to help airlines anonymously understand how their operation lines up against other similar airlines.

    Boeing Vancouver Labs works with Boeing’s global team, including other Boeing subsidiaries such as Jeppesen, to focus on solutions for the entire airline life cycle that are powered by analytics. This involves planning to day-of-operations to post-operations analysis, in order to help customers improve their processes, boost resource utilization and increase overall situational awareness across their entire operation.

  • Boeing’s Airplane Health Management Supports China Eastern's Fleet

    by User Not Found | Sep 29, 2014

    Last month, Boeing announced China Eastern Airlines and its subsidiaries, Shanghai Airlines and China United Airlines, are implementing Boeing’s Airplane Health Management (AHM) application to improve maintenance and engineering operations efficiency across China Eastern's rapidly growing fleets.

    Boeing and China Eastern teams have deployed AHM on 157 Next-Generation 737 airplanes. The contract extends to eventually cover AHM deployment for a total of 250 737s and 20 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes.

    About AHM

    AHM is currently used by more than 70 airline fleets worldwide to collect and evaluate airplane operations data while the airplane is in flight. Designed to interface with existing airplane systems and communication infrastructure, AHM captures real-time data and notifies ground crews of any potential maintenance issues before the airplane lands, minimizing schedule disruptions and maintenance delays, resulting in significant efficiencies and cost savings for airlines.

    Boeing Canada-AeroInfo’s Involvement in AHM Development

    Boeing Canada-AeroInfo is proud to be involved in the ongoing development of AHM. Working in close partnership with the Renton-based development team, Canadian developers have been involved in many aspects of the application, from day-to-day maintenance to new development work. They’ve impressed their U.S. counterparts sufficiently to have been awarded a Boeing Pride Award for rapidly developing a tool that enhances AHM usability. 

  • Boeing Canada-AeroInfo Helps Develop Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro for Windows 8 Tablets

    by User Not Found | Aug 11, 2014

    Last month, Jeppesen introduced industry-leading FliteDeck Pro electronic flight bag (EFB) solution for Microsoft Windows 8 tablets. Boeing Canada-AeroInfo is proud to have been involved in the software development work that made this game-changing effort happen. Working in close partnership with development teams at Jeppesen, our FliteDeck Pro team developed the UI elements for the release.

    Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro helps streamline the use of navigational information for airlines, fractional business jet operators and military fleet programs. Delta Air Lines is equipping 11,000 pilots with FliteDeck Pro on Surface 2 tablets across its fleet to increase operational efficiency. One feature that the Surface tablets deliver is the ability to open two applications side by side, something that the iPad doesn’t offer, except for apps that allow split windows. An example where this may benefit Surface users is display of weather in one window alongside another window with FliteDeck Pro.

    Flight information, including worldwide navigation charts is delivered to Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro through the JDM Pro enterprise solution. This scalable data management solution distributes encrypted operational data and documents efficiently across a Web-based system, ensuring timely and accurate delivery of current navigational and operational information to pilots and other users. In addition, JDM Pro is designed to work in concert with Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems for end-to-end control of EFB content and devices.

    In addition to highly compressed Jeppesen terminal charts, FliteDeck Pro includes data-driven enroute content, which is dynamically rendered and de-cluttered for the pilot’s task at hand. Information for all enroute charted features is immediately available, including communication information, operational notes and runway details for destination or alternate airports.

    Boeing Canada-AeroInfo congratulates Jeppesen on designing the FliteDeck Pro tool that dramatically increases the navigational efficiency of the world’s pilots – now available in both Mac iOS and Windows 8 for Surface 2 tablets.

  • Maintenance Performance Toolbox Selected by Air Canada

    by User Not Found | Apr 22, 2014

    Boeing has announced that Air Canada has signed an agreement to implement Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox to support maintenance operations for its 767, 777, 787 and 737 MAX airplane fleets.

    Boeing Canada–AeroInfo has played a key role in the development of Maintenance Performance Toolbox. The success of Toolbox in the marketplace is due in large part to AeroInfo’s continuing efforts to deliver innovation, drive costs down through process improvement and provide outstanding customer service. AeroInfo will be responsible for maintaining Toolbox into the future, and developing significant new functionality, including cloud-based full-fleet support and support for mobile devices, both of which are well underway.

    Real-time information solution for Air Canada's fleets

    The Maintenance Performance Toolbox suite delivers real-time access to information that technicians need to quickly resolve airplane maintenance issues. As part of the Toolbox deployment project, Boeing will also provide services for transition and migration of customized data from maintenance management applications currently used by Air Canada, and will enable integration with existing maintenance resource planning systems.

    "Lean practices are essential to our operations," said Alan Butterfield, Air Canada vice president of maintenance and engineering. "By implementing Maintenance Performance Toolbox, we will be moving from legacy IT to 'lean IT' solutions. As we move ahead with fleet expansion, this Boeing solution will enable us to streamline and standardize access to maintenance information."

    In addition to supporting its current fleet, Air Canada will implement Maintenance Performance Toolbox in maintenance operations for its new 787 airplanes. On April 1, Boeing and Air Canada finalized an order for 61 737 MAX airplanes. Toolbox will also be implemented for the new 737 MAX additions to the fleet as they are delivered.

    Today, more than 120 airlines rely on Maintenance Performance Toolbox to support their engineering and maintenance operations, and Boeing Canada–AeroInfo is proud to develop this innovative IT solution for today’s successful airlines.

  • Developing Mobile Solutions for Boeing Customers

    by User Not Found | Mar 12, 2014

    Boeing has been working hard to provide airline customers with streamlined, real-time access to maintenance information where line mechanics really need it – right at the airplane itself – and from their own mobile devices. Boeing Canada-AeroInfo is proud to have played an important role in the development of a suite of mobile maintenance tools that support time-critical tasks and improve maintenance turn times.

    In December, 2013, Boeing announced that Norwegian Air Shuttle had signed an agreement to implement a mobile suite that includes Maintenance Turn Time, Toolbox Mobile Library and Toolbox Mobile Parts. Two months later, Flydubai also signed up for this suite of tools that supports integration with a back-end maintenance planning system, and provides direct mobile access to the information mechanics need to quickly resolve maintenance issues.

    To be accessible from mobile devices, all that critical maintenance information first needs to be converted to a mobile-compatible format. A conversion tool developed by Boeing Canada-AeroInfo called Mobile-Reader Data Factory does that job. Working behind the scenes, Mobile-Reader Data Factory seamlessly processes and delivers all essential maintenance information so it may be viewed on a mechanic’s mobile reader via Toolbox Mobile Library.  The Mobile Reader Data Factory reformats the “big seven” Boeing source documents, the AIPC, FIM, AMM, SRM, SDS, WDM, and SSM, as well as customized airline documents, airline revisions, and customer-specific documents.

    As a part of Boeing’s Digital Aviation team, Boeing Canada-AeroInfo is committed to providing today’s airlines with the tools they need to succeed in a fast-paced and rapidly changing maintenance environment. Mobile Reader Data Factory is just one of many solutions developed here at Boeing Canada-AeroInfo that optimize maintenance operations for Boeing’s airline customers. 

  • AeroInfo Provides eLearning Support for Boeing’s e-Enabling Program

    by User Not Found | Jan 07, 2013

    Your favorite coffee shop isn’t the only place offering a reliable Wi-Fi connection and friendly advice on how to use it these days.

    Thanks to Boeing’s cutting edge e-Enabling Airline Deployment team, airline maintenance technicians can connect their laptops wirelessly to the 787 Dreamliner to perform hundreds of maintenance tasks.

    Making a Wi-Fi connection to a Boeing airplane is just one of the topics covered in the Maintenance Laptop Overview course, the result of the latest eLearning partnership between AeroInfo and Boeing. The Maintenance Laptop Overview is one of 40 eLearning courses created to familiarize airline executives, maintenance technicians, and IT personnel with the technology on the 787 that makes the Digital Airline a reality.

    These familiarization courses are an essential part of the deployment process for new 787 customers, and Boeing wants to create the best possible first impression.

    We look forward to seeking new eLearning partnerships with Boeing and others. AeroInfo eLearning team continues to support other groups within The Boeing Company, including Supplier Quality and GoldCare, by providing customized, highly engaging eLearning for both Boeing customers and employees.

    Correction: The original version of this article stated that Boeing had chosen AeroInfo to upgrade more e-Enabling courses (besides the Maintenance Laptop course) in 2013. When this article was published on January 7th, 2013, Boeing had not yet awarded AeroInfo any further eLearning business related to e-Enabling. We've edited this article to reflect the facts at the time of publication.