IMS EMEA Newsletter Issue 4 - January 2011


ARINC Direct introduces support for safety management


Vol4-2ARINC Direct our business aviation services arm, has upgraded its widely used flight-planning service, adding a set of functions designed to enhance the safety of business jet operations.

The new applications are a response to the emergence of the safety management system (SMS) approach to fostering sound safety culture among aircraft operators. The aim is to encourage them to manage risk effectively and develop internal organizational frameworks conducive to safe operations.

The SMS concept was developed by ICAO and now much of the impetus behind its introduction comes from the FAA, which has published Advisory Circular 120-192 in preparation for making SMS mandatory in the USA from around 2012. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has set a similar deadline for voluntary compliance.

“Our customers are mostly certificated as general aviation - FAA Part 91 and Part 125 - operators,” says ARINC Direct senior business manager James Hardie. “An SMS can form the core of their whole safety effort.”

He adds: “ICAO recommends that operators of turbojet aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of more than 12,500lb should now have an SMS in place. This encompasses most if not all of our customers' jets.”

The ARINC Direct flight-planning service currently supports more than a thousand filings a day with capabilities ranging from basic Web-based planning and filing to full international trip planning. Specific functions include online fuel ordering, advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests, weather information, Notams, aeronautical charts, flight tracking and, since October, SMS-related applications.

“Our SMS-related tools are integrated with the flight-planning and weather information functions in a way that allows our customers to carry out risk assessments as they put their plans together,” Hardie explains. “In effect, we're helping them to build formal monitoring of safety-related factors and risk assessment and mitigation into their everyday operations.”

Customer response has been enthusiastic, according to Hardie: “They expect our approach to help them save a lot of time in developing and introducing their safety management systems.”

As well as flight planning and SMS, the ARINC Direct suite of services covers VHF, HF and satellite datalink communications for the cockpit, and passenger connectivity via the Inmarsat and Iridium satellite systems. The worldwide ARINC Direct customer base exceeds 2,300 aircraft. In the past year it has grown by 500 aircraft, some 150 of which came from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.



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