Posted on: 04 September 2015 by Mark Howells
By implementing a new GroundLink AID+ feature, Austrian Airlines has become the first airline to use a single device – the GroundLink Comm+ system from Teledyne Controls – to collect and manage flight data as well as enable the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) system connectivity and ACARS over IP.
Teledyne’s GroundLink system, which is certified by both Airbus and Boeing, has recently been updated to include Aircraft Interface Device (AID) capability via a software upgrade to the GroundLink Comm+ Unit.As a result, no additional AID device needs to be installed and, because the device uses cellular media to transmit data including EFB and ACARS data, no additional communication costs are involved. The first
installation will commence on Austrian Airlines’ fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft by the end of 2015.
The GroundLink system connects via Ethernet with Austrian Airlines’ Microsoft Surface Pro 3 EFBs, giving pilots access to aircraft avionics data and data store as well as ACARS systems and cockpit printers.
“Our EFB system enables us to synchronise a wide range of the latest data, information and flight-related documentation prior to flight, meaning it is then available offline during flight,” explained Philipp Haller, A320 captain and EFB administrator at Austrian Airlines. “The immediate availability of manuals, charts or checklists enormously increases the ability to take action in the air.”
Hans-Jürgen Neufert, regional director, sales and service, Teledyne Controls, says GroundLink AID+ “takes the challenge of connectivity and communication across multiple devices and effectively solves it. Not only does our system add essential EFB support services to the GroundLink Comm+ unit, but it also gives pilots a level of functionality and support that could help dramatically improve flight operations.”
The GroundLink AID+ function extends the investments Austrian has already made in the GroundLink Comm+ provisions and hardware for applications such as automated wireless flight data download and wireless distribution of software parts across the fleet.