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4 Ways Honeywell is Driving Big Data Efficiencies on Airbus Aircraft

4 Ways Honeywell is Driving Big Data Efficiencies on Airbus Aircraft

Honeywell’s Air Traffic Services Unit (ATSU) Airline Operational Control (AOC) software is a bit of a mouthful to be honest. But that’s OK, because the operational benefits it brings is giving airlines some real food for thought!  

The Basics!
The Air Traffic Services Unit (ATSU) provides the host platform for datalink communications and applications on Airbus A320 family, A330 and A340 aircraft. The Airline Operational Control (AOC) software facilitates the operational functionality and enables efficient airline operations through automated data reporting. The latest -513 software, which became standard forward-fit on Airbus platforms in 2019, is now available for retrofit.

1 - Reduced Communication Costs
The data fees that airlines pay to communication service providers can be substantial. By leveraging the Honeywell ATSU AOC software, airlines can reduce these data costs by setting message routing parameters to utilise lower-cost datalink channels for non-safety messages based upon the aircraft’s flight phase and where low-cost links are available. Aircraft equipped with FOMAX AoIP capabilities can send AOC messages using ACARS over Internet Protocol (AoIP) – allowing for the cost-effective transfer of larger data packages over an efficient, low-cost link.

2 - Enabling Operational Efficiency
By allowing for the collection and transfer of ‘big data’ from the aircraft, the ATSU AOC enables airlines to analyze data and identify trends across their operation that highlight areas to focus on for optimizing efficiency and productivity. This delivers actionable insights which can enhance fuel efficiency, turn-around-time performance, and optimal fleet operations.

  • Fuel efficiency can be maximized by allowing for the identification of trends on fuel usage during every stage of the flight including taxi, take-off, hold, climb, cruise, as well as any diversions.  The analysis of this data will enable the airline to identify opportunities to save fuel through the modification of Standard Operating Procedures, aircraft performance, and pilot behaviours.
  • Turn-Around-Times can be enhanced by reviewing aspects of the ground handling operation, for example the time between the doors closing to the commencement of taxi, the time from the aircraft docking at the gate to the doors opening, and the duration of the re-catering, cleaning, and cargo operations. Again, this data will provide opportunities to pinpoint areas for improvement. 

3 – Mixed Fleet Commonality
The customization capability for the ATSU AOC is now equivalent to that of the CMU MKII+ used on the Boeing 737 and other aircraft, which enables Datalink and AOC commonization for airlines with both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The structure of the AOC database is now very similar, including the number of parameters, table sizes, and database logic functions. It is possible to convert CMU MKII+ databases into ATSU AOC v25.0 databases and vice versa. This enables airlines to easily maintain AOC Applications that are similar in functionality and their crew interface for both Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

4 – Flight Tracking
The ATSU AOC is able to monitor aircraft movement and performance in line with the standard operating procedures and scheduled route to determine whether there is a deviation or an emergency situation. These include altitude or airspeed outside of safe range, vertical speed for climb or descent beyond operational norms, engine status, and loss of cabin pressure. In each case the ATSU AOC immediately starts sending aircraft position reports every 60-seconds to the airlines operating center, thereby allowing the airline to initiate safety protocols and respond to the specific needs of the aircraft situation in real time.    

The world is your oyster

With more than 1,000 new parameters enabled within the new -513 software, the ATSU AOC delivers increased flexibility, scalability, and usability. Not only does this flexibility relieve the size constraints of overly complex AOC databases, the database tables themselves have been increased to enable definitions of more downlinks, uplinks, screens and automated or user-generated actions. The new parameters and table entries can enable operational cost savings by monitoring and collecting data and then reporting it when certain conditions are met.

Malik Prashant
Customer Marketing Manager
Prashant is the Customer Marketing Manager for EMEAI Airlines business, within Honeywell Aerospace. He joined Honeywell in 2017 and is responsible for designing and implementing comprehensive marketing programs to create awareness and generate demand for Honeywell Aerospace’ suite of products and solutions.


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