Airlines throughout the world are expanding their use of information technology (IT)
within their maintenance, engineering, and flight operations organizations. The use of IT to integrate airline systems is called “e-Enabling.” E-Enabling offers a number of potential benefits, including greater efficiency and improved airline operations. Boeing offers several e-Enabled tools and services, as well as the expertise and guidance to help airlines implement and integrate e-Enabled systems.
By Robert Rencher, Senior Systems Engineer, Associate Technical Fellow
Boeing has developed a number of e-Enabled solutions that help airlines improve their performance and enhance operational efficiences.
As airlines continue to look for efficiencies in every aspect of their operations, e-Enabling is being implemented at an increasing pace. A well-designed information systems architecture is the foundation for an e-Enabled airline. This systems architecture enables the airline to efficiently implement and maintain integrated business systems. The results are a substantial improvement in technical dispatch reliability and a reduction in maintenance and operations costs. A key value is the integrated business process flows and the availability of timely information for improved decision support and performance support.
E-Enabled IT systems can take many forms, from replacing printed manuals and other documents with electronic versions to gathering and evaluating in-flight data on the real-time flying condition of airplanes. This article discusses the key elements of an e-Enabled strategy, some of the e-Enabled tools and services available from Boeing, Boeing’s e-Enabled system integration capabilities, and two methodologies for assessing airlines’ readiness for e-Enabling.
KEY ELEMENTS OF AN E-ENABLED STRATEGY
The e-Enabled environment creates opportunities to establish new business processes, many of which will become operationally critical to the airline. As a result, it is important to have an overall strategy in place to guide e-Enabling efforts. Boeing has identified these key elements of any e-Enabled strategy:
- Define and support an enterprise systems architecture as a method to review and simplify business processes prior to automation.
- Establish information management practices to achieve higher levels of system integration.
- Identify integration objectives for organizational, process information, and IT systems.
- Incorporate historical system use and planning information to establish business function baselines and to project future system utilization.
- Deliver value through reduced operating costs, higher efficiency and safety, better airplane and fleet utilization, and improved passenger experience.
- Integrate air and ground information systems to achieve optimal operational efficiency.
- Establish an IT infrastructure that supports the operational objectives of the airline.