Spidertracks, the world’s leading aircraft tracking provider, are set to shake things up next week with their announcement of four new features at HAI Heli-Expo in Kentucky. The new features are centered on delivering more data to the operator in a more useful and meaningful way to optimize their business. Benefits include enhanced safety management capabilities, some basic flight data monitoring, operational messaging, and the ability to better utilise resources and ultimately put dollars on their bottom line.
Spidertracks' CEO Dave Blackwell says the new features represent a value-driven approach to giving operators useful data that can be used in a wider range of business requirements.
"As real-time tracking becomes more of a requirement in everyday flying operations around the world, there needs to be more value from providers than just showing where an aircraft is on a map. We want our users to know how an aircraft is flying when they can't see it, and we want them to have access to the information they need – like OOOI-type operational messages and upcoming bookings for aircraft and crew. Information that businesses can then use to increase their fleet's utilisation and prevent unnecessary maintenance and repairs.
"What's different is that we're providing that data in ways operators are used to using. Instead of looking at a fleet as ten or twenty separate aircraft, we've taken a step back and looked at the bigger picture to give that operator more, and more valuable information. In many cases we're providing more data than before, for less money."
The four features are each targeted at reducing a specific pain point for operators and vary from financial simplification to a whole new stream of data being collected from the aircraft.
- Spidertxt 2 - A bundled two-way operational messaging system through a smartphone to the Spidertracks platform. Spidertxt provides secure and reliable communication to the aircraft’s cockpit from anywhere in the world. Spidertxt itself isn't a new feature for Spidertracks, but what is new is the way operators can bundle messages in advance and reduce messaging costs by up to 87%. Benefits of Spidertxt to the operator include having no additional hardware cost to use Spidertxt, it's ability to pair with both iOS and Android devices, and the global coverage of Spidertxt through the Iridium satellite network.
- Virtual FDR - A flight data monitoring add-on for Spider 6 and Spider 7, captures data on nines axes (three-axis Gyro, accelerometer, and compass) at a 1Hz sampling rate and is recorded onto the Spider. The operator is easily able to transfer the data from the Spider to the cloud platform where it is overlaid onto existing satellite tracks. Aircraft don’t often have accidents from part failure, but they do when someone isn’t flying correctly – the value in Virtual FDR is that operators are able to see how their assets are being operated when they're not physically in the aircraft. The benefits of Virtual FDR include the ability for operators to verify the trust in their pilots, improve operational insight, enhance their SMS program with actionable data, and identify trends in pilot behavior.
- Scheduling - An add-on that allows operations to schedule assets in advance, assign fight information, and package information about each fight. With Scheduling, operators are able to easily manage upcoming flights and crew assignments which increases their asset utilisation, and puts more money in their bank. The benefit of Scheduling for operators is their ability to see where their assets are going to be, not just where they have been, forecast upcoming revenue from bookings, publicly display asset bookings,and remotely assign flight information for upcoming flights.
- Aircraft Tracking as a Service (ATaaS) - A pay-as-you-use-it service in which the hardware is included. Best-suited for fleets who regularly operate high flying hours. Not a rental. Not a lease. Simple. ATaaS is aircraft tracking and management as you need it, without the capital outlay. There are two options within ATaaS, a fixed monthly rate for operators with balanced levels of utilisation across the year or a "Tracking by the Hour" rate for operators that have high monthly variance in their usage.