When asked, “Why an app, and why now?” James Hardie, Arinc Direct’s director for the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions, responded, “Once we realized that more than 50 percent of our subscriber base was already using the [Apple] iPad as an electronic flight bag in the cockpit, we knew that we could provide more up-to-date information, automatically, through our own app, whenever it is connected via the Internet to our servers.”
Arinc (Stand 328) customers that download the free app can receive information from Arinc that was previously only available only via aircraft avionics. The WiFi connection capability of the iPad and the true viability of the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband uplink allows adequate throughput for the data, creating a conduit for live weather radar, geo-referenced charting and constant connectivity with dispatch and flight management offices.
The app has a few functions that are unique to it. For instance, two pilot cockpits can connect the copilot and pilot’s iPads via Bluetooth, so that only one pilot needs to input updates and clearances on the flight form. While connected, both iPads will display the same information simultaneously. Annotated and amended flight plans can also be saved as PDF files and delivered directly to the flight office as a complete and accurate (and immediate) record of the flight, reducing paperwork on both ends for the operator.