Lofty Goals: Airlines using Rockwell Collins’ ARINC Winds Aloft save time and money

Winds Aloft

ARINC Winds Aloft enables airlines to reduce fuel burn, decrease inflight time and improve risk management by providing the most up to date enroute winds. (Enlarge image)

Labor and fuel are two of the major costs associated with commercial aircraft operations. And because labor costs are, for the most part, fixed, managing fuel costs can mean the difference between profit and loss for an airline. That’s why Rockwell Collins’ ARINC Winds Aloft application can have a dramatic impact on cost—and efficiency—for carriers.

“ARINC Winds Aloft is a flight deck service that provides information relating to wind speed, wind direction and temperature at specified waypoints and multiple altitudes on request,” said Yun Chong, vice president, Commercial Aviation Services for Rockwell Collins. “It has the ability to make a real difference for an airline.”

When a flight plan is made, Winds Aloft is incorporated as a factor in determining the optimal route. But conditions often change – and Winds Aloft can help.

“If the flight plan was made before the most recent forecast, Winds Aloft allows a pilot to request the most up-to-date information,” notes Chong. “That information is communicated with dispatch and is used to optimize an aircraft’s route. Ultimately this has a number of benefits.”

Reducing fuel burn is one advantage of using ARINC Winds Aloft.
“Fuel costs are a major expense for airlines,” said Chong. “By understanding current atmospheric conditions, Winds Aloft helps minimize fuel burn by enabling pilots to fly the best route possible given real-time weather information.”

Winds Aloft can also help reduce in-flight time by selecting the optimal route. “Ensuring that a flight is on time means not having to deal with all of the issues – and costs – that go along with rescheduling, like making sure pilots and flight crews are available, for example.”

Wind Aloft can also improve risk management by avoiding adverse weather conditions. “Weather conditions are constantly changing, particularly during certain times of the year.Having the ability to get the most up-to-date weather information is important.”

ARINC Winds Aloft maps winds to a requested waypoint and altitude and are released every six hours. Once a request is made, the pilot only receives wind data that is relevant to his/her location in terms of altitude as well as longitude and latitude.

“ARINC Winds Aloft is an ideal solution for airlines that don’t have their own meteorological capabilities or an existing cockpit weather solution,” notes Chong. “It provides them with an opportunity to increase competitiveness by outsourcing a non-core function.”

Korean Air’s fleet benefits from using ARINC Winds Aloft
Recently, Korean Air began an ARINC Winds Aloft trial to support its A380 fleet of aircraft. Currently, the pilots are making multiple Winds Aloft requests per flight.

“The ARINC Winds Aloft service delivers accurate, enroute wind information directly to the flight deck,” said Young-Jae Jang, Managing Vice President for Korean Air. “It’s enabling us to optimize our routes, increasing our on-time accuracy and reducing fuel burn.

“We’ve been able to realize these benefits very quickly and cost effectively because ARINC Winds Aloft combines with virtually any datalink provider, datalink media and most Flight Management Systems (FMS),” continued Jang.“Installation on our A380s was quick and easy.”

While Korean Air is currently using Winds Aloft on its A380s, once the trial is successfully completed, future plans call for the expansion of the service to other type of aircraft.

A comprehensive portfolio of weather-related applications
In addition to Winds Aloft, Rockwell Collins provides a number of value- added weather services for its airline customers. “Winds Aloft is part of a ‘big picture’ for weather solutions that can directly improve safety, reduce costs and decrease flight times,” notes Chong.

“We’ve been a leader in developing innovative weather-related solutions for airlines globally for decades and we will continue to create new products and services that serve our customers. It’s just the Rockwell Collins way.”

Story posted: September 21, 2016

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