Viasat Commercial Aviation Blog

Paperless Flight Deck, Viasat AeroDocs Digital Document Control for Airlines, Delivers Environmental Benefits

Go paperless, cut fuel costs, reduce emissions

Human industry and technology have increased our output of CO2 and this, in turn, is pushing up our planet's average temperature. Climate catastrophe is fast approaching, unless we can reduce our CO2 emissions. The Paris Agreement gives us a chance to slow the temperature increase.

ViaSat-Document-Management-product-pic-090317.pngThe key element of the Paris Agreement, which went into effect in November 2016, is to reduce CO2 emissions. The aviation industry has done more than most other transport sectors in tackling CO2 emissions. The new generation of engines on the A320neo and the B737 MAX deliver up to 20% in fuel burn savings. 20%! Even the winglets appearing at the tip of most aircraft wings can deliver fuel savings of 3% or more. And aircraft wings themselves are being designed to maximise lift, as the industry as a whole embraces innovation as a response to this climate challenge that faces humanity.

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Viasat innovation, in digital document control and EFB, can help airlines cut their CO2 emissions still further. And our wireless IFE software can push fuel burn down and passenger satisfaction up.

A group of 44 countries in Europe has committed to participation in a global carbon market for airlines starting in 2021. The European Union, its 28 member states and 16 other nations adopted a political declaration on emissions in Bratislava ahead of a United Nations’ aviation body meeting in September 2016. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed on how airlines are charged for carbon emissions after 2020.

We can help cut your airline's CO2 emissions

Click here for an AeroDocs Web Demo Viasat AeroDocs digital document management and control system can reduce every airline's consumption of paper, keeping more trees in the ground. The digital, paperless cockpit delivers huge environmental benefits as every aircraft will carry about 20kg less weight. That's 20kg less on every aircraft in the fleet, every flight. Think about the impact on your CASK! Think about how all these fuel savings have a long-term impact on your airline's CO2 emissions.

The paperless flight deck comes easy with AeroDocs Document Management System, which integrates perfectly with Viasat EFB or even EFBs from third party suppliers.

The shift to BYOD W-IFE (wireless delivery of in-flight entertainment content to passengers' own devices) also has a major environmental benefit. Think about the weight of all those heavy seatback screens, all the wiring that goes with them. Now consider how much fuel is expended on every flight to carry those seatback screens, when the passengers carry their own screens. W-IFE by ViaSat is designed to deliver content to passengers' own devices, with major cost savings to aircraft operators and a measurable environmental benefit.

What benefits are delivered to pilots by an integrated EFB?

EFB applications have evolved rapidly in recent years. Low-cost tablets have made EFB technology accessible to all airlines, but current EFB solutions typically require multiple standalone applications which must be managed and updated separately. Because standalone apps cannot share data, flight crew are forced to toggle between applications and re-key data between apps, which takes time, reduces focus and introduces errors.

Viasat delivers an integrated suite of digital document management and EFB apps that provides completely centralised management, end-to-end security, sharing of data across modules, and rapid access to the right information for flight crew and ground staff. Viasat software supports leaner, more efficient airline operations, greater real-time situational awareness and better long-term business intelligence.

Benefits of EFB - Electronic Flight Bag

Environmental: Less weight carried = lower fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions

co2-2.jpgBy regulation, (US) commercial pilots can fly a maximum of 1,000 hours per year which would give a yearly maximum distance flown of 450,000nm (833,400km) for longhaul, and 400,000nm for short haul pilots. A paper-based flight bag can weigh at least 25 kg, so the paperless cockpit delivers genuine financial and environmental benefits. Aviation emissions vary based on length of flight. For covering long distances, longer flights are a better investment of the high energy costs of takeoff and landing than very short flights, yet by nature of their length inevitably use much more energy. CO2 emissions from air travel range from 0.24 kg CO2 per passenger mile for short flights down to 0.18 kg CO2 per passenger mile for long flights. Using an average of 0.21 kg CO2 per passenger mile, and calculating a paper flight bag to weigh about quarter as much as the average passenger, an individual pilot using an electronic flight bag can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 23,500 kg every year. Multiply that by the number of pilots in your airline and the environmental benefits can be substantial.

Performance: Faster access to better information = improved pilot performance

Scope search across document libraries, stored annotations and highlights and a design focus on helping pilots perform better means that Viasat EFB delivers a genuine increase in cockpit efficiency and better, faster performance in time-critical situations.

Pilot Experience: World’s best user interface = increased pilot satisfaction

An interface designed by the world’s best UI experts, our heritage as the creators of the world’s first EFB app for iPad and our focus on mobile, ensure that the delivery of the ultimate pilot user experience is always our top priority.

Productivity: In-house manual authoring made easy = reduced staff costs, no need for outsourcing

Why use a bunch of people to author manuals across a range of platforms when one solution does it all? AeroDocs enables the creation and authoring of manuals and documents in PDF and XML formats, suitable for Airbus and Boeing manuals. And it’s so easy to use, your TechPubs productivity will be measurably increased. Unbelievably, some airlines still outsource document editing! We don’t see the need for all that extra cost, delay and inefficiency when the entire process can be managed comfortably in-house. This level of control also brings major security benefits.

What's next?

Request a demo of Viasat AeroDocs: 

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More information

Find out more about Viasat AeroDocs digital document control software for airlines:

Find out more about Viasat EFB, trusted by the world’s leading airlines whose pilots fly the most advanced aircraft:

Find out more about Viasat Wireless IFE and how it can rid your aircraft of heavy, complicated seatback IFE systems:

Keywords: efb, eff, electronic flight bag, electronic flight folder, AeroDocs, paperless cockpit, co2, environment, Paris Agreement, ICAO, carbon


Image credits

CO2 graphic:


This article was first posted in September 2016, and has been updated to reflect the acquisition of Arconics by Viasat and the renaming of AeroDocs as Viasat AeroDocs.