EFB Forum: The evolution of the Electronic Flight Bag

7 November 2016

Honolulu, Hawaii, is the setting for the biannual Electronic Flight Bag Users Forum. 300 attendees discussed topics included connectivity, regulatory issues, cybersecurity and new technologies that power the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Representatives of many of the world’s major airlines were in attendance.
The Forum began with an EXPO for attendees to learn more about the latest EFB trends and products. Exhibitors included Inmarsat and many of our partners, including Rockwell Collins, SITAONAIR, Cobham, Thales and Honeywell ­­– plus others developing innovative applications for the EFB.

Cockpit connectivity with SB-S

“Making the Connection”, a presentation by Inmarsat Vice President of Safety and Operations Mary McMillan, spoke about the power of satellite broadband connectivity and how it delivers the truly connected and secure EFB. This was part of a session called “EFB Security and Connectivity” which included speakers from United Airlines, Microsoft, Cobham, Boeing and UTC Aerospaces.

Mary McMillan speaking

Data in the cockpit is powered by Inmarsat connectivity using IP-based, secure SB-S. SB-S delivers real-time, in-air updates to pilot EFBs instead of having to wait for downloads on the ground. Applications include graphical weather, telemedicine, passenger data and aircraft documentation, among others. Graphical weather is predicted to be one of the most popular applications, allowing the pilot to receive real-time updates that supports dynamic routing away from bad weather or strong winds, resulting in fuel savings – with enhanced safety and passenger comfort. 

Inmarsat and Cobham power the Hawaiian Airlines EFB

The conference was hosted by Hawaiian Airlines ­­– ­with much discussion about the Inmarsat, Cobham and Rockwell Collins evaluation of SB-S and Cobham Aviator S series avionics that have been delivering benefits to Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet of 767s. Launched in June 2015, the programme is part of a FAA-sponsored technology evaluation.

During the Forum, Inmarsat and Cobham announced that Inmarsat SB-S and Cobham solutions enabled in-air Electronic Flight Bag connectivity for the first time with Hawaiian Airlines.

Watch Hawaiian Airlines pilots and Flight Operations executives talk about the benefits of SB-S below.


Earth Station tour

Inmarsat was proud to host selected leaders and conference attendees from major airlines and 11 countries  on tours of Inmarsat’s Paumalu Earth Station ­– located near the conference centre. Local manager Ananda Mishra and his team showed how the Inmarsat network delivers connectivity to Inmarsat’s aviation customers, and visitors were treated to a special view of the Inmarsat’s gateway from earth to space.

Tour of Inmarsat’s Paumalu Earth Station