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Air Canada Uses Leading Edge Technology to Pioneer Flight Safety Program in Canada

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 23 October 2002

This fall, Air Canada will become the first airline in Canada to use state-of-the-art technology to bring further safety enhancements to its flight operations. In November 2002, when Air Canada implements the country's first Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) program, the carrier will begin automatically collecting data on a real-time basis for subsequent processing and analyzing. Expected benefits from the FOQA program include: improvements to operating and training procedures, revisions to airport and Air Traffic Control procedures, improved engine and aircraft performance assessment and fuel cost savings.

The Air Canada FOQA program will initially monitor the operation of the carrier's entire North American Airbus fleet comprised of approximately 110 Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. Additional fleets will be added to the carrier's FOQA program over the coming years. This significant multi-million dollar commitment involves the processing and analysis of approximately 27,000 flight hours of data per month, using more than 2,000 parameters captured on each flight.

Technology providers include Austin Digital, Inc. for data analysis and measurement application software and Ottawa-based Spirent Systems for animation software as well as expertise in data collection. 

"Our investment in developing Canada's first Flight Operations Quality Assurance program underlines Air Canada's commitment to maintain the highest safety and efficiency standards for our flight operations," said Captain Rob Giguere, Executive Vice President, Operations. "Specialists from Air Canada's Flight Operations, Technical Services as well as the Air Canada Pilots' Association have worked together with the industry to develop this leading- edge safety tool reflecting Air Canada's position as a leader in aviation safety."

The FOQA system is designed to improve flight safety by providing more information about, and greater insight into, the total operations environment through the automated recording and analysis of data generated during flight. Since initiating the project in 1997, Air Canada has worked with Transport Canada's Transportation Development Centre, the carrier's Star Alliance partners and other airlines to help develop this valuable safety tool.

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