Hong Kong’s flag carrier has unveiled its new digital flight and weather application to enable its pilots to go paperless in the cockpit.
As each of the airline’s 525 daily flights used to carry up to 70kg, manuals and paperwork per trip, the company estimates the elimination of paper will save 1 million litres of fuel a year, while also reducing carbon emissions.
The interactive platform will hand pilots a digital version of pre-flight briefing notes and material, and tools to monitor flight progress, navigation, fuel logs, weather data and a host of other relevant things – making it easier for them to make decisions before and during a flight.
The platform also includes a digital weather system, called “MyFlightWx”, created by Hong Kong Observatory.
Many major airlines have already scrapped paper manuals for the cockpit. Hong Kong Airlines is also trialling paperless cockpits.
The CEO and Service Delivery Officer of the airline stated that the new app would enable its crews to undertake challenging roles digitally and more efficiently, adding that the app is a part of the company’s wider digital transformation efficiency effort, aimed at saving costs.
All of the 73-year-old company’s passenger and cargo airlines have started using the paperless system, except the newly acquired HK Express, which will transition over to the company’s suppliers and systems over time.
Airlines across the globe are under pressure to do more for the environment in the wake of “flygskam” or flight shaming, started by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, a movement that has won broad appeal around the world.
The Hong Kong flag carrier now flies one of the most fuel-efficient long-haul passenger aircraft fleets, including 36 Airbus A350s out of a total of more than 230 aircraft.
The Line Operations Manager of Flight Operations at the airline stated that the app made it easier for pilots to search for information than flicking through 200 pages. The elimination of all manuals in the cockpit would translate into a “significant” weight saving.
In addition, pilots will also make better in-flight decisions on where to take a shorter routing or when to take advantage of the weather to fly.
The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory hailed the airline’s four-year effort to digitise pilot weather information, describing it as an “excellent example of science, innovation and collaboration”.
The airline has also made efforts to report and analyse in-flight turbulence. It’s about 70 Boeing 777s send turbulence data to the observatory for analysis, helping pilots to be better aware of bumpier flights ahead.
Pushing Greentech in All its Forms
In August 2019, OpenGov Asia reported that Hong Kong organised Green I&T Day, which showcased Hong Kong’s innovation and technology achievements in energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable energy.
Smart applications using I&T would help achieve the targets to help mitigate climate change. The Government vowed to lead by example and encourage the community to take part in promoting energy-saving initiatives and renewable energy development.
The aim is to promote public awareness on energy conservation and the use of RE by various sectors of the community through the application of I&T.
The Government, therefore, encourages extensively collaboration with academia and industry players to promote I&T related to electrical and mechanical services.
This latest digital system developed by Hong Kong’s flagship carrier will likely the latest I&T solutions to various stakeholders’ attention, thereby making it easier to push for more Greentech solutions.