DALLAS – There is an old joke in aviation that the industry supports dot matrix printer manufacturers to this day.
Of course, that is not actually true, but it is always funny in the terminal when even some passengers notice that much of the flight paperwork is still printed on dot matrix paper, with flight plans rattling off an aging printer and seeing a pilot or gate agent standing over such a contraption trying to make the paper fold correctly.
The industry is slowly trending towards electronic flight releases and maintenance logs, and there are a few vendors that produce such software for day-to-day operations.
Airways was recently given a demonstration of TrustFlight, which consists of a portfolio of different integrated software products to modernize an airline’s or air operator’s certificate management in all aspects, from dispatch to maintenance record keeping.
TrustFlight was founded by pilots, for pilots and managers. Its portfolio consists of Centrik SMS, the Digital Engine Log, an MEL (Minimum Equipment List) Manager, AOC Services, and an Electronic Tech Log. TrustFlight has operations specialists in both North America and Europe to provide worldwide service and support for its clients.
A typical flight will have multiple documents that either need to be on board in paper form or verified electronically. Over the last few years, airlines have begun transitioning to paperless flight decks. However, given the slow nature of regulatory processes worldwide, these transitions tend to be partial and slow.
TrustFlight aims to change that, providing essentially a one-stop shop for electronic management of all flight elements, from flight safety (SMS), to dispatch (flight planning), and maintenance (engine monitoring and an integrated MEL).
“What’s fascinating to me is that we even have country-level regulators that are using our tools, such as Centrik, for management of their own internal processes,” Steeves said. “From the regulators to business jet operators, to airlines and eVTOL firms, everyone sees the benefits of going paperless. The time savings is enormous.”
To date, most of these functions are essentially separate in most airline operations. Even with that, most airlines still operate with a paper flight plan, with airlines slowly transitioning to an electronic format. Any electronic maintenance log is typically still paper, or, if electronic, a separate app or provider that needs to be individually checked separately from any electronic dispatch app.
TrustFlight can provide all these services together, improving operational efficiency and crew situational awareness.
Centrik Safety Management System
TrustFlight’s Centrik SMS (Safety Management System) is designed to manage daily flight operations environments by delivering increased efficiency, regulatory compliance, and enhanced safety through better communication between the operator and crews.
The electronic tech/maintenance log and engine log are designed to optimize maintenance functions and reduce paperwork errors and clutter on the flight deck. It is an incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use application, designed to reduce crew workload, both for flight operations and maintenance personnel.
With all these applications working together, an air operator and all its departments can be on the same page, with updates in real-time helping ensure safety, efficiency, and compliance.
“That’s the goal,” Steeves said. “Once an airline sees the demonstration — the intuitive nature, the capability, and the immediate time savings, they are eager to get flying.”
Written by Cody Diamond and Chris Sloan. Featured image: TrustFlight