Clear Skies from the Cockpit

 

Clear Skies from the Cockpit

Norwegian 737

On a beautiful clear day in mid May, I boarded a Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) flight from London Gatwick to Trondheim to experience how NAS use Navtech’s products in the cockpit. 

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is a low-cost carrier and is currently the second-largest airline in Scandinavia. NAS operates 64 aircraft, all Boeing 737s, and is expecting to receive its first B787 Dreamliner in April 2013. In addition, NAS has orders for 200 additional aircraft divided evenly between the B737 MAX 8 and the A320neo. NAS intends starting long-haul operations in 2013, using the B787-8 aircraft with launch routes from the Scandinavian capitals to New York and Bangkok.

NAS has been an early adopter of cockpit technology, led by my host, Captain Ole Christian Melhus, using an effective strategy of increasing efficiency and reducing costs. As soon as we exited UK air space, I got to sit in the jump seat of the B737-800. NAS currently uses four of Navtech products – charts, performance, navigation data and flight planning. In the cockpit, they have a Class II NavAero EFB, based on a software shell that NAS developed themselves.

What was noticeable was the lack of paper in the cockpit. Approved by the Norwegian CAA in Norway, NAS flies completely without paper charts. While this is not unique for an airline, there are not many airlines flying having CAA approval to be completely paperless in a Class II EFB.

Interestingly, NAS have free Wifi for their passengers, so while in the cockpit, the pilots could use their iPads (with Navtech iCharts) and their iPhones. During some discussion while at cruising altitude, we needed to check a fact and of course, both pilots checked their iPhones to get the information. 

As we came into land, I enjoyed a wonderful view of Trondeim’s fjord and its approach. It was nice to see such a complex problem of having performance, charts, navigation data and a note log so simply and elegantly portrayed and used in the cockpit.

Declan Boland, Vice-President of Global Sales

 

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