Following authorisation by the South African Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa (AHZA) has now released its Fleetkeeper product onto the South African market. Fleetkeeper is an electronic flight folio and electronic technical logbook. South Africa is one of the first countries in the world to approve the product, the others being France, the Philippines and Singapore.
“We’re delighted to make this efficient application available to our South African customers and operators and intend to offer it in other parts of Southern and East Africa soon,” affirmed AHZA MD Arnaud Montalvo. “We are currently in the process of securing similar authorisations from civil aviation authorities in other African countries, including Namibia and Kenya.”
The system makes it possible for helicopter owners, operators, flight crew and airworthiness and maintenance managers to keep track of an aircraft’s flight hours, flight cycles (landings and take-offs) and any other maintenance information. It makes available to pilots the machine’s airworthiness status, and keeps track of any technical events that occur during its operation, as well as any repair or extra maintenance that takes place between scheduled periods of base maintenance.
The system is designed to allow helicopter operators to plan their missions more efficiently and anticipate their maintenance operations. It also allows pilots, maintenance personnel and airworthiness managers, when online, to seamlessly and conveniently share information between themselves in real time. This results in less time being needed to turn the helicopter around for the next flight.
“Fleetkeeper drastically reduces administrative burden, improves traceability and increases processes efficiency, letting our customers focus on their core business,” stated AHZA in its press release. “Fleetkeeper is both intuitive and ergonomic, combining user-friendly mobile and Web applications for iPads and computers, and is hosted on a secured cloud-based platform.”
Airbus Helicopters describes the system as its “flagship digital service”. It is designed for use with the Apple iPad, including camera and voice recognition features; employs a secure and safe European Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration regulations-compliant electronic signature system; is cloud-based; allows data exchange; can be tailored to each customer’s needs; and has an offline mode, allowing the recording of data when the system is out of communications with the Internet. It is entirely paperless, user-friendly, secure, time-saving, retains historical data and can be used for fleets made up of different types of helicopters.
AHZA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters (business division) and was originally set up (under a previous name) in 1994. Its main centre and head office are at Grand Central Airport, in Midrand, between Johannesburg and Pretoria. It has a satellite facility at Cape Town International Airport and a maintenance station at Wilson Airport, in Nairobi, Kenya. AHZA covers Southern and East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands and undertakes sales, customer support, training and product support. Currently, it supports a fleet of some 250 helicopters in its region, employs around 90 people and had a turnover in 2015 of 724-million