In 2017, Boeing created Boeing Global Services. Since then, the company has steadily added to the portfolio of service solutions it offers to customers.
On a pre-Paris Air Show visit to their Digital Solutions Innovation Center in Neu-Isenburg, near Frankfurt, Germany, we received insight into two branches of BGS that work closely together: Digital Aviation Solutions and Commercial Training Solutions.
The Digital Solutions Innovation Center is in buildings which were, ironically, the printing building for Jeppesen (acquired more than 20 years ago by Boeing). Billions of high-quality charts have left those premises. Today there is no more printing.
Jeppesen went all-digital a decade ago, and the buildings were refurbished to accommodate a few hundred experts working on innovation and improving the products and services for Jeppesen and other brands needing digital support.
With 80% of the market, Jeppesen is still the largest provider of digital nav data, having a worldwide coverage of all airports and boasting an accuracy of 99,92%. But beyond that, they have developed services for other areas of airline operations. Flight planning, flight following, weather data, fleet planning, and crew scheduling are only a part of their offerings.
By combining these offerings into an integrated solution, they want to offer holistic solutions to the customers, not just products.
In addition to Jeppesen, the Digital Aviation Solutions group includes Foreflight and recently acquired CloudAhoy, a provider of post-flight debriefing, analytics, and flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) software products for flight training. The acquisition of CloudAhoy is an example of Boeing’s larger strategy to continue building capabilities that will support customer needs today and into the future, according to Brad Surak, Vice President of Digital Aviation Solutions.
“These new capabilities, in combination with existing offerings across Global Services’ digital and training businesses, highlight our commitment to providing innovative solutions that improve pilot training and enhance safety,” Surak said.
Commercial Training Solutions
Training is undoubtedly one of the key elements within the overall Boeing Global Services offerings.
After the tragic moments of the MAX accidents, Boeing has chosen to invest in training on a large scale.
Chris Broom, Vice President of Commercial Training Solutions, has received the mission, and the means, to develop and implement the best training possible under the Global Aviation Safety Initiative.
For four years, the team has been (re)developing the training for the Boeing fleet.
They have fully embraced the last development in training: Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA). This new methodology is all about training for competencies. CBTA is now an ICAO standard and will gradually be implemented worldwide by airlines, ATOs and OEMs.
Boeing has already developed the new curriculum for the B787 and B737 and is working toward obtaining approval for all their fleets, according to Broom. They are assisting the customer airlines in implementation, which is quite challenging, and already 20 airlines have obtained the necessary approvals from their authorities. The methodology needs an intensive use of data, and collaboration with data solution services is a crucial element for success.
CBTA is considered a breakthrough in improving pilot training, and the results of those airlines already using it are very encouraging.
Beyond the development and implementation of CBTA, Boeing has also launched a program whereby training representatives are inserted in the customer airline and act as an interface between Boeing and the customer operations. It improves access to the extensive experience of Boeing for customer operations, which can help both safety and efficiency, and it gives Boeing a view of the needs of specific airlines.
Boeing has chosen a very intensive move forward, investing heavily in technology, recognizing the need for communication with the airlines, and getting the training for all stakeholders up to speed.