Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Thai Airways International have signed a contract to implement Boeing's innovative in-flight monitoring system to help the airline operate at peak levels of safety, reliability and efficiency.
THAI is implementing Airplane Health Management (AHM), a new data-monitoring and prognostic maintenance service developed by Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. The system monitors the health of an airplane in flight and relays relevant information in real time to the ground. When the airplane arrives at the gate, maintenance crews are ready to make necessary repairs quickly.
Thai Airways becomes the third carrier to sign up for AHM. Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines signed agreements in November. THAI will use AHM to monitor its fleet of 777 and 747 airplanes - currently 32 airplanes in all.
"What a terrific honor it is to have THAI as an AHM customer," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "Clearly, there is momentum building in the marketplace for this game-changing technology. Our AHM team has done a great job building this new system and the team will continue to work to make sure THAI and our other customers are absolutely satisfied."
During a flight, AHM gathers data about systems on the airplane and relays the information in real time to the ground. Based on that data, maintenance crews can be ready to make repairs when the airplane arrives at its airport gate. AHM can therefore help operators reduce the number and length of airplane dispatch delays and convert certain tasks from non-routine to scheduled maintenance. AHM communicates with ground systems via ARINC Communications and Reporting System (ACARS).
In addition, AHM will support long-term fleet reliability programs by helping airlines identify recurring faults and trends, and by serving as an early-warning system for potential future problems.
AHM is a key technology in Boeing's effort to e-Enable the air transport system, in which data, information and knowledge are shared across the entire enterprise to allow airlines to make the best decisions to operate their fleets at the highest levels of safety, security and efficiency. AHM is designed to integrate seamlessly with other e-Enabled products from Boeing, such as the Class 3 Boeing Electronic Flight Bag, MyBoeingFleet and the Maintenance Performance Toolbox.
Based in Bangkok, Thai Airways serves 75 airports throughout Thailand and around the world, carrying nearly 20 million passengers annually. It has a fleet of 86 airplanes, with over half the fleet consisting of Boeing 737, 747, 777 and MD-11 models.