Flight operations and planning has always been a very labor intensive, costly and time consuming, but necessary process. Air squadron and operation planning commanders still meet around a board to work out the best way of scheduling their transport, fighter and helicopter flights. Planning air combat or training missions with speed depends on human; as fast as any human can go. While there have been improvements and tools developed over time, flight operational management still struggles with recurring and common issues.
The defense community is being challenged, more than ever, to deliver their operational missions in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Globally, the prospect of further government cuts to defense budgets is eminent and requires innovative thinking. Standards and transparency of information is essential to secure the readiness and efficiency of MOD’s and the challenges are still evident. In this article, we raise some issues that we believe are major and how the ILIAS Defense Platform offers an instrument to support successful defense flying missions.
- FLIGHTS STILL MANAGED ON WHITEBOARDS
Although the flight operation room still holds whiteboards and gives a great overview of the mission, it can be fallible and lack certain details. The whiteboards will not contain all information such as inventory to be transported. It can not operate intuitively and relies solely on human creation and response. Errors and inaccuracies will absolutely cause problems for the end goal.
- MULTIPLE SPREADSHEETS TO TRACK INFORMATION
Trying to keep track of flight personnel’s currency and qualifications can be very challenging, especially during mission planning. It is a lengthy process adding high risk of errors. The inability to account for people and their status will most certainly cause failures and disruptions for missions or training.
- DATA IS MANAGED BY SCATTERED SYSTEMS
Monitoring the whole planning phase is necessary and can be faulty when multiple people are involved. Each may have their own information to add that could possibly get lost or misplaced, again causing major issues when flight planning. Using separate applications with hope that all records are current is a very risky game without the appropriate technological expertise. Flight operation managers need to focus on flights and will have difficulty when important information is fragmented across different platforms.
- PROBLEMATIC AND LACK OF COMMUNICATION LINKS
Old traditional ways of planning takes an extensive amount of time to solidify and communications are often shifted through several channels. Since 80% of a successful mission is completed during the planning phase, lack of proper communication would most certainly cause lack of readiness and, subsequently, degrade the mission. The need to create better and quicker plans as well as communicate in real time and securely, has become an absolute necessity.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND CAPABILITIES FOR A STRATEGIC AND INTEGRATED APPROACH TO FLIGHT OPERATIONS
The solution is to create end-to-end visibility while leveraging existing systems using smart technology. This is why our Ops Air solution has functionality for numerous aspects of the end-to-end operations. And we’ve added even more power and efficiency to complete your air operation and logistics planning with integration abilities.
Tasking and Scheduling
ILIAS Ops Air displays intuitive and active screens to optimize the way a user views information. While scheduling crew or aircraft, the system automatically presents correct personnel or aircraft and intelligently offers the best options. It also alerts the user to mistakes, preventing unwanted selections or inputs. Ops Air supports managing the flight operations, standardizes procedures and monitors actions.
The cutting edge cockpit user interface, for look and feel, displays valuable flight information and some features include:
- Long term overview
- Short term overview – copy missions
- Checklists and notifications
- Short term messages
- Crew scheduler with Traffic Light coding to keep flyers qualified
- Aircraft scheduler
ILIAS Ops Air Short Term Planning
The scheduling module contains the Traffic-light coding system for all upcoming certification expirations or requirements. This enables the military flight, operations, and air commanders to maintain records and missions in one secure platform.
ILIAS Ops Air Crew Scheduler
ILIAS Ops Air can also interface with current HR, Tasking and Reporting systems, allowing a single up-to-date dataset and automatic data transfer throughout the systems.
Training Management is a complementary and essential additional tool for the Ops & Training community. This add-on to Ops Air provides precise control over the crew qualification status and training requirements. Controlling crew qualifications status and currency increases the predictability of meeting operational deployment requirements by having qualified crew immediately available.
Training Management puts you in control by providing the means to match qualification requirements with the most recent crew performance data. In turn, creating accurate and actionable training management and ops scheduling information.
Communication and Security
Because we know that everyone may not have the same requirements, we’ve placed high priority in the versatility and controls of user access. Only authorized personnel will have access to the information they need, based on their user rights; preventing any unwanted actions or interventions and present data on a need-to-know basis. The access controls and security operate at multiple levels, which:
- Protects data communicating from server to browser
- Offers role-based access within the application
IT’S AN EXCITING TIME FOR MILITARY PLANNING AND OPERATIONS, THANKS TO THE INFORMATION AGE AND ILIAS SOLUTIONS
Today, the digital age has systematically enabled growth with speed and efficiency for businesses and military, alike. This is where our, uniquely positioned, highly secure Ops Air system comes into play. It offers a single truth through the most reliable and highly functional digital defense platform. No more broken communication links between key people. Strategic and logistic planning that was once done on a chalkboard or pen and paper, taking days to solidify, is now done with incredible efficiency and accuracy at the click of the mouse, from plan to execution.
Our team have solely focused efforts on developing and managing solutions for the military since the mid-1990’s, arming forces with the most highly functional logistics platform available. As adaptive professionals, we sought out flight planning operation managers and true flight experts to understand their problem areas and approach the issues with educated thoughtfulness to create the ultimate solution. For example; where some struggled to add the transport element to their software, we started our concept with prioritizing the transport element because we understand the importance of an integrated approach.
Subject matter experts agree; Erik Cornelisse (Experimental Test Pilot) stated, “ILIAS Ops Air is the only solution for all your strategic defense planning needs by offering an all-encompassing tool to manage everything from people to transport movement to complete your logistics mission with total success.”
And U.S. Army SFC (Ret.) Tomera Rodgers added, “As a U.S. Army OV-1D co-aviator and aerial photographer during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I witnessed the struggles with deployment readiness as a result of serious broken communication between key people. Ops Air would have most certainly resolved the crew qualification issues that sadly did cause us casualties. Fortunately, we’re advancing because of experts like ILIAS.”
At ILIAS Solutions, we’ve absolutely created that necessary “single truth” by providing fully digitized military flight operations management, linking, tasking, operational management and reporting systems; all to simplify and enhance operations, improve safety and efficiency that lead to overall readiness. Simply stated, it is the most reliable, innovative, and relevant technology tool for all air operations.
If you want to know more about ILIAS Ops Air do not hesitate to ask for a demonstration: