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Planning for Success: OFPS System Completes 100,000th Flight

Friday, March 2, 2018


CHC’s Operation Flight Planning System (OFPS) recently passed a significant milestone: it has been used to plan and complete more than 100,000 flights across our fleet.

Officially launched in Humberside, UK in 2014, OFPS represents one component of a broader Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution designed to help pilots improve safety and simplify tasks, allowing them more time to focus on piloting and taking care of the aircraft. The EFB suite of applications makes all necessary flight information, including operations manuals, weather information, and helideck data and approach information, easily accessible at the fingertips of flight crews.

“Real time access to weather and air services products allows our crews to plan faster, be better informed, and to react quicker and safer to a changing environment,” said Ryan Bullock, CHC’s Acting Senior Base Pilot, Karratha.

OFPS is a capability unique to CHC that sets us apart from other operators through increased safety and efficiency as well as reduced administrative work for our global flight operations.

OFPS is now in its fourth generation and it undergoes regular updates as new functions are added. Feedback from CHC’s pilots and crews in the field is instrumental in driving ongoing enhancement of OFPS and EFB solutions. OFPS subject matter experts take in feedback from pilots throughout CHC’s regions regarding potential issues and suggestions for updates or new features, then they are reviewed by a steering group for approval. These updates also introduce new functionality as dictated by safety, regulatory or customer requirements. A recent example includes a released update with functionality to support CHC’s commercial hoisting operations.

“OFPS is an ‘in-house’ product – made by pilots, for pilots,” said Nils-Rune Kolnes, a chief pilot based in Stavanger, Norway. “Our crews built confidence in this tool, and the good thing is that they are involved in fine-tuning to get even more LEAN and efficient.”

As a part of the flight planning process, various calculations and information factor into ensuring an aircraft is prepared to safely travel to its destination. Everything from calculating the required amount of fuel, analyzing weather information, routing restrictions and aircraft performance and cargo data, plays a part in establishing a flight plan.

OFPS simplifies this entire process, while also helping to mitigate the possibility of human error in flight data recording due to a built-in data validation system in the software. The information validated includes flight event times such as takeoff and landing, fuel checks and fuel uplift data.

“The transition to a ‘paperless cockpit’ is one of the better things that has happened for flight operations at CHC,” said Kolnes. “This has increased the efficiency and reduced workload for the crew.”

On completion of a flight, the data captured in OFPS is uploaded to several of CHC’s critical ground systems, including AIMS, AMOS and a Global Invoicing System.

“The EFB, over a relatively short period, has become an invaluable tool our crews would not choose to do without,” said Bullock. “The access to information, the simplification of process and the reduction of cockpit clutter provides us with an efficient and effective tool whose benefit well outweighs its cost.”

Since its launch, OFPS has been deployed to every CHC offshore flying operation in Europe, Brazil, Africa, Kazakhstan and Australia, and has proven an integral component and a critical IT application for CHC. CHC looks forward to continuing to support our global flight operations with OFPS.