[Avionics Today June 17, 2014] Southwest Airlines is implementing the Boeing Airplane Health Management (AHM) to increase the sharing of in-flight data in real time with its maintenance and engineering teams. The airline is working with Boeing's technical teams for initial deployment of the system across its fleet of Next-Generation 737 aircraft.
AHM is a web-based system that captures data in real time from aircraft while in-flight and delivers it to airlines' ground operations through the MyBoeingFleet.com web portal. Access to data about oxygen pressure, engine condition and hydraulic fluid are among the parameters monitored using the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) through the installed Aircraft Condition Monitoring System (ACMS).
"In our trials with Airplane Health Management, we clearly saw how we would be able to reduce — and even avoid — unscheduled maintenance and ground time for our fleet," said Jim Sokol, vice president of maintenance operations, Southwest Airlines. "The predictive nature of this product allows us to proactively initiate planning for necessary repairs, even while an airplane is in flight. With this capability, we can mitigate schedule delays and help ensure on time arrivals and departures for our customers."