Frontier Airlines Adopts Airbus Skywise Health Monitoring on A320 Fleet

Frontier Airlines is adopting Skywise Health Monitoring for its fleet of A320neo aircraft. (Airbus)

Frontier Airlines is adopting Skywise Health Monitoring (SHM) technology from Airbus across its fleet of A320neo aircraft, according to an Oct. 14 press release.

SHM will give Frontier the ability to gather live fleet health diagnostics using the A320neo’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) link and Flight Operations and Maintenance Exchanger (“FOMAX”) data router and stream it to directly into their airline information sharing system. According to Airbus, Frontier has signed a five-year contract for SHM to be operated across a total of 111 A320neo aircraft.

Airbus notes that the FOMAX data router is capable of capturing over 20,000 real-time aircraft parameters to enable “end-to-end unscheduled event management/fixes, for example by anticipating tools and parts’ availability closest to the aircraft.”

“Frontier will use the solution for its A320 Family fleet. Airbus’ SHM will support the airline’s maintenance and engineering teams by enabling real-time management of aircraft events and troubleshooting,” Airbus said in the release.

During a June 30 media call, leadership from Airbus, Delta Tech Ops and GE Digital explained how the three entities were forming a new digital alliance to expand the data collection, storing and analysis tools provided by Skywise. According to Lionel Rouby, senior vice president, customer services innovation digital solutions at Airbus, the cloud computing infrastructure for the servers utilized by Skywise are  contain a total of 15 petabytes, or 15 million total gigabytes of flight operational data points about individual in-service Airbus aircraft parts, systems, and engines.

“The first initial project we’re working on with Delta and GE is about predictive maintenance, monitoring the health of the aircraft, monitoring the messages generated by the aircraft, and collecting all the data generated to predict failure. The engine of this solution is the collection of analytics, of knowledge that will predict and anticipate the failure mode of the equipment,” Rouby said during the call, explaining how the company is trying to continually improve the capabilities of Skywise for airlines like Frontier and others using the platform.

Adoption of Skywise by Frontier comes amid a complete phasing out of their legacy A319s, the final aircraft — tail N949FR — of that fleet retired last month, completing its final flight after more than 15 years in service. The airline operates the largest A320neo fleet in North America, with an average age of 4.1 years and approximately 140 of the same aircraft model remaining on order, according to their website.

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