We are excited to announce that skybook has been adopted by AirTanker – a global leading partnership of aerospace leaders providing flight management solutions to both the Civilian and Military Aviation sector.

AirTanker forms the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) venture dedicated to delivering aircraft, infrastructure, service, training and expertise in support of Voyager, the RAF’s new generation multi-role tanker transport aircraft (MRTT), the UK Armed Forces and their global partners.

The service AirTanker provides is integral to the RAF’s strategic and tactical operation of the Voyager aircraft and whilst the RAF retain full operational control of Voyager, AirTanker are responsible for everything from aircraft delivery to crew training and dispatch, and as such require a flawless process for delivering information to both Flight Ops and Flight Crew in an efficient and timely manner.

The Brief

Automate the delivery of Crew Briefing information

Airtanker and skybook overview

During our initial meetings it was discussed how the system would not only enhance the flight crew’s briefing experience but also offer a wide range of benefits to other key operational areas within AirTanker.

With this in mind, AirTanker contacted us looking for a system that could automate the delivery of Crew Briefing information for their Civilian Registered Aircraft (CRA). At the time this was still a manual process involving a lot of paper chasing to gather information from a multitude of systems and third parties. This process took up valuable Dispatcher time and produced an inconsistent briefing experience for the crew.

Previously AirTanker did not have an automated Flight Dispatch process, this was all managed through their Flight Ops system and manual processes.

Whereas skybook now allows Dispatchers to manage their flight schedule through the Flight Dispatch module, staying on top of flight sectors to consistently meet Scheduled Time of Departure (STD) and On Time Performance (OTP).

Additionally, ETOPS charts used to be plotted by hand and Airfield Monitoring was far less flexible in that they could not dynamically monitor the airfields in their flight list.

Having seen everything that skybook had to offer, the initial plan of providing crew briefing for only the CRA turned into an integrated package spanning the entire fleet; AirTanker are now using skybook not only to automate Crew Briefing but also Flight Dispatch, ETOPS Charting and Airfield Monitoring.

Implementation

Fast turnaround with no loss of existing data

Getting AirTanker setup on skybook involved three days of configuration at Bytron, adding Admin users, Ops users and Aircraft into the system and integrating flight plans so that briefings could be generated automatically.

We also modified the crew release procedure and generally drew on our existing knowledge and experience to tailor the system to meet AirTanker’s requirements.

This was followed by two days of on-site training with AirTanker to ensure all key team members were confident and comfortable using skybook, after which they were all set to go.

"Adopting skybook has allowed AirTanker to automate all key Dispatch, Briefing, ETOPS and Airfield Monitoring processes based on their flight plans, freeing up valuable time for Flight Ops to manage their schedule efficiently and effectively, as well as allowing Flight Crew to perform simple self-briefings in the knowledge that they will receive up to date and standardised briefings."

− Simon Clayton, Technical Director

AirTanker are now using skybook on a daily basis for their Civilian and Military sectors, but that’s not the end of the story. We are already planning the next phase of enhancements for them with the integration of the crew roster and flight schedule next on the cards.

Working with AirTanker to implement skybook has been an exciting process, and we are very much looking forward to a long lasting relationship.