Two New Zealand aviation technology developers have teamed to tackle one of the most complex and time-consuming problems in aviation: tracking and automating aircraft maintenance and flight logging.
Spidertracks, based in Auckland's Karangahape Road, already manufactures and sells on-board satellite tracking devices, dubbed "Spiders", though a global network of resellers.
Now it has teamed with Cambridge-based cloud fleet management software company Aeronet to automate the tracking process and eliminate reams of paper, ad hoc spreadsheets and manual data entry.
The new service, prosaically called Maintenance Tracking, uses data from the Spiders integrated with Aeronet’s API.
"It takes all of the admin out of what was once tedious and time-consuming and puts that time and effort back into the hands of operators, allowing them to focus on maximising productivity and growing their businesses," Spidertracks says in a blog post.
Fixed-wing aircraft equipped with Spiders just need to be signed up sign up for Maintenance Tracking while helicopters need a new Spider 8 device.
Spidertracks and Aeronet launched Maintenance Tracker at the National Business Aviation Association conference in Las Vegas this week.
Spidertracks’ chief marketing officer Todd O’Hara said allowing Spider Events and Maintenance Tracking to automate this area of customers’ operations means they have one less moving part to keep tabs on.
“For most operators, the data is already there. It was just a case of finding what else we were able to do with it that would provide more value to our customers," he said.
An early user, Canada-based flight training, aircraft charter, aircraft maintenance, and pipeline surveillance operation Synergy Aviation, said the system allowed maintenance to be performed "live".
“This is the only software I’ve found that works for helicopter operations where maintenance is regularly performed in the field," said Synergy director of maintenance Marc Hanatschek.
Spidertracks’ CEO Dave Blackwell said Maintenance Tracker was a milestone towards providing a broader range of services for customers.There’s been an increasing desire from customers to use Spider data to provide more value for their businesses, he said.
“We see a lot of examples where aircraft operators are having to work in disparate systems and duplicate data entry in an effort to get the job done. What we’re doing here is automating these work flows and integrating systems to provide greater efficiency and more reliable data, which will ultimately deliver significant cost savings.”
Spidertracks was founded by James McCarthy and other family members and associates after it took two weeks to find the pilot following a 2005 helicopter crash.
Those interests still own most of the company supported by a 16.5 per cent investment from The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall's venture investment company K One W One alongside other smaller shareholdings.
Aeronet is deveolped by Module Limited, which also privately owned.