Lufthansa has now taken the decisive step on the way to a paperless cockpit. Beginning of April, the electronic flight folder (eFF) app largely replaced the paper briefing. For the first time, pilots are primarily using the tool for briefing. On 1 May, electronic flight documentation will be obligatory on all routes.
"Following our test phase on long and short haul flights over the course of several months, we are now together on the home straight for paperless briefing," enthuses Heiko Freytag, Group Leader of Cockpit Information Services in the Flight Operations Procedures & Technologies division. The cockpit crews now receive all briefing documents via mobile radio or USB stick. Only the operational flight plan is still delivered on paper. The pilots document their flight on this printout.
The eFF is a software tool that clearly displays briefing information to the pilots. The application is an in-house development and was programmed as part of the eFlightOps project using an agile approach. Today, the application is precisely matched to Lufthansa procedures and systems. Information is prepared by the tool graphically and marked in colour while an ergonomic user interface makes it easier to switch between different information categories and find relevant information.
According to Freytag, the advantages of the paperless briefing are clear: "The eFF improves the cooperation of the cockpit crew with a synchronisation function between the various electronic flight bags." The tool uses the aircraft avionics data and IP connectivity to the ground systems. The entire process, from the provision of the electronic briefing package to the fuel order and from checks during the flight to archiving, can now be performed electronically.
The German Federal Aviation Administration also gave the go-ahead: The FAA considers the Lufthansa Group on the right path with the quality of the filled-out briefing packages and supports the electronic briefing process.