This fall, Air Canada will become the first
airline in Canada to use state-of-the-art technology to bring further safety
enhancements to its flight operations. In November 2002, when Air Canada
implements the country`s first Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA)
program, the carrier will begin automatically collecting data on a real-time
basis for subsequent processing and analyzing. Expected benefits from the FOQA
program include: improvements to operating and training procedures, revisions
to airport and Air Traffic Control procedures, improved engine and aircraft
performance assessment and fuel cost savings.
The Air Canada FOQA program will initially monitor the operation of the
carrier`s entire North American Airbus fleet comprised of approximately 110
Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. Additional fleets will be added to the
carrier`s FOQA program over the coming years. This significant multi-million
dollar commitment involves the processing and analysis of approximately 27,000
flight hours of data per month, using more than 2,000 parameters captured on
each flight. Technology providers include Austin Digital, Inc. for data
analysis and measurement application software and Ottawa-based Spirent Systems
for animation software as well as expertise in data collection.
“Our investment in developing Canada`s first Flight Operations Quality
Assurance program underlines Air Canada`s commitment to maintain the highest
safety and efficiency standards for our flight operations,” said Captain Rob
Giguere, Executive Vice President, Operations. “Specialists from Air Canada`s
Flight Operations, Technical Services as well as the Air Canada Pilots`
Association have worked together with the industry to develop this leading-
edge safety tool reflecting Air Canada`s position as a leader in aviation
The FOQA system is designed to improve flight safety by providing more
information about, and greater insight into, the total operations environment
through the automated recording and analysis of data generated during flight.
Since initiating the project in 1997, Air Canada has worked with Transport
Canada`s Transportation Development Centre, the carrier`s Star Alliance
partners and other airlines to help develop this valuable safety tool.