Information Technology

Aug. 8, 2000

Information Technology offers near real-time flight information

Jordanna Smida, Associate Editor

August 2000's Direct Airport Access allows airports to offer passengers near-real-time flight information. is a direct subscriber to FAA's datafeed for flight information and can provide this information on a subscription basis to airports.

"We provide the data in a format that allows the airport to take the data and reformat it in any way they want so it can be displayed on their FIDS display," Mike Wilson, director of flight tracking sales and services says.

Direct Airport Access allows airports to get information on all flights from one feed and it is automatically updated as changes occur, he explains.

According to Jeff Schultes, airport manager at Portland International Jetport, which uses Direct Airport Access with its Intersystems FIDS system, the airport was "looking for a system that was totally automated."

"Everything is automatically updated without the assistance of the airlines," Paul Bradbury, airport engineer at Portland, says. Schultes adds that Direct Airport Access allows the airlines to concentrate on customer service. The system is controlled by the airport; however, if the airline takes its own delay, it can override the information, Bradbury says.

The information also allows the airport to let passengers gain access to flight information via its Web page or its interactive voice response phone system. Says Schultes, "From the airports point of view it has greatly reduced the workload." For information call 303-708-7209.

Online Findings
The Strategic Initiative Commit-tee of the eBusiness Forum will offer an Internet Air Competition Summit Sept. 28-29, in Washington, D.C. The summit's purpose is to initiate dialogue between the industry and government regarding the development of Internet travel services and competition. Contact Kevin Mitchell at 610-834-3750.

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National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is offering NATA Safety 1st e-Line Service newsletter online at www.

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Flight Options, Inc. has created an "Owners Only" website for owners of fractional interests. The site features items such as trip scheduling, e-mail flight confirmations, trip calculators, and itinerary access. Call 216-261-3500 for information.

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The Aircraft Electronics Associ-ation launches EE Direct, an online equipment-for-sale database. Mem-bers can manage their equipment databases by updating listings through the site at

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RTS Services introduces its new website,, to provide RTS rework; services customers with real-time, streamlined access to keep customers more informed.

e-Updates has added new services to its site including a broker-hosted auction, Charter Chat Instant Messenger, and Airport/FBO Search. All services are free to registered users. For information call 877-534-3463.

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In addition to its charter reservation system, has expanded its services to include MySkyjet, an online auction for private business jet travel. Visit

ConnectEdge Brings Airlines e-business
IBM, Intentia, Siebel, and Mercury have formed a strategic alliance to offer ConnectEdge, a business to business initiative that offers airlines an opportunity to utilize e-business, boost customer service, and improve operational efficiency.

ConnectEdge applications, according to Patti Jones, vice president, IBM Global Travel Industry group, include a customer relationship management portion that includes solutions such as e-ticketing for improved customer service and an Internet auction for better pricing. To enhance crew management the portfolio includes solutions for optimizing crew schedules with Mercury's automated recovery system, which analyzes and selects crew configurations. The maintenance management, provided by Intentia, will provide maintenance, overhaul, and repair solutions to optimize aircraft downtime and materials management.

Visit travel/ConnectEdge.