The company installed the RFID system across its 4,000 pieces of emergency equipment this year, and indicates that its inspections can now be accomplished within a matter of minutes aboard a single aircraft.
The system not only makes inspectors' work faster and less error-prone, the airline reports, but also prevents flight delays that could result from delayed emergency equipment checks, according to Marco Andreacchio, the senior project manager of EAM RFID Solutions, a division of EAM Worldwide, the company that provided the technology. The solution consists of tags affixed to emergency equipment, handheld readers to interrogate those tags, and software residing on Fiji Airways' server, provided by EAM Worldwide. In the long run, the airline intends to use the technology not only to make inspections faster and more automatic, but also to collect historic data for analytics purposes.
Fiji Airways is an international airline based in Nadi that flies to 10 countries, including the United States. On monthly and weekly intervals, the airline conducts inspections to monitor the presence and condition of in-cabin emergency equipment, as well as any expiration dates. Prior to the RFID system's installation, each inspection ranged from 90 minutes for small aircraft to eight hours for larger planes, in order to ensure that all equipment was in place and in proper working order.
Fiji Airways began investigating in RFID last year as part of its Air Management Oversight System (AMOS) implementation. Mid-year, the airline began working with EAM Worldwide to develop a solution at the RFID company's Dubai office. EAM Worldwide had already been providing Fiji Airways with its RFID-enabled life vests since 2009.
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