AIRBRIDGECARGO (ABC) Airlines is to utilise its own bespoke digital aircraft weight-and-balance system (ABC WBS) which, even amidst the pandemic, it impressively designed, tested and launched within a record six months, writes Thelma Etim.

The new technology-driven platform minimises aircraft dwell times on the ground, whilst also maximising load control and ramp activities, as well as maintaining on-time performance through automatic schedule monitoring, reveals a statement.

For the safe and efficient operation of an aircraft a weight-and-balance control system must meet three crucial elements: the weighing of the aircraft, the maintaining of the weight and balance records and the correct loading.

“ABC WBS makes all of the calculations in an accurate and safe mode, eliminating the risk of human error and produces the required weight and balance documentation, such as loading instructions, report forms, load sheets and preliminary and final messages for each flight,” outlines the statement.

The new in-house system can accommodate various aircraft types as it uses the tabular data of the aircraft set-up information. “These include limits, aircraft deck layout, fuel and envelope schemes,” the statement says.

Currently, ABC WBS is being utilised for the outsize and widebody cargo specialist’s freighter fleet comprising B747-400ERFs, B747-8Fs and its B777F aircraft. However, sister company ATRAN Airlines’ fleet of B737-400SFs and B737-800BCF aircraft will be included from February.

ABC WBS, which is part of the modernisation of Volga-Dnepr Group’s ground operations environment, is located on the group’s servers and offers desktop and mobile app access to all specialist employees across the globe. This makes it a user-friendly tool, especially under current remote working conditions, notes the statement.

It functions within Volga-Dnepr’s ‘digital ecosystem’, and can therefore be integrated with other in-house or third-party suppliers’ systems and IT platforms to ensure smooth and efficient operations worldwide.

Commenting on the new system, Nikolay Glushnev, general director of ABC Airlines, underlines: “Development of the in-house WBS is part of a significant digital transformation project within Volga-Dnepr Group.

“Despite the challenging 2020 working conditions, we have ensured that a selection of more than 230 ABC specialists succeeded in creating an IT product which is competitive with other market solutions in this field. And, with a training model available in the system, new users can easily adapt to the platform and come on board smoothly,” he adds.

“We have developed only the first stage of the system. In the future we also plan to embrace ramp freighters within the Volga-Dnepr fleet, electronic notifications to captain (NOTOC) functions, and weight-and-balance fuel-efficiency monitoring, to name but a few,” Glushnev reveals. NOTOC is an essential document for flight crew because it is the sole source of information to assess the severity of an inflight incident involving dangerous goods carried as cargo.

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