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How AirWatch helps federal aviation organizations go mobile

  • Lanier Norville By

Three lessons learned from commercial aviation

From military operations to emergency evacuation to transportation of cargo and mail, the federal government’s use of aircraft is a crucial element of public safety. In today’s connected world, it’s a safe assumption that keeping up with the latest in-flight technologies is in the best interest of anyone flying a federal plane. For many commercial airliners, mobile devices increase mission efficiency, boost productivity and cut costs. In the federal space, mobile devices have replaced traditional flight manuals to enable pilots to review flight details, manuals and critical mission information in real time.

AirWatch enables many commercial airlines such as United and Delta to unlock mobility’s potential. Delta recently earned the #MobileGameChanger designation for its innovative use of mobile in the cabin and cockpit. In terms of technology adoption, federal organizations are often a half-step behind because the regulations are stricter and the red tape is stickier. But whether you’re flying an Airbus out of Hartsfield Jackson or a Skyship for observation during a major public event, many of the mobile use cases are the same. Here are three benefits of federal agencies embracing mobile devices in the air, flight-tested by both federal and commercial pilots at some of the world’s largest agencies and airlines.

1. Up-to-date Information at Pilots’ Fingertips

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent approval of the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) means agencies can equip pilots with digital versions of flight charts and configurations viewable on a tablet. AirWatch Secure Content Locker provides an easy-to-access portal where pilots can view flight charts, manuals and other critical documents from their mobile devices. Frequent updates are online slots a non-issue, as an administrator can upload updated materials to a central portal and ensure pilots’ devices are updated in real time.

Administrators can also set download and expiration dates for documents. New and updated documents will download automatically and become available to pilots on the specified date, while document expiration dates remove outdated maps, charts and other materials.

A nighttime viewing mode makes it easier to view documents on the screen at night (and there are options for low-glow, incognito viewing as well).

AirWatch also works with Jeppesen, the provider of aviation weather maps and other electronic navigation resources. Administrators can use AirWatch MDM to manage Jeppesen flight apps, ensuring both app security and the availability of information from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. For example, after a flood or natural disaster, a search and rescue pilot can could view a map of what an area looked like before the disaster, with an overlay of the latest geographic changes.

2. Elevated Security for Sensitive Documents

Security is paramount in both commercial and federal aviation. Highly sensitive information can be stored on-premises and made available through a FIPS-encrypted instance of AirWatch Secure Content Locker, ensuring end-to-end security. Secure Content Locker also includes data loss prevention features such as disabling screen capture and copy/paste, and a digital watermarking capability provides additional document security in case of loss.

In addition to Secure Content Locker’s security settings, AirWatch Mobile Device Management provides additional layers of security, including strong user authentication using AD/LDAP, compromised device detection, location tracking and app security. Even if Secure Content Locker is installed on a device without MDM, administrators can enable compromise detection and be alerted to potential security threats in real time.

AirWatch is also STIG-approved for government use.

3. Improved Weight-to-fuel Ratio

Digitizing flight bags has resulted in tremendous fuel savings for commercial airlines, and federal organizations can enjoy the same benefits. For Delta, electronic flight bags in Secure Content Locker have relieved pilots of carrying 38-pound bags, reduced carbon emissions by more than 20 million pounds and saved more than 900 trees each year since implementation.

Certain government aircraft might enjoy even greater gains because of redundancy requirements. With electronic flight bags, having multiple copies of every document becomes as simple as having an extra tablet that never leaves the cockpit.

For more information about AirWatch in federal aviation, download the brochure.

Lanier Norville

Lanier Norville

Lanier Norville has been writing and editing for online publications for six years. Before joining AirWatch, she was the editor of three medical technology magazines including the award-winning publication TechNation.

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