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Osprey en route to a safer flight

Posted 2 July 2018 · Add Comment

In today’s dynamic and challenging airspace environment, the lack of a cost-effective, real-time risk-management solution has been an industry concern for years. Now a new aviation security company will be at Aviation Africa in Cairo this month to share the answer. Steve Knight talks to Osprey Flight Solutions CEO, Andrew Nicholson.

African aviation experts are about to learn more about a pioneering flight-risk management system that could revolutionise aviation security throughout the continent.
First unveiled late last year, Osprey Flight Solutions’ innovation will provide all operators with instant access to flight-specific, accurate and comprehensive airport, country and overflight risk assessments.
For the first time, this analysis can be delivered instantly and directly into flight-planning software, heralding an important step in enabling operators to maximise the protection of crew, passengers and aircraft.
The man heading up the service, Osprey Flight Solutions CEO Andrew Nicholson, will be speaking in Cairo at Aviation Africa – the continent’s premier event coving the entire aviation industry – on April 17-18.
“Since we unveiled the service at AVSEC World in Abu Dhabi in November, we have had fantastic feedback,” said Nicholson. “Everyone has been fantastically positive, saying its what’s been needed for years.”
Osprey’s new software system is able to deliver an instantaneous, integrated risk assessment bespoke to the specific geographical planned route of a flight and can provide dynamic re-assessment in real-time if the flight-route is altered.
“The analysis is continuously updated, ensuring the assessment is accurate to the second the flight is planned,” said Nicholson.
Using the latest technology, the London-based company’s software interrogates more than 200,000 information sources in over 60 languages, allowing patterns and trends that may be invisible to a purely human analyst, to be identified.
“It’s a system for the 21st Century,” said Nicholson. “All the information is out there. Now, for the first time, our technology is able to bring it all together and the analysis is instant.
“When you supplement this information with our team of leading aviation security experts working all around the globe, it means we offer a unique 24/7 operation.”
Civil aviation is very much the focus. “We want our system to be available to everyone, which means it has to be cheap enough for people to use – typically less than $50 per flight,” said Nicholson.
“Aviation safety and security is our top priority, which is why people can sign up to our breaking news security alerts on our website, a service we provide for free.
“We believe it is vitally important that every operator, from a single aircraft owner/pilot to the largest commercial airline, has access to the right information to best understand and mitigate the threats to their crew, passengers and aircraft.”
Nicholson, a highly experienced aviation security expert, admits that he had been thinking about the service for some time. “I knew what was needed from a security point of view but it was only in the last 12 months that I gained sufficient knowledge of the technology and how it could be used,” he explained.
“The technical challenges – and particularly integrating our technology with other operators’ systems – have been a huge learning curve for us.”
So why has a service like this, which has global safety and security implications, been launched by a private company, rather than an over-arching body like the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)?
“The ICAO did try with its conflict zone information repository (CZIR),” explained Nicholson. “Unfortunately, it did not achieve what was hoped for, sparking a growing realisation that an independent solution would not be constrained by the same diplomatic pressures.
“Basically, we haven’t got to worry about diplomacy or politics. We can just report what’s going on, in real time, which means that our clients will get what they need, when they need it.
“Africa, in particular, could be a major beneficiary of our service. It is growing very quickly in aviation terms but it also has a number of fast-moving and ever-changing security challenges. Our new system could certainly help mitigate a number of these situations.”
 

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