Qantas and GE Aviation are expanding GE’s FlightPulse flight analytics app to give pilots actionable information based on historical flight data that they can use to optimize individual flights.

The new module, announced June 17 and set to roll out in “early 2020,” responds to interest from pilots in getting data that can help them with pre-flight planning, Qantas Group Executive, Associated Airlines and Services John Gissing told Aviation Week ShowNews.

"With the first version of FlightPulse, we saw the value of putting data into the hands of our pilots. It connected how the fleet is performing and validated pilots’ understanding of aircraft performance and fuel burn,” he said. "Since launching FlightPulse, a post-flight application, we noticed crew were looking to use the data for pre-flight purposes, too.”

The original tool was launched last year and is used by the airline’s 2,400 pilots. Their input was key in shaping the product, and is playing a similar role on the new module’s development. Qantas has conducted several rounds of user research, and plans to hold a "technical feasibility workshop” this month to further refine the app.

"Our aim is to design a tool that provides meaningful information to help crew with their everyday decision making and isn’t just another app on their iPad,” Gissing said. "That’s why we are involving our pilots in every step of the design and development process.”

While the current tool’s focus is to increase awareness, the new module will seek to trigger change. It will provide historical data that pinpoints safety-related or general traffic flow considerations, and will help minimize fuel burn, at specific airports or runways. Pilots will be able to access the data before each flight and factor it into their decision making.

While some of the module’s insights will be novel, other functions streamline processes that pilots already have in place.

"For example, running a search for a particular port and trying to work out what their likely holding fuel requirement might be based on their own flight history,” Gissing said. "It made sense to develop something that was actually designed for that purpose."