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Osprey en route to safer flights

Posted 13 August 2018 · Add Comment

A revolutionary, new aviation security risk-management solution was launched in Abu Dhabi late last year. Steve Knight talked to Andrew Nicholson, the man behind the system.

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 Osprey Flight Solutions, a new aviation security company, has come up with the answer.
The company’s innovative new system 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, has been delighted with the feedback the company has received since it unveiled the system
at AVSEC World in Abu Dhabi in November.
“Everyone has been fantastically positive, saying its what’s been needed for years,” he enthused.
The urgency to launch was spurred on after the AVSEC World 2016 event in Kuala Lumpur, where Nicholson shared a panel on ‘Next Generation Risk Management’ alongside Mitch Fox, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) chief of strategy planning and regional affairs coordination.
During the session, it was said that ICAO’s conflict zone information repository (CZIR) had not achieved 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,” said Nicholson.
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, picking up patterns and trends that may be invisible to a purely human analyst.
“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.”
From a Middle East perspective, the service is already being used on a daily basis by one major German airline, with particular emphasis on Iraq.
“The situation in Iraq is changing on an hour-by-hour basis,” said Nicholson. “Our service means the airline concerned is getting vital safety and security information in real time. It is a classic example of using technology and expert analysis in tandem to provide the safest possible aviation outcome.
“It was absolutely appropriate to launch our service in the Middle East, which is so often at the cutting edge of innovation within the aviation sector.”
 

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