Ground Flight Operations & Maintenance Exchanger (FOMAX)

Enabling the connected aircraft ecosystem for efficient airline operations

Airbus A320neo

Ground Flight Operations & Maintenance Exchanger (FOMAX) managed services forms part of Collins innovative connected aircraft solution, GlobalConnect℠.

Developed in partnership with Airbus, Ground FOMAX Managed Services supports all FOMAX equipped A320 and A330 families of aircraft. New A320 and A330 aircraft come with the FOMAX hardware as basic linefit with connectivity to other avionics already in place. Older A320 and A330 aircraft can be retrofit via an Airbus Service Bulletin.

The Collins FOMAX ground tools help to support airlines in their pursuit of optimizing operational efficiency, improving safety and reducing operational and maintenance costs. FOMAX expedites aircraft maintenance while improving the pilot experience. Live connections between the aircraft and ground are critical for exchanging data and providing a live connection to the cockpit.

Our FOMAX service consists of two parts:

  • Aircraft-based electronics (Collins Secure Server Router (SSR))
  • Ground-based support systems

Ground FOMAX capabilities

Automated management of air to ground Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity including Cellular and SATCOM

IP connectivity is the heart of a connected aircraft. FOMAX supports multiple ways of connecting the aircraft to the ground. We know maximizing resources is vital; that’s why the FOMAX Secure Server Router (SSR) has configurable, least-cost routing rules to choose your preferred media.

GateLink Cellular Long-term Evolution (LTE)

The FOMAX SSR has an international 4G LTE modem with four (4) SIM cards dedicated to an airline’s operations worldwide.

Cabin SATCOM

FOMAX can leverage your broadband cabin satellite connectivity with a dedicated connection to separate customer traffic from the airline’s for increased security.

Cockpit SATCOM

For airlines without cabin satellite connectivity, FOMAX supports lower cost SATCOM connections dedicated to connected aircraft use.

Secure exchange of data via Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Regardless of the media type used, FOMAX uses an IP Security (IPSec) VPN with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates for all air/ground communications, keeping your traffic encrypted and inaccessible during transit.

Automated safety and performance data download (and future uploading)

FOMAX enables automatic offloading of all FOQA and MOQA reports and makes them available for analysis within minutes. Collins is the only provider that can download all types of FOQA reports*, including Aircraft Condition Monitoring System (ACMS), Smart Access Recorder (SAR), Digital ACMS Recorder (DAR) and Quick Access Recorder (QAR) at the same time. This significantly reduces the downtime of out-of-service aircraft, enabling fast and efficient diagnosis and resolution of the problem while simultaneously reducing error from manual processes.

*depending on configuration of FDIMU

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) access to ground resources

One of the most exciting aspects of a connected aircraft is the real-time network. Through a dedicated cockpit Wi-Fi connection and a secure VPN, the crew’s EFBs can access resources on the ground including Internet-based applications or internal servers. Multiple levels of security make it significantly safer than cellular modems installed directly in EFBs. This provides EFB applications with up to the minute information, such as weather and winds, to enhance safety and trip fuel efficiency.

EFB access to avionics data in real time

The FOMAX SSR connects to several avionics components that provide a real-time view of avionics data. Applications leverage this data to enhance the pilot experience; for example, the location of the aircraft can be superimposed on navigation charts or weather maps.

Bi-directional EFB integration with the Flight Management System (FMS)

The introduction of EFB-based flight planning and optimization applications means flight plans are more dynamic than ever before. FOMAX provides EFB applications the ability to automatically synchronize with the FMS, simplifying the pilot experience and reducing the risk of introducing errors.

ACARS over IP (AoIP)

As generations of aircraft have evolved and become more data intensive, the volume of ACARS messages has significantly increased. AoIP can be a more cost effective option to manage the increasing volume of ACARS data on newer generation aircraft.

Collins ACARS over IP (AoIP) is the only communication solution that is fully approved by an aircraft manufacturer. The service enables an ACARS message, as defined by the ARINC 618 standard, to be sent over aircraft ground- or satellite-based internet protocol (IP) broadband connection. It is a selectable option that supports processing for ACARS 618 messages to/from ACARS 620 Host systems, specifically the SITAONAIR AIRCOM® server or the Collins Hermes server.

The Collins AoIP service has been fully integrated with the avionics (ACARS Router, FOMAX) and is available as a fully managed service delivered by Collins regardless of the Datalink Service Provider (DSP) of the airline. Taken as a linefit solution, capital expenditure costs are reduced while enabling significant savings on your existing aircraft communications

AoIP is fully interoperable with the GLOBALink℠ ACARS network. AoIP ACARS messages are managed by the GLOBALink ACARS network in the same manner as, and coexist with, VHF, narrow-band SATCOM, and HFDL ACARS messages.

Monitoring of airborne and ground FOMAX

The ground monitoring, administration and troubleshooting (GMAT) application provides a dashboard view of FOMAX resources including the status of FOMAX server environments, applications and a fleet wide view of the aircraft for quickly assessing system performance.

Automatic data loading of ARINC 665 loads (future)

Development of the automatic data loader (ADLU) continues and is expected to be available in 2021. The ADLU will eliminate manual updates of avionics configurations. FOMAX will support ground based software that allows users to push ARINC 665 data loads from their computer to aircraft over an IP connection with enhanced security. Once uploaded, a maintenance technician will only have to activate the new configuration, significantly reducing the effort required to update the avionics.

For more information on how we can help your airline today, contact us at [email protected].