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Ask an Expert

Negotiating the different IT systems available to assist with aircraft operations can be a mine-field; a complex matrix of solutions and options, that's why we have assembled leading industry consultants and experts to be available online to provide airlines and aircraft operators with expert impartial advice and to guide you through the maze of systems.

‘Ask the Expert’ therefore represents a fantastic opportunity to avoid common mistakes and to ensure that an IT project runs smoothly by ‘picking the brains’ of a leading industry expert.

'Ask the Expert' works in a similar way to the software search engine, in that you can use the search engine opposite to search through a list of experts either by name or you can drill down and search for a particular area of expertise, for example: EFB or Fuel Management Systems.

Once you have chosen an expert simply use the Portal to send over your enquiry and you will receive a reply shortly.

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Marcel Martineau

After graduating in Engineering at the Royal Canadian Military College, Marcel started flying in 1968 as a fighter pilot for the Canadian Armed Forces, flying CF101 Voodoo All Weather Fighter aircraft. He then joined Air Canada, where he flew for 32 years retiring as a Senior Captain on Airbus 330 and 340 aircraft. Over his career Marcel accumulated in excess of 18,000 flying hours. In addition to his line experience, Marcel spent 20 years working for the Canadian Airline Pilots Association in flight safety and industrial relations and seven years as part of Air Canada’s Management Team, five of which were in the capacity, Manager Flight Operations Fuel Programs and Flight Dispatch Liaison. Marcel is recognized within the aviation industry as an expert in the field of fuel and operational efficiency. Having participated in more than 50 airline reviews over the past 5 years to improve the quality of the airlines’ daily operations, Marcel has had a positive impact to decrease overall fuel consumption which not only increases profitability but also has a positive impact to the environment. As well Marcel has been involved with numerous projects including teaching Fuel Management and Operational Efficiency Courses for IATA and the Arab Airline Company Organization, developing an Environmental Gas Emission software tool for Transport Canada Development Centre, and providing consulting services for both Airlines and industry. Most recently, Marcel has participated in a joint venture with Smart4 Aviation BV to develop a Fuel Management Information System, which is fully integrated with the Airlines operating systems. This Business Intelligence software solution integrates all of the operational data sources to create a unified data mart accessible via the web by key departments within the airline.

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Bud Sittig

Lawrence A. 'Bud' Sittig is a consultant in the aviation industry with a broad background in airline operations. He has keen interest in advancing a wireless / paperless cockpit environment and in the deployment of Class II Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) technology across the industry. Most recently, he was Vice President of Operations for Skybus Airlines. Captain Sittig had operational oversight of Skybus' Flight Operations including pilots, flight attendants, flight dispatchers, crew resources, technical publications library, operations technology and all corporate training. As the Vice President of Operations, he led the FAA Air Carrier Certification process for Skybus spanning over two years. While leading the 121 certification, he built the airline infrastructure to support a Flight Operation designed to grow to 75 aircraft. He was the architect of a revolutionary flight deck technology design that established the airline on the cutting edge of Class II EFB and a paperless document management system. Prior to joining Skybus, Captain Sittig held the positions of GM Flight Operations, Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Safety at Delta. He has accumulated over 15,000 flying hours in his years of military, airline and sport aviation adventures.

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Gesine Varfis

Gesine Varfis heads the Operational Excellence Department at Lufthansa Consulting which focuses on performance improvement, fuel management, cost reduction programs, profitability management and business intelligence solutions. She is an expert in the areas of Ground Handling, Operations Control and Management Accounting. In addition she was responsible for route analyses, route profitability, market potential analyses and business plans, which is based on her long experience in management accounting, budgeting, performance and cost management. In general she is specialized in activity based costing, reporting (MIS) and balanced score card issues. Gesine was involved in several controlling projects, where she re-designed controlling concepts and defined cost cutting potentials for our clients. As a project manager, she was responsible for restructuring projects, activity based cost cutting, the design of a cost and revenue simulation tool, the redesign of customer feedback management and different Operations Control and on time performance projects. Her broad aviation process and product background in operations, IT applications, CRM, traffic forecasting, market potential analysis and business planning for airlines, ground handler, maintenance and engineering and airports allows a comprehensive analytical approach in projects. Before working for Lufthansa Consulting, Gesine was a process and operations’ consultant for ABB Airport Technologies. She focused on sales consulting, after sales implementation, and customizing of ABB’s airport management systems. Gesine was part of the team which established the complete IT network for Athens new International Airport and the implementation of Athens airport readiness program. Furthermore, she was responsible for the operational evaluation and product enhancements. For Globe Ground, Gesine was working as a financial controller. Some of her major responsibilities were: preparation of operational and productivity reports; monitoring of key performance indicators; and development of operational and financial benchmarks. Her projects with Globe Ground involved cost cutting programs for the operational divisions, quality assurance and the development of a balanced scorecard for the company. She gained her Master of Business Administration from the Free University Berlin, where she also earned her BA (Bachelor of Arts) in North American Studies. She also gained a Commercial Air Transport Certificate with a focus on marketing, management and operations

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Guido Harling

Guido Harling is the founder and managing director of Tasc4Aviation GbR and ETSverification GmbH., Tasc4Aviation GbR (www.Tasc4Aviation.com) is an aviation consultancy company and derives its name from the terms Technical Advisors and Strategy Consultants for the aviation industry. The solution offering includes cost cutting and efficiency increasing initiatives for the aviation industry while working with industry experts that are unique and at the top of their class. The combination of technical expertise and strategic foresight helps aviation customers to increase efficiency and cut costs in these challenging times. The service offerings include: • EU-ETS (Emission Trading Strategies, Certificate procurement Services) • E-Service Solutions (e-Invoicing, e-Freight) • FPO (Automated Invoice Verification, Paperless Accounting Processes) The clientele include Lufthansa, TAP, Air France, EL AL, Air Astana, Air Moldova, Jat, Antonov Volga Dnepr, UPS Airlines, Siberia Airlines ETSverification GmbH, Germany’s first and only verification body dedicated solely to the aviation industry. ETSverification GmbH offers verification services within the framework of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation and the company is accredited in multiple EU member states. In preparation of emission trading several airlines have engaged ETSverification to assess their compliance readiness. During this optional Pre-Audit which consists of a Compliance Review / ETS Systems Review / ETS Data Analysis airlines benefited from the written Gap-Analysis report that list all Pre-Audit-Issues that could impact the legal audit in an adverse way. In many instances our Pre-Audit helped airlines not only to reduce the risk of a difficult Full-Year-Audit but also discovered how airlines could minimize the reported emissions. Guido Harling has a long lasting consulting and management accounting background. He holds a bachelor of science (Dipl. Chem. Ing.) and a master of business (Dipl. Wirt. Ing.) degree. He started his career at Vodafone (formerly Mannesmann) Datenverarbeitung North America in 1995 where he was in charge of supporting the SAP Financials modules of all Mannesmann US subsidiaries. Thereafter he took up a business consultant position at KPMG US where he specialised ERP and sales systems employed at airlines or airports and the financial processes that they support. Since 2005 he has been managing projects in the aviation and transportation area as a subject matter expert and partner for IATA, supporting the rollout of the SIS (Simplified Interline Settlement) program and IATA InvoiceWorks – the internet e-Invoicing platform. He can be reached under Tel: +49 172 676 929 or at email: Guido.Harling@Tasc4Aviation.com // Guido.Harling@ETSverification.com

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Sergio Martins

Sergio Martins – CEO & Founder of LinkSMART, a graduated Electrical Engineer, with MBA in Executive Administration and Pos-Graduation in Marketing and Branding Development, gathers over twenty five years of experience in the air transport industry, in areas as air traffic control, flight dispatch, flight operations engineering and air/ground communication projects. Between 1993 and 2008, Sergio Martins actively led data link implementation process in Latin America and the Caribbean, making friends and building credibility as one may testify by visiting the “Customer Testimonies” section of company’s website (www.linksmart.com.br).

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Dean Stewart

Betley Bridge Consulting Ltd was set up after a review of the market place showed that there was a lack of affordable IT / Business consultants with Airline and Tour Operator specialism knowledge. Our business philosophy is to provide high quality knowledge based business analysts and project managers providing cost effective end to end solutions. Betley Bridge understands the unique requirements of the travel industry, and has enjoyed great success by adapting and applying proven methodologies and techniques. All of our team are Prince 2 and ITIL qualified, and have experience in charter, scheduled and military operations. They are comfortable working with administration staff and Chief Executives, and able to deliver documents and training which can be used on the front line, and reports and advice that can be used to great advantage in the boardroom. Dean is the founder of the company and our Business Solutions leader. An experienced strategic thinker he looks at how any solution will effect all other areas of the organisation, not just the immediate area of impact. He has spent the last year working mainly with a group of airlines based in Gatwick, Stockholm and Athens installing, setting up and managing the reservations, passenger handling, Operations and Crewing systems. He has also been responsible for the entire IT department overseeing the network infrastructure, user services and supplier management. Since this contract finished he has been working with a selection of software providers giving them expert insight into how to position and market their products, and working with them to produce documentation and training materials, and representing them with their existing customers and exploring new opportunities with them. With more than 10 years of rostering management at XL Airways, National Jet Italia and British World, Dean’s main passion remains crew rostering and resource planning.

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Capt. Michael Bryan

Michael has enjoyed a full and diverse aviation career spanning 36 years. Currently in his 27th year with a major airline, he now commands the Airbus A380 aircraft. Michael has a broad base of experience in both the Airline and, General Aviation sectors, including training, development, management and corporate operations.   He has also provided Technology Consulting and, Project Management Services, to the Aviation, Oil Exploration and the Marine Service sectors, through his private company.   During the last 15 years, Michael has been appointed to various Management roles within Qantas Flight Operations, primarily involved in strategic technology development within the global airline industry. These have included various Electronic Library Systems (now Electronic Flight Bag, EFB) programs, three years as Chairman of the ATA/AIA “Digital Data” (SGML/XML FOWG) effort and, as a delegate to the ATN (PETAL II) and initial ATNFANS harmonisation efforts, sponsored by Eurocontrol and Boeing. He was involved with Qantas' early Electronic Flight Bag developments for the Boeing and Airbus fleets.   Key to this conference, Michael has, for over a 20 year period, been involved in the development and advocacy of information management standards, systems, applications and, process improvement initiatives for the Industry.   Michael has Chaired the early ATA/AIA FOWG committee. He has experience in Formal Strategic Planning (UTS Sydney), Project Management (University of Adelaide) and SGML/XML (Exoterica Corporation) qualifications to support his work in this area; and finally Michael was as a consultant in the earliest EFB specification and functional developments and project management.

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Jim Becker

Jim Becker is the former President and co-founder of Wingspeed Corporation, a company that delivered integrated, connected aircraft solutions through EFB hardware, software and wireless communications networks that connected airline fleets with back office support functions. Jim and his Wingspeed team installed and operated integrated solutions for FEDEX, ABX Air Cargo, Lynden Air Cargo, World Airways, Skybus, and Evergreen International Aviation among others. Jim spent eight years flying C-130s worldwide for the United States Air Force, with the first three years on active duty with a tour in Vietnam and then for 5 years with the Reserves. He first soloed in 1965 and has piloted aircraft ranging from supersonic jets to helicopters. He taught flying at the local airport while going to graduate school. Jim developed and patented the first digital VOR and his graduate thesis won the RTCA William B Jackson Award.

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Walt Akerley

Walt has worked in the aviation industry for over 20 years for airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers. As Network Manager for Canadian Regional Airlines  Walt managed implementation and support of IT in the HQ and Hangars as well as airport bases from Hailfax to Victoria and in 1992 he managed the migration of CRA IT Systems to the American Airlines systems. Later working for Sabre, he was the Operations Manager for the Prairie and Northern regions for Canadian Airlines and as a consultant he managed implementation of Common-Use Kiosks and Baggage Messages for the Baggage Sortation Systems at the Calgary International Airport. In 2003 he led the team implementing the ACARS program at WestJet Airlines, and most recently worked for Boeing on the 787 Gold Care Project as Solution Architect for integration between airline systems, aircraft and Boeing internal systems.  He has been with FLYHT for a year and in addition to providing design support to the software and hardware development teams he works with airline and OEM customers to design integration solutions between aircraft and ground systems. Walt is happy to assist you with all your ACARS enquiries.

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