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Revolutionizing the flightline of the future

Tyndall’s flilghtline was the hot topic of discussion at the Flightline of the Future Summit that concluded here yesterday. One possibility discussed was the use of smart pavements specifically built and engineered to support a wide range of 21st Century features like pavement sensors that can predict when maintenance is needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Arias)

Tyndall’s flilghtline was the hot topic of discussion at the Flightline of the Future Summit that concluded here yesterday. One possibility discussed was the use of smart pavements specifically built and engineered to support a wide range of 21st Century features like pavement sensors that can predict when maintenance is needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Arias)

Flightline of the Future Summit attendees got a bird’s eye view of the flightline from Tyndall’s air traffic control tower yesterday. They discussed flight operations, its challenges and how best to improve operations with air traffic controllers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donald Arias)

Flightline of the Future Summit attendees got a bird’s eye view of the flightline from Tyndall’s air traffic control tower yesterday. They discussed flight operations, its challenges and how best to improve operations with air traffic controllers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donald Arias)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The Tyndall Program Management Office hosted a Flightline of the Future Summit Feb. 3 to explore opportunities to turn the base’s current flightline into a high-tech resource for the missions of tomorrow.

“We are incorporating visions across the enterprise to perfect the overall Installation of the Future concept, which includes a smart flightline,” said Col. Travis Leighton, PMO director. “The flightline of the future will directly impact Tyndall’s newest mission to house three squadrons of F-35 Lightning II fighter jets coming in 2023,” he said.

Charged with leading the rebuild and helping the 325th Fighter Wing bring their strategic vision to life, the PMO’s work at Tyndall will serve as a model for other installations, said Brig. Gen. John Allen, Air Force Civil Engineer Center commander.

“The decisions that are made at Tyndall throughout the rebuild are blazing the trail for future installations and the way in which we approach meeting their installations and mission support needs,” Allen said.

With a mostly virtual attendance of approximately 60 subject matter experts, the PMO invited key stakeholders to compare strategic plans and share lessons learned — information that is valuable to the program during the initial stages of the project. Partners such as the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Rapid Sustainment Office shed some light on existing prototypes being tested across the Department of Defense. There were also discussions about novel technologies available to help the working group visualize what a flightline of the future might look like.

Ideas like sensing the flightline to allow for aircraft predictive maintenance and converting maintainer data documentation into a completely electronic inputting system were brought to the table as probable improvements.

The PMO also called on the 325th Operations Group to provide insight on what the flightline of the future means to the Airmen who would interact with the technology on a daily basis. Ranging from airfield sweeper robots to an enhanced lightning detection system, 325th Operations Group presented a wish list of new systems and innovative solutions that would greatly optimize day-to-day flightline processes.

For the ultimate inspiration, the event closed out with a tour of Tyndall’s current flightline to put the what-ifs into real-life perspective.

The PMO will continue planning efforts for the flightline of the future, leveraging partnerships along the way to become knowledgable about technologies in the commercial and private sectors for utilization.

“We’re eager to partner with those who attended our event,” said Lowell Usrey, Tyndall PMO innovation chief. “We’ve been encouraged to go out and conquer when it comes to innovation, and rightfully so. Anything we do here will be providing for the entire enterprise – the Air Force, not just Tyndall.”

Visit https://www.afimsc.af.mil/TyndallPMO for pictures from the Flightline of the Future Summit event and more on the Tyndall rebuild progress.