Next generation aircraft

Next generation aircraft are true ‘flying data centres’ and therefore need to be fully integrated into the information technology (IT) infrastructure and networks of the air transport industry (ATI). This requires innovative solutions, particularly in the areas of aircraft connectivity in-flight, at the airport and during maintenance operations.

The concept in practice

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Airlines face five key challenges:

  • Integration – New aircraft need to be integrated operationally into the existing IT chain, both at airports and in airline systems
  • Authorization – All aircraft management tasks must be performed by properly trained and qualified personnel
  • Transparency– New workflow tools will be needed to allow participants in the same ‘value network’ to share data in real-time, thereby creating improved transparency across business processes
  • ‘Right time’ – Information needs to be shared between operational staff, often from different organizations, at the ‘right time’
  • Mobility –  Mobile communications technologies have the power to allow data to be provided at its ‘point-of-use’, wherever that is

SITA is working to develop innovative aircraft management and aircraft operational communications’ solutions to meet the business needs of airlines; Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MROs); and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

Priorities include:

  • Enable  Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs)
  • Secure loading of software aircraft parts
  • Automatically identify parts for faster turnaround and better asset tracking
  • Reduce inventory and enhance safety through better reliability reporting
  • Improve operational efficiency through enhanced mobility at airports
  • Introduce next generation air-to-ground communications

By integrating aircraft into ground IT chains, supporting digitization of safety regulatory and airworthiness data, and providing tools to optimize aircraft maintenance and the supply chain, SITA aims to deliver faster aircraft turnaround, secure air to ground communications, maximize asset management, provide end-to-end process compliance and improve credentials management.