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Internet of Things: "Truly a game-changer"

Published on  03 April by Arnaud Brolly , Portfolio - Airline Operations , Air Travel Solutions, SITA
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Use cases in air transport

In this first of three blogs I’ll be citing some use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT) in air transport. At SITA we see a lot of really exciting potential for the future and we’re forging ahead with investments, research, innovations and projects to bring the emerging IoT to life in our community.

But first, a recap on the IoT. It’s a combination of physical things that need to collect and transmit data and need to be able to transmit to a network. It’s also about the analytics that enables actions either from the sensors themselves or from the users.

A revolution? A catalyst?

I wouldn’t necessarily say that IoT is a technology revolution – it’s more a business revolution enabled by technology and it’s a catalyst for the fourth Industrial Revolution globally, which will impact the air transport industry. Traditionally a digital business has been about a combination of people, actions and processes. With the IoT focusing on things, the game changer is that integration of intelligent and connecting themes can enable new efficiency and business processes.

It does this by interconnecting different components and providing full visibility of what’s happening in place of yesterday’s silo-based operational systems that resulted in fragmentation with no data sharing, limited visibility and lack of insight.

Uses in air transport

In terms of use cases, we see the IOT impacting areas such as:

  • Asset tracking
  • Asset management
  • Asset monitoring

There’s great value in being able to track, monitor and understand what’s happening to assets. The IoT can do that.

At the airport, the IoT can be used as part of building automation and facility management – indoor asset management and telemetry, for example. Sensors can generate a lot of information to be used to enhance passenger experience and to improve facility management. Tracking building management, workspace management, CCTV and creating synergies across all of this data across the airport.

In operations, we see human to machine collaboration moving up the agenda. Workflows could get direct insight and data from systems to improve passenger service. At the same time, the IoT and data generated by sensors could contribute to enhancing turnaround management and reducing the negative impacts of disruption.

For airlines, the IoT is raising growing interest in generating rich data, such as Cargo ULD (temperature, vibration, humidify, geo-localization). From a maintenance perspective, the IoT also helps to identify and localize key Spare parts component and them reduce the time of AOG (Aircraft On Ground).

And in the aircraft, of course, the IoT is integral to data from the airframe and the engines – but also in areas such as connected cabin for passenger or monitoring crew and pilot health.

At SITA, as I said, we see all of this huge potential and more, and I will be contributing a couple more blogs to help highlight this potential. The IoT is truly a game-changer for air transport and as we move forward, SITA will be monitoring it, along with other technologies, to harness its power for our air transport customers across the world. 

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