21 February 2020
Reading time: 6 minutes

How is the Internet of Things changing the aviation industry?

The Internet of Things is being used more and more, and even global giants are already using the optimization or information gathering solutions. All this to improve existing processes, acquire, process and report more data, or even introduce new services for their clients, thereby increasing sales revenue. How is the Internet of Things changing the reality of the aviation industry? We’ll explain everything in the text below.

Sale of additional services

Airlines are increasingly looking for solutions that will allow them to introduce additional fees and thus – increase sales. It seemed that the purchase of a preferred seat, larger luggage or priority boarding is the maximum, but it turns out that modern technologies allow to implement additional services that, at the same time, increase the comfort of the passenger, and offer him the purchase of additional amenities as well.

A great example of using the Internet of Things to increase the number of services are Airbus tests. An ecosystem – based on the Internet of Things technology – has been implemented on board the A350-900 Flight Lab, thanks to which it has been possible to provide additional services to passengers, crews and the airlines themselves. This system is a packaging for technologies such as: Big Data for processing very large amounts of data and Machine Learning for classification and pattern recognition.

Internet of things airbus

The new implementations mainly included:

  • Possibility to provide passengers access to a personalized on-board service. All this so that airlines can maximally adapt to the needs and preferences of the passenger. Thanks to this approach, customers would be able to order meals much better in advance in accordance with their tastes (or diet requirements), configure the seat or manage multimedia materials (who wouldn’t like to independently prepare a list of favorite or yet unseen movies that make travel more pleasant?).
  • The implementation of the system, which is focused on obtaining detailed information about their customers, means that airlines are able to display passengers personalized business ads of partners or their own products. We all know, how crucial it is to properly target advertising messages. By collecting and processing relevant data – using IoT – airlines can display messages tailored to the individual needs and interests of the passenger. Each of the options presented allows the company to increase the profits. All this is possible due to the fact that airports provide their wireless networks and airlines provide their applications that monitor user behavior. ~benefit to advertisers.
  • The implementation of the Internet of Things solution also allows the aircraft crew to manage the passenger cabin wirelessly. All this so that employees could more effectively manage e.g. passenger safety and respond to their needs faster.

Airbus has already conducted tests in the air and it seems to be a huge step in the aviation industry, which will force similar actions on other aircraft manufacturers. Digitization in this industry is developing extremely rapidly, therefore, stopping activities in this area might only lead to a reduction in the competitiveness of other brands.

Internet of Things solutions for airports

The digital transformation is more and more often used by airports having huge problems with capacity and traffic safety, monitoring of passenger baggage handling or energy management of individual buildings included in the airport.

IoT solutions allow not only for monitoring, but above all for a much faster response to emerging threats, errors or downtime. For example, based on the collected data on passenger traffic, airport employees can see exactly where the largest stoppages of people are, send there the appropriate specialists who will be able to direct the passenger traffic in such a way as to smooth the traffic and make better use of the airport space. As a result, queues for security checks or check-in can be reduced and passengers can be served much faster.

The same applies to traffic on the tarmac of the airport, where there are not only airplanes but buses or cars with luggage as well. Moreover, monitoring whether unauthorized persons move around the tarmac turns out to be an extremely important aspect in the context of security! By using appropriate sensors (connected to the IoT platform), the movement of individuals and vehicles can be accurately monitored. In this case, IoT platforms allow not only to monitor and collect acquired data, but also to analyze it and inform specialists about potential threats so they can react much faster!

Internet of Things solutions for airports

At airports, ongoing monitoring of the technical condition of individual machines (although not only) is a huge problem. IoT allows you monitor the condition of devices, inform service technicians about upcoming faults and direct them to the right place. In addition, using AR technology (using HoloLens or RealWear headset) they can be instructed how to make repairs or can simply interactively look at the current service work on this device. Not to mention the opportunity to review important instructions without unnecessary paperwork that takes up hands.

Moreover, at airports it is very difficult to locate the appropriate devices or equipment. In this case, the possibility of using the system to monitor the necessary tools allows for faster location and commencement of work with their use, which simply saves such valuable time.

Some airports even have the idea of introducing virtual tracking dogs that would focus on investigating passenger behavior anomalies. In this way, airport employees could use the tool 24 hours a day that will allow them to more effectively detect dangerous or unauthorized items in tourists’ baggage.

Waste management is also a huge problem for airports. The idea of monitoring the level of trash bin filling is already emerging. As a result, facility managers will know where to replace garbage bags and empty bins, which will optimize the costs generated by internal waste management.

Internet of Things for passengers

In addition to changes for the airlines or airports themselves, IoT is also expected to contribute to the passengers themselves. All this so that they can track information on the status of their travel in real time.

Internet of things for passengersFor example, at the airport in Krakow, an Internet network for passengers was introduced, thanks to which mobile devices belonging to travelers can display data collected by the airport and updated by carriers. In this way, they quickly get information about arrival times, potential delays, changes in gates. All this to make the traveler better informed, but also served, which translates into overall customer-passenger satisfaction.

Internet of Things is changing the world not only in areas related to logistics or automotive, but also in the aviation industry. All these changes are aimed not only at increasing profits, but also at optimizing processes and data collection, which is huge at the airports themselves. The most important is still the safety and anticipation of accidents and faults, which – thanks to IoT and data analysis – becomes much easier in every industry. Intelligent management of this information and using it to improve the efficiency of employees or facilities themselves is becoming crucial today. One thing is for sure. Changes are coming up fast! They force us to adapt to the needs of the world of technology and to the passengers themselves, who are dealing with technology more and more.

If you need any help with implementing IoT services, please contact us.

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