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How the IoT is improving the aviation industry

The adoption of the IoT forms part of the entire digital transformation process of aviation companies. The digital transformation process is defined as the necessary changes to a company for technology and its possibilities to lead to way of working and doing business of the company.

Thus, for example, the online element must be the backbone of sales, while social networks and other online content exhibition elements must be the priorities of the merchandising and advertising departments.

Digital transformation does not only affect where our actions are directed, where we focus, and where we act, but it must also shake-up the internal processes of the company itself, providing them with the appropriate technological tools and changing them when necessary to get the most out of the possibilities of the digital environment.

Aviation companies are born and operate in a highly specialised sector that is often a clear example of state of the art technology, from the aeroplanes themselves to ticket reservation and sales systems. These operate with a high volume of passenger data, processing it, maintaining privacy and passing it through the assistants that use artificial intelligence to resolve the doubts and queries of the customers, for example.

Future possibilities and present experiences

In terms of the IoT, the capacity to sensor and communicate with digital systems that have had specific objectives, allows aviation companies to improve in many areas, whether in customer service or in their internal management.

Some examples:

  • Improving passenger experience: elements such as climate control in the cabin can be controlled automatically and optimised by distributing strategically placed temperature sensors throughout the cabin. On the other hand, the flow of data must also allow more information to be provided to those whose are waiting for a flight in the airport, for example, and help them to automate, even more, the check-in process.
  • Safety: for different components of the aeroplane to have sensors to measure certain settings, and to be able to communicate with each other and/or with a central system and, above all, with the ground controls, improve the efficiency and safety of the aircraft, allowing them to carry out diagnoses in real time, which provides the possibility of carrying out maintenance and preventive interventions that extend the operating time of the aircraft and increase their safety, offering an added value both to the airline itself and to the customer. A good example of this practice is what Virgin Atlantic is doing with its Boeing 787 fleet.
  • Management of goods/luggage: not finding your luggage at your destination may soon be a thing of the past for airline customers thanks to RFID labels, a technology being applied by Delta Air Lines. The same technology can be used by shipping companies to track goods. Furthermore, tracking data can be sent to passengers or to shipping companies so that they can practically monitor at all times and from their smartphone where their belongings are.
  • Saving: taking the most efficient routes, at the same time as optimising fuel consumption, results in lower expenses and therefore maximises profits. AirAsia has already implemented a system with these features that will provide it with estimated savings of between 30 to 50 million dollars over five years.

If you work in the world of aviation in any of its fields, the forefront of the IoT will interest you. You can find it at the IoT World Congress that will take place in Barcelona from 29 to 31 October.

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Pedro Mier

Pedro Mier holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineer ing from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, MBA from ESADE and PADE from IESE. He is currently President of AMETIC (Association of Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies of Spain), Shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRYO Aerospace & Electronics, Board Member of the Premo Group and Committee of CTTC. member of Space Angels Network and Member of the Sc ientific Advisory