The aviation industry’s primary purpose is to connect the world. In much the same way, the Internet of Things (IoT) links technology to make life easier. IoT refers to any network of devices (though not necessarily computers) that communicate with each other online. Although most people have experience with this capability only in terms of voice-activated home assistants and app-controlled appliances, the potential that IoT has to transform various businesses is virtually limitless.
For example, airlines and airports have already integrated this tech into standard operations. They use it to streamline processes and improve customer service. Here are a few prominent examples of how IoT is changing the aviation sector for the better, for pilots and passengers.
Many modern aircraft models feature technology that informs support crews about mechanical problems even before a manual inspection. This means technicians can begin repairs or regularly scheduled maintenance immediately, mitigating downtime and preventing further damage.
Additionally, IoT allows suppliers and manufacturers to have greater accuracy when predicting inventory levels. Because they receive timely updates whenever a component is reaching the end of its lifespan, these teams can be prepared with a replacement.
Plotting the most efficient routes is critical for airlines to save money on fuel. Thanks to a constant link between the plane and the ground, pilots can know as soon as they deviate from the flight plan. This can significantly improve fuel efficiency and avoid waste.
Even better, operators also receive up-to-the-minute notifications concerning the effectiveness of equipment and other resources. This gives them all the information they need to make informed and safe decisions.
With greater connectivity throughout the airport and the plane, passengers can have a much smoother, more convenient traveling experience. For example, they can check the flight status from their mobile devices, find available space in an overhead bin or order drinks from their seats.
Cargo and Baggage
With IoT, every bag or parcel can be tagged with RFID, which means each item can be accurately tracked while in transit. No more anxiety about lost or delayed baggage — anyone waiting for an essential shipment can rest easy.
IoT is as much a game-changer for the aviation sector as the invention of the airplane was for travel. By increasing communication and simplifying operations, the industry can save money and better serve its customers.
Allen Jones is Chief Operating Officer of National Aero Stands, a world leader in engine stand leasing — founded with the purpose of providing aircraft engine transportation stand support. Jones, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, currently oversees daily business and leasing operations.
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