How Big Data is Changing Commercial and Business Aviation
Several examples of big data use in aviation to improve safety and the customer experience.
Bombardier Inc., Germany
Big data is reshaping business, helping companies to grow and operate more efficiently. One area where its many impacts and benefits are being felt and enjoyed is in aviation.
There are numerous examples of how big data is being applied to assist regulators improve safety and to help airlines better maintain their aircraft and forge strong relationships with customers. For example, United Airlines uses big data to provide tailor-made offers, while British Airways has an intelligent 'Know Me' feature that offers personalized search results to customers. Artificial intelligence is also making inroads, analyzing information from purchase data to better see demand patterns.
Among the other ways big data is transforming airlines are:
1) Increasing revenues by improving customer service - airlines are leading the big data revolution by analyzing customers' purchase history and other interactions with them. With data collection and analysis, carriers can make highly personalized offers, better understand customer behaviors and reduce pain points such as lost luggage. For example, Delta Air Lines has a baggage tracking app for customers that uses behind-the-scenes baggage check data that the airline's personnel also use to make sure bags aren't lost.
2) Smarter maintenance - nearly 30% of flight delay time is due to unplanned maintenance issues. Planes carrying monitoring sensors give technicians access to real-time and historical data from any location.
An example is Bombardier's Smart Link Plus program, which is aiming to bring big data to business aviation. The multinational manufacturer of regional airliners, business jets and public transport equipment is installing a health monitoring unit (HMU) in every one of its Global and Challenger business jets.
The HMUs will capture data from each plane, which will be wirelessly downloaded in flight and on the ground for actionable insights, such as predicting when maintenance will be required and to help improve operational efficiency.
"Our new Smart Link Plus connected aircraft program will create fully connected aircraft, enabling customers to access key data and insights to help with decision-making and flight operations," said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Bombardier's vice president and general manager, customer experience.
When the project is complete, the connected aircraft will connect the owners, maintenance crews, pilots and operators to data-enabled applications.
3)Reducing costs - AI systems with built-in machine learning algorithms collect and analyze a wealth of flight data regarding altitudes, distances, weather and aircraft weight and type. Findings from this data can be used to work out the optimal amount of fuel needed for a flight.
4)Timely performance measurements - Airlines are in a very competitive marketplace and small variations such as passenger enjoyment of services and load carried can have significant effects on performance. Prompt action is critical for success. Big data analytics can automate the production of daily activity reports such as the number of passengers and distance flown to help airlines see if their hitting targets.
No doubt, big data and big data analytics will continue to transform the airline industry for many years to come. Flight operations, air cargo, the customer experience are just some of the many areas that are ripe for big data solutions.
Next Story »