Automating data sharing to help airlines fly at their best
By Pierre-Yves Benain, SITAONAIR Portfolio Head e-Aircraft
Nick Ward, Rolls-Royce Head of Product Management for Digital Services, Civil Aerospace
If there’s one thing that truly unites airlines, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) teams, it’s ensuring aircraft fly at their best.
The key to understanding the story of every aircraft’s flight lies in being able to seamlessly share aircraft data – from the aircraft to the airline; the airline to its chosen OEM.
Airlines and OEMs need the most complete aircraft data picture possible, as soon as possible, post-flight, to optimize performance and cost-effectiveness, and minimize aircraft on ground (AOG) time. With every commercial AOG bringing a potentially significant financial loss every hour, mastering data management has become a key focus for the predictive maintenance value chain.
Sophisticated new automation tools hold the key for airlines wanting to seamlessly share these all-important aircraft data performance stories, ASAP, with those who need to see them. SITAONAIR’s new e-Aircraft® DataHub – launched earlier this year with Rolls-Royce as its trial partner and launch customer – has these very automation capabilities built in.
This neutral aircraft data-brokering service enables airlines to automatically and effortlessly share selected actionable insights with third parties – whether OEMs such as Rolls-Royce, third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) teams, or air framers – with minimal involvement for their IT departments.
For airlines signing up to use e-Aircraft® DataHub, it removes the need to set up new IT projects for every data transaction or sharing relationship, meaning no extra hassle or associated costs. How? Because e-Aircraft® DataHub securely aggregates and dissects all relevant data in one single, neutral datacentre that serves as a vital vault for information. It’s comprehensive, aggregating all aircraft data traffic inflight, while providing a timely end-of-flight service for bigger, multi-format data sets.
What’s more, once an airline has formally agreed to share its data with a chosen third party, its data-sharing agreement can be automatically extended to any others it wishes to data-share with, whenever it wants. In short, once the work is done for one OEM, it’s done for all.
This simplicity in automation remains regardless of the aircraft model, fleet type or data format. And the e-Aircraft® DataHub operation can be endlessly scaled-up to process and distribute any amount and variety of aircraft data a multi-fleet airline wishes to share with its third parties.
For Rolls-Royce, automating data sharing between airlines and OEMs with a ‘plug-in’-style solution means it can keep a close eye on how fleets are performing. Rolls-Royce can learn exactly when an inspection or repair is needed as soon as an aircraft lands, instead of having to rely on restricted, untimely and sporadic data collection, or unplanned AOGs. Also, by providing a neutral environment for sharing data, the e-Aircraft® DataHub is completely aligned with Rolls-Royce’s commitment to an open, collaborative and airline-biased data marketplace.
Ultimately, e-Aircraft® DataHub is win-win. With it, OEMs and MROs can deliver an added-value service to their airline customers by accessing approved, enhanced aircraft data insights. This enables every airline, in turn, to finally get the most out of their aircraft – and fly at their best for their passengers.