Future Value Depends On Collaboration And Trust

Air transport has always depended on collaboration. It would be impossible without. And it’s becoming even more important as passenger growth trends drive the need for more aircraft and more airports. 

Aircraft operations have also become increasingly intricate, involving many, many different factors – not least the urgent requirement for the industry to deliver environmental sustainability. These advances in technology and digitalization provide access to vast quantities of data generated in real time. For airlines in particular, optimization of those operations requires an ever-growing catalogue of actions. It’s neither practical nor economically realistic to try and handle this in isolation.

When companies and organizations come together, they achieve more and better. SITA was founded by a group of fledgling airlines more than 70 years ago precisely on that principle. Co-operating and sharing resources and knowledge in areas of common purpose made sense.  

For example, today many airlines track fuel-saving initiatives through engine performance. But fuel-saving involves a whole range of different actions that need to be followed, many of them unrelated to technical issues. Being able to bring together the data together securely in one place – while guaranteeing ownership of the individual strands – opens the door to more granular and detailed options for improvements in performance and sustainability.

With individual flights generating terabytes of data, managing and keeping track of that data, as well as ensuring its integrity, is critical. But more than that, data is paramount in unlocking value. 

SITA is responding here too, by bringing the industry together through industry collaboration. One example is the concept of a diagnostic platform – based on the premise that, while airlines own the data, they are prepared to confide in SITA the management of that data. 

It places SITA at the heart of the data ecosystem, while ensuring airlines control the flow of data, and its integrity. Suitably managed in line with the airline customer’s own parameters, data can be shared with partners and suppliers, whether third party or internal. The value of collaboration is quickly established.

SITA OptiFlight is a portfolio for airlines focused on optimizing the various phases of flight. It is founded on a readiness to share data. For example, with access to an aircraft’s QAR data (Quick Access Recorded or full flight data) as well as other key data sets, SITA OptiClimb optimizes the climb phase of the flight. It combines aircraft tail-specific machine learning with 4D weather forecasts to recommend optimized speed changes at different altitudes. It predicts fuel burn in tens of thousands of flight scenarios, issuing recommended climb speeds to pilots ahead of each flight. It saves up to 5% in fuel and CO2 emissions. 

When analytics and engineering data are then added to individual aircraft flight performance, additional significant opportunities can be opened up for optimization, value and environmental sustainability. But of course, this only works so long as all parties involved are willing to share and trust privacy and ownership criteria provided.

How far can optimization go? How can greater levels of value be created through data? There will certainly be pressure to centralize data, make sure it is complete, make sure it is safely guarded.

There is a need for authority in the aviation community when it comes to exchanging information for the greater good – in other words, trust. SITA is using blockchain technology to create that trust – through collaboration platforms for people to exchange fully protected and trusted information.
SITA’s MRO Blockchain project is designed for lessors, MROs, OEMs, and other partners to efficiently collaborate in real-time via a digital data-sharing point, accessing up-to-date aircraft information at every lifecycle stage. The information accuracy is secured and protected within the blockchain network, transforming and strengthening the relationships between all members of the aircraft value chain community. Participants own the data, they control its use within and outside their own organization through blockchain technology.

SITA was founded on collaboration between airlines, a principle that has long been expanded to include the other stakeholders that underpin air transport – from those involved in the whole aircraft lifecycle to those who provide airport, air navigation and other key services.

SITA plays a core role in helping the aviation community use aircraft and related data to drive sustainable and efficient – while providing the essential framework of innovation, knowledge and trust needed to ensure privacy and security over the handling and use of data. 

For more information, go to www.sita.aero/solutions/sita-for-aircraft