There’s no denying that data and data analytics has made a massive impact on the aviation industry in 2018. This year alone, Connected Aviation Today has covered emerging trends and developments in aviation data like the introduction of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband Safety (SB-S) and the use of FAA’s NextGen capability System Wide Information Management (SWIM).
As part of an ongoing series, Connected Aviation Today is sitting down with experts in the aviation industry to get their reflections on 2018. We recently had the opportunity to connect with Vivek Sheorey, Managing Director and CEO at Laminaar Aviation InfoTech Pte. Ltd. Sheorey discusses the emergence big data in aviation and how the expansion of SATCOM plays into that trend. Read the full conversation below:
Connected Aviation Today (CAT) Editors: The connected aviation ecosystem is quickly evolving. In 2018, what are some of the major milestones that you’ve seen in the industry?
Vivek Sheorey: Over the year, we’ve seen that the rapid and global proliferation of internet and broadband data communication has enabled the “aviation only” networks, known as the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN), to be supplemented with internet-based solutions like FlightAware, FlightRadar24, etc.
Flight Tracking aside, internet-based technologies are in the cockpit, cabin, and with passengers on-board a flight. The pilots, cabin crew, and passenger experience are now connected to the internet even when in the air! Air-Ground-Air Broadband Data connectivity enablers like Collins Aerospace’s FOMAX represent major milestone for the industry and these technologies will have a profound impact on the “connected aircraft” movement.
CAT Editors: What technologies have made a significant impact this year?
Sheorey: Satellite launch costs are coming down and the frequency and ease of launch is increasing by the day, putting more GPS and data communication satellites in orbit. This has in increased navigation accuracy, reduced dependence on ground-based guidance and tracking systems, and provided seamless global coverage, even over oceanic areas that were previously uncovered by terrestrial networks.
More satellites mean more availability, lower costs, and more applications.
CAT Editors: What challenges do we still face?
Sheorey: We still face a number of challenges in the industry. With satellite technologies advancing so rapidly, the adaption of data communications systems in the aviation enterprise is lagging. Additionally, with telecom/datacom costs coming down rapidly the established, traditional “connectivity” providers will see a massive reduction in revenues. Therefore, these revenue sources need to transform and form simple, connectivity-based models for comprehensive information technology solutions.
The new datacom systems are also triggering a flood of big data. This big data needs to be stored, processed, analyzed, and used efficiently to drive an effective Decision Support System. And while we have lots of data, analytics are limited. Enterprise data is not being leveraged effectively to gain business insights.
CAT Editors: How would you sum up your reflections for 2018?
Sheorey: Broader and faster data propagation that we’ve seen this year and years prior demands higher levels of data analytics. And this is just the beginning of a new data-intensive, data-driven, data-dependent era.
The year 2018 has been the year that the aviation industry has finally woken up to the promise of the “big data” phenomenon, with everybody is talking about “Digital Transformation” and how to achieve it.
According to Sheorey, 2018 has been the year that the aviation industry has opened its eyes to the power of big data, so what will 2019 bring? Stay tuned for his predictions for the New Year, which will appear in our January series on Connected Aviation Today.