Preparing for Tomorrow: Emerging role of technology in the aviation space

Emerging role of technology in the aviation space

In the Covid-19 scenario, technological reliance has become the new norm for all airports throughout the country. The Indian aviation industry is currently in the process of transitioning from a digitally enabled to a completely digital state.

A look at the key emerging technology solutions in the aviation space…

The adoption of cloud-based apps and big data is growing rapidly in the aviation business. The information received through these is then put to use for internet of things (IoT). IoT is a te­ch­nology framework, not a technology, which means that it is more than the sum of its parts. IoT is a method of combining various enab­ling technologies in a specific way to accomplish so­me­thing new. The advent of IoT has transformed the aviation sector by linking devices and sensor-based systems, thus opening the way for various types of regulation and control.

IoT includes not just travellers and staff ma­nagement, but also baggage tracking and cabin climate management, as well as emergency notifications, all of which are crucial for the aviation in­dustry. IoT is already being used at airports in a variety of ways, including trave­ller information systems, traffic monitoring, bag­gage systems and facility management. The majority of these applications are aimed at increasing efficiency. The Hyderabad Interna­tional Airport has introduced IoT-enabled smart baggage trolleys, thereby becoming the country’s first airport to de­ploy IoT for tracking and maintaining the av­a­ilability of baggage trolleys for passengers in real time across the airport.

The implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the aviation industry has resulted in some significant changes in the way fligh­ts are being operated today. Leading airline ser­vice providers around the world are now employing AI tools and technologies to provide passengers with a more personalised travel experience. One segment where AI capabilities may add a lot of value is the expansion and automation of the data collected across the airport as well as its effective analysis and interpretation. The airlines are implementing AI technology for functions such as predictive analytics, pattern recognition, auto-scheduling, targeted advertising, and customer feedback analysis for enhancing passenger experience. Airlines may also use AI to inform passengers of real-time wait figures at security checkpoints, giving them a sense of how long they can prepare to wait in the security queue.

Machine learning is a branch of AI that improves the ability of algorithms to identify patterns on their own. It is also how airports may use automation to improve efficiency and minimise any possible threat.

For the aviation industry, the primary application of blockchain technology is security and identity. With the introduction of blockchain, passenger data can now be shared in a protected, tamper-proof and dependable manner. A blockchain decentralised ledger is an integral part of the technology that tracks transactions. In order to make the ledger irreversible, cryptographic technologies are utilised. Blockchain has the potential to manage passenger identity while simultaneously safeguarding the privacy and allowing airlines as well as the larger value chain to conduct business in digital settings. Favourable governmental regulations on the protected transmission of passenger data and blockchain network norms will serve as a catalyst for greater blockchain implementation at airports in the coming future. The Inter­na­0tional Air Transport Association recently confirmed that it is working on a travel pass solution that could revive international travel and eliminate mandatory quarantine restrictions. The solution is based on decentralised block­chain technology, which eliminates the possibility of a central database being hacked into to gain access to confidential data.

The boarding process is being streamlined and made more convenient for passengers by airports throughout the country. Electronic gates are currently being installed at various checkpoints throughout airports. This reduces the number of people needed at the airport and speeds up the movement of the queues. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad has become the first airport in India to begin providing end-to-end paperless e-boarding for international flights. Electronic boarding is another initiative that has started to gain popularity in the airport industry. The e-boarding system improves customer experience by reducing queue waiting times and improving the airport’s overall safety and security.

Future outlook

Indian airports are gradually implementing digital technologies in order to enhance passenger experience. Going ahead, the Ministry of Civil Aviation aims to bring together the entire aviation industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will provide a seamless and consistent service experience to passengers.