With an increasing volume of data that airlines and airports need to manage daily, the use of big data in the aviation sector has grown.
Big data is currently one of the hot topics in business, and aviation has not been left behind.
With the advent of the Internet, the data stored in web pages, databases, and social networking sites can now be accessed, processed, and analysed with much greater ease than before. This data may be structured in tabular data, graphs, and unstructured text.
Big data can be extracted from airlines, airports, aircraft, flight control systems (FMS), and many other sources. The analysis of this data can provide much more meaningful information than analysing the unstructured text files. This information can then be used for better decision-making and improved efficiency. Today’s airlines are very much aware of the need for big data, and they are willing to pay for it.
One of the first instances of big data in the aviation sector was in the 1990s. This data came from the ATC (Air Traffic Control) sector. Back then, ATC systems provided data in a very crude form, especially when it came to aircraft tracking. However, with the help of better software, the data available to air traffic controllers have improved considerably. This has been the possible use of modern technology such as the GPS (Global Positioning System), computer networks, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things.
The use of big data in the ATC sector is not limited to tracking aircraft. It is now possible to store all the data in one place and be able to access it later. For example, in the future, it may be possible to keep weather information in an airport and then be able to retrieve this data later in the airport weather office. The FaaS (Flight Attendant’s Assistant System) project tests such a system in the European Union.
Airline IT systems
IT systems are responsible for capturing and storing data regarding every flight. This data includes the flight schedule, passenger information, airport information, flight status, route information, etc. The airline IT systems also need to be able to be accessed from any of their servers or computers.
Since the airline IT systems need to handle a lot of data, the data must be easily accessible. The airline’s IT systems need to be connected to databases that can be used to look for specific information.
One of the most important parts of airline IT systems is passenger information. The flight crew uses this to contact passengers and inform them of any changes to their flights. This can also alert the airline about any changes in passenger flight information, such as seat reservations, changes in destination, or any other changes in the passenger flight plan.
The airline IT systems also need to store passenger data such as credit card information. This data may need to be linked to a customer care centre to facilitate any queries. It may also be possible to look at the purchasing patterns of certain airlines. Airlines often keep records of frequent flyers, so it may be possible to build profiles of their habits and preferences.
Passenger data may also be available to an airline as a part of its marketing strategy. It is important to note that all the data available to the airline may not be accessible to third parties. There may be privacy concerns, and the airline may have contractual obligations not to provide any such data to third parties. The airline may also need to ensure that they do not store too much information in one place.
The data that an airline IT system needs to store is almost endless. Therefore, an airline needs to choose which data to store and how to store that data. While many databases may be available to store data, they need to be chosen with care. The choice of a database or data storage system needs to be based on the size of the data, access speed, security, and other parameters.
FMS (Flight Management System)
An FMS is a software system that can be used to manage flight operations on an airline. The FMS handles and monitors aircraft and flight crew and ground operations such as taxiing, fueling, and de-icing. The airlines use their FMS to manage their operations. The FMS collects data regarding aircraft performance and flight crew. The information can then be analysed and used to schedule aircraft, assign flight crew, and issue flight plans. The FMS may also need to store data regarding the route and airport the flight is supposed to travel. The FMS may also be used to automate other aircraft operations. FMS for automatic takeoff and landing is now common in many aircraft. The FMS can also be used to detect weather issues and automatically change the flight plan in case of such issues.
The FMS needs to store data regarding every flight, the departure and arrival airports, the type and condition of aircraft, the flight crew, and the flight schedule. In addition, the FMS may also need to store information about other aircraft on the route that the flight is supposed to take.
A major part of FMS data is related to safety. The airlines often need to keep track of the weather in the region where the flight is about to take place. The FMS may also need to keep track of any other issues that may cause a delay or cancellation. The FMS may also need to store information regarding matters regarding crew safety. The airline may need to be able to contact their flight crew in case of any emergencies.
Aircraft information is essential for both airlines and airports. The collected data is often used to improve airport operations, aircraft maintenance, and operations. The information may also be used to improve air traffic management. Flight crews need to know the aircraft they are working on. They also need to know the performance of their aircraft. They also need to know the maintenance that must be carried out in case of malfunctions.
All the information collected regarding aircraft is usually stored in an aircraft information database. The aircraft information database stores the information in the form of tables. The tables store serial number, manufacturer, maintenance date, etc. The information stored in the tables may be used to keep track of aircraft history, maintenance records, etc. The information stored in the tables may also be linked to an aircraft maintenance database.