Aviation Software Solutions .What Has Changed in the Last few Years and What to Expect?


Flying was not what it used to be, right? Aviation as a sector was severely disrupted due to the Corona crisis and went through a period when airplanes had to stay grounded for months. As the travel industry was slowly restarted, the world was going through digital disruption. Don’ get me wrong, aviation software solutions are nothing new per se, their scale and quality just surpass everything that ever was.

From my experience working in a bespoke software development company that partners with a private jet company that became a Unicorn in 2018, I can see the significant impact software solutions have in aviation. Today, we explore how aviation software has evolved over the years as well as predicted future developments.

Early Stages of Aviation Software Solutions

The Information Age as we know it today is considered to have arrived with the emergence of the Internet since the 1970s, kept unfolding during the 1980s, and continues to evolve to this day. Thus, the adoption of digital technologies and software solutions in aviation also evolved gradually and continues to do so to this day.

The use of digital computers for aircraft design began by large aerospace companies in the 1970s. It included technologies such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, structural analysis materials using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and aerodynamic modelling and aircraft design.

Digitalisation Across the Aviation Sector

In 2020, a survey by Flightplan showed that digital transformation is likely to play a pivotal role in the recovery of the aviation industry. While this trend is already serving as a catalyst within aviation, there are also high hopes in the direction of increased connectivity and digital services across the industry. Additionally, survey respondents see some technologies as key for shaping the future of aviation software solutions: Big Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics.

Building on the idea of increasing tech use in aviation, let’s also not forget the business side of things. Airline companies handle tremendous amounts of data every single day, including information regarding internal operations, third-party vendors, passenger data, cargo packages and many more. Some of them that embrace digital transformation work closely together with software vendors and develop solutions customised to their particular needs. Despite that aviation is facing similar issues worldwide, bespoke software solutions help solve unique problems that companies face while reducing operational costs and risks in the long run.

Digital Business Operations in Aviation

There are massive amounts of data processing involved in pre-flight operations and in-flight management, including invoice handling, financial data evoking, slots permissions, best route finders, weather predictions, etc. For example, slot and handling requests have traditionally been performed as manual tasks as it involves contacting national authorities responsible for this. Years ago, our software developers at Dreamix managed to optimise this for our partners from Vista Jet, creating a solution that automatically handles, tracks and manages these requests, reducing human errors and boosting team productivity.

Even though the aviation industry is one of the advanced sectors in regards to digital transformation, there are still companies that struggle with manual tasks that are time-consuming and inefficient. Custom software systems can be designed to make

automated flight plans, custom flight packages, and crew briefings for you. You’ll also be able to optimise standard business operations like invoicing, payables, and receivables, as well as ensure third-party integration with your main system.

Artificial Intelligence in Aviation

According to Harvard Business Review predictions, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, will drive an additional $13 trillion in the global economy for the period of 2020-2030. In fact, AI and its subsegment Machine Learning (ML) have been the driving forces behind aviation innovation for decades. Whereas the concept of AI has been around since the 1950s, three key advancements of today’s technology turn things around: the boost computing powers, the enormous data collecting and storing capacities and bespoke software development of complex algorithms.

For example, Airbus is already utilising the power of AI for computer vision, natural language processing (NLP) and time series analysis to handle complex predictions and flight scenarios. While autopilot has been standard for decades, today, IT and aviation experts join forces and work on a simplified command input via speech recognition or even concepts for digital co-pilots and highly autonomous cockpits.

Digitalisation Initiatives on Airports

We saw this trend even before the pandemic outbreak. On most of the largest international airports, there were these stand-alone machines that helped passengers with checking in and printed their boarding cards. Most aviation experts regard digitalisation as a critical facilitator not only for dealing with the pandemic effects but also for restarting and recovering once all restrictions are lifted.

At airports, it is all about convenience and customer satisfaction even before boarding has begun. Airline companies know that well enough to consider digital services as vital ingredients contributing to improving their on-site services and overall customer experience. Passenger processing has evolved and will continue to evolve, necessitating airport adaptability. Aviation companies should also take into account the hesitation of some travellers regarding airport sanitary conditions. This calls for increased measures towards cleanliness that aligns with automation, serving the idea of digital airports.

The Future of Flying: 2030 Predictions

With all these technological advancements approaching, airline companies need to rethink their and some o fthem maybe their business model. What do you think the customer journey of the future will look like? Luckily, there is a recent German survey sponsored by the ILA (Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace) Berlin and Bitkom regarding the subject. 102 experts pronounced themselves on what the expected future customer journey in aviation looks like.

According to them, by 2030, everything from ticket booking to baggage claim will be influenced by Big Data to make the overal passenger experience easier and more comfortable than ever. Also, industry experts suggest that 97% of drinks and food would be available to purchase before boarding, and 42% of airports would likely have VR (Virtual Reality) systems to help easily navigate passengers. Last but not least, it is presumed that passengers will be able to use audio and video streaming services while they enjoy their flight (100%).

Author Biography Aleksandrina Vasileva :

Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen оn innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background, mixed with interests in psychology, drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration.

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