Data Science – The Only Hope for the Aviation Industry

The condition of the aviation industry is quite pitiable all over the world. Most of the airlines have suffered some serious losses in the last few years. We have seen a number of airlines close due to lack of profitability. Important as this industry is in today’s world it has very little margin for profit. Too many factors play crucial roles in the functioning of the airlines. A storm here and a flood there can stall flights for hours or even days. Every minute that an aircraft stays on the land is counted in losses. Aeroplanes need to fill and they need to fly, continuously. Then again there is maintenance. Airlines find it quite difficult to make the ends meet.

Data analytics in use

A lot of liners have been using data analytics to optimize different sectors of the industry but they have not really been able to take data science to the cock pit. The ticket sales, the pricing, ground security, maintenance, all these areas of the industry make crucial use of data analytics. For instance, the ticket pricing is optimized to maximize profit – the price goes up with demand accurately. This is done with the help of data analytics, of course.

The aircraft maintenance is looked after with the help of data analytics, so that it happens fast and effectively. In fact different aircrafts can be used for the same flight depending on the demand. For instance in case of an increased demand for economy class seats an aviation company can do away with the business class seats and use a different aircraft which has more economy class seats.

These usages have helped the airlines over the years but they need something more now. It is time that analytics is applied during the flight.

Importance of in flight analytics

Fuel consumption is one of the primary expenditures in the flying business. The consumption of fuel changes with speed, height and the air pressure. With the help of real time analytics flights can optimize their rout, height and speed to minimize fuel consumption and thus save thousands of dollars worth of gasoline in each flight.

An aircraft has thousands of sensors which record hundreds of petabytes of data in every flight. If this data can be conveyed to the air traffic controlling units in real time, they can help the pilot take the optimal way.

The problem with this

The single obstacle in the way of introducing in flight, real time analytics is the lack of bandwith at the altitude of 35,000 feet. Even the best bandwith does not allow more than 12megabytes per second. However, a tech firm called Spacex has recently come up with a disruptive technology which allows bandwith of upto 600megabytes of data per second during a flight. This will definitely help the cause.

Every second business in the world has already integrated some sort of AI system to aid the business processes and to drive profit. The aviation industry is no exception. In industry which is so explicitly dependent on technology, the extreme utility of AI and machine learning is quite obvious. The in flight advanced analytics, once in motion, can really change the face of the industry.

Data science training as it has spread all over the world has helped different industries find suitable talents for their needs. All though there is still a large gap between demand and supply, it will definitely close as more and more students gain access to data science education. We have talked at length about the aviation industry here; a tonne of different can similarly profit from data analytics. We will see the sea change sooner than we probably expect.

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