By connecting smart devices with other smart devices, and allowing them to communicate with each other, the Internet of Things (IoT) is making our lives better. We can expect IoT to affect many sectors in the future and this includes aviation. Increased safety and passenger comfort and reduced travel time are some of the ways IoT could affect aviation. But, much needs to be done before this opportunity can be realized.
Air Traffic Control
One of the most stressful jobs in the world is controlling air traffic. To avert the dangers of everything from extreme weather, onboard malfunctions or human error, to terrorist attacks—people managing air traffic control need to have razor-sharp reactions. While technology has been introduced into air traffic control, it is still a task heavily dependent on the skill and ability of the people performing it.
If thousands of flights weren’t dodging each other every day, there wouldn’t be any need to improve air traffic control. However, things are not that way. The good news is that there is a technology that can help improve air traffic control and aviation , and that technology is Internet of Things (IoT).
Unlike other aviation technologies, IoT isn’t directly involved in air traffic control instead it provides the people controlling air traffic with actionable insights which they can use to make informed decisions. And this is exactly what is required because at the end of the day, the quality of air traffic control depends on human decision making.
IoT can improve air traffic control in many ways and following are some of them.
Over the years, there has been a reduction in the delays caused by air traffic. Much of the credit for this goes to a device capable of predicting traffic load, which allows the people managing air traffic control personnel to accurately plan for the traffic due and fine-tune staffing based on it. Using an IoT based solution, air traffic control can not only get better flight data, but can also reduce every flight’s workload, which in turn can lower the chance of delays or, accidents.
Plot the Route of a Flight
Currently, data related to the flight including aircraft type, its altitude and intended route are printed out. Moreover, to record the information transferred to and from the aircraft, blank paper spaces are utilized. For each aircraft, several paper strips are used. To mentally determine their current location, each flight’s position at a time is compared by the controller. After flights have passed via the airspace, these strips of paper are maintained for almost a month.
By enabling data, the sharing of data on each flight between controllers is more easy and is automated, IoT air traffic control solutions can help plot the route of a flight and avoid potential conflicts and other unforeseen circumstances.