The aviation industry is at the beginning of a transformation, one that’s focused on efficiency, safety, and more enjoyment for people as they connect to the world wherever they are. Much of this is made possible due to the airline industry’s rapid adoption of aircraft broadband connectivity and airport technologies that enable a seamless passenger journey.
This seamless journey begins even before the passenger arrives at the airport. Booking details and associated information travel over a protected private network, security hardened to meet demanding TSA requirements. At the airport, the traditional bottlenecks associated with transitioning – from the curbside through check in, and then through security to the airline departure gate – will quickly disappear. Self-service check-in and bag drop can be integrated with passengers’ unique biometric data to enable ease of passage through the airport, from security to aircraft boarding.
Once onboard the broadband equipped aircraft, passengers are able to stay connected through their personal devices for entertainment or work. Cabin crew can use the same connection to provide differentiated experiences for passengers traveling in all classes of service.
At the airport, the traditional bottlenecks associated with transitioning – from the curbside through check in, and then through security to the airline departure gate – will quickly disappear.
‘Smart cabins’ offer the opportunity to further enhance the passenger experience. For example, pre-order what drink and snack you would like ahead of time right from your smart phone. With advanced sensors, imagine lighting that can adjust automatically with each stage of the flight, or that determines the need for changes based on time of day or external weather conditions. These are just a few examples and the potential for fully connected aircraft makes this a very exciting time.
General operations, pre-flight checks and more can be easily synced with ground operations to bring a new level of productivity that result in better economics, or lower ticket prices. Pilots will benefit from new applications such as real-time weather that will increase on-time departures and make flights safer and more comfortable.
The opportunities are there to dramatically improve the passenger experience as we know it, and Rockwell Collins is at the forefront of reimagining it every step of the way.