Using AI to Ease Airline Maintenance During Increased Summer Travel
Travel, travel, travel. It seems like it is all everybody is talking about today. The rescheduled dates of once-delayed vacations and trips are finally here, and the majority of the country is eager to get away and explore this summer. In fact, a recent survey found that 73% of consumers have summer travel plans, compared to only 53% last year.
We all have seen the rise in airline fares, resulting in people willing to take fewer trips but still travel at least once or twice during the summer months. With more people getting ready to take off, it would be nice if everything went according to plan, and we are well aware that is not always the case. So, how can airlines ensure everything runs smoothly for your much-anticipated trip?
It starts with ensuring planes are in good condition to take multiple flights a day and spend less time on the ground undergoing maintenance, leading to flight delays and cancellations.
Believe it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) plays a significant role in doing just that. Let’s explore how.
Consolidation of Company Data for a 360-Degree View
Similar to all large companies, airlines have a substantial amount of data. Some of this data resides in company files like maintenance documentation, inventory lists, airplane blueprints, and some in external data sources. Keeping track of this data across multiple teams and airport locations can be tricky. However, consolidation of company-wide information into a single view can benefit departments across the airline, including maintenance.
Using AI to consolidate various types of information can allow maintenance teams to keep a better pulse on their data coming from airplane inspections, repairs, inventory lists, and more. Doing so also allows all the eager travelers to get to where they need to be, and companies aren’t losing money by having their planes stuck on the runways.
A holistic view of data looks at the complete picture of information, often called a 360-degree view. Connecting data from over 100 possible data sources or applications an airline has and making it available with a single search makes holistic views a reality for the aviation industry and beyond.
Information When You Need It, How You Need It, All in a Matter of Seconds
Airplanes, of course, need to undergo maintenance checks to confirm they are safe to fly and safety needs to remain the number one priority. Using technology, precisely AI solutions can ensure these checks are timely regarding when they are performed and how long they last. Optimizing for time satisfies the airline, maintenance worker, and customers waiting to board the aircraft.
Maintenance teams on the ground can use an AI system to perform searches of components they are checking and, in return, get the full scope of that component in a matter of seconds. Using image recognition, solutions can determine exactly what the worker is looking at and categorize it correctly.
Once the solution understands what type of information is needed from an image or a human language search, proactive insights can be provided directly to the worker. This may come in the form of relevant paragraphs and sections from a long text document, as a digital twin enriched with insights, permitting 3D interaction with the aircraft part, or even on a dashboard filled with collected data.
In short, this technology speeds up the process of searching and ultimately finding the information needed to perform a task. Because this information is updated in real-time from airports worldwide, reworks are avoided as the full scope of company-wide intelligence was used to optimize the job.
Other Uses of a 360-Degree View for Maintenance Teams
There are a handful of examples where searchable information related to aircraft can be used. A popular one is identifying the expert within your organization. The solution that allows for quick and accurate information finding on components can also be used to find the right people.
AI solutions work around the clock crawling company-wide data for information. Sometimes help from a colleague is necessary, especially in such a specialized environment like aircraft maintenance. Suppose a worker cannot perform a fix or simply has a question. In that case, semantic relations can be used to draw a connection between different entities – for example, a circuit board and the person who authored the document on a new type of circuit board.
Popularly termed “predictive maintenance,” sensors can be used on different parts of an aircraft and detect any variations from the norm. Proper sensor detection triggers an alert to maintenance teams; they know exactly what part to check on when a plane lands at a given airport.
Using all available data through proper connection and search can provide countless benefits to airline companies with their maintenance efforts and other departmental use cases. Speeding up checks and fixes while maintaining a higher level of accuracy and safety is the ultimate recipe for smooth travel days and getting passengers to where they need to be. All you need is a little help from AI.