The 2016 Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity and IFE Conference being held at the Park Hotel, Heathrow, UK is under way.
This is the third time the event had been held, underlining the increasing interest in aircraft eEnablement and how it can help reduce costs for airlines.
The organisers, Aircraft Commerce, said the conference helps airline departments understand the operational benefits and revenue opportunities available from connected aircraft.
The conference is covering all aspects of aircraft communications, connectivity and IFE (for the ground, cockpit and cabin).
The agenda features keynote addresses by representatives from Boeing, Inmarsat, ViaSat, Global Eagle Entertainment, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, KLM, Teledyne, Ultramain Systems, Panasonic, SITAONAIR, Rolls-Royce, and others.
Conference Chairman Johan Bank, Vice President Engineering, KLM Engineering and Maintenance, opened the event, saying: “I started my career as a flight engineer on DC10s 35 years ago. Back then the only way of contacting your home base was by HF radio.
“But today, there are so many new developments that we are entering a totally new world and that raises a lot of new questions.
“Questions around aircraft health monitoring, preventative and predictive maintenance. But there are also questions around data ownership – is it the OEM, the airline, and to whose benefit are we sharing the data?”
Bank also raised questions around data security, control, governance and the effect of data on flight safety.
“Also, what does it mean to fly with a connected cockpit, with passenger connectivity and new e-enablement concepts?” he said. “How do you ensure that no one on the outside can hack the aircraft’s controls and instruments?”
The first speaker, John Synnott, Manager Flight Operations Information Technology, Safety Operations and Infrastructure (SFO), IATA, agreed and said: “The ownership of aircraft data is very important and an issue that needs to be addressed if we are to move forward.”
The two-day event will look at everything from cabin connectivity and IFE to making the most of engine data.