Communications between an aircraft cockpit and an into-plane service provider (ITP) are set for a revolution.
Today, communications take place over a variety of channels, but voice and paper are not uncommon. And where digital communications do exist it is usually on a one-to-one basis.
So, an airline will interface with an ITP at a particular station because the $10,000–$20,000 cost to implement that interface is worth it given the volume of fuel involved.
If an airline only serves an airport once a week with a narrowbody, however, then clearly the cost-benefit analysis wouldn’t stack up.
IATA’s solution will also help mitigate cybersecurity concerns as it greatly simplifies the multitude of digital connections existing in this area today
To keep airline costs down and to help digitize all communications between ITPs and the cockpit globally, IATA is developing an industry Fuel Operational Message hub.
IATA’s solution means airlines and ITPs need only one interface to connect with every partner around the world and will help standardize fuel operational messages.
“This will save airlines and ITPs time and money,” says Daniel Chereau, IATA’s Assistant Director, Commercial Fuel.
“It will also help mitigate cybersecurity concerns as it greatly simplifies the multitude of digital connections existing in this area today.”
IATA has established a proof of concept and the challenge now is to roll out the solution and make it available to the whole industry.
There are some regulatory hurdles to overcome in digitization—such as some countries requiring paperwork to meet legacy regulations—but the opportunity for greater efficiency is sure to drive the hub’s development forward.