Star Navigation CEO, Amir Bhatti, says that real-time data can transform airline operations.
What is the main driver behind STAR A.D.S? Is it safety and tracking, cost reductions or even sustainability?
The main driver is improving flight operations by providing decision support information that addresses economics and safety. It therefore also impacts things like lowering fuel burn that improves sustainability.
Star’s solutions tie together and provide an airline or aircraft operator several related benefits that, when combined, deliver significant impacts in reducing costs.
Sustainability is also an objective for airlines to measure and monitor, but clearly flying more efficiently provides for more sustainable aviation. Accurately measuring the fuel burns at various flight phases will allow airlines to accurately monitor the carbon emissions.
Tell us about your business model. And how easy is it to implement and use STAR A.D.S.?
The business model is a subscription after our “box” and the tiny antennae have been installed. The installation should be accomplished overnight with minimal operational impact. It is a one-off cost for the hardware and then a small amount of transmission costs, which include the SatCom and Cellular network charges.
Do airlines have the right resources to make use of real-time data?
Yes, they should have because they have an operational control center where they track flights. The information from Star complements this by offering more granular operational information, including predictive maintenance messages. This means an airline can prepare for maintenance before an aircraft lands to minimize disruptions and delays. Indeed, more information enables an airline/operator to react faster and more accurately to any event.
What is the next step beyond a system like STAR A.D.S.? What more can be done to improve tracking or real-time MRO?
As mentioned above, predictive maintenance is that step. The number one issue airlines/operators want to avoid is unplanned operational disruptions. More information helps to ameliorate this. For example, if there’s an engine issue, which engine? What is the issue? Can the aircraft continue to fly? How quickly is a spare part needed?
The overriding issue here is that once an operator/airline utilizes the Star solution and accesses the dashboard, better decision support information becomes part of their flight ops. This leads to an acceleration of the learning curve.
The dashboard can be updated and refined to show the information needed. The operator/airline becomes smarter and enters a virtuous cycle of learning/improving. This in turn allows an airline, for example, to use real data to show how it has improved fuel burn and cut emissions.