When it comes to post-pandemic recovery, the aviation industry is poised for big change. Many airlines are re-evaluating the economics of their operations and see digital transformation as a primary way to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
While the road to accelerated digital innovation may not always be paved, there’s no doubt that collaboration between industry, academia and government will help the aviation industry fly.
A collaborative approach towards digital innovation encourages strategic partner and customer relationships that drive bold innovation and accelerate solutions from lab to market. Take the Digital Aviation Record System (DARS) project as an example. Announced this week, this Digital Supercluster project brings together a consortium of industry leaders, small businesses and academia. Together, they are building the world’s first industry-wide aviation maintenance data platform, replacing paper records with a digital record alternative that offers greater insight and reduces manual work.
According to Karl Steeves, CEO at TrustFlight, “We knew there was a better way to work, concluding that a consolidated digital platform like DARS could improve airline maintenance productivity and efficiency by up to 25 per cent, potentially saving the industry $3.5 billion a year.”
Each member of the DARS consortium brings something important to the table:
TrustFlight brings comprehensive technical and regulatory understanding of the aviation industry, along with deep expertise in digital aviation records and software development.
Boeing brings industry knowledge, influence and experience. They are actively pursuing digital-first solutions across Boeing to help airlines and operators reduce costs and operate more efficiently. In addition to providing the development requirements for the DARS platform, Boeing will also develop a decentralized identity solution that will integrate with DARS. This will enable the aviation industry to transition from paper to digital credentials.
RaceRocks brings experience in developing online fleet decision capabilities within the Canadian Defence industry. They know how to extrapolate data and display it in a way that is meaningful and easy to analyze.
UBC brings combined research knowledge in supply chain management and blockchain – a key technology with the DARS architecture.
Through collaborative partnerships come transformational technologies. Knowledge is shared (and often gleamed from unexpected sources), unique business expertise is leveraged and strong support networks are created to achieve things that no one organization could do on their own. Within the aviation sector, collaboration supports economic recovery by fast tracking the development of sustainable aviation technologies, efficient manufacturing solutions and streamlined maintenance processes. In summary, innovative collaboration within the aviation sector will prepare Canada for take-off on the global stage.