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The connected aircraft is becoming a reality

Jun 19. 2017 

Imagine a company able to combine unique global leadership in air traffic management and top-ranking positions in inflight entertainment, connectivity and avionics ; a company able to connect the ATM world and cockpits -including legacy and open-world systems- and offer passengers an unmatched degree of connectivity. Thales is already working on assuring a permanent connection between the aircraft and the ground.

By 2030, it is expected that passenger traffic will double. Thales is ready to lead the way in managing the future growth of air traffic management and flight route optimisation. To meet growing demands, aerospace players (airlines, OEMs, Thales, supply chain) need to prepare for the digital transformation and must have the capabilities to support it — big data, a fully connected and secure ecosystem and increased use of artificial intelligence, which will change the way aerospace actors interact with the aircraft.

Connectivity is a key enabler of the digital transformation

Thales is shaping the future of air transport by bringing best-in-class connectivity onboard through cybersecured products.
Today, cockpit (flight crew) needs secure, reliable and robust connectivity for air traffic control (ATC) and airline operations centre (AOC) communications, plus EFB applications. Cabin crew looks for connectivity to provide support for passengers, such as telemedicine. Passengers expect an ‘at-home’ connected experience in the air and airlines want to effectively monitor their fleets and compile data about the health of their aircraft and passenger preferences/behaviours, allowing them to make data-based decisions to increase efficiency, improve their offerings and, in turn, generate revenue and engage their passengers.

The way we connect open-world apps to avionics systems, bring connectivity onboard, thanks to cybersecured products, and generate secure real-time data will positively impact air transport in the future. Recently, Thales has made some significant acquisitions to strengthen its positioning and consolidate its skillsets for an ever-more connected aerospace ecosystem: Live TV (IFE and connectivity solutions), Vormetrics (data protection), Aviovision (connection of open-world apps with avionics systems) and more recently, Guavus (real-time big data and AI).

With a cohesive portfolio in avionics, mission management systems, IFE, ATM, and cybersecurity, we are now ready to achieve this digital transformation and master this node of communications in a secure and seamless way.

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