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Boeing Encourages Industry Cooperation On Big Data


AMSTERDAM—Boeing is encouraging the industry to collaborate to unlock the value of data so airlines can drive down their costs.

“We have the opportunity to collaborate to unlock the benefits of the data revolution and help drive down costs, maximize availability, reliability and improve efficiencies for airlines,” Stan Deal, senior vice president of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, said at Aviation Week’s MRO Europe.

Boeing predicts a “140-fold increase in the annual data generated by airplanes—from 6.9 terabytes in 2010 to 1 petabyte in 2030,” said Deal, who delivered the keynote address to the conference Oct. 18.

“The next step, for us as an OEM and for our entire industry, is to develop integrated solutions that will drive a step-function decease in the cost of operating and maintaining commercial airplanes,” Deal said. “The first attempt at Boeing is to work with customers and find out what is the value creation that we can create with the data to help them,” Deal said on the sidelines of the event.

“The concern—rightfully so by the holder of the data and many cases the airline—is, are you going to make money off of our data? The better question is: How can we help create value for you? By sharing and having more transparencies,” he said.

While Boeing is working directly with airlines, Deal thinks there is a role for IATA to play in standardization, because “every OEM out there is pursuing data.”

He thinks it may be time for standardization, “so we approach the industry in a much more focused and responsible way that gets at value quicker for the airlines. That’s what’s not happening fast enough—the conversion of the information into insight,” which will aid airlines in lowering costs and avoiding unplanned maintenance, he said.

Many airline aftermarket discussions include questions about who owns the data, but Deal thinks people instead should be asking: “How do we unlock the power of the data to help each other?”

Boeing and Airbus have forecast that airlines will spend about $3 billion during the next 20 years on aftermarket services. To put this in perspective, that is about the same amount that airlines will spend on buying widebody aircraft over the same period, Deal said.

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