How to cut waste with tech

December 10, 2019

Airbus is evolving cabin tech to provide digital catering and service solutions that could helpcut waste, Julie Baxter discovers more about its connected cabin vision

Set the architecture
Airlines know they need to cut waste and now aircraft manufacturer Airbus is working to provide digital tools embedded across the aircraft that could help. The AirSpace conncected cabin project aims
to develop an Internet of Things platform for the cabin, and Ronald Sweers, product director galleys and lavatories at Airbus, explains: “We are building a backbone architecture, an eco-system for the cabin that can connect all elements of service to the caterer and crew, and empower them with new digital tools with which to do their job.”

Evolve the tools
The connected cabin will link gallies, seats, overhead bins, toilets, IFE and more and will include opportunities for the crew to quickly check the status of every element of the service through their devices; receiving alerts and updates when they need to act.

Connected service
Sweers adds: “We realised that there is no good, real time data available digitally to the crew, there is a break in the chain, so we built an end- to-end data chain working with a caterer to support better loading and service delivery. Gate Group was already committed to enabling a more digitalised personalised experience through its partnership with Black Swan but we recognised that as a manufacturer we needed to connect that cabin service digitally too, to help put personalisation at the heart of service onboard.”

Add benefits
He predicts a connected cabin will be flying within two years and will support more accurate loadings, inform crew quickly on the contents of every trolley and match preordered products to seat numbers instantly. It will make the logistics of service delivery easier and more efficeint, and with weight and temperature sensors embedded in the trolleys it will ensure meals not served can be proven to have remained within health and safety limits and hence reloaded rather than going to waste.

Build partnerships
“It is a relatively simple system but by adding features it will make a big difference,” Sweers concludes.