Why operational efficiency and the role of technology are more important than ever
I joined myairops just over 4.5 years ago at a time when our parent organization wanted to execute a major strategic overhaul. I have always had a passion for aviation and have worked in and around the aviation industry for the past 25 years in military and business aviation. Since joining myairops, I have created a phenomenal team of people who together have built some of the most modern cloud capabilities in the aviation market today. Together we have established a close working relationship with a global customer base across a broad portfolio of products and services.
Can you explain what myairops is and why it exists?
myairops exists to fulfill a simple mission: to provide a set of advanced technologies to the aviation industry that can be used by any organization, regardless of size. We believe that our strength lies in our team, the ideas generated by our customers and our expertise in the aviation sector. We left with a clear vision to put automation and data at the heart of everything we do. You can’t automate if you don’t have the right data and to get data into the system you need an open and scalable architecture that provides data interoperability through APIs and cloud-based technologies. We use Microsoft Cloud for cognitive services, scalable applications and infrastructure, and global coverage to enable our customers to meet their data sovereignty requirements. When we embarked on our mission, we knew automation was key. Too many tasks rely heavily on people working on different systems. The complexity of the processes increases, which means an increase in workloads. A global shortage of skilled workers within the industry compounds this problem. Having systems that can make decisions on behalf of users, while bringing in experts when needed, allows organizations to achieve greater efficiency.
Can you explain what problem you are solving in the aviation industry and why?
myairops solves the efficiency challenges facing all organizations. What we have recognized is that different organizations have different problems and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This means that we have focused on ensuring that our products are the most interoperable on the market. To put it simply, data integration is paramount, but looking at How? ‘Or’ What this data is integrated is important. The first approach is to move data between systems. This removes the initial challenge of having to enter data more than once. However, myairops goes further, we look at the end-to-end business process, analyze where the inefficiency and waste are and optimize it. This is a highly configurable process, and we worry about every click, as repetitive tasks that contain waste can pile up.
Automation takes the form of processing anything that doesn’t need a human being to get involved. Imagine a situation where today you continually check everything related to a flight, changes in travel details, changes in passenger manifest, crew fatigue and service constraints, weather and considerations maintenance around the aircraft. It can get overwhelming, especially with smaller teams, large fleets, or complex, high-volume operations. Our solution digitizes and automates the decision-making process, in this scenario alerting the human operator to assess only those items that are now close to or outside operational parameters and require human intervention. This greatly reduces the overall workload.
For many years, aviation software has remained disconnected from other enterprise software and solutions. We have ensured that our solutions integrate directly and allow information and business intelligence to flow freely through the organization.
The breadth of our capabilities also means we can control and adapt the business process from start to finish. Take for example our myairops flight and myairops fbo products. The former is designed for flight operations such as staffing, flight planning, and maintenance (to name just a small subsection of its capabilities) and the latter product is for organizing FBO facilities. such as runway management, parking and service delivery. We are already combining these products to meet the challenges of new and emerging sectors of our industry. The eVTOLs and vertiports they operate from will be high-turnaround environments requiring critical decisions about when to disconnect and load, when to change crew, and other decisions like that. To make these decisions effective, it is necessary to combine all intelligence and operational information into a single operational picture. Now integrate our myairops cam maintenance tracking software and our stores and inventory capabilities into it and you can see how we can help businesses by taking a single product or a suite of connected products. Of course, we can’t do it all on our own and we have established close working relationships with others in our industry. Always put the automation of operational data and business process workflows at the forefront of everything we do.
What changes have you seen in the industry over the past few years and how have you adapted?
COVID has put a strain on the aviation industry. Closing borders and restricting movement flows meant that businesses that already existed with low margins saw their sources of revenue instantly reduced. Even with the support of governments, we have seen an unprecedented number of people decide to leave the aviation industry and we are not yet seeing a strong recovery in this workforce. When people come back, there is still a delay in delivering the training. Another major trend is consolidation, which not only takes the form of mergers and acquisitions but also through the development of partnerships. There are some amazing companies in the market who, in their specific area of expertise, have seen innovative approaches to certain problems. Organizations need to work together like never before and I think the business aviation industry has underinvested in technology so far. If you mix the challenges and opportunities of sustainability, financial control, and hunger for data insights, it means even established vendors have had to completely rethink their strategic imperatives. We have seen divestitures and certainly a major change in technology. We are also on the cusp of a very exciting development within our industry that comes from the need to solve mobility challenges differently than they are solved today. eVTOL/VTOL and drone technologies for the movement of goods and services will provide new opportunities as well as significant new challenges to regulators and the way we use airspace.
AI and machine learning are hot topics in technology right now, what technological advancements do you see happening in the aviation industry?
Yes, these are hot topics, much like blockchain was a few years ago, which I still believe has not yet been properly leveraged in our industry. The same goes for AI and machine learning. We need to be careful about their application and their relevance, otherwise the industry will see them as technology fads that are irrelevant or reserved only for the biggest companies, commercial carriers or OEMs. We believe these are essential capabilities and our mission is to make them available to everyone. We see applicability in several key areas: data processing using image recognition, fuel optimization, schedule and roster optimization. The first being based on neural networks and learning. We have applied these solutions to problematic spaces such as validating or reading paper aircraft logs, MELs, invoices, etc. In this problem space, it is about repetition, memory and neural networks, because they are ideal for this type of problem. The rest is best solved using genetic computation and we have partnered with PerceiverAI to achieve this. In grossly simplified terms, a machine can process a large number of potential scenarios depending on the data and desired results.