Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group and SITAOnAir launch IoT project

Volga Dnepr Group SITAOnAir’s IoT platform will enable ABC and CLA to monitor in real-time the inflight progress and condition of sensitive shipments (ABC)

In what is described as a game-changing project, SITAOnAir, inflight communications provider, has joined forces with Russian cargo carrier AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC, part of Volga-Dnepr Group) and its UK-based partner CargoLogicAir (CLA). In an agreement signed at the 2018 Farnborough International Air Show, the arrangement demonstrates how SITAOnAir’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform will enable the two strategic airfreight partners to monitor in real-time the inflight progress and condition of sensitive pharmaceuticals shipments, for example.

SITAOnAir say its open-platform avionics system is turning the aircraft IoT concept into a reality, in a key development for the air transport industry.

By applying its open platform approach to delivering bespoke IoT capabilities on board aircraft, SITAOnAir is able to securely integrate diverse aircraft avionics, encompassing sensors, connectivity, hardware, applications and more – thereby heightening the potential of the connected aircraft.

SITAOnAir’s specific IoT solution for ABC and CLA works by collecting inflight data provided by cargo monitoring specialist OnAsset Intelligence, which is then fed into SITAOnAir’s onboard IoT edge gateway. This data can then be securely sent to its ground data management and dispatch platform, which monitors the inflight status of the air carriers’ shipments.

Currently, there are no other such solutions in the market that provide such inflight cargo sensing and freight condition visibility as, until now, perishables and temperature-sensitive goods could only be monitored on the ground.

SITAOnAir’s collaboration with AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir is therefore a shift in air cargo industry technological intelligence, enabling actions or decisions to be made inflight whilst also helping to optimise performance.

Sergey Lazarev, general director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, says: “Digital pharma is a priority innovation focus for us. With genuine Internet of Things capabilities enabled for us on board by SITAOnAir, our digital pharma service is born, ensuring that we can provide the best transportation conditions inflight for customers’ invaluable cargo.”

David Kerr, chief executive of CargoLogicAir, highlights: “Customers in the air cargo industry are looking for a better digital experience. With SITAOnAir we will be able to move towards the establishment of a holistic digital environment for our customers.”

Dominique El Bez, SITAOnAir’s vice-president of product and strategy, says: “With over two-thirds (67 per cent) of commercial airlines surveyed by the SITA Group aiming to invest in Internet of Things initiatives in the years ahead, the IoT arena is truly set to take off. As the true experts in delivering the promises of the connected aircraft, through our wealth of inflight connectivity, aircraft data management and aircraft communications solutions, we are naturally positioned to bring game-changing innovation to the aircraft Internet of Things space.

“Our vision is for SITAOnAir to become the enabler of IoT ecosystems on board aircraft, with an open platform that will be aircraft safety-compliant and cost effective.

“Developed in collaboration with the wider aviation industry, our experts and engineers are enthusiastically exploring [other] aircraft IoT functionalities, and with our rate of development, we aim to bring a sweep of aircraft IoT portfolio products to market from 2019.”

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