Aviation logistics represents all logistics processes and resources required for transporting and handling of passengers, baggage and cargo by air. Airports are the synapses of the international air transport logistics and act as interface between air and land transport networks.
Aviation Logistics 4.0 applies the principles and technologies of industry 4.0 to aviation logistics and interlinks them with the available infrastructure in a smart way.
According to that Aviation Logistics 4.0 uses autonomous, self-organizing logistic resources (e.g. conveyor technology) including their planning and control systems (e.g. reservation systems). The technological foundation of Aviation Logistics 4.0 are cyber-physical systems (CPS) and the Internet of Things (IoT) such as Auto-ID technologies and wearables.
The basic requirement for air transport logistics 4.0 are shared business objects whose main metadata is available in a digital format that can be easily processed by IT-tools.
Cloud solutions are an optional part of an IT solution that collects metadata and use it in terms of an autonomic management of complex tasks
The target of Aviation Logistics 4.0 is that
Provider can operate established aviation logistics processes more cost-effective and / or offer new products and services along the entire value chain with a higher profit margin.
Customers can use established aviation logistics processes for lower costs and / or use better products and services in terms of quality, reliability and comfort.
The latest initiatives of a global e-commerce company (e.g. setting up its own airfreight fleet) and the activities of emerging online broker for driving services (shared economy) towards digitized business objects show that they are closer to Aviation Logistics 4.0 than most stakeholders in the aviation supply chain, especially airlines, airport operators and carriers.
Although the consequences of this development can’t be determined today they however indicate that all supply chain participants need to adjust their activities to cope with a potential thread of new market entries.
Otherwise, it is increasingly feasible that new logistic networks – particularly in combination with the Shared Economy – develop a capability to radically change established logistic structures and to substitute traditional marked payers along the value chain.
Therefore, all market participants are advised to proactively drive the availability of digitized business objects, to commonly use their metadata as a foundation for an autonomic management of complex tasks, as a source for new services, products and business models, for increased customer benefit and for improving their own competitiveness.
The Fraunhofer IML is proactively driving the digitization of business objects and their utilisation in terms of an autonomic management of complex tasks together with global players, SME and research funding organisations.
„Aviation logistics combines our expertise in logistics and air transport“