How Can IoT (Internet of Things) Play a Role in Aviation

Many industries can leverage an Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance their processes, improve efficiency and accomplish more with less.

IoT technologies are found everywhere from smart home systems and manufacturing facilities to oil rigs and wind farms. The small, inconspicuous devices in commercial IoT networks generally function like sensory organs and appendages for advanced AI software suites that are getting better at accomplishing complicated tasks with minimal human intervention.

IoT technologies are already finding their way into commercial airline fleets, where they are making aviation safer, smarter and more efficient.


Many people learned a lot more about aircraft cabin air quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flyers are usually relieved to learn aircraft cabins boasted some of the cleanest air you can find outside of a hospital or other facilities that use HEPA filtration.

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have long known about the potential health hazards of unclean cabin air, which is why cabin HVAC has always incorporated best-in-class air purification technologies. IoT sensors have the potential to enhance aircraft HVAC even more.

Modern sensors are already used in many ground-side HVAC applications to track and manage things like temperature, air quality, humidity, air speed and circulation. These IoT sensors and devices function just as well in aircraft cabins as they do in buildings.

In fact, HVAC is one of the areas in which smart technology and IoT was first adopted and effectively implemented on a consumer level. Many homeowners are already using smart thermostats and in-home sensors to enhance comfort and air quality.

These modern technologies have also made diagnosing HVAC issues far easier, especially as it becomes possible for smart devices to operate or adjust the performance of individual components. When things go wrong, these technologies make it easier to determine what’s broken or improperly calibrated and how to fix it.

Repair and Performance

On a related noted, IoT sensors have the potential to significantly change the way aircraft are maintained and repaired. Being quickly alerted of component malfunctions or breakdowns makes aircraft safer and easier to repair.

Aviation IoT has the potential to reduce the frequency of accidents and potentially dangerous or deadly mishaps. Airlines and private jet owners can spend less time on diagnostics. As more fleets install IoT technologies in their aircraft, repair and maintenance will become faster and less expensive.

Monitoring the Cabin Environment

Every year, flight attendants and crews are getting better tools that enable them to monitor and adjust various cabin comfort settings. The ability to monitor and control everything from temperature and humidity to lighting and sound allows flight crews to maintain an optimal cabin environment for passengers.

Better Baggage Management

Although it’s not necessarily specific to aircraft safety or cabin comfort, baggage management is a complex part of modern air travel.

Nothing can cause frustration or ruin a trip faster than finding out your bags have just arrived in the wrong city. Did you need your garment bag with your suit for a meeting? Or your tux for a wedding you just flew across the country to attend? Did your golf bag just arrive in Dallas after you flew all the way to Florida for a golf trip?

These types of baggage handling mishaps are still a daily occurrence. IoT is making them increasingly preventable and hopefully a thing of the past in the not-so-distant future.

Some airlines and baggage handlers are beginning to use a combination of electronic baggage tagging and sensors to track bag and suitcase locations. Bags can either be manufactured with smart tags or smart tags can be added to luggage, allowing bag location to be tracked by airlines and flyers.

There are also potential security benefits, as it will be much harder for thieves to escape with stolen luggage when the bag’s owner and law enforcement can track a suitcase’s location.

Improve Automation

IoT devices are generally equipped with sensitive sensors that can monitor things like temperature and structural stress or perform automated visual inspections. Sensors don’t get tired or need breaks, and they won’t make mistakes due to boredom, exhaustion or apathy. These sensors make it far easier and safer to automate a host of functions, from manufacturing aviation technologies to baggage handling to jet maintenance and repair.

Automation doesn’t just allow aviation professionals to get more done with fewer people, it also helps passengers experience less frustration or disappointment with their travel experience. IoT will make flying more comfortable, enjoyable and efficient.

Helping Improve Traveler Experiences

Rosen Aviation develops technologies that make cabin environments more welcoming and relaxing. We’re committed to developing the technological solutions that keep flyers entertained and happy while they’re in the air. Learn more about our design and development capabilities or how we help our clients deliver the optimal passenger experience by browsing our website or by contacting us at 888-668-4955.