Press Release: International Air Transport Association (IATA) selects Snowflake Software’s Laminar Data Platform for its global real-time turbulence data sharing program: Turbulence Aware.
13 December 2018 (London) — Unforeseen turbulence particularly clear-air turbulence (CAT), adds millions of dollars worth of unplanned expenses to the global airline industry. Turbulence events may cause damage to the structure of aircraft, physically injure flight crew and passengers, impair flight crew performance, damage cabin interiors and divert aircraft off their optimal flight paths. As a result of climate change severe clear air turbulence encounters are projected to increase by up to 140%, therefore a platform for real-time sensing, monitoring and alerting of pilots and flight dispatchers to these turbulence events is required by the global airline community.
Clear-air turbulence is difficult to avoid as it cannot be detected by aircraft radar systems but it can be sensed by on-board sensors when an aircraft flies through these invisible “air pockets”. These sensor readings are passed through algorithms which compute the intensity of turbulence and transmit their values to ground-based servers. A number of airlines already gather this information and use it in their own flight dispatch systems, however, until today, there has been no way for airlines to share this information with each other.
IATA created the Turbulence Aware program after 96% of respondents to an IATA feasibility study – including airlines, air navigation service providers, and militaries – stated that they required real-time, objective data about the location and severity of turbulence. Turbulence Aware will collect, anonymize, and consolidate aircraft-sensed turbulence data from multiple airline operators onto one cloud-based platform that will be made available to all airlines and will provide flight operations departments and pilots with real-time situational awareness of clear-air turbulence events around the world. A governance board comprising of IATA and some of the world’s most innovative airlines (Delta, Southwest, United, American Airlines, Air France, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, China Southern, Aer Lingus, EasyJet, Lufthansa, Swiss and WestJet) has been established to drive the vision and roadmap of the Turbulence Aware platform on behalf of the global airline community.
After an extensive competitive evaluation, IATA selected Snowflake Software to build, host and manage the cloud-based Turbulence Aware data management platform using Snowflake’s award-winning and proven Laminar Data platform. Snowflake Software is deploying and will manage a secure Laminar Data Private Cloud that will receive, anonymize, process, store, and distribute turbulence data from each participating airline’s fleet of aircraft in real-time. This turbulence data will be made easily accessible to airline flight dispatch systems and pilot applications via simple to consume APIs or a browser-based turbulence viewer. In addition, the Laminar Data platform will serve as an archive of turbulence data for post-flight analyses, academic research and refinement of turbulence forecast models.
Snowflake’s experience in building large scale enterprise data management platforms for the aviation industry meant that it not only brought a lot of domain knowledge to the program but also a lot of proven cloud-based technology. Snowflake’s demonstrated experience delivering products using the Agile development methodology is essential on programs like Turbulence Aware where IATA needs to rapidly adapt and change as it works with a community of airline stakeholders throughout the lifetime of the program.
“The Turbulence Aware program is an amazing opportunity for the team at Snowflake to partner with IATA and its airline stakeholders to have such a positive impact on flight safety and operational efficiency on a global scale. We are extremely proud and honored that IATA chose Snowflake and our Laminar Data Platform to unify the collection of fragmented and proprietary turbulence data and to bring airlines together onto the world’s first global turbulence data sharing platform.” says Ian Painter, CEO of Snowflake Software.
“Because IATA represents 82% of the world’s commercial airlines, it is uniquely positioned to manage a global turbulence data platform that helps the aviation industry be even safer. Turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to cabin crew and passengers in non-fatal accidents, according to the FAA. Mitigating that risk through shared turbulence data across airlines is important. Reducing carbon emissions through smoother flight paths is another significant advantage. We look forward to a productive partnership with Snowflake which ultimately will improve safety and help passengers enjoy an even more comfortable flight,’’ says Jesus Rubio, Director of Data and Digital Content at IATA.
Snowflake Software is the award-winning provider of cloud and on-premise software solutions for the aviation industry: making aviation data available and easy to use so air travel is better for everyone. The Laminar Data Platform, recipient of the IHS Jane’s ATC Innovation Award, is the world’s first commercial platform dedicated to fusing, cleaning and organizing the world’s aviation data and making it available in real time. Contact our team for more information.
About IATA Turbulence Aware
Turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to cabin crew and passengers in non-fatal accidents (source FAA). Turbulence also costs airlines millions in diversions, damage, extra fuel. Recent technical advancements enable aircraft to accurately calculate the turbulence state of the atmosphere in flight. To leverage this invaluable information, IATA has developed a platform to consolidate, standardise and share turbulence data collected from multiple airlines around the globe. The IATA Turbulence Aware Platform provides airline pilots and operation centers with real-time and detailed turbulence information, enhancing safety and optimising fuel consumption. For more information on Turbulence Aware visit: