How private 5G is ready for take off in the aviation industry

Post pandemic, the aviation industry has adopted new technologies to enhance operations. This includes the deployment of private 5G which is set to deliver significant benefits, particularly in terms of improved efficiency, safety, and passenger experience, ensuring airports are ready for the future.


written by: Thorsten Lutz, EU Solution Architect, Panasonic TOUGHBOOK Europe 

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A complex ecosystem where passenger safety is paramount

Today, airports are hubs for almost every industry; therefore, their efficiency has a significant impact. This means airports have multiple stakeholders and a complex ecosystem that must work harmoniously to provide passengers with a smooth, safe travelling experience. To achieve this, connectivity is a critical aspect, and as airports are highly vulnerable to threats, security is also paramount.

Overall, airlines continue to face multiple challenges due to changing weather patterns, technical requirements, streamlining operations, reducing costs and ever-growing passenger demands. To address these challenges airports are embracing digital transformation to fundamentally change the way they operate and serve their stakeholders. Through digital transformation initiatives, airlines can boost their operational efficiency and functionality, reduce costs and resources, and improve passenger satisfaction, security, and safety. This is driving the adoption of 5G private networks. 

5G private networks in the aviation industry present a multitude of benefits. From enhancing the passenger experience to optimising operational efficiency, ensuring safety and security, enabling smart infrastructure, and streamlining airport operations and maintenance, 5G private networks have the potential to revolutionise the way airports function. 

This is because 5G private networks offer low latency, higher bandwidth, and multi-device connectivity, alongside strong security. The provision of real-time connectivity is essential for advances in command, control, and communications.

5G can support a variety of use cases

5G private networks can deliver the connectivity that airports need to support many existing and new use cases in the terminals, in the ramp, in the airfield, and in the cargo areas. Tracking assets and products and streamlining baggage check-in and passenger boarding are just some examples of 5G use cases.

Other use cases for 5G private networks include smart air traffic control, and predictive maintenance and control to ensure real-time data transfer between aircraft and ground-based maintenance teams. 

Additionally, by providing the ability to transfer real-time data between aircraft whilst on the ground, air traffic control, emergency services, and ground-based luggage/cargo teams, 5G private networks help to increase flight safety and make flight operations more efficient with services such as smart baggage control, digitised check-in and boarding, to ensure flights remain on time. 

When compared to WiFi, the application of 5G in open spaces could deliver significant improvements, for example, in controlling external aircraft lighting that is key for ground-based teams to operate, as well as the loading and unloading of cargo. Frequently, the sheer size and number of aircraft and service vehicles represent impenetrable obstacles for WiFi signals to pass through, hampering efficiency and connectivity.

Adoption of private 5G set to skyrocket

5G in the aviation market was valued at $500 million in 2021 and is poised to grow to $16.60 billion by 2030. Private 5G introduces a whole new domain and airlines need to look at how they can exploit its potential to gain maximum advantage. As digital transformation initiatives continue, private 5G will become a core part of the aviation industry’s ecosystem, helping it to reach new heights while driving innovation and transformation.

The next generation of travel services can be delivered by 5G private networks. In fact, airlines can even monetise private 5G by renting it out to service industry partners at airports. Overall, it is a win-win for the aviation industry. Embracing this emerging technology can position airports as leaders in connectivity and transformation, providing a seamless and efficient travel experience for passengers.

How Panasonic supports the aviation industry

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK has been delivering rugged mobile computing solutions to the aviation industry for many years.

For technical maintenance and repair services in the hangar, quick maintenance services on the apron, or as support for crews in the cockpit and cabin, Panasonic's TOUGHBOOK solutions help to optimise performance in the air and efficiency on the ground. 

Since the launch of our ground-breaking technology three decades ago, we have been supporting and meeting the challenges of many major organisations within the aviation industry. We are helping airports to streamline workflows and improve productivity, minimise errors through higher accuracy, and automate processes.

Panasonic’s rugged TOUGHBOOK devices are meeting aviation needs, with our private 5G network enabling them to transform their operations. We have developed a 5G private network architecture (5G Campus) offering from the ground up, bringing all the control and security our customers need while delivering the full capabilities of private 5G to organisations.

Panasonic Mobile Solutions are pioneers supporting the adoption of 5G private networks across Europe, combining the best of 5G network benefits with Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices built for 5GSA and the technical support required to keep operations running smoothly. 

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