Lufthansa Technik is planning a part-divestment of its digital services platform, Aviatar, in an effort to establish a "neutral" system for operators to access and analyse aircraft onboard data.
Johannes Bussmann, chief executive of the German MRO provider, tells FlightGlobal that Aviatar will be established as a standalone entity in the short term, and that its ownership will be shared with other players – including competitors – in the MRO sector.
Detailed talks are under way with several MRO providers, he says. LHT will also discuss potential participation with select equipment manufacturers.
LHT launched Aviatar in 2017. Airbus and Boeing made similar preparations to establish their own platforms – Skywise and AnalytX, respectively – later that year.
Rather than just handling data from their own products, both airframers aim to attract operators with mixed fleets to their platforms.
Bussmann thinks it feasible that in the long term, only the two airframers' platforms plus Aviatar and a potential fourth system will be available on the market to access data from the entire aircraft.
Engine data might be handled differently as powerplant manufacturers have established separate data management systems.
Bussmann says Aviatar's objective is not to establish a non-OEM competitor to Skywise and AnalytX that is ultimately controlled by a single party in LHT. "We would just replace one monopoly with another: that makes no sense," he says.
Instead, the non-OEM system is to become an "open platform" for data tools and services from different, potentially competing specialists, which would provide operators with "free" access to their aircraft data.
Bussmann acknowledges that participant MRO providers on the platform might want to protect intellectual property in relation to their services. He argues, however, that the hosting and accessibility of aircraft data "must remain independent".