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Airbus to monitor loo use

Airbus to use sensors to monitor washroom usage

A new ‘connected’ plane system being implemented by aircraft manufacturer Airbus is to use sensors to track the use of – among other things – cabin toilets.

The sensors have been placed on lavatory door latches, seats, in overhead lockers and throughout the cabin on one of the company’s A350-900 wide-body aircrafts. Airbus will use them to track how many times the lavatory doors are opened and closed, giving cabin crews a better idea of when to restock toilet paper, hand towels and soap.

The company also intends to use cameras to track the numbers of people queueing for the toilets at any given time. Thankfully they claim all passenger faces will be pixelated to minimise any privacy concerns.

The data is gathered through the aircraft’s onboard WiFi system and shared with the flight crew upon landing. The trial’s aim is to see if such a system can be used to relieve pressure points on the aircraft such as the toilets, as well as reduce scrambles for overhead locker space.

Airbus also want to track the number of times seats are reclined on a typical flight, to give airlines a better sense of when seats are more likely to require maintenance to avoid them breaking down on flights, leading to lost revenue.

The trial ‘connected’ plane went into operation in August, and will fly until the end of 2019, at which point Airbus will assess whether or not the system would be viable on commercial aircraft.


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