The unprecedented volume, diversity and richness of aviation data that can be acquired, generated, stored, and managed provides unique capabilities for the aviation-related industries (airlines, airports, passengers, service providers, manufacturers, local authorities, etc.) and pertains value that remains to be unlocked. In fact, Big Data from airlines, airports, aircrafts, and extra-aviation service providers combined with open linked data (e.g. for weather, environment, population, etc.) have the credentials to reassess the mentality of the aviation ecosystem by early predicting critical failures and maintenance needs, optimizing flight paths, rescheduling routes at real-time, improving operational efficiency, serving a seamless ground/air passenger experience, safeguarding the environment, and monitoring safety and risk threats (like epidemics and terrorist attacks).

Today, despite the large investments to mine data and explore analytics in the aviation industry, there is little data diffusion and sharing between the different stakeholders of the aviation-related sectors. Typically, organisations (e.g. airlines, airports, extra-aviation service providers, local authorities, health agencies, etc.) only have fragmented data at their disposal and still operate in silos, without effectively managing to link their data assets and gain better insights. To this end, the ICARUS project has identified the strong market need for: (I) trusted and fair data sharing, (II) affordable and cost-efficient data linking and (III) insightful and understandable data analytics, in the aviation data value chain, in alignment with the recommendations of a number of policy and industry-specific initiatives.

ICARUS aims to build a novel data value chain in the aviation industry towards data-driven innovation and collaboration across currently diversified and fragmented industry players, acting as multiplier of the “combined” data value that can be accrued, shared and traded, and rejuvenating the existing, increasingly non-linear models / processes in aviation. Adopting a strong industry mentality, ICARUS has been attuned to the stakeholder needs, has elaborated on solid data-driven methods and frameworks and has designed and delivered a beta, big data analytics and sharing platform, that demonstrates the following key features:
(a) End-to-End Data Security allowing the data providers to process and encrypt their data on-premise (through the ICARUS On Premise Environment) and transfer them to the ICARUS Core Platform in an already encrypted form,
(b) Trusted Data Sharing for creating, signing and validating smart data contracts in an immutable manner that dictate the terms of data acquisition between a data provider and a data consumer,
(c) Advanced Access Control to regulate access to the privately owned data assets (e.g. enforcing that no airline in Europe may even view that an airline in the US has uploaded private flight schedules to be shared with airports in Europe),
(d) Secure and Private Analytics Spaces for designing and executing analytics in private, sandboxed environments spawn on demand,
(e) Intuitive Data Exploration in order to find, understand and explore aviation-related data, and
(f) Effortless Data Linking that aims at curating, mapping and linking the privately owned data assets with external data based on a common data model, which is built based on state-of-the-art aviation ontologies and data models, such as the Airport Collaborative Decision Making Manual (A-CDM), the Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM), the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) and the ACI Airport Community Recommended Information Services (ACRIS) and the NASA ATM Ontology.