Connectivity

Lufthansa Develops New iPad Application to Digitize Pre-Flight Inspection Process

A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 at Frankfurt International Airport (Photo: Lufthansa)

Lufthansa has developed a new iPad application that will “digitize” its pre-flight aircraft inspection process using Apple’s SwiftUI developer framework and Ditto’s peer-to-peer real time database.

Ditto is a California-based startup that provides a real time database and software developer kit to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) Wi-Fi communication between mobile devices. In an interview with Avionics International last year, Ditto CEO and co-founder Adam Fish explained how Ditto provides SDKs that developers—in this case Lufthansa’s IT team—embed into their application, such as an airline mobile app.

The SDK enables a replicated database within the application that automatically syncs over any available network and automatically manages a device’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios to connect to each other peer-to-peer. The startup enables this with a series of communication techniques such as "Bluetooth Low Energy, P2P Wi-Fi and Local Area Network," according to its website.

The app gives Lufthansa cabin crews real-time data to assist as they search for dangerous or foreign objects, check emergency equipment like fire extinguishers and flashlights, and monitor service equipment, among other pre-flight inspection activities.

“Apple’s SwiftUI framework helped us quickly and independently develop our own native iPad app, and Ditto helped us quickly deploy it to our crew’s fleet of devices,” Michael Hack, Solution Architect, Lufthansa, said in a press release. “This app enables us to efficiently support Crews with a comfortable device like an iPad, and we can rest assured that Ditto’s Intelligent Edge ensures our data is always up to date, even when network connectivity is poor or altogether unavailable. We look forward to the growing partnership with Ditto as we continue to invest in digitization and offline-first mobile applications.”

SwiftUI is Apple’s package of developer tools, application programmable interfaces, and end-to-end guidance for creating native iOS device applications. It allows IT teams within organizations to develop their own native enterprise applications with “surprisingly little code,” according to Apple’s website.

Lufthansa specifically built this app to run natively on iPhone and iPad, leveraging “advanced networking of BLE 5 and P2P Wi-Fi,” according to Ditto.

“Our partnership with Lufthansa underscores the importance of giving enterprises the ability to build their own apps using fewer resources and development costs, thanks to SwiftUI. Ditto’s Intelligent Edge technology allows quick deployment with no special hardware or equipment needed, saving time and money all around,” Ditto’s Fish said in a statement. “In addition, the digitization of Lufthansa's documents and processes is part of a broader movement to enable deskless workers access to the same tools and efficiencies that desk-bound workers have, and we’re excited to continue to invest in that.”

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox