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Malaysia 370 lesson learned: It’s time to secure ‘The Black Box’ in ‘The Cloud’

Malaysia 370 lesson learned: It’s time to secure ‘The Black Box’ in ‘The Cloud’

Oliver McGee, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy in the Clinton Administration, and founder of Partnership Possibilities for America, gives his take on mega-technology trends of international aviation safety and security in the next decade and beyond.

When asked recently by Reuters about lessons learned from Malaysia Flight 370, Oliver McGee said, “It’s time to move the black box to ‘the cloud’ at least for essential limited flight recorder data for long flights over (areas) like the Indian Ocean, or other remote areas across large land masses like across the Brazilian Amazon.”

Calls for a “Nexus of Forces” in Aviation Safety and Security
Four ‘Big Mega-Technology’ trends emerging in airline business operations, cockpit aviation, navigation, and communications, air traffic control management, and international aviation safety and security in the next decade will be:

1)  Cloud Streaming of limited ‘Black Box’ data;
2)  “Big Data” airline business operational intelligence and data analytics;
3)  Advanced Wireless and Mobile Cockpit Information Management Systems, Mobile Air Traffic Control Systems (at least on some limited tasks and operations inside the airport control towers), and Mobile Working Capital Management Systems for airline business operations, cash management and liquidity analytics, and international financial market communications; and finally
4)  Social Media-based crisis communications, family-care and mediation, crash investigations and recovery, and media relations management.

Essentially, these four mega-technological trends embody a simultaneous nexus of egalitarianism (The Cloud), markets (Big Data), communications (Wireless Mobile), and technology (Social Media) applicable to next-generation aircraft, flight supervision, engine performance data analytics, and air traffic control management systems. This nexus is the social, technological, educational, economic, and political challenge presented to all of us, brought about by the “greatest aviation mystery in aviation history,” as Oliver McGee reported on Fox News.


The nexus of forces can rapidly move today’s aviation safety and security concerns forward into the next decade. More importantly, airlines are already quietly behind the scenes, shaping more dynamic scenarios for their future strategies to quickly capture value from these four mega-technology trends. Otherwise, airlines will lose their competitive advantages for surviving working capital cash management and solvency in the future.

Plane or No Plane — Where Do We Go Forward From Here?
Aviation and navigation of safer skies is all about being in communication at all times. This requires making advances in an innovative nexus of mega-trends towards seven grand-challenge technologies of (1) information sciences, (2) biosciences, (3) wireless technologies, (4) micro-technologies, (5) nanotechnologies (particularly in molecular computing, so we can model real-time the entire flight paths of thousands of aircraft across the world), (6) cognition research of pilot thinking under stress and crises, and finally, (7) mobility technologies for an aging passenger payload engaging next-generation aviation safety and security.

The Black Box data should not be lost in remote terrains or oceans, but rather should be secured and stored in ‘the cloud’.

“We need to dig deeper into the technical details of retrieval and storage of cloud data systems, as well as, observe how other industries and firms have transformed how they store and transmit data,” advises Peter Stewart, senior vice president for strategy and partnerships at PGi.

Learn more at Partnership Possibilities for America, about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s ‘Black-Box’, including what’s possible about uploading ‘Black-Box’ data in real-time.

Ensuring Safer and Secure Skies in 21st Century Digital Age Aviation
Global consumers of aviation are concerned about next generation aircraft and aviation, navigation, and communications, especially about ways to ensure international aviation safety and security.

“Besides all the talk of satellites, pings, transponders, circuit breakers, and so forth, what investigators also have on their side are basic scientific principles,” Oliver McGee said to The Washington Post.

Likewise, capital, technology and competition will aid future generations in revolutionising, reorganising, re-inventing, and renewing international aviation safety and security well beyond March 8, 2014, when we lost contact with Malaysia Flight 370, which triggered “the greatest mystery in aviation security history.”

We see all at once a call-to-action for implementation of the “Nexus of Forces” for Safer and Secure Skies in 21st Century Digital Age Aviation.

As recently stated in Oliver McGee’s viral post on, “Boeing 777 airplanes do not vanish or fall out of the sky”, “This shocking incident is about how we globally aviate, navigate and communicate across safer and secure skies of international aviation. That is, safer skies over Asia, safer skies over Australia, safer skies over Africa, safer skies over Europe, safer skies over The Americas.”

As we now think about the families around the world still worried about their loved ones on board Malaysia 370, the missing piece of information these families want most is to know where the plane is and what happened. This is the primary focus of the international search effort as well. A state-of-the-art digital-age transatlantic, transpacific, and transpolar flight monitoring practice, air traffic management system, and airline business operations, which simultaneously and concurrently cloud streams from the ‘Black-Box’, handles “Big Data” and data analytics, incorporates advanced wireless and mobile communications, and leverages social media, particularly for media relations and family-care, should be the norm in aviation design and flight capabilities going forward.

This Gartner Nexus of Forces is the ‘tie-that-binds’ back to expert’s – such as Retired United States Air Force General Mark Rosenker – operational concept for accident investigations and the required technologies needed to complete such investigations in the future.

Of course, we are all praying for the grieving families during this tough time. Moreover, we are also thankful for the cooperation of the Malaysia 370 “search and rescue” and “search for a cause” international partners, as they continue their focus on finding the missing Boeing 777-200.