Technology is central to the future of the airline industry. As a testament to this, we have observed how the advancement in technology has propelled the industry forward and upwards by making flights efficient and eco-friendly and improving security and flight planning.
As a result, it is essential to hire pilots from some of India’s best pilot training schools to keep up with such advancements. After all, technology can be best amplified when used by competent personnel. Taking inspiration from the several ground-breaking developments in the past years in the travel and tech space, we have compiled three of the most exciting trends and technologies to shape the passenger experience on the ground and in the flight for the year ahead!
● 5G – 100 times faster than current 4G networks:
Recent developments in 5G technologies are fuelling the new decade of innovation that will change the airline business as we know it today. The technology will lower data latency, offer more stability, and connect to more devices simultaneously. It will be instrumental in satisfying the need for fast connectivity in flight and at airports, demand for predictive maintenance through data shared by the connected aircraft; and growing demand for better flight experience.
On the ground, last year, Manchester Airport became the first UK airport to offer 5G network access as part of a trial by Vodafone. Vodafone installed a dedicated 5G-enabled ‘blast pod’ at Manchester’s Terminal One that allowed travellers to test the new super-fast network for downloading films or TV box sets on their mobile devices up to four times faster than 4G.
5G has been the subject of speculation over the past many years. However, in 2020, technology took a step closer to reality. The impacts of 5G in 2020 made it a turning point for technology.
However, the importance of humans cannot be put back with new forms of technology. Therefore, pilots must undergo training that can improve and enhance their efficiency as pilots using technology.
AI & Machine Learning:
During the past couple of years, the air transport industry has been showing great commitment to realising the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI) with a plethora of customer cases. As a result, on one side, we have seen airlines and airports adopt chatbots to communicate with passengers, and on the other side, they have improved operations.
In terms of chatbot applications, last year, AirAsia developed and launched its AirAsia Virtual Allstar (AVA), a continuously learning AI-powered chat platform. This platform won the Silver Award at the FTE APEX Asia EXPO Awards 2019 for the Best Passenger Experience Initiative in the Airline category.
AI-driven platforms implemented this year will help Delta’s professionals make even smarter operational decisions. Airline companies claim that applying AI-driven machine learning on a scale that’s never been done before is helping them reach their goals faster. The proprietary AI-driven platform analyses millions of operational data points, from aircraft positions to flight crew restrictions to airport conditions to create hypothetical outcomes that help Delta’s staff make critical decisions before, during and after large-scale disruptions.
While biometric technology has been gaining attraction for the past few years, we believe that the full potential of the technology is yet to be uncovered. 2019 was a landmark year for its development in air travel with many successful implementations. Some of them include British Airways’ biometric rollout at Heathrow, Orlando, Los Angeles, John F. Kennedy international airports, Kempegowda International Airport’s Digi Yatra Programme and Delta Air Lines’ first biometric terminal in the United States at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
This year, more airlines are expected to adopt facial recognition in their mobile apps to make the check-in process easier for passengers. Recently, for instance, the Iberia tried facial recognition app at Madrid Airport to enable customers to identify themselves at both general and fast-track security control and the boarding gates with their biometric profile, eliminating the need to show travel documents.
However, while the implementation of biometrics is gathering pace, there have been several challenges, and even misconceptions, around standardisation, privacy issues, integration, security, legacy infrastructure and establishing trust between all parties. It would be interesting to see the industry taking a united approach in tackling these issues to move forward.
It will be interesting to see how these technologies will further roll-out in future. However, as important as technology is, one must remember that the value added by a human being cannot be replaced. Hence, one of the most important job in the aviation industry is that of a pilot, so it’s crucial to hire well-trained pilots from the best pilot training schools in India, such as the Aviators Of Tomorrow.