The growing demand for air travel is occurring at a rapidly brisk pace. Passenger travel growth is contributing significantly to cheaper airfare and demand for air travel in emerging markets. At the same time, such growth is bringing about with it plenty of unfavorable changes, from more crowded airports to longer security lines.
With air travel increasingly in demand, addressing such growth and challenges requires big changes in the aviation landscape. How the airline industry adapts to trends and market forces will have a foreseeable impact on the future of flight. Luckily, advancements in technology are addressing a multitude of factors at play.
As outlined by the leading Gulf aircraft maintenance company, these three technological elements, while broadly categorized, incorporate key drivers necessary to meet market demands.
1. The many facets of technology
From satellite technology and built-in redundancies to alternative fuels and emerging material composites, technology is making air travel more efficient and safer than ever.
The period of change the aviation industry is going through can be strongly attributed to the rapid pace of innovation and development occurring. Turbine power will soon give way to alternative fuels, like those found in electric and biofuels. This will drive affordability and fuel efficiency, increasing travel possibilities and lowering airfare prices.
The rise and retirement of the Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde highlighted the demand for high-speed, hypersonic flight. Boeing and Airbus are looking to revive hypersonic commercial flights as new manufacturing now possesses the capabilities to make supersonic flights a sustainable reality.
Reducing human error
From a human perspective, pilots are undergoing new guidelines in training and regulations. Technology is addressing human error by creating comprehensive training tools that employ augmented reality to ensure each flight crew is prepared for all eventualities. New regulations introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) include recommendations on alloted timeframes pilot can safely fly a plane.
2. The rise of AI
Connectivity has come a long way, and soon, it will lead the way to better passenger experience, both within the aircraft and throughout airports. AI and machine learning are set to improve the passenger experience. This can already be seen through the use of eye scanning and smart gate technology, but expect AI to further streamline the process.
From the MRO industry to improvements in the passenger experience, big data is playing a huge role in enhancing efficiency throughout all facets of the aviation industry. The vast amount of data being collected has implications on how the aviation industry reshapes the travel experience. AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) are reducing friction, creating a seamless travel experience.
Such technology translates to automated checkpoints, hassle-free security processes and check-ins, and automated operations. This will address the concerns regarding crowded airports and longer security lines. For MRO professionals, predictive learning is contributing to prescriptive analysis, leading to shorter downtime for commercial fleets as well as the streamlined day-to-day care of inventory, aircraft, and replacement or repair services.
3. The importance of the MRO industry
As the aviation industry looks towards the next decade of growth, many within the industry are turning to MRO companies to manage and maintain their growing fleet of commercial aircraft.
The robust demand for air travel means the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) industry is poised to grow alongside commercial operations. Early adoption of emerging technology is necessary to match the projected fleet revitalization demands brought on by global economic expansion and an enlarged global fleet.
Moving forward, the MRO industry must be adaptive to the brisk pace of changes occurring in the aviation industry. MRO professionals will be required to be tech-savvy to work on cutting-edge aircraft while servicing those with legacy systems. This is where technology such as augmented reality, predictive analytics, and 3D printing comes into play.
Implementing such technologies will serve to address several key concerns with the MRO industry: the looming labor shortage due to an aging workforce, the need to streamline maintenance processes to drive operational efficiency, and the large-scale reduction in material waste and supply chain costs. Implementing emerging technology encourages refinement in technician, operational, and production efficiency.
Integrating new technologies into current legacy systems enables MRO firms to meet the challenges ahead with a positive return on investment.
The evolution of the airline industry in recent years signifies far-reaching changes that will impact the entire air travel experience in the near future. We’ve charted just how technology is poised to create dramatic shifts in the aviation industry. The current possibilities and future of air travel may only be limited by the heights of human innovation.