Aviation is undeniably an industry that’s closely tied with technology and science. After all, it’s thanks to the collective efforts of thousands of dedicated physicists and engineers that a 175,000lb plane is able to lift off the ground at all. With thousands of aircraft now plying the skies all over the globe, it’s clear that aviation has come a long way since the first 59-second flight in 1903. With the coming decade, improvements in technology and changes in air travel trends mean even bigger transformations for the aviation industry. Here are just a few that air travelers can look out for.
Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI technology has received a burst of popularity in recent years, coming to the forefront of many mainstream discussions about science and tech. It plays a large role in aviation as well, with airlines and airports working increasingly on digitizing many of the regular services needed to keep air travel afloat. IoT for All lists the different ways AI has transformed the different processes in aviation, from crew management to ticketing to customer service. As AI systems become more sophisticated, passengers and aviation industry workers alike can expect AI to become an integral part of the airborne experience.
Growing Passenger Numbers
There’s no denying that air travel has boomed in growth in recent decades, with the growth and expansion of new airlines and routes and the popularity of travel blogging. As a result, in 2018 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) projected that air passenger numbers could increase to 8.2 billion by 2037. The majority of these travelers are going to come from the Asia-Pacific region, so travelers should look out for the establishment of more airlines and the push to hire more pilots.
More Aircraft Competition
For years, aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing has been at the forefront of the commercial aircraft production race. But as 2019 saw a spate of disasters for the company— from high-profile crashes to recalls of the 737 line— many are wondering how Boeing will be moving forward in the coming years. In the meantime, Aviation JobNet writes that close competitor Airbus is stepping in to fill the gap. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently approved Airbus’ request to install more emergency exists, which will lead to an expansion of the A350-1000 line. The industry can expect this and many more equipment and aircraft improvements to develop in the coming years.
Air travel comes with a price, and that price is often paid by the environment. As concerns about the climate crisis grow, more and more consumers are looking for more green-friendly ways to travel. This has led to a push for more travel by train, but airline companies are also being urged to do more for the environment. According to the Guardian, a string of different airlines all over the globe have pledged to prioritize carbon offsetting. While many environmentalists are wary that this process may lead to airlines relinquishing their responsibilities towards the climate, the process has certainly gained ground over recent years and maybe around for years to come.