Skill-set Required in Post-COVID Aviation Education

COVID-19 has identified and exaggerated the consequences of significant problems with the current aviation education system, which must be addressed by extending skill sets, incorporating new technologies, and enhancing job prospects. Future aviation graduates must possess a skill set inextricably linked to the industry’s constant evolution. To achieve pandemic-resilient aviation, COVID-19 has shed light on several future workforce skills that may become essential. Future aviation employees will need to be able to effectively manage ambiguity and possibility. Numerous factors, including economic concerns and a lack of information/guidance, contribute to the unreadiness of the aviation industry for anticipated shocks. The inability to predict the probability and magnitude of such infrequent occurrences is a fundamental flaw.

Similarly, the cumulative response to COVID-19 over time has demonstrated that a substantial portion of the population, regardless of academic training, lacks a fundamental understanding of simple concepts such as exponential growth, phase transitions, and other fundamentals of mathematics and statistical physics. To produce an aviation workforce capable of preparing their companies for a pandemic-resilient future, these skills must be taught throughout undergraduate education. Consequently, aviation stakeholders must be better educated in system thinking, considering the nontrivial interactions between a system’s components rather than maximising a single component.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to deal with virtual and augmented reality was revealed to be an undervalued skill. This begins with modest but chaotic video conferencing arrangements that persist for more than a year after the outbreak. Future technologies in virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) will significantly increase the entry barriers for prospective workers. Physical access to meetings and aviation equipment will always be a concern, particularly in the context of social distance limitations and travel restrictions. Numerous jobs that require physical access today will likely be performed in the future by small, semi-autonomous vehicles or robots, creating new learning opportunities. These robots must be controlled and monitored by humans using virtual and augmented reality to interact with their surroundings. The essential competencies emphasise human-machine and machine-machine interaction, alongside the acquisition of new methods to comprehend spatial and temporal representations. In a profit-driven enterprise, physical presence will outperform remote employment when these skills are lacking.

In addition to these technical skills, we believe that pandemic-resistant aircraft require a set of soft skills. Sustainable aviation requires a sense of social responsibility, which initially appears to be diametrically opposed to a profit-driven mindset. The second finding is likely one of the leading reasons why aviation stakeholders are reluctant to plan for a sustainable future. However, as a result of significant societal shifts, especially among the younger generations, future airline passengers will be more aware of issues such as climate effects and sustainable mobility. Therefore, airlines may need to adjust their business strategies to attract and retain the loyalty of these younger passengers. Motivated by various societal and personal factors, one of the businesses (either an existing one or a new one) may rush towards this rapidly expanding market of sustainability-conscious individuals. Thus, the economic argument should not be used to oppose the change in aviation; rather, this change should be encouraged by enhancing the workforce’s social competencies. Similarly, it has been suggested that aviation managers require a higher level of business acumen to facilitate pandemic-resistant aviation.

Last but not least, we wish to emphasise cultural sensitivity and communication/consensus-building skills. The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has revealed a significant sociological trend: our global society is leaning toward a resurgence of strong nationalism; crises invariably cause context changes. COVID-19 may be viewed as a multi-layered disease, in which the medical illness caused by the virus is accompanied by a disease spreading from the breakdown of institutions and a change in the environment. It is not surprising that some groups, notably far-right movements, utilise the collapse of institutions and the political virus to develop new hate models and shift towards a stronger nationalism.

In light of the widespread use of social media, which allows these organisations to operate as a single entity and defame others, these tendencies pose a fundamental threat to our society. Given the global and interconnected nature of air transportation, we propose that its employees should be taught and educated in soft skills to facilitate peaceful and fruitful interactions with people of different cultures. Currently, airlines are working towards reopening; however, the primary motivation is not to restore global connectivity, but rather to resume normal operations (and profits) as soon as possible. Efforts to stop the spread of extreme nationalism must be significantly increased. With a significant increase in cultural knowledge and constructive dialogue among global actors, we anticipate that the capacity to reach compromises and agreements would be significantly increased.

Aviation is unique in its need for company-specific talents. As a result, it is difficult for educational institutions to produce aviation professionals who are fully certified, immediately employable, and proficient. Every industry, from airlines to manufacturing, has its own culture, operating procedures, and safety standards. Governments, educational institutions, industry participants, and regulators must therefore engage in complex coordination and interaction to improve the skill sets of aviation professionals. If any of these stakeholders are excluded, the likelihood of achieving long-term and sustainable education solutions will be severely diminished.
Regarding the required skill set, a significant mismatch between educational providers and clients has been identified. So long as educational institutions refuse to acknowledge and address their deficiencies in practice-based education, the path to a superior education will remain blocked. Recent research in the educational field indicates that today’s and tomorrow’s students require significantly more interaction in the classroom, which contradicts the concept of remote and solitary study. This setting has emphasised using games as instructional learning aids for several years. The justification for this is that such games frequently have an extremely motivating effect; they encourage participation without monetary compensation. This type of gamification has not yet altered education for various reasons. Creating a highly engaging educational game is a costly and time-consuming endeavour. Given that a single game frequently focuses on a small number of specialised skills, the perceived benefits are less than the costs. In addition to aviation knowledge, the game’s designers must have a background in human-computer interface and psychology.

List of Top Technologies Trending in the Aviation Industry

The rate of technological development in the current period is unprecedented in human history. The aviation sector is experiencing the same technology change as almost every other industry today. The airline business has not only changed
the way we travel but also reduced the time it takes to get around the globe to a matter of hours. The modern airline sector transports millions of people annually and is responsible for the shipment of one-third of global commerce. The airline business is no longer what it once was, thanks to rising passenger numbers and cutting-edge technological advancements.

Cloud Technologies

Transport via air, and commercial airliners, in particular, necessitates the immediate, or at least very near to instantaneous, data transmission. More than anything else, cloud technologies make possible the success of other innovations in the aviation sector, including many that will be discussed in further detail below. The efficiency and safety of cloud-based technologies are becoming more vital than ever in the aviation industry as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data play an ever-growing role.

Blockchain Technology

Given the prominence achieved by blockchain technology in the finance industry, it is seeing a broad variety of applications in other sectors as well. The airline sector has recently begun to see the value of blockchain technology. French airline Air France has recently discussed its interest in blockchain technology to streamline internal operations. To label it a fad would be unfair since it represents a truly disruptive force that must be taken into account by intermediaries in the aviation sector and beyond.

Drones

Drones have garnered huge appeal among recreational, and therefore, are gradually becoming more and more inexpensive. Amazon is ahead of the competition in the “Game of Drones” and making significant strides. A look at Amazon’s new patent on the usage of a flying warehouse reveals the direction in which the company is going. Uber’s white paper on the viability of ultra-short-haul commercial flying in the urban realm, published a few months ago, reveals similar objectives.

Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR and AR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is commonly connected with glasses that transport you to a virtual world where your actual motions are transferred to the virtual world. However, it is more probable that Augmented Reality (AR) will make its way into the airline and airport industries. The augmented and virtual reality revolution is being put to use in a wide variety of fields. As expected, the airline sector is following suit. Right now, one of the most apparent uses of these technologies can be anticipated to be seen in the airport area, in which the airport experience may be improved with the aid of AR/VR-based apps.

AI (Chatbots)

If things really go to hell in a handbasket, a traveller will need to download the apps of their car rental agency, airline, departure airport, connecting airport, destination airport, and hotel. As AI becomes more mainstream, businesses are integrating technology into their operations to better serve their customers at every interaction. There is a plethora of applications for artificial intelligence, from chatbots to voice-based AI systems. The aviation sector is aware of AI’s potential to help them advance technologically. Several airlines with a keen eye on the future have already begun investing in artificial intelligence because of the widespread potential of these technologies.

Beacons Technology

There was a time when pinpointing the position of humans and other moving objects inside buildings was thought to be impossible. As the strength of satellite signals is typically inadequate and the precision is insufficient when used inside, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are not suitable for use in these environments. Beacons are becoming more popular, and airports and airlines will certainly begin employing them to improve and personalise the services they provide to customers. Also, with the aid of Beacons, airports and retailers on airport grounds may track the location of passengers and give them targeted communications based on their specific needs and interests. These notifications may inform the user of the current location of nearby stores and restaurants and their flight status.

Biometrics 

A link between the airline industry and digital IDs based on biometrics has existed since 2001, while U.S. law required biometrics for entrance and leave. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has only sped up the adoption pace, and there are always emerging cases of new use. SITA claims that by 2024, 60% of airports will have invested in biometric solutions and that airlines will have spent an additional $2 billion on biometric boarding. Numerous businesses have used biometric authentication systems, such as fingerprint scanners, eye scanners, and facial recognition software, to ensure identity and prevent fraud. Biometric technology was employed during airport check-in, customs procedure, and on-boarding operations, and will be used in the future for the luggage claim procedure in the airline industry. 

Big Data Analytics 

The term “big data” is used to describe huge datasets (both organized and unstructured) that exceed the capabilities of conventional database management systems. As a result of advancements in big data technologies, businesses can now use massive amounts of both internal and external data to innovate existing offerings and streamline processes, opening up new markets for their wares. Using the wealth of information available today, airlines can better meet the needs of their consumers and remain competitive in a cutthroat industry. United Airlines, for one, use a sophisticated “collect, detect, act” system to analise over 150 characteristics in the customer profile, such as their past purchases, preferences, etc., to give them personalized offers. After using this approach, United Airlines saw a 15% increase in revenue YoY. In addition, predictive analytics applied to this information may improve operating efficiency even more.

Although technology is improving and the industry is making strides to adopt it, the best-laid plans might fail if not properly implemented. It is essential to do extensive testing prior to acceptance and implementation. However, it goes without saying that incorporating the incorporation of these technologies in the Aviation Industry has been serving as a significant enhancer of the modern-day consumer experience. 

Integrated Impact of Aviation and Tourism on the Economy

Many developing nations depend heavily on tourism as a means of economic growth, and this is especially true for outlying areas that are too distant from major metropolitan areas to support themselves without a constant influx of visitors. It is safe to assume that without tourist spending, their economies would suffer greatly. A wide range of industries, most notably the tourist industry, are impacted by the actions of the aviation industry. Air travel’s facilitation of greater connection is a driving force in the expansion of the tourist industry, which in turn generates considerable economic gains for all parties involved.

It is no secret that the travel industry and the airline industry both contribute significantly to a thriving economy. Instead of diminishing the world’s natural resources, tourism that is both responsible and sustainable helps to preserve and appreciate them, creating valuable employment in the service sector. The economic advantages of tourism are undeniable, but it is the responsibility of businesses and governments to minimise any negative effects on the environment and the local community.

How do tourism and aviation combine to support sustainable growth in the economy?

Out of the overall $2.7 trillion in economic activity sustained by aircraft, more than $892 billion is directly tied to tourism. It is simple to see why air travel is so important to the tourism business when one considers that 54% of all foreign travellers use it to get to their destination. Twenty-seven million people’s livelihoods were directly or indirectly attributed to the aviation industry 20 years ago when its entire economic effect was projected at USD 1.36 trillion (1998). Since then, as more and more people have gained access to low-cost air travel, aviation’s role in the contemporary economy has expanded dramatically. The aviation business is responsible for 3.6% of global GDP, or USD 2.7 trillion, and directly or indirectly sustains 65.5 million employments globally, as per the latest current estimate (2016).

The aviation industry is a facilitator for other sectors since its operations and supply chains (both direct and indirect) contribute to its ability to generate income and jobs, both induced and tourism-catalytic. Aviation has an outsized role in several regions, especially when it comes down to the regional scale. It is difficult to see the economy of some nations thriving without the influx of visitors provided by air travel. Air travel and the tourist industry have a mutually beneficial connection that results in the creation of almost 37 million jobs and a yearly increase of around USD 897 billion in global GDP. When you add all the indirect employment that was made possible by the aviation industry and aviation-enabled tourism, you get 6.4 global jobs for every direct job. In a similar vein, for every dollar of GVA, the aviation industry generated, it indirectly supported an additional $3.80 in economic activity.

Other economic advantages of aviation, like employment or economic activity created when businesses or industries may exist because of convenient access to the air, are not accounted for in these estimations. They also fail to account for the importance of fast and reliable air travel to the development of long-term productive assets that fuel economic expansion, along with the value of domestic tourism and trade and the simulated foreign direct investment (FDI) made possible by reliable air transport links. There would be a significant rise in employment and global economic effect if they were included. One may expect a multiplicative effect on the demand for firms that support the aviation industry from the demand for air travel itself. The convenience of flying is a boon to the tourist industry.

The growth of the tourism business in popular destinations like the Hawaiian Islands is directly attributable to the ease and low cost with which visitors may travel to and from the islands. When more people can fly to a destination, more hotels and holiday tour companies open up shop there, as do allied service industries like the catering industry and the retail sector selling necessities like toilet paper and soap. What is meant by the term “economic multiplier” is the additional growth that results from an industry, such as the aviation sector. The direct economic benefit of aircraft transportation on a local economy is typically about $2 billion, leading to a total economic effect of $5 billion, or an economic multiplier of 2.5.

 

https://www.icao.int/sustainability/Documents/AVIATION-BENEFITS-2019-web.pdf

Current estimates by the inter-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) place the worldwide aviation industry’s overall economic effect (direct, induced, indirect, and tourism-connected) at USD2.7 trillion, or around 3.5% of global GDP in 2014. Transportation in general is dependent on aeroplanes, but the travel industry is especially reliant on them. Air travel boosts the economy and reduces poverty by making vacationing more accessible. Roughly 1.2 billion visitors travel internationally annually, with air travel accounting for more than half of these arrivals. More than 36 million tourism-related employment were supported by aviation in 2014, and the industry as a whole contributed over $892 billion to global GDP.

Air travel is crucial to international trade since it is the only fast, global transportation network. The expansion of the economy, the emergence of new employment opportunities, and the easing of travel and commerce across countries are all direct results of this phenomenon. Aviation’s role as a commerce facilitator means that more companies may sell their goods throughout the world. Better buyer-seller communication and just-in-time inventory management, as well as build-to-order manufacturing, are made possible by this system.

The airline industry is a liberating force that has a profound impact on people’s lives all across the globe. Stronger air connectivity, which in turn drives even more social and economic success, is possible with the correct policy framework from governments. Through the employment of locals in tourism businesses, the provision of products and services to visitors, the operation of small and community-based companies, etc., poverty may be alleviated if air transport is used to assist tourism sustainably. To achieve this goal, we must keep commerce and travel lanes open and make wise choices about the creation of adequate, resource-friendly infrastructure.

Augmented Reality: The Game Changer in Aviation Training

An aircraft cannot fly safely without a group of extremely skilled crew members on board for optimal maintenance of flight conditions. Therefore, it is of utmost priority that these crew members can access necessary training. The thumb rule of aviation training is that the process should include dealing with diverse scenarios that can arise during a flight. The last decade has witnessed a revolutionary rise of Augmented Reality (AR) in the aviation industry as a tool to train individuals. It also, to some extent, seemingly determines the future course of aviation training. The technology has become so widespread that the aggregate investment in AR directed aviation training is projected to be over billion dollars in the 2020s.

The global economy has been looking to increase operational efficacy and safety training measures via the use of new technologies, and this has accelerated the pace at which AR has been adopted in recent years. AR will have a significant influence on the aviation business, where training is of crucial importance. Rapid progress is being made in the field of AR technology today, and its impact is being seen in fields other than aviation.

By enabling the development of novel mixed reality environments that serve as a medium for acquiring job-related skills, AR has the potential to revolutionise aerospace/aviation training. Using machine vision and computer graphics technologies, AR creates a mixed reality world where physical and digital things coexist in seamless, three-dimensional settings. The use of AR (AR) to create augmented sceneries inside a highly remembered framework may supplement human information processing, and this supplement can manifest itself in training efficiency relevant to a broad range of work-related activities. It is very uncommon for training facilities to run short of high-priced resources like engines and other necessary components for the trainees to practise on. AR allows for immersive on-the-job training that may boost productivity. They may take the course as many times as they want at no extra cost in order to master the material.

The technology can be utilised in numerous ways. AR generates real-time data regarding navigation, terrain, air-traffic and weather with relative ease and therefore facilitates the decision-making process. This technology has demonstrably enhanced the quality of take-offs and landing by mitigating/reducing risk factors associated with flight. The fundamental ability of AR is to fetch and present accurate information when needed. Pilots access the visual representation of this information, often over-layered in three-dimensional graphics, which is not only straightforward to comprehend but also easy to retain.

Training ground staff using AR is a possibility. Maintenance staff may employ interactive inspection guidelines with digital arrows and labels to guarantee that their task is completed without a trace of mistake, and aviation engineers could use AR glasses to mimic and test installation operations.

In the aviation industry, Manifest is used by ground staff using AR headsets like Magic Leap or Microsoft HoloLens to complete jobs and record proof of any problems or anomalies. The Job Board keeps a record of all relevant job information, including proof and ratings, so that it may be accessed and reviewed from anywhere at any time. The United States Air Force, for one, has discovered that by adopting Manifest, the most experienced aircraft maintainers can train new employees without actually being present, resulting in a much shorter training period and a higher rate of success for the trainees and a greater number of always-ready aircraft.

Improved precision and uniformity in training, as well as in regular maintenance and inspection, are all ways in which Manifest’s AR work instruction software for aeroplane maintenance improves security. With Manifest, both commercial and private aviation maintenance technicians may use AR to better check and service their planes. Manifest’s comprehensive help information complements the app’s hands-free work instructions. Based on the findings of a recent USAF research, it is clear that the Manifest AR platform may greatly increase technicians’ precision and productivity in their work. Technicians who used Manifest made 53% fewer mistakes/discrepancies, whereas technicians who used conventional techniques were 57% more likely to wrongly install artwork than technicians who used Manifest. There was no appreciable lag between conventional and AR material in terms of job completion timeframes, and there were also no appreciable gains in efficiency due to the addition of AR.

Before a flight takes off, the crew needs to satisfy several specific conditions. The head mounted display (HMD) integrates AR and produces a “virtual checklist”. Once the pre-flight checks are done, the head mounted display fetches the runway related information and guides the pilots to their respective runways. The extensive use of this technology in the training process develops a feeling for different pre-flight scenarios; thus, allowing them to deal with these situations efficiently. On the other hand, when acquiring the craft of landing a flight, the AR-technology can offer assistance for demonstrating the correct path. Due to landing and taking off being the riskiest parts of flying, it is of incredible use to be capable of training with this technology. AR systems can assist to address emergencies when the flight comes closer to the ground, instruct pilots regarding the necessities and mitigate substantial threats of landings and take-offs.

Two pilot projects were created by Japan Airlines to test the viability of AR (AR) education for professionals in the aircraft sector. Both the flight crew and the engineering staff use HoloLens, but each has its own custom application. An AR (AR) cockpit or an immersive engine model allow learners to understand how everything works from a variety of perspectives without the need for mock-ups or printouts. With the use of AR, aviation training may be made more interesting and participatory for students. Learning with AR improves long-term retention by decreasing the amount of material lost between instant recall and long-term retention assessment by seven days. Due to human variability, the possibility of enhanced learning performance, and considerable reductions in training time, more study in the area of AR applications for training is important.

Future of Aviation and Tourism Industry Lies in Blockchain Technology

Thanks to its inherent technical features, blockchain offers verifiability, transparency, and security of environmental attributes of SAF.

Sabine Brink, Shell’s blockchain lead

Recently, both practitioners and academics have shown a great deal of interest in blockchain technology. Still, a number of solutions to enhance many industries have already been developed. Efforts are being undertaken to develop more collaborative and integrated cities. This has the potential to give more efficient and productive ways to live, work, and network via integrative platforms connecting many stakeholders. For example, a venture that has taken the leap to the pilot phase as an ambitious project between Shell, Amex and Accenture is aimed at enhancing the availability and utilisation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Through the use of blockchain technology, tourism and hospitality enterprises will be able to handle transactions connected to sales, operations, finance, and administration, as well as interact with external parties, including the government. It might help the development of sustainable hospitality and travel industry, which cannot be realised without the cooperation of all stakeholders.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has listed blockchain in their research, Future of the Airline Industry 2035, as one of the technologies that might significantly influence the future of air transportation among other change agents, such as new forms of consumption and the privatisation of infrastructure.
Blockchain is a distributed database consisting of a list of transaction bundles, known as blocks that are interconnected. In a complex decentralised method, once these blocks are recognised as part of the overall chain, they cannot be modified simply. In order to modify a single block, every subsequent block would also need to be modified, making modification almost impossible. The blockchain is not administered by a central authority; rather, the technology consists of a peer-to-peer network, wherein decentralised servers store copies of the entire blockchain. The so-called miners contribute to the process of adding and confirming new data. They tackle a computationally challenging challenge to add and validate the data and are subsequently compensated for providing their resources. Each new block introduced to the chain carries a unique identifier, the hash, depending on the blocks that came before it; this enables more precise data monitoring and better security. Diverse blockchain-based systems use so-called smart contracts that allow the reliable completion of online contracts between unidentified parties. There is the potential for cryptocurrency transactions and smart contracts to disrupt numerous sectors, including hospitality and tourism.

Typically, the introduction of new technology is accompanied by a great deal of hype. As blockchain matures, it has the potential to have a similarly disruptive effect as the Internet had when it first emerged. The objective of the web was to facilitate the global flow of information; the promise of blockchain is to facilitate the frictionless movement of value across digital channels. The strategy IATA has adopted is, to begin with, the requirements of the client, then addressing their pain areas and chances to offer additional value. IATA has conducted research and development (R&D) on this technology over the last five years, beginning with prototypes and, in some instances testing in a production setting where a compelling use case existed.

Numerous airlines and their collaborators have been concurrently testing the blockchain technology in a number of application scenarios. Initial advancements are tangible enough to motivate additional research and consider prototypes’ alternatives.

The majority of the present systems used to handle data in the aviation industry are centralised and do not adequately provide trustworthy data provenance, immutability, openness, auditability, and traceability.

Blockchain is an innovative and disruptive technology with the promise to offer trustworthy transparency, accessibility, traceability, and immutability for recorded and shared data and transactions in a decentralised and secure way that does not rely on a trusted third party.

Currently, blockchain technology is through a period in which its maturity increases and its tangible advantages become more apparent. Nevertheless, it is still not obvious how to utilise the advantages in the context of an applicable use case when this technology is the optimal answer. The classification of a vast array of use cases continuously reveals the creation of clusters around a few application domains, with many use cases using Tokenisation and Smart Contracts. There are several reasons why this technology is ideally positioned as a solution to both commercial and non-business issues. However, there are still a few significant obstacles that must be addressed before widespread adoption can occur. The primary challenges have been recognised as scalability, governance, and cost of use.

While blockchain applications for air transportation are still in their beginnings, the 2018 Air Transport IT Insights study by Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques (SITA) indicates that 59% of airlines are funding the technology through pilot or research projects, which is up from 42% in 2017.
Nowadays, airlines depend on third parties to store and exchange passenger and operating data. This comprises passenger and sales data, reconciling, and luggage information that is maintained in silos that cannot interact with one another. Blockchain is here to eliminate this barrier, reducing the provider’s dependency on middlemen and allowing for quicker automated transaction processing, real-time information exchange, and less system maintenance. New, immediate payment networks based on blockchain technology, electronic wallets, as well as other innovations are transforming the future of payments.

The value chain of the aviation sector is naturally very collaborative, with numerous partnerships between service providers orchestrating the supply of travel-related goods and services. Smart contracts have the ability to facilitate the simplification of interactions between businesses, specifically to disrupt procedures like billing, reconciling, settlements, and accounting.

Blockchain has actual advantages, but to maximise these benefits, the first approach ought to be solution-driven discovery, analysis, and deployment, with an open mind toward alternative options throughout the process. Furthermore, several design possibilities pertaining to the kind and configuration of blockchain must be properly evaluated and contrasted. The suggested course of action is to examine blockchain as one of the viable options for the sustainable future of the aviation sector in every aspect.

TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION TRAINING: USE OF VIRTUAL REALITY

In the aviation sector, a proper personnel training is critical. Passengers’ lives are at stake while flying, so both the flight deck and cabin attendants must be prepared for any eventuality. Airlines often utilise so-called “hard simulators” – full-size cockpits that perfectly reproduce actual aircraft or their specific sections – to educate their cabin and flight deck workers. Flight simulators aren’t the only thing trainees do. For even licensed pilots, it is necessary to do a simulated flight every few years to keep their licence current. Changing aircraft requires pilots and flight crews to undergo a specialised training programme. First, students get a crash course on the aircraft’s technical characteristics. Afterwards, students practise flying in a simulator before taking to the skies in a specific aircraft. A broad range of applications for virtual reality (VR) shows promise for the airline sector as a whole.

 
In the aviation sector, VR is mostly used for pilot training.
Examples of how VR can be used to teach pilots have been provided by Dymora, Kowal, Mazurek, and Roman, four professionals in the relevant field, in their study under the title “The effects of Virtual Reality technology application in the aircraft pilot training process”. VR-based training increased the percentage of accurate responses by 21–32.7% when compared to conventional training techniques, allowing for an average of 90% accuracy. A virtual cockpit appears inside the wearer’s eyes after donning the VR goggles. It’s all about the pre-start routine in this situation. There is a display board above the instruments that shows the tasks that need to be performed. Vive controllers are used to control virtual gloves, which are used to interact with the world. Your fingers are placed in a precise motion when you press a controller button. A virtual glove motion using just the index finger is recommended due to the cockpit’s diminutive size. With an open hand, you risk coming into contact with several objects at once.


A VR-based training programme is being used by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
VR may substantially speed up and simplify airline employee training in aircraft exterior inspections. Wearing an HMD, staff may realistically walk around an aircraft, discover current flaws, and verify that all relevant safety equipment is properly fitted. The ground crew’s VR training is critical to passenger safety. Through the use of VR, the ground crew may practise locating and correcting any fuselage or wing faults or other aircraft issues. Thanks to the immersive VR technology, the ground staff will be ready for anything that might happen.


VR is used by Pratt & Whitney, an American producer of jet engines, to teach its workers to fix aircraft engines.
Repairing expensive and complicated aeroplane components like engines requires a significant investment of time and effort. If you don’t have access to a computer, you may still benefit from VR. Using VR headsets, engineers may spend as much time honing their abilities on whatever aero-plane model they like. Engineers may see inside or around an engine using VR. In addition, they may use VR to explore virtually any specific aspect. Training engineers to deal with certain engine types and models may be considerably reduced in cost and time using immersive technology. With VR, the whole training process is speedier and more cost-effective.


aViatoR, a VR smartphone app, recreates a plane’s interior with the help of virtual passengers.
Passengers’ safety and comfort are the responsibility of the cabin staff. Instead of reading instructions, advice, and explanations, a cabin crew may practise their skills in virtual surroundings. “aViatoR” allows airlines to develop their own cabin crew training programmes to guarantee that their team is well-prepared for high-risk circumstances or merely anxious, intimidated or disgruntled guests. A variety of cabin features and passengers may be manipulated by trainees in various training situations. Cabin crew members may quickly grasp the plane’s fundamental structure and equipment using VR technology.

VR technology allows flight attendants to experience a plethora of different situations while on the job. With the use of this, a flight attendant’s abilities in risky or unexpected circumstances may be honed. Because flight attendants initially practise in virtual cabins and with virtual passengers, airlines may save money on training while still ensuring the safety of their brand. Through the use of VR, students may practise handling stressful circumstances like a sick passenger or an onboard fire that they would encounter in the real world. When passengers are in danger, they may help them stay calm by learning how to deal with stress.


It is now possible to simulate emergencies on a flight deck using VR.
To fully handle the situation in the cabin, the flight deck and cabin crew must establish good communication. It is made feasible by effective communication between the flight deck and flight attendants. VR may substantially assist the flight deck in learning the required communication skills to rapidly respond with the cabin crew in an emergency when operating an aircraft. Instead of doing a lot of paperwork, flight deck workers now utilise customised electronic flight bags (EFBs) to effectively accomplish flight management responsibilities. Putting an EFB in a fire sock while flying an aircraft, on the other hand, requires excellent coordination and communication between the flight and cabin personnel. VR technology makes it possible to simulate these kinds of situations in a safe virtual setting.

Virtual reality (VR) is not just a cool tool to use in the marketing section. Based on the multimedia development of computer visions of things, space, and events, VR is a mirror of the artificial world made with the use of IT technology. It may be both a representation of the current world (computer simulations) and completely fictional. Users of VR devices often don a head-mounted display (HMD) or goggles powered by a computer, gaming console, or smartphone. Several airlines have already used VR to demonstrate the concept’s feasibility in training staff. 3D surround sound is often used to boost virtual transmissions. VR may become a reality with the help of sophisticated software and sensors.

Electric Aircraft: What’s the Possibility of Fully-electric aeroplane?

If that trend continues, then aviation is going to become one of the top polluters in all industry sectors.

Susan Ying, Senior Manager, Ampaire

Electric aircraft are often mentioned as a potential solution to the airline industry’s need to reduce its carbon impact. While air travel is predicted to quadruple in the next two decades, the industry is lagging behind other modes of transportation in its efforts to transition to a carbon-free future. This is a problem.

Investment in fully- or hybrid-electric propulsion for aero planes has increased over the past several years as a result of the automotive sector and contemporary transportation trends. Numerous scientific and popular publications claim that storing electric energy in batteries offers a clean new world with minimum environmental impact and tremendous chances for economic progress. The expansion of air travel is readily seen, and the future seems bright. Global market forecasts from Airbus foresee the sale of about 37,000 planes in the next 20 years. It has been shown that air transportation is only marginally influenced by global crises, hence long-term market forecasts can be more accurate.

Fully electric flying for big planes is at least a few decades off in the future. Using today’s batteries, a jumbo aircraft would need 1.2 million pounds of batteries to produce the power of the jet engine this would be replacing. To transport this weight, an extra eight jet jets would be required.  As a result, electric aircraft research is putting a lot of effort into overcoming the constraints of battery technology. Private businesses and governments all across the globe are building on what has worked in the past to get things going in the right direction.

To some extent, electrically driven scale models have been flying since the 1970s; in this sense, they may be seen as precursors to today’s tiny unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as “drones”), which can be found in a variety of applications. French army personnel attempted to use electricity to drive an airship in the late 1800s, but their battery was unable to contain enough power to move their aircraft. A situation like this would continue to plague the world for the next 100 years. Despite the development of nickel-cadmium batteries, the first electric-powered aircraft was only able to fly for around 15 minutes before it crashed. Eventually, in the 1980s, lithium-ion batteries were developed. Aircraft like the Solar Impulse 2 might make use of this since they could store far more energy than previously possible. The solar-powered aero-plane spent 16 months flying around the globe at an average speed of 28 to 34 mph beginning in 2015.

The development of electric aircraft is being driven by the environmental impact of aviation on climate change, with some teams aiming for an electric engine that produces no carbon dioxide emissions whatsoever. CO2 emissions from aircraft rose by 32% between 2013 and 2018, accounting for 2.4% of all fossil fuel-derived emissions. Non-CO2 consequences of aircraft are difficult to estimate, although NOx and contrails might boost this duty to 3.5%. Another advantage is the ability to reduce noise pollution and abatement in an industry with significant noise pollution and pollution issue. The result of this is that several well-known international organisations have begun working on electric aircraft development. Several private firms, such as Tesla, are making significant investments in electric flying to gain market share. Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that his company’s batteries will reach the required power density for electric aircraft by 2023.

Recently, an electric aircraft made history at a big airport surrounded by countryside in northern Washington State. Powered only by electricity, it is the largest commercial jet ever to take off and fly in the skies. Crowds of witnesses chanted and shouted as it flew over Grant County International Airport for 30 minutes on 28 May. At most, nine people could fit in the plane, which was adapted to accommodate that number of passengers. In addition, the aircraft’s sole interior feature was a single seat for the pilot. A long leap from the 200-300-seater aircraft that takes passengers on weekend city getaways or business travels, much alone the massive double-decker flights that span the continent. However, the “eCaravan” test flight, on the other hand, went quite well. The electric motor was provided by AeroTEC and magniX, the two firms behind the project who are thrilled with the result. It is a continuation of prior tests with smaller planes that were also powered by magniX’s electric motor.

The number of watt-hours (Wh) per kilogramme (kg) is a common unit of measurement for describing energy density. The energy density of a lithium-ion battery nowadays may approach 250 Wh/kg, whereas the energy density of jet fuel, or kerosene, is over 12,000 Wh/kg. An electric jet capable of flying for 500 kilometres is presently being developed by engineers. Using a partnership between EasyJet and the aviation start-up Wright Electric, a prototype jet is being designed and developed to enter commercial service as early as 2030. Although it would only fly short-haul routes of 1,500 km or less, such as Paris to London, it is estimated that short-haul narrow-body aircraft account for a third of all aviation emissions, as per management experts Roland Berger. The environmental effect of flying might be considerably reduced by progressively introducing electric planes, which might replace conventional aeroplanes on these short-hop excursions. There is a fundamental problem with electric aeroplanes, and it has everything to do with energy density. In the beginning, it would seem that electric aircraft had little chance of competing. A more efficient electric power system means that the vehicle can go more kilometres on the same amount of fuel. This is not as stark a difference as it seems. As it stands right now, though, fossil fuel systems are still around 14 times as energy-dense as their battery-powered counterparts. Batteries, unlike fluids that slosh about, are also inconvenient in terms of their structure and size. The most essential thing to remember is that long-distance flights in big aircraft will not be entirely powered by electricity very soon. Even if it happens this century, it is not likely to happen in the next 50 years.

What’s the Next Big Change in Aviation Industry?

At the heart of our society and economy are the pillars of transportation: air, land, and water. Trade, health care, and education are just some of the commodities and services that may be accessed through these networks of people and places. Efficient and fast air, land and marine transportation is becoming a need in today’s global society. This, meanwhile, raises the question of long-term viability. Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) comes to the rescue here. A Roadmap of Actions customised to nations and localities to execute on a voluntary basis is the first time that the transport sector and its modes of transportation have been able to speak with one voice. All kinds of transportation, including aircraft, are covered by the SuM4All. Access to nations and cities is made easier by aviation, which enhances multi-layered efficiency in travel and places safety and security at the forefront of the trip experience.

In addition, reinventing mobility necessitates innovation in technology and processes (e.g., through rethinking travel efficiency). New business models and mobility services are made possible by cutting-edge technology, such as driverless vehicles and lightweight materials. Aviation is rife with new technologies, including unmanned aircraft, artificial intelligence, biometrics, robotics, block chain, alternative fuels, and electric planes. Air travel is therefore perfectly situated to support the innovation debate and its possible effects on new mobility.

Innovations in aviation will have a ripple effect on other modes of transportation and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.  Whether it’s moving people or shipping cargo, these proposals provide a glimpse into what the future may hold. As John Jarrell, the Head of Airport IT at Amadeus, explains:

There’s an opportunity for digital technology to deliver real and tangible benefits to passengers. With improvements to flight management processing they are likely to see fewer delays and rates of baggage reconciliation are likely to improve. With end-to-end biometrics, transitioning through the airport is likely to become a much better experience for the passenger, where you effectively just walk into the airport and it’s a seamless and touch-free process all the way onto the aircraft.”

The digital wave has had a rippling effect throughout sectors and organisations, and the aviation industry is no exception. It’s not, however, one of the digital revolution’s pioneers. As a result, it is simply responding to the new wave of technology and following the trends to keep up with the wants and expectations of today’s modern travellers. Low-cost airlines have been the preferred mode of transportation for travellers in recent years. From the time they plan their trip to the moment they arrive at their destination, today’s travellers demand a totally tailored experience. Customers in the aviation business can benefit from Sentiment Analysis, which can be used to discover what they want and how they want it.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects are far from ended. Even while immunizations have begun in several areas of the world, it will be years before air travel has fully recovered from this outbreak. As the post-COVID-19 airline industry becomes clearer, there are lessons to be learned by airlines today. Long-term trends like digitalization and the phase-out of inefficient aeroplanes have been accelerated. However, there are some bright spots in the forecast. Many individuals are looking forward to taking vacations again as travelling becomes more environmentally friendly. Taking action now can help airlines succeed in a rapidly changing industry. In its latest analysis, “Future of the Airline Business 2035”, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) assessed the technologies and elements that will decide how the aviation industry will shape up. 

New manufacturing processes, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), IoT (Internet of Things), big data and alternative fuels and energy sources are among the technologies that will shape the aviation industry in the years to come according to a new analysis.

At peak periods, air travel has a reputation for being tight, unpleasant, and pricey.  As a major contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, it is also an important factor. However, as a result of these advancements, air travel is expected to become more economical, more pleasant and more ecologically friendly in the coming several decades.

Due to the usage of kerosene as a fuel in modern planes, aviation accounts for 3.6% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen-powered planes might join the market as soon as 2035, according to a recent estimate, and those jets could transport hundreds more passengers per journey than regular flights, with a cleaner source of energy.

In order to carry as many passengers as possible without compromising on the quality of service, airlines are always seeking for new solutions. Improvements such as double-decker economy seats, which provide passengers with extra legroom while also increasing airline capacity, may be on the horizon in the near future.

As data becomes more accessible to the general public, the private sector is better able to make well-informed judgments. Consumer behaviour may now be predicted using big data in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). An effective strategy that is very likely to be implemented requires the use of data mining tools, which are becoming increasingly important in the digital era.

According to a recent industry assessment, AI in aviation is expected to grow at a CAGR of 46.4% by 2023. Passengers are getting a tailored experience thanks to the application of AI. The digital interactions between airlines and passengers are becoming increasingly personalised, optimised, and scaled up because to advances in artificial intelligence. Passengers’ social emotion is being used to assist the airline sector tailor their services to the demands of their customers.

Pilotless planes may soon be a reality because to recent technological advances that are making robots smarter. A plane may fly its whole voyage without the need for human intervention because to the combination of hybrid RPA and artificial intelligence (AI). Auto-pilot mode is still in use today, with manual pilots only assuming control of the plane during takeoff and landing. However, given the inherent dangers and uncertainties of flying, it is exceedingly improbable that any future flights would be operated entirely by automatic pilots. During an emergency, a human pilot is required to fly the plane and ensure its safety because machines are unreliable.

Why Should Aviation Professionals Be Aptly Trained in Resource Management?

The aviation industry essentially encompasses every element of air travel and is one of the rapidly growing sectors worldwide. The aviation industry is important for economic growth, job creation, and to back international travel and tourism. However, for the aviation industry to bear desired results, it is vital to give undivided attention to resource management.

30-second summary:

  • Resource Management plays a central role in boosting flight safety and customer satisfaction.
  • It helps in optimum allocation of tasks, ultimately leaving no room for duplication or errors.
  • With resource management in place, better communication can be ensured, which further helps in spot-on decision making within the pre-set comprehensive framework.

Statistics suggest that the revenue of the global aviation sector grew at a compounded yearly growth rate of 5.30% between 2009 and 2019. Air travel is significant globally because it is one of the fastest transportation networks. Having said that, the aviation sector not only needs skilled resources to handle the responsibilities but also requires efficient management of these resources as well.

What is resource management?

Resources are inputs, which need to be utilized to perform a certain task satisfactorily. Resource Management revolves around planning, scheduling, and allocating these inputs across different activities to maximize efficiency.

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, which is one of the best aviation institutes in Kolkata, we educate our students about the three categories of aviation resources, namely physical, human, and intangible resources. We talk about doing more with less without compromising on the safety and security parameters. Thus, our students are well trained before professionally stepping into the aviation industry.

Why do aviation professionals require resource management training?

Helps deal with unforeseen gaps:

The aviation industry is very unpredictable. Something as basic as the prevalent weather conditions can disturb smooth flight operations. Amidst this, it is quite possible for unforeseen gaps to show up.

However, when an aviation professional is provided with resource management training, there are bright chances that the professional can effectively deal with the gaps with the available resources without engaging in any sort of misallocation or double allocation. 

Improves airline competitiveness:

When an air carrier can provide satisfactory service levels at reasonable costs, there are better chances for the airline in question to enjoy a competitive edge over its rivals. This, in turn, is likely to reflect in the form of increased footfalls and ultimately improved bottom lines.

An aviation professional has a major role to play in the area of service, which is something we repeatedly underline at Avlon Shiksha Niketan. We urge our students to place their interests secondary to that of the airline they would be working with, and to try and perform consistently in terms of customer service.

Contributes towards overall transparency:

Resource management comes equipped with multi-faceted factors such as getting a count of the available resources, prioritizing tasks, allocating resources, and scaling up performance with the resources at hand. The working is no different in the case of aviation.

By following the above protocol, visibility improves, so does cross-functional transparency. This, in turn, ensures a free and concrete flow of information across vertical and horizontal channels. Ultimately, all the resources can work coherently, which then helps the airline to create a mark for itself in the industry.

Bridges the gap between utilization and efficiency:

Resource management in the case of the aviation industry has a lot to do with the utilization of resources and ultimately measuring the efficiency levels that these resources bring to the table.

By viewing resource management as a concept that can make or break an airline carrier and by applying its principles to the daily functioning of the airline, the gap between utilization and efficiency can be bridged.

These are not only limited to technical resources but also touch upon crew resource management, which emphasizes improved cognitive skills, ability to communicate, teamwork, and situational awareness. This is important to fly safely and avoid any untoward circumstances. At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a renowned aviation institute in Kolkata, these skills and attitudes are sown in students all through their academic journey with the institute.

Minimize costs:

By following a model that places resource management on a pedestal, air carriers can minimize costs. Additionally, they can predetermine scarce resources and ultimately use them with thought and precision.

Since this is done, airlines do not have to bother about keeping aside additional funds to raise such limited resources. Moreover, contingency funds need not be touched frequently as resource management ensures that the carrier can better deal with and manage incidents that otherwise require heavy financial resources to set the situation right.

Facts state that labor accounts for about 32.3% of an airline’s operating costs, followed by fuel, which takes about 17.7%. To avoid these costs from shooting up further or surpassing the pre-set budget, resource management becomes useful.

Role of resource management amid the ongoing pandemic

No denying, the coronavirus pandemic had hit the aviation industry really badly. For instance, in 2021, the number of passengers who boarded airlines globally was slightly over 2.2 billion heads. These figures are alarming because the global passenger air traffic in 2021 was only 50% of the 2019 numbers.

This makes it clear that air carriers must have suffered in terms of revenues, which would have impacted their maintenance, diversification, growth, improved service levels, and of course, making available cost-effective travel plans.

But this is where resource management came to the rescue. Airlines, which were able to fly without compromising on passenger safety and service, had done one thing right. They had diverted uncompromised efforts towards optimum resource utilization, which in turn helped them to keep their base strong even when their capacities had dropped and the future seemed uncertain.

Final thoughts

Resource management is critical to the success of businesses in the aviation industry. And this is exactly why aviation professionals need to be trained well.

As one of the leading aviation institutes in Kolkata, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, shoulder the responsibility of producing job-ready, highly skilled, and efficient aviation professionals who not only have strong theoretical knowledge but also hold highly valuable practical experiences.

Our focus has always been on offering the aspirants industry-centric and job-specific training, which helps them enter the aviation industry well prepared. So, if you are interested in pursuing a career in aviation, turn your attention to Avlon Shiksha Niketan and secure a seat immediately.

How is Data Analytics Transforming the Airline Industry for the Better?

The aviation industry is one of the first industries to adopt new technologies like Big Data and AI. As a result of this integration, flight operators and airports can now cater to the ever-increasing passenger base in a much more structured and profitable way. Read on to find out how.

30-second summary:

  • Big data analytics is making it easier to provide better customer service in the aviation industry.
  • Some of the benefits include reduced operational costs, better passenger satisfaction, and crisis management.
  • Airport authorities and flight operators around the world are investing in data specialties to get this competitive edge over other players.

 

Let’s start this discussion by asking a very simple question – When was the last time you went to a flight booking office (at the airport or elsewhere) and booked a flight ticket? For most millennials, the answer is going to be, ‘never!’ Thanks to the rapid adoption of digital technologies in the aviation industry, taking a flight is a run-of-the-mill affair that requires nothing but a mobile device and the internet.

While every industry has hopped onto the technology bandwagon, hospitality and aviation have taken it to the next level. Major operators have seen a paradigm shift in their customer service using new-age technologies like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. In recent years, with advancements in Big Data Analytics, the aviation industry has been one of the first to integrate data analytics at its core. This integration has resulted in unprecedented growth in almost every aspect of the aviation industry, right from better customer reach to improved customer satisfaction.

With so many changes happening at the core, the industry is expanding its scope very fast. As a result, there is an ever-increasing need for skilled professionals to join the industry and tap this pool of information. At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the best tourism, hospitality, and aviation colleges in Kolkata, we offer industry-relevant courses to help aspiring students pace with changing scenarios and be job-ready.

In this blog today, let’s discuss one of these revolutionary technologies, i.e., Big Data Analytics, and how it is helping to transform the aviation sector for the better. Happy reading!

Benefits of Big Data Analytics for the Aviation Industry: Is it Worth the Buzz?

Why do we need technology (not just Big Data but any new technology, in general)? While there are multiple ways of looking at the role of technology (and all of them are correct), no matter your starting point, the ultimate goal of technology is to improve human life by reducing manual effort and increasing output. In essence, technology should be able to add value to a work process and remove obstacles. So, what are the main benefits of using data analytics modules in the aviation sector? Is it only limited to understanding a customer’s purchase behavior? Or does it have other long-term benefits? Read on to find out more.

  • It improves the average turnaround time needed to cater to market trends
  • Properly implemented data modules help flight operators bag more customers and profits
  • Predictive analytics is the key to preparing for future crises and put a mitigation plan in place
  • It helps businesses make data-backed and more informed policy decisions
  • Not just sales and customer service, data analytics play a vital role in flight operations and maintenance too

As a result of the above, implementing a data collection and analytics module has several short and long-term benefits for the operator like competitive pricing, enhanced customer satisfaction, edge over competitors, and better profit margins.

As one of the most highly trusted aviation colleges in Kolkata, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, are right here to give life to your vision of a fulfilling career in the aviation sector by empowering you with the latest skills and tips of the trade. Coupled with world-class mentors and holistic learning modules, we give wings to dreams!

3 Ways Data Analytics is Transforming the Sector

  • Helps in Managing Airport Traffic Better

With newer flight routes and flight operators popping up every day, there is a steady increase in airport congestion. Managing so many different flights and with a limited number of airports and pliable runaways is nothing short of an operational nightmare for airport authorities worldwide.

The first major application of Big Data is in this area. Data professionals use the latest tools and techniques like runway bandwidth, terminal capacity, number of passengers, number of routes, ticket prices, etc., to find patterns and propose optimum operational models. 

  • Helps in Providing Better Passenger Services by Going Digital

By implementing data collection and processing modules, flight operators can now gain insights into customer behavior and needs and optimize their services accordingly. Some of the applications in this area include real-time flight tracking, personalized flight ticket deals, flight-to-flight communication, predictive maintenance, etc. Even airports can utilize passenger data like walking speeds to optimize their in-airport services to tackle common problems like long security queues.

By identifying the needs, operators and airport authorities can work on their problem areas and get a competitive edge over other market players by making customers happy.

  • Data and Predictive Analytics Aid in Aircraft Upkeep and Maintenance

One of the most manpower-intensive processes in the aviation industry is aircraft maintenance. In addition to a team of engineers, several other technicians have to be present on the hanger floor to study compliance documents, record maintenance and compliance data, manually check every inch of the aircraft, operate the safety equipment, and much more.

By using data analytics and simulations, flight operators can free up a lot of time and resources in these areas. Drones can do a thorough check (even reach places that humans can’t), robots and data algorithms can record compliance and safety data, and predictive analytics models can detect faulty parts and machinery much more efficiently and faster.

Summing Up

Technologies like Big Data and AI have a huge impact on the way flights and airports cater to a growing volume of passengers. These technologies add value to the whole experience of taking a flight and help the industry reach greater heights.

If you want to be a part of this dynamic industry, now is the best time to skill up and be apace with the technological changes that are transforming the aviation industry. Sign up for the ahead industry-relevant range of aviation and hospitality courses at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the best aviation colleges in Kolkata, and say yes to a fulfilling career!