Living in the technology age means always looking forward to what innovations are going to make our lives better. Our space, of course, is aviation, and flight training so let’s take a look at what is on the horizon for aviation technology this year.
Remember when robots were all the rage? It seems like they disappeared from the headlines in recent years, but they never went away. Robots are becoming more and more common fixtures in airport terminals. Robotic technology has advanced to the point where robots are now engaging with customers in global airports. Asian airports, like Seoul, South Korea’s Incheon Airport are leading the way. These robots are providing information to passengers and handling baggage.
Currently, Delta Air and American Air are leading the way in biometric utilization. In the Delta “biometric terminal” at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, facial recognition is being used to identify passengers as they depart and arrive from overseas. Digital fingerprinting and iris scans are other forms of biometric identification being used. Dubai plans on opening an automated form of biometric passport control where your identity will be checked as you walk through a virtual aquarium. The cameras will be disguised as fish making the process more informal and perhaps enjoyable.
If you’ve tried Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa, or Apple’s Siri you’ve already experienced voice recognition technology. It’s slowly becoming the norm in how people are interacting with technology. In 2018, Heathrow Airport gave passengers the option to ask Alexa for live flight status information, gate updates, and details on arrivals and departures. Virgin Australia launched voice check-in through Amazon Alexa. And just recently, United Airlines customers were given the option to use Google Assistant to start the check-in process. A simple “Hey Google, check in to my flight” is all you need to say.
More and more airlines will be jumping on the inflight connectivity (IFC) wagon. At the end of 2018, approximately 82 airlines around the world were offering inflight Wi-Fi. A 17% increase from 2017. Aside from convenience for passengers, it’s a big revenue generating opportunity for airlines. 2019 may be the year online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime find their way onto your flight.
Airports will continue to upgrade their customer service experience by investing in partnerships with some of the leading companies in retail and customer service. In 2018, Dubai International Airport became the first airport to partner with Deliveroo. A global leader in food delivery, Deliveroo delivers freshly-prepared food to passengers waiting at boarding gates. Line eliminating technology like Amazon Go is rumored to be coming to airports in the very near future as well.
2019 should be a great year for aviation. We’ll likely see plenty of new technological breakthroughs as the year progresses. If you ’re ready to get your pilot’s license or take the first steps to start a career as a commercial pilot find out why CTI may be the perfect fit for you.