Emerging Technologies in the Aviation Industry

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Over the last decade, there has been a drastic change in the way the airline industry caters to the 3.6 billion passengers it sees per year. Let’s look at the emerging technologies that have paved the way for the digital transformation of the aviation industry.

1. Blockchain Technology:

Blockchain reminds anyone of the financial sector and one might wonder what its role in the aviation industry is. The airline sector has a lot to do with moving parts and it required sharing of data at multiple checkpoints like booking and arrival as well as multiple players that include airlines, airports, online travel portals, immigration, and so on. Leakage of data at any point in time in this cycle can affect the user experience, revenue and also puts the passenger safety at risk. Some of the benefits of blockchain technology are:

Identity Management
Building a strong data security system
Tokenizing frequent flyer's program
Airline maintenance


2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality:

The airport experience is being enhanced nowadays with AR/VR technologies. For example, the Gatwick airport in the UK uses AR to help travelers navigate through the complex layout of the airport. AR technology is used by the London city airport to assist the air traffic controllers in keeping the planes safe.

Airlines have also started using AR/VR technologies to create delightful experiences for customers. Australia based flag carrier Qantas has recently launched a VR app that engages the passengers in an immersive video experience of the stunning Australian landscapes.


3. Artificial Intelligence:

The aviation industry has stepped up their technology game with the power of AI. Ideally, a flyer will have to use innumerable apps like booking a cab to airport, hotels, flight booking, etc. But with AI integrated with machine learning and predictive analysis can provide a connected and customized experience to the flyer. It helps in easing out processes like managing the ticket pricing, revenue management and several other multiple areas that the industry is investing in.

EasyJet which is a UK based company uses AI for predictive analysis. The airline creates offers and services that are personalized for individual customers with the combination of these technologies. It also uses a visual recognition tool that reads the passport and fills the other details, thus taking care of data entry and management.


4. Robotics:

Airports like Amsterdam and Dusseldorf are making use of robotics for tasks like baggage handling, car parking, etc. But the use of robotics has gone beyond this and is seen as a customer-facing technology in several terminals.

Recently Glasgow airport, Japan Airlines and EVA Air have introduced robotic customer service agents. These robots can perform functions like sing and dance to pre-programmed songs as entertainment for the kids. They can also perform functions like presenting useful information on the screen when prompted like airport facility information and weather forecasts in different destinations.


5. Internet of Things:

The airline industry has taken to the IoT revolution by building a seamless ecosystem that is integrating functions to increase efficiency and provide a good experience to the customer. For example, Virgin airlines have implemented IoT in a manner that every single element is attached to a wireless network and delivers real-time IoT data on performance and maintenance.


6. Mobile Solutions:

Smartphones are an integral part of everyone's life and the airline industry has started using this to connect with its passengers starting from the flight booking to take off. For example, Delta airlines have started providing virtual boarding passes for their passengers through their mobile app thus making the check-in process easier for the travelers.

A century after we were introduced to the world of flying machines, the airline industry has seen immense growth in all aspects. The digital revolution of the aviation industry has just begun and has already changed its landscape. Soon, air travel is all set to become more personalized and memorable for travelers, thanks to these emerging technologies that reshaping it in every aspect.

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