The aviation industry has seen several major upheavals after having
to adapt to rapidly changing regulations and travel requirements that
result from various Covid-19 variants. In light of the fluctuating
border controls that continue to this day, CEO of SITA for Aircraft,
Sebastien Fabre examines five critical travel technology trends set to
transform the industry in 2022 and the years to follow.
Digital automation to fuel industry recovery
Investing on automation of passenger processing continues to see a
rise despite budgets being slashed for airports and airlines. Fabre
notes that automation and digitalisation will give rise to low-touch and
efficient operations that can help restore passengers’ confidence in
addition to automated passenger processing, we need to standardise and
digitalise health verification to ensure easier, safer, and more
seamless travel in the face of ongoing health concerns,” Fabre shares.
Airport operational efficiency and sustainability will work in tandem
“Through operational efficiency, airports can also drive significant
sustainability gains,” Fabre says. “According to ACI, 235 airports
across Europe have committed to net-zero by 2050, and more than 90
airports are now set to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
SITA and Envision Digital recently joined forces to develop net-zero
technology and help decarbonise airports. The collaboration aims to
combine solutions to optimise airport operations to reduce local
emissions while optimising infrastructure-related energy consumption.
According to Fabre, most airports have implemented sustainability
initiatives that include green spaces, use of natural light and
renewable energy, recycling points, and smart building technology and
automation. Along with saving costs, improving aviation operations is
estimated to reduce emissions by up to 10%, driving airports closer to
their sustainability goals.
Airlines can drive sustainability with smart solutions
Fabre shares that the current solutions available in this modern age
“can help pilots optimise their flight profiles to maximise fuel
efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and improve situational awareness
for safer, more comfortable flights”.
Citing the software suite OptiFlight that helps save aircraft fuel
and reduce CO2 emissions during the climb, cruise and descent flight
phases, Fabre believes that digital solutions such as this “can have a
major impact today while alternative fuels are being developed and
refined over the following decades".
Regional airports must gear up for the post-pandemic boom
Fabre sees that domestic air travel will play a big role in markets
like the US, India and China, but questions if these regional airports
are prepared for the surge of passengers.
likely see regional airports experiencing capacity constraints sooner
as domestic travel resumes at an accelerated pace,” Fabre says.
“Passengers traveling from regional airports also demand the same
digital experience and efficiencies they receive at international hubs.
On top of that comes greater airline expectations, route volatility,
space constraints, staff multi-tasking, and a myriad more.”
Blockchain to pave the way for efficient air travel
“Blockchain holds immense potential for the air transport industry
because of its unique ability to share information instantly, securely,
and privately between the dozens of stakeholders across airports,
governments, airlines, and OEMs,” Fabre shares.
Blockchain refers to a digitally distributed, decentralised, public
ledger that exists across a network, which Fabre believes is key in
reducing manual work like the tracking and tracing of aircraft spare
goes on to cite SITA’s blockchain-based solution that allows pilots to
verify an electronic personnel license (EPL) without network
connectivity. Meanwhile for passengers, Fabre says that blockchain can
potentially “solve many of the efficiency challenges the industry faces