It’s hard to exaggerate the extent to which the COVID-19 epidemic has wreaked havoc on the aviation industry. Drastic fleet cutbacks, personnel reductions, expedited liquidation of unproductive subsidiaries, security measures modifications, and slow demand in services are pandemic implications. It’s projected how the COVID-19 issue will have a long-term effect, and it’ll take years, maybe a decade, for the aviation market to recover to pre-crisis levels.
Apart from financial concerns, the pandemic’s long-term impact on aviation is becoming clear and forces big airline companies to make decisions on their fleets.
Several of these impacts are self-evident: cleanliness and safety requirements will be tightened, and travel experiences will continue to be transformed by digitization. Travelers’ vaccination certificates and COVID-19 test results will be stored in mobile applications.
Here’s how the aviation industry faces the encompassing business transformation in the future:
More Tightened Flying Security Measures
Keeping a steady emphasis on the rules and practices that have made flying the safest method to travel is now very necessary. Meanwhile, there’s a need to look for and accept widespread change in the aviation sector to help guarantee that it becomes stronger and better prepared to deal with the unforeseen problems that will undoubtedly occur.
Before, simply keeping your pilot’s license current was as simple as going out once a month to fly. However, the situation has become far more difficult, as flights are canceled and pilots’ flight hours shrink resulting to tighten and even more the security measures.
Licensed aircraft for the safe transports of protective equipment was reconfigured to speed up cargo shipment in passenger cabins. Cleaning and disinfection of airplanes were now seen as more critical than they had been in the past.
Aviation becomes even more reliant on their mechanics who gained expertise in Aviation Maintenance Technology as every flight depends on trained technicians to ensure the aircraft’s safety.
The following are some examples of how the aviation industry copes with the more tightened security in their aviation policies.
COVID-19 led to a faster deployment of contactless passenger technology to lessen the spread of viruses and decrease the interaction between passengers and aviation employees. There’s an expectation of seeing the technology being used across the entire travel experience, from check-in and security procedures to the airport’s payment process and how passengers get on and interact with inflight entertainment systems.
For example, some airports and airlines have begun using biometric solutions like SelfPass for passenger screening. The aviation company uses facial scans compared to facial pictures in passport identification databases to assist with the verification process.
Once enrolled, travelers no longer need to show any papers throughout their journey. As soon as someone sets foot in an airport, their face becomes their identification. They’re recognized throughout their trip to the airport’s departure. It means there’s no need to deal with agents at the airport or airlines while checking in for your flight.
Digital Health Passport
Yellow fever vaccination cards, known as the International Certificate of Vaccination, is an example of this. Priority is currently placed on digitizing this and utilizing it to establish a person’s physical wellness.
Digital health passports are being developed and deployed in several locations throughout the globe. In October last year, after several months of effort, the Common Pass project was announced, a partnership between the Commons Project, the World Economic Forum, and a large coalition of public and private partners.
The goal of the project is to establish globally accepted standards for lab results and vaccination records. When traveling by car, passengers may go to a recognized laboratory to have a COVID-19 test done on them and upload the findings on their cell phones. To complete the process, passengers need to answer the health screening questionnaires required by the destination country.
Automation And Robotics
You can expect disinfected robots to be a primary emphasis in the years ahead. Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Hamad International Airport, Heathrow Airport, and Gerald R. Ford International Airport adopted autonomous robots with UV-C light technology for cleaning, including London’s Heathrow Airport and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) went with a floor-scrubbing robot. Incheon International Airport installed non-face-to-face automated body temperature robots in all of its departure hall exit areas to further limit the risks of infections.
The use of robotics can minimize the contacts of employees to passengers and make some tasks easier with the help of the automation process and state-of-the-art robotics.
Anticipation Of Technology Upgrades
Right now, facial recognition is the preferred biometric solution in most aviation around the world. That’s because photos are embedded in passports, and the facial scan must match the facial image from the passport. However, there’s also an increasing interest in other modalities, such as iris scans, fingerprints, and vein scanning, which are likely to be incorporated at some point in the future. It’s essential to choose a provider that has a broad capability with biometric solutions and can easily add these new features if required.
Investment In Fuel-Efficient Replacements
At the start of 2020, making aviation more sustainable and environmentally friendly was a priority. It’s still there but momentarily overshadowed by more pressing health concerns. While the crisis has resulted in the retirement or mothballing of a record number of older, fuel-guzzling aircraft, it has done nothing to stimulate the industry to invest in more fuel-efficient replacements. The aviation sector must be ready to respond forcefully with counter-arguments and concrete measures that improve the sustainability of flying.
The outbreak has undoubtedly had short-term consequences for the aviation sector. Still, it has also revealed a bright road forward: airport and airline companies are making short-term gains while developing long-term opportunities through their technology and innovations.
The same technology utilized to make air travel more convenient for passengers can also help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry as a whole. When the aviation industry invests in creating a safer flight, it’ll be well-positioned to reach its company’s objectives while also reaping the advantages for years to come.