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Why is flying getting safer?

Nurdianah Md Nur | Oct. 27, 2017
Here's how airlines are navigating the tricky airports and poor weather conditions in Asia Pacific, according to Honeywell Aerospace's Brian Davis.

What obstacles might hinder some airlines from using those technologies?
A modern twin-engine commercial jet can generate up to 844 terabytes of data from 12 hours of flight, which is approximately equivalent to 27,000 32GB iPhone 7 all fully working at the same time.

The key challenge is making sure that the information can be transformed into usable and actionable data. If the data cannot be used to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs, then it is meaningless.

Despite the many benefits of technology, isn't it dangerous for pilots to become too reliant on technology? What happens if, for some unfortunate reason, these tools don't work and pilots must revert to manual control of the aircraft?
All flight systems are built with additional back-ups and, most importantly, the pilot always has control of the airplane and the ability to override flight systems. The mobile and tablet applications mentioned earlier, such as GoDirect Weather and GoDirect Flight Preview, are meant to supplement existing technologies that pilots are already using, not replace them.

We should always focus on three elements: human, technology, and procedure. The technology will work best only when we have the trained pilot and operate in right procedure. That's why Honeywell has proactively participated in pilot training and workshops as well as many pre-design workshops with flight crew, to design our technologies with the pilots in mind.

How do you foresee the aviation space changing in the next 5 years?
Big data analytics and IoT are increasingly becoming a staple for technology companies, and this is no different for the aviation industry. We estimate the potential value of the connected aircraft market to be $7 billion, and predicts that 25,000 planes will be equipped with Wi-Fi by 2025. Valour Consultancy predicts that the number of connected aircraft in APAC will rise to 5,193 by 2025, compared to 333 in 2015.

We also expect to see more aircraft being updated with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) and other types of safety technologies that will meet rising international safety standards.

ADS-B is an air traffic satellite-based surveillance technology that provides more accurate and consistent aircraft positioning and traffic awareness of other nearby aircraft, and is a more cost-effective solution than ground-based radar systems.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated all aircrafts flying in U.S. airspace to be ADS-B compliant with by 2020, or risk being grounded.

 

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