Tech and aviation – what will 2020 bring?

29 Jan 2020

Let’s take a look at just a few of the weird, wonderful, evolutionary and revolutionary tech developments we’re expecting to hear more about in 2020.

  • The advance of ADS-B: the name may not be thrilling but automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) really is great news for bizav and, critically, for the environment too. Without the need for action from the pilot, or any request from ATC, ADS-B provides aircraft surveillance data (such as position and speed) to air traffic management and, potentially, other aircraft. Why do we think that’s so great? ADS-B means air traffic controllers can manage safer aircraft separations and deliver more efficient routings than ever before, reducing bizav’s environmental footprint. Compulsory for business aircraft in the US from January 1 this year, ADS-B will be necessary to operate in European airspace from June 7 2020.

  • An incredible ‘Parallel Reality’ awaits us: perhaps the most stunning concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was Delta Air Lines’ ‘Parallel Reality’ tech. Nearly 100 passengers in a terminal, all looking at the same digital screen simultaneously, will each be able to see different information, personalized to their particular journey (such as directions to that traveler’s gate). And if that idea doesn’t take your breath away, you should know each passenger can see their information in their preferred language. You’ll find Delta testing ‘Parallel Reality’ in mid-2020 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

  • A staggering sense of space: if you think you know what the inside of a bizjet looks like, think again. Another outstanding display at CES 2020 saw electronics giant LG showing off the idea of aircraft cabins lined with OLED videowalls. (If you’re wondering, OLED means ‘organic light-emitting diode’.) What the screens show is really only limited by human imagination. So, if your passengers dream of sunbathing on a beautiful beach when they’re really in mid-air, they’ll be able to look around and (almost) believe their dreams have come true. Videowalls could make bizjet cabins – which are often already fantastically spacious – feel even larger than they are.

  • Landlines finally catching up with smartphones: more and more brokers and operators will be closing the gap between outdated office landlines and cutting-edge smartphones in 2020. After all, don’t you find it absurd when you can do so much more with a small smartphone than a large landline phone? Landline videotelephony will grow this year, as will Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In our integrated world, companies across bizav are increasingly realizing the time-saving benefits of a VoIP phone system seamlessly connected to, say, customer relationship management (CRM) tech.

  • The rise of ‘Super Apps’: travelers are increasingly annoyed by needing different apps for every company in their travel supply chain. So, we expect to see a surge this year in the popularity of unifying ‘Super Apps’, where the core offering also acts as a gateway to countless other services. Look at the way ‘Google Maps’ now goes far beyond mapping and lets you do so many other things, from ordering an Uber to booking a table in a restaurant.

Looking beyond 2020, many of the most exciting developments in business aviation are likely to be dramatic changes to the aircraft themselves. Firstly, we’ve already seen the successful flight of an all-electric commercial seaplane, powered by magniX tech, in Canada in late 2019. Watching that story develop will be fascinating. Secondly, Uber plans to launch commercial electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations in 2023. Thirdly, Aerion plans first flight of the company’s AS2 supersonic business jet in 2023 too.

With the help of incredible tech, bizav is changing fast. Let’s all enjoy the ride this year.

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