In the near future, the influence of technologies on aviation will increase. As technology continues to develop, issues including cyber security become more challenging. The pace of technology has ensured the aviation market must continue moving faster and faster to remain current.
Blockchain technology became extremely relevant in 2016, and became a disruptive force for the aviation industry. There are numerous opportunities offered by blockchain, and cryptocurrency has become relevant to airport retail. Bitcoin is increasingly popular, and has been initiated by the international banks. This makes identity management easier for the aviation industry due to the latest in biometrics technology. A good example is the frequent flyer program. Blockchain has provided airlines with the ability provide passengers with miles earned in real-time. A marketplace driven by the community would provide a lot more options than what is currently available according to the individual airline. Passengers would have a greater variety of choice regarding how their miles were spent.
A log is required by all airports in case there is an issue with one of the passengers baggage. This determines the responsible party for damaged or missing luggage. Custody changes could be reported using blockchain as neutral territory. This would ensure as the luggage moved between airports, airlines and ground handlers, it could be accurately tracked. Personal information can be encrypted for security and privacy. The same technology applies to parts for aircrafts. They can be tracked the same way as they go through traders, manufacturers, airlines and maintenance service providers. E-tickets can be facilitated with the use of smart contracts, benefit ticket sales, and all actions related to tickets. The individual airline would be able to define the conditions and rules for how they sell tickets by using blockchain for smart contracts. This would enable partners throughout the value chain to act efficiently and securely on behalf of the airline.
When it comes to drones, most people hate them or love them with very little middle ground. Public opinion tends to change according to the context. As time passes they are becoming more affordable, and are nearly ready to become a part of the commercial arena including aviation. Amazon is waiting for a patent for flying drones for package delivery, and numerous additional prestigious businesses are seriously considering the use of drones. The prediction is the increase in Vertical Take-off and Landing, or VTOL vehicles will be using existing structures such as vertiports and parking rooftops to enable flights based in urban areas. Despite the challenges such as air traffic management, emissions, noise, pilot training and vehicle performance, the expectations are these challenges can be overcome with new technology.
VR, or virtual reality is mainly associated with going to a virtual scenario with the use of specialized glasses. VR would be used if you wanted to pretend you were on a hammock at the beach. AR, or augmented reality is different, and expected to become an important part of aviation. AR has the capability of enabling every passenger to see dynamic, static, object, light and sensory input sources. A good example is the lounge could be accessed with the click of a mouse. AR technology could additionally be used to support the ground operations on the airport ramp with the proper application.
Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
Chatbot engines have the ability to combine numerous tasks into one gateway for customers. Depending on the needs of the customer, they may have to download apps for the airline, the car rental business, the hotel, the departure airport, the arrival airport, and sometimes a connecting airport. All these apps can be combined into one simple download using chatbots.
The Distribution Capability of the Airline
As time passes, airline distribution spaces are slowly becoming much more nimble and dynamic. This new model places the control firmly in the hands of the airline. This provides global distribution systems, and travel agents with the opportunity to create additional services and products. For the past several years, NDC, or New Distribution Capability has become the driving force in aviation. This is what is responsible for the guidance and standards required by the industry.
Beacons Technology or Indoor Positioning Systems
For numerous years, the idea of being able to locate people or objects inside of a building with accuracy seemed impossible. GPS, or a Global Positioning System does not work well indoors because the signals of the satellites do not have enough strength, and this affects the accuracy. As Beacons technology continues to advance, airports and airlines are extremely likely to begin using this technology to customize their services. This will benefit all the passengers moving around the airport terminal. With Beacons technology, people can be located by the vendors and the airport. Personalized and relevant information can be easily sent to the appropriate person. This can be the number of a baggage carousel or gate, the status of a flight, or even the location of a coffee shop.