This year has been another big year for aerospace innovations of all kinds. From highly fuel efficient planes, to pilot shortages, and groundbreaking technology from around the world, there is much to talk about in the world of aviation news. Check out these headline stories from the end of this year to keep up with the latest news from our industry.
American Airlines lacking pilots for thousands of holiday flights
An error in American Airlines’ scheduling systems has left thousands unsure if they will make it home for the holidays. The New York Times reported the scheduling system enabled too many pilots to put in time off at that time, leaving numerous flights from the East Coast of the U.S. without a pilot. The airline has offered to pay pilots 1.5 times over time if they fill this gap however their union is unsure if they will actually be able to make ends meet with the additional pay scale in place.
Airbus, Rolls Royce, Siemens start work on hybrid aircraft
Airbus, Rolls Royce, and Siemens have come together to pioneer the forefront of green aviation technology. The aircraft they’re pioneering is planned to partially replace gas chambers with electric motors, significantly reducing the aircraft’s emissions. This plane is planned to be in action in 2020. It is a big step in the European Union’s plan vision to reduce the environmental impact of air travel including reducing 75 percent of CO2, 90 percent of NOx and 65 percent of noise pollution by 2050.
China to surpass U.S. as largest air travel market by 2022
CNN Money recently reported that China will surpass the U.S. as the largest air travel market sooner than expected with an anticipated 7.68 billion passengers per year, and about half of those passengers coming from Asia. The same report also predicted a continued increase of air travel from a number of other Asian nations including Thailand, Turkey, India and Indonesia, while air travel from European nations including France and Italy are starting to see a drop.
Brexit leave British aerospace companies uncertain about the future
The Guardian says the British Aerospace industry is starting to feel uncertainty as Brexit becomes closer. The United Kingdom still plans to leave the European Union in March of 2019, but as the nation is currently closely tied with its allies in the EU, but leaving the union poses a number of questions for the future of the industry. There are huge financial implications for the UK when the leave the union, and at this point, industry professionals do not know the future of funding in their field, leaving many questions and lots of uncertainty.
Southwest Airlines celebrates its first all-female crew
The ladies of Southwest Airlines recently had their first “unmanned” crew on a flight from St. Louis to San Francisco. The crew included two female pilots and four female flight attendants. In the aviation industry, male pilots outnumber female pilots 16 to one, but the number of females in the industry has been on the rise for the last few decades.
Pilotless air travel is on the rise
Numerous airlines have been working towards advancements in pilotless air travel. Pilotless travel has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of air travel, however, it also comes with a number of problems: many people surveyed showed skepticism or downright refusal to board a plane with no pilot. Studies into this technology will continue, with the possibility of this technology being put into action by 2025.
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