Mobility in Aviation Flying High

Mobile technology has played a significant role in the aviation industry for a number of years now, with changes occurring quickly and often, as they have done in so many other professional environments.

Pilots of all levels have widely embraced the introduction of mobility in aviation, with devices such as smartphones and tablets revolutionising flight operations; one of the most obvious examples being printed maps and charts replaced with auto-updating digital copies of detailed navigation tools, saving space and weight in the cockpit.

These kinds of improvements, along with access to real-time weather updates and seamless communications with the ground enable crew members to deal with maintenance issues and other challenges far more efficiently.

When asked about how mobility has transformed the capabilities of pilots, Steve Kinnaird, Captain of the Gulfstream G650 commented, "Mobile technology allows pilots to update weather and traffic delays, file flight plans and even book hotels for their next stay, all without leaving the aircraft."

For aircraft passengers, the importance of connectivity in the air is also growing, with a number of innovative benefits now being made available to both crew members and passengers alike.

Travellers now expect email, social media and other online content to be available on their mobile devices whilst flying, with modern professionals looking to stay perpetually connected to their workload via their mobile devices and applications, even to the extent of taking calls and video conferencing whilst flying.

Of course, this is without even mentioning the monumental changes mobility has made to the processes of buying airplane tickets, checking-in for flights and receiving schedule and departure information, which virtually every airline now offers its customers.

Regarding advantages for passengers, Steve continued, "My aircraft, the Gulfstream G650 is fully networked with its wireless system, allowing you to seamlessly log on to the aircraft's network and make calls, text or email from your own equipment inflight or on the ground. The iPhone app can also be used to switch on lights, open blinds and change the temperature. Passengers expect to be connected all the time, whether for business or pleasure."

With connected capabilities such as these, it appears that aviation has adapted to, and embraced, the global proliferation of mobility with a fair amount of comfort. Mobile apps and the mind-set of modern passengers provide airlines with an in-depth understanding of their customers. In comparison to similar industries and fields, mobility very is well-suited to aviation and welcomes the resulting improvements to the technology already available, streamlining the entire experience for all involved.

"I think aviation has completely embraced the new technology. It's a technology-based industry; so even improvements in engines, aerodynamics and avionics all contribute to efficiencies and cost saving, thereby increasing profit," said Steve.

In terms of how mobile technology will continue to impact pilots, passengers and airlines on a grander scale, Steve shared his thoughts with us, reflecting, "Ultimately, just as you have drones flying around in war-zones, it's quite possible to have commercial aircraft operated remotely. Whilst the general public might balk at this, people already routinely accept driverless trains, and computer-driven cars are not far away."

"However, I don't think a completely empty cockpit will be acceptable, but it may be acceptable to reduce the crew to one pilot monitoring on board, with the ability to troubleshoot if problems arise. On long trips it is not unusual to have three or four pilots on board, so even a small reduction in crew requirements will see savings in terms of wages, benefits and training."

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