Bhanu Choudhrie believes that digital is the future of the airline industry and that the digital economy is why airlines had to halt flights in the first place. For example, digital tools can reduce pilot-training times by as much as 50 percent, according to Choudhrie.
These reductions will allow airlines to fly more passengers, decreasing the risk of losing profitable routes due to competition. Digital has disrupted the airline industry to such an extent that Choudhrie predicts the industry will change even more dramatically in the next ten years. Major air carriers are investing in automation, network optimization, and digital strategies.
Leveraging AI and Machine Learning
Innovations in aircraft are moving forward rapidly, both in the US and abroad. Choudhrie believes that the air transportation industry is ripe for new technologies. When asked if the transformative impact that artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to have on society has been overhyped, Bhanu Choudhrie responds with skepticism. He points out that true AI would be “beyond our comprehension.”
The Alpha Aviation Group founder also acknowledges that the AI ecosystem needs to improve dramatically and believes that the next five years will be a watershed moment. Choudhrie also mentions the fundamental need to move away from a business-as-usual attitude to true innovation and develop a culture of continuous improvement.
Becoming More Driverless and Software-Based
Choudhrie also sees rapid change coming to pilot training because the industry is moving away from having human pilots in control of the aircraft in favor of pilotless aircraft. “I’ve always believed that the end goal is a fully autonomous aircraft,” says Bhanu Choudhrie. “In the US, it looks like we’re closer than we’ve ever been to getting there.” Most of the tech improvements that will allow the testing of fully autonomous aircraft will happen with the larger commercial carriers first, but a new type of pilot will still need to be found for some air carriers. “I am confident that a new pilot will be created for these pilots in the future,” Choudhrie says.
Connected and Networked Aircraft
While the recent growth in air traffic has stimulated demand for pilots and engineers, the availability of pilots remains an issue for many airlines. This has spurred an increase in pilot hiring as companies hire experienced pilots and applicants with no experience. Companies such as Alpha Aviation Group are responding to this demand by making advanced, sim-driven training programs accessible to a broader base of trainees.
Bhanu Choudhrie is bullish about the future of pilot training, a passion that began decades ago when he earned his pilot’s license. “The industry is quickly adopting new training methods to ensure the quality of training and pilots,” he says. “The experience this will bring to pilot training and flight will benefit everyone.”