Growing up I was always fascinated by stories of pilots and their adventures in the air.
But the life took me on a different path – I worked for 17 years in tech (building and marketing tech products) before I had the money to pursue the passion of my life – aviation.
Then I realised I can merge the skills I have gathered to make the aviation better.
When I learned about the role that AI is now playing in aviation, I was amazed by the potential it has to improve our everyday air travel.
From reducing costs to improving safety, AI is revolutionizing the aviation industry in ways that no one ever thought possible.
In this article, I will look at how AI is impacting the different domains of aviation and some of the innovative ways it is being used from general aviation to commercial aviation.
I will explore here a few possibilities that I found after working with AI for the last 6 months and exploring it in the last 3 years (some are not yet implemented but totally possible).
General Aviation and AI
Using Flight planning and preparation
Whenever I do the flight planning for my flights I have to check the weather, NOTAMs, create the route, find radio and navigation aids frequencies and positions.
What if there was an AI assistant to do all of these for me and ask me to just review the information and make a decision?
One important aspect is the generation of maps where icing can occur at specific flight levels. Such maps already exist but AI can make them more accurate by constantly monitoring weather stations (temperature, dew point, humidity) and can be proactive in recommending flight routes and levels in order to avoid bad weather, save fuel and time.
Using AI to keep the flight log updated
You don’t even need AI for this.
A simple software can just check the speed and altitude (most phones have an air pressure sensor and can figure out when the altitude has changed), along with the sound level to figure out when the engine was started / stopped.
The only thing a phone can’t figure out is who is the pilot in command and who is the pax.
AI can improve the Flight safety – in flight alerts
There are many things that can change after a plane takes off.
The weather conditions, PIREPS could appear, just to name a few.
Icing alerts (no AI needed). With some small sensors put on the wings or the exterior of the aircraft, the pilot will get notified when the weather conditions are very likely to generate icing on the wings or carburettor and, more importantly, can notify the pilot when ice has started to appear on the wings. Ice development on the wings can be very fast – it can take 30 seconds – 1 minute to have a wing filled with ice.
An AI system can give you the shortest way out of the icing area.
Collision alerts. Another area where AI can help is by sending collision alerts based on the trajectory and speed of other aircrafts flying around you.
An AI system can monitor the parameters of the engine and figure out if there is something different from a previous flight (temperatures, pressure, rpm) in the same conditions or according to the current conditions (outside temperature, altitude, air pressure, humidity).
Automating administrative tasks in aviation
Imagine chatting with an AI tool and telling it: find me a plane to rent this weekend in the Bay Area or find me a plane to rent for 2 hours in Santorini; I am certified in Cessna 172, Cirrus SR22. And the tool will actually give you a list of planes to fly.
How to use AI in Business Aviation (private charters) and Commercial Aviation
Most of the items from general aviation also apply in business aviation and commercial aviation.
There are, however, a few that can be added:
Aviation Sales automation with AI
In the aviation sector, AI is revolutionizing the way in which customers have access to information and services.
One example of this is the utilization of AI-enabled chatbots to automate sales.
These chatbots are programmed to analyze customer needs and recommend the best product or service for their situation.
For instance, a travel agent can use a chatbot to help identify the best flight option, hotel accommodation, or car rental for a customer in only a few minutes.
There is a chat on this page – can you find it? Just hit it and say “Hello”!
Customer relationship automation in aviation with AI
Customer relationship automation is making waves in the industry of aviation, bringing unprecedented convenience and cost savings.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as chatbots are being used to identify the needs of a customer and offer recommendations in real time.
For example, airlines are using AI-powered chatbots to help customers by automatically understanding their queries, issuing boarding passes, and offering personalized recommendations and discounts.
Furthermore, AI-based automation is being used to reduce call center and operational costs associated with customer service.
By leveraging the power of AI, airlines can provide round-the-clock support with minimal staffing, allowing for more efficient customer service and lower overall costs.
Use AI in Marketing automation for aviation companies
In marketing automation, AI is being used to optimize customer segmentation and personalize campaigns to increase customer engagement and loyalty.
This helps drive more profitable outcomes for the airline, hotel, or other travel-related companies.
AI-powered analytics tools also enable companies to track and better understand their customers’ needs, allowing them to stay agile and adjust their offers in real-time in order to maximize profits.
For instance, AI-powered personalization engines can help airlines:
- target the right customers
- personalize offers
- craft better campaigns
- measure their success rate.
AI-driven optimization can also help companies understand the optimal price for a given offer, thus ensuring they are capturing the maximum value for their products or services.
Flight scheduling ad Effective fleet management with AI
The aviation industry has long sought to maximize efficiency through comprehensive fleet management, and advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now allowing these operations to be taken to the next level.
Aircraft scheduling, maintenance, and dispatch are three key factors in effective fleet management, and can now leverage AI to make better, more data-driven decisions.
AI has enabled operations to optimize routes, identify routes with high-yield, and coordinate aircraft from different airports.
Optimized Crew Scheduling and Seat Occupancy Rate using AI
Algorithms can be deployed to analyze the seat occupancy rate based on seasonality and scheduled events.
This enables airlines to more accurately predict high demand periods as compared to low demand periods and prioritize their aircraft accordingly, based on the number of available seats.
With AI maximizing efficiency of planes and crew, it is no wonder that more airlines are incorporating AI into their operations and systems.
Enhanced Catering and Inflight Buying experience with AI
AI tools can analyze passenger preferences, past orders, and airline data in order to accurately predict what and when people may be likely to buy and create customized menus.
This can reduce food waste, keep costs down, and make sure the correct items are provided onboard.
AI has the potential to drastically improve the inflight buying experience as it can track the buying preferences of each passenger to ensure they have access to the items they need.
Additionally, AI can also analyze customer feedback and factor it into the inflight buying process in order to provide the right items for passengers, leading to better customer satisfaction.
Predict plane maintenance of an aircraft based on schedule
AI can be used successfully to predict maintenance of aircraft based on their flight schedules.
AI systems can predict when an aircraft needs maintenance based on its usage, allowing airlines to reduce maintenance costs.
The AI systems can also provide detailed reports on what maintenance needs to be done, which further reduces time in the hangar.
AI is quickly becoming the tool of choice for AI-driven maintenance scheduling and is revolutionizing general aviation.
Profit optimisation in aviation using AI
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the aviation industry offers great potential for profit optimisation.
AI engines are capable of scanning through the entire range of expenses and income to find predictive patterns and recommend potential optimisations.
By monitoring aviation resources such as airplane maintenance, flight personnel and fuel costs, AI-enabled systems can enable cost-saving measures in cost-sensitive areas.
What’s more, AI engines can be used to save time and effort in areas such as passenger airline ticketing.
AI can be used to analyse passenger booking patterns while developing suggest pricing strategies.
This has already enabled airlines to make more informed decisions and increase their profitability.
Flight delay predictions
In an effort to reduce or even eliminate flight delays, airlines have begun employing AI-based prediction models.
With weather patterns, airport congestion, and other indicators being monitored in real-time, these predictive models can aid airlines in making educated decisions about when and where they should reroute their flights, allowing them to provide more reliable services to their customers.
AI-driven flight delay predictions are starting to become the norm, with some airlines already reporting that predictions from these AI systems have dramatically reduced flight delays in their fleet.
Fraud detection in aviation using AI
Through AI systems, aviation companies can gain increased insight into flight buyers and passengers to better detect fraudulent activities.
AI is also being used to automate processes such as ticket scanning and baggage tracking, allowing for improved safety measures and more seamlessly organized processes in air travel.
Aircraft appraiser and Plane maintenance logs verification when buying a new plane with AI
Aircraft evaluation and maintenance log verification when buying a new plane is one of the top benefits of AI in aviation.
AI aircraft appraisers and log archivists can analyze past aircraft history, maintenance records, and airworthiness information to provide accurate and up-to-date records to potential buyers.
They can even predict potential issues and reconditioning needs that might arise, which can save buyers a lot of time and money.
Cost of ownership estimation
AI tools can estimate the cost of ownership of a plane based on plane type, age, maintenance, location, fuel type, especially if the tool has access to a live database of prices.
How to use AI for Airport administration
Pax flow optimisation
AI tools can analyze the days and hours when the airport is too crowded, what gates are too crowded, recommend the gates that should be used and when to increase the number of people in service.
AI assisted ground movements optimizer
Based on the historical movements of the aircrafts on the ground and the flight schedule, figure out what would be the best moves for aircrafts, where to allocate people and resources (fuel, cleaning and so on).
AI assisted ticket and boarding pass scanners
Use image recognition and machine vision for ID verification when entering the airport terminal.
These are just a few of the ways how AI is revolutionizing aviation.
Artificial intelligence technology can be extremely useful in increasing efficiency and safety in all types of aviation.
It can be used to increase accuracy in flight planning and monitoring as well as to optimize flight schedules, ground movements and passenger disbursement.
Furthermore, AI can help with administrative tasks such as sales automation, customer relationship automation, marketing automation and fraud detection.
Finally, airports can benefit from AI by using it to analyze crowdedness, recommend gates and verify ID’s.
As we move forward, we can expect to see AI-based technologies becoming even more pervasive across the aviation sector.