How Artificial Intelligence Can Contribute to the Development of the Aviation Industry

Experts have discovered that AI can help advance the aviation industry through machine learning, computer vision, robotics, and natural language processing / aapsky via Shutterstock


Artificial intelligence has led to some important breakthroughs on how airlines operate flights nowadays. Airlines use artificial intelligence to provide a more personalized experience for their customers, according to Maria Brown, writing for Packt. 

From airport kiosks to airline operations and security checking, artificial intelligence will have more important roles in the aviation industry. Experts have discovered that artificial intelligence can help advance the aviation industry through machine learning, computer vision, robotics, and natural language processing. 

Researchers have realized that artificial intelligence is highly effective and can result in outstanding developments in the aviation industry. While not all airlines have embraced artificial intelligence, the technology is touted to improve flight experience through predictive analytics, pattern recognition, automatic scheduling, targeted advertising, and customer feedback analysis. 

A recent report revealed that aviation experts are considering the use of artificial intelligence to keep track of pilot voices so that passengers have a trouble-free flying experience. Artificial intelligence is expected to change the field of aviation in several ways. 

Passenger Identification

Check-in before boarding is an essential function that every airline has to deal with, and the task can be simplified through artificial intelligence. Delta Airlines relies on its mobile app and ticketing kiosks for online checks, which has shown promising results and has been copied by other airlines. 

A new artificial intelligence technology was introduced by the US Transportation Security Administration that can help identify potential security threats at the John F. Kennedy, Los Angeles International Airport and Phoenix airports. Similarly, the first biometric airport terminal was launched by Delta Airlines at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The cutting-edge terminal will use facial-recognition technology for passenger check-in, passing through security and boarding airplanes without the need to scan passports or other travel documents. 

Delta estimates that passengers will save up to nine minutes per flight when they use facial recognition technology. After entering their passport information during online check-in, the passengers merely have to approach the camera deployed at the checkpoints or boarding gates, and their facial images will be matched to the passport database and they will be allowed to proceed.    

Baggage Screening

A tedious but necessary task done at airports is the screening of passenger luggage, which can also be simplified through artificial intelligence. American Airlines once held a competition for developing an artificial intelligence app that would enable passengers to determine the size of their luggage and Team Avatar emerged as the winner. Called Hackwars, the competition was participated by more than 700 designers, developers and information technology experts who converged in Austin, Texas, for a 24-hour non-stop “hackathon” for developing new apps. 

The Syntech ONE 200 technology will be installed at the Osaka International Airport in Japan. The technology uses artificial intelligence in screening luggage in multiple passenger lanes. Not only will the Syntech ONE 200 system automate the screening of passenger luggage, but it will also help customs authorities catch illegal items, such as narcotics, guns, and wildlife. The Syntech ONE 200 is compatible with x-ray security systems and will increase the probability of spotting potential threats. 

Customer Assitance 

Artificial intelligence can be used in helping airline passengers in airports and enable airlines to reduce their operational and labor costs. Airlines are using artificial intelligence to help resolve customer issues quickly by providing them with the most-up-to-date information on scheduled flights through Internet-enabled devices. More than half of the world’s airlines plan to deploy artificial intelligence tools within the next five years to improve the service they provide to customers. 

Equipment Maintenance

Artificial intelligence can also be used in predicting possible failures in aircraft maintenance. For instance, Airbus is using the Skywise cloud-based aviation data platform to improve the reliability of aircraft maintenance. Skywise allows Airbus to collect and store an enormous amount of data. Using artificial intelligence in predictive maintenance will ensure that aircraft maintenance will be accomplished in a systematic manner. 

A tedious but necessary task done at airports is the screening of passenger luggage, which can also be simplified through AI / Vinai Suwanidcharoen via Shutterstock


Issues with Using Artificial Intelligence in Air Transportation

Despite the benefits that artificial intelligence is touted to contribute to aviation, the use of the technology brings with it its own problems. For instance, artificial intelligence takes a long time to implement and is not the perfect customer service tool. The recent crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX illustrates the risk involved in using artificial intelligence in transporting passengers by air. The jet plane suffered a fatal crash a few minutes after it took off from the Bole International Airport from the capital city of Addis Ababa. The crash is being blamed on the plane’s defective Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). 

Artificial intelligence can also be costly, and an airline that plans to deploy a chatbot has to shell out US$15,000. Such a cost barrier will allow the big airlines to dominate the market and small airlines face the danger of getting put out of business.