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Über dieses Buch

This book discusses megatrends and subsequently applies them to the air transport industry from a legal, ethical and economic perspective. Starting with a detailed discussion on what these megatrends are, the book provides an essential overview of megatrends and air transport, including analytical discussions on how megatrends could affect basic issues such as nationalism and sovereignty, market access in air transport, and commercial space transport. It also delves into the rights of the airline passenger as affected by megatrends. Further, the book analyses a broad range of topics, including: the digital transformation of air transport; technology and air transport; robotic pilots and their legal ramifications; the human-robot interface and the law with focus on the pilot; cognitive computing; and issues of empowerment and connectivity. It discusses in detail United Nations initiatives and initiatives of the International Civil Aviation Organization, considering aspects such as: the new world order; e-trends and air transport; apps that make air travel easier; and apps designed to help the aviation authorities. Further topics include artificial intelligence and air transport and related technical, ethical and economic issues, as well as a legal inquiry into manufacturer’s defects; design defects; and liability for failure to warn of defects. Questions are posed and answers provided on the effects of artificial intelligence and legal issues stemming from its use in air transport. Two major discussions follow on millennials and air transport, and on the Internet of everything as related to air transport. The conclusion ties in megatrends with air transport and offers the industry a way forward for adapting to these trends.



Chapter 1. Megatrends and Air Transport: An Overview

Megatrends and air transport means different things to different people. While some think of trends that are emerging, others think long term and this treatise would be incomplete if it did not start with the long term perspective first and then get onto what is emerging right now. On 24 November 2016 there was a luncheon presentation entitled The Next 100 Years of Aviation convened by The International Aviation Club of Montreal and McGill University. It was an event well attended by the aviation intelligentsia of Montreal. The presentation was well thought through and eloquently delivered. One of the prognostications presented for the next century was that Mars would be colonized and we would be growing vegetables and other produce for our consumption on the planet. This is not difficult to imagine since at present the Mars One project has developed plans to send humans to Mars, although much has to be accomplished in the nature of making the planet habitable for human existence. It is said though, that “establishing a permanent settlement is very complex, but it is far less complex and requires much less infrastructure that is sent to Mars than on return missions”.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 2. Global Balance of Power and Aviation

The emergence of neo-postmodernism is founded upon the fundamental premise that change is the defining feature of our times. Information technology and development have changed our world and made our lives easier. However, they have facilitated the work of those who intend to pursue their own agendas even at the expense of human life. There are no longer looming superpowers that breed terrorism. Now, it is weaker States that give rise to evil ambition among groups no longer happy with a decaying status quo. A whole new paradigm is required if modern day terrorism is to be effectively restrained. This requires not mere State responsibility but also a global understanding that States need to be held accountable for preventing the spread of terrorism.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 3. E-Trends and Air Transport

At the time of writing, KLM and Schiphol Airport had just started a pilot programme that was calculated to be applied in 2018 that involved biometric boarding that would admit a passenger through facial identification that obviated both a passport and a boarding pass. This would be accomplished through a special gate that passengers merely had to pass through just prior to boarding the aircraft. The test, which would be carried out in 3 months involves prior registration of passengers and passage through a special kiosk at the airport.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 4. Effect of Megatrends on Airports

A fundamental limb of enterprise governance, which is based on principles and processes of an enterprise that is calculated to move the enterprise toward a strategic direction, is predictive or anticipatory intelligence which could effectively preclude business disruption. A report released by Booz, Allen, Hamilton in August 2014 states: “[P]redictive intelligence combines tradecraft, big data and analytics, technology and workforce to help clients, anticipate, detect, prevent and respond to global threats and global opportunities with real time actionable insight about their environment – internally, externally, globally and socially – so that they can take action to be ready, to manage risks, to protect assets, and to thrive”. The necessity for corporate foresight stems from the continuing and rapid development of science and technology which are the drivers of social and economic change. Using these two knowledge-based and fact intensive fields, airports would be able to obtain a clear picture of challenges and opportunities confronting them. Airports are a complex, big business and their business environment is highly dynamic. Therefore, they need proactive measures to respond to the uncertainties of their business as well as a long term orientation to remain stable amidst imponderables. Airports need think tanks to mesh their technology trends and market trends to meet a growing demand for air travel. Foremost in this process is a far reaching and forward looking communications strategy as well as a good team of scientific and economic forecasters.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 5. Artificial Intelligence and Air Transport

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) will play a prominent role in air transport, assisting professionals in the field in developing the industry to deliver even safer air transport while reducing its environmental impact. The term “artificial intelligence” has been challenged as connoting emotional intelligence that humans possess. Scientists cannot even imagine a time where computers would acquire emotional intelligence. IBM advocates terms such as “cognitive computing” or “augmented intelligence” to describe what is popularly known as AI for this reason. In this context, AI forms two broad categories: knowledge based intelligence delivered by knowledge based systems (KBS) and computational intelligence which involve neural networks fuzzy systems and evolutionary computing. The former is applied based on the reliance placed by information provided by a human (such as rules and algorithms) while the latter delivers through networks of computational systems. Air transport involves the use of qualitative and quantitative data but is primarily governed by human involvement, whether in maintenance, air traffic control or flight deck management. This factor makes it difficult to entirely rely upon mathematical computations or non emotive reasoning in air transport.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 6. Millennials and Disruptive Innovation

Another megatrend that was identified in the Preface of this book is the Global Code that will be the domain of millennials of Generation Y (25–35 year olds) which would constitute 34% of global population in 2020. They are now identified as The Global Tribe who would be in constant travel across the globe in the years to come. Millennials are the largest generation with a population of 79 million in the United States. (also known as the Gypsy Tribe or Satellite Tribe) are the tech savvy young who are plugged in throughout the day to social media and the internet. They relentlessly need connectivity. In 2036 they could amount to 81.1 million, according to the Pew Research Centre. They are the ones who mostly use the travel apps discussed in a previous chapter. They have income to spare and treat travel almost as a daily part of their lives. Millennials travel patterns have been identified as follow: “85% of millennials check multiple sites before booking their travel to get the best deal possible; 46% book travel through a smartphone or tablet; 60% will upgrade their travel experience by purchasing in-flight wi-fi, early deplaning, etc. They WILL post their experiences on social media. In fact, 97% will post while traveling, and 75% will post once a day. That’s a lot of social activity. 68% will remain loyal to a program that offers them the most rewards; Cash/Freebies’; Upgrades; Discounts”.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 7. The Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything is the last of the three waves of the internet as discussed, the first wave being the building of the internet infrastructure with its foundations such as AOL, HP, Cisco systems; the second being the entry of social media such as Facebook and search engines such as Google and Yahoo and Google’s Android and Apple’s IPhone. This phase started at the beginning of this century. The third phase—which is a logical corollary to the second—would see a shift between the ownership of the internet in internet companies and the total involvement of the internet in all important aspects of our lives. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is known to be the intelligent connection of people, process, data and things while the Internet of Things (IoT) involved communications exclusively between machines. Needless to say, the internet of everything will have a bearing on air transport, with interesting ramifications for its legal aspects which will be discussed below. According to Cisco IoE is “a $19 trillion global opportunity over the next decade: Private-sector firms can create as much as $14.4 trillion of value while cities, governments and other public-sector organizations can create $4.6 trillion”. Cisco goes on to say that “(IoT) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals and countries”.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Chapter 8. Conclusion

An OECD Report states that by the mid-twenty-first century the world population will reach 10 billion and will continue to grow. Africa will be the biggest contributor more than half of this growth, which will generate significant young demographic surges that would, in the author’s views, resemble the global tribe. Ageing of populations will continue and, by 2050, 10% of the population will be over the age of 80. This could result in the work force being depleted, resulting in a threat to existing living standards. To balance this trend, technologies that enhance physical and cognitive capacities could enable older people to work longer, and the exponential development of automation will greatly diminish the demand for human labor. 90% of the growth will occur in Asia and Africa. Urban living could be greatly advanced in terms of better access to electricity, water and sanitation. There will be smart cities in developed regions which connect utility and transport networks and systems efficiently enabling these cities to manage resources more sustainably.

Ruwantissa Abeyratne


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