Highways and skyways

Building the next generation of air traffic control

As a new chapter in aviation begins, with air taxis and drone deliveries emerging, next generation air traffic control will require powerful new software.

Many litres of ink have been spilled discussing the nascent revolution in aviation. Barely a day goes by without fresh news of air taxis, unmanned vehicles, or new propulsion systems, and our own Aviation 2030 series has delineated in detail the implications of technology and consumer-led disruption in the sector.

Read more in our article Highways and skyways or download the PDF version.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Ready for lift off?

With net zero by 2050 now an established objective for aviation worldwide, the sector faces a huge challenge to decarbonize.

At the 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October 2022, states adopted a collective long-term aspirational goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

Read more in our article Sustainable Aviation Fuel or download PDF version.

AI flight scheduling

Can low-cost carriers squeeze more flights into their already-packed schedules?

Flight schedules are probably airlines’ most critical factor towards commercial success and for decades flight scheduling analysts have been tasked with the critical but challenging role of making sure they are profitable. 

Simple but sophisticated solutions exist; carriers must overcome resistance to change that prevents them from finding and implementing these solutions.

Read more in our article AI flight scheduling or download PDF version.

Air Taxi Readiness Index 2022

Assessing the preparedness of 60 territories in the race for Advanced Air Mobility

The Air Taxi Readiness Index (ATRI) is a tool to facilitate discussion on the level of preparedness for the upcoming generation of passenger-carrying Short or Vertical Take-off and Landing (S/VTOL) vehicles in 60 selected territories. It is a composite index that combines over 47 individual, existing metrics from a range of sources into a single score. The metrics are arranged across five pillars: consumer acceptance; infrastructure; policy & legislation; technology & innovation; business opportunity. Each territory receives a score for each pillar, and these are aggregated into totals for that territory, enabling the resulting ranking.

Download our PDF for more.

Decarbonising ground operations

A long-haul journey

The decarbonisation demands on aviation are increasingly clear, with global net zero targets cascading through all industries, however hard to achieve. Thus far, the scrutiny spotlight has fallen primarily on airlines, as the sector’s primary emissions contributors, but the scale of the challenge will necessitate an industry-wide response over the projected net zero timeframe.

Here we set out the many opportunities we see for proactive ground handling agents (GHAs) to contribute to overall decarbonisation efforts and thereby future-proof themselves in a climate of ever-climbing environmental aspirations.

Read more in our article Decarbonising ground operations or download PDF version.

The Advanced Air Mobility revolution

Within this decade, we will see passenger AAM offer quieter and perhaps safer alternatives to helicopter and general aviation, and onward airport shuttle, writes Chris Brown.

When meaningful automation of pilot and airspace is possible, there will be a significant cost advantage, making the passenger AAM market preferable to less flexible and more expensive infrastructure investment in road and rail.

Read more in our article The Advanced Air Mobility revolution

The future of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Despite aviation’s bounce back from the pandemic still being slower than hoped, the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) revolution shows no sign of losing momentum, with dozens of deals announced already in 2022, spanning governments, producers, and airlines around the globe, writes Chris Brown.

Read more in our article The sky's the limit?

Air Taxi Readiness Index (2021)

The global VTOL market is expected to blossom in coming decades, as congested cities look for new ways to cut journey times and commuters and tourists embrace the promise of piloted and then automated air taxi flight. Morgan Stanley has estimated that the market could be worth US$1 trillion by 2040. The sector has seen a gold rush of startups and investors, breathless media reportage and futuristic demos. Many operators are expecting to commercialise their first propositions within the next three years.

On the other hand, as of 2021, the level of investor interest risks creating a bubble and subsequent crash in financial interest. Morgan Stanley’s US$1 trillion estimate, for example, is downgraded from their original total addressable market estimate of US$1.5 trillion published back in 2018. 

Read more in our article Air Taxi Readiness or download PDF version.

Ground handling beyond COVID-19

The pandemic’s impact on the aviation industry has been seismic – but not terminal. With turnaround promises expected to exceed pre-COVID levels by mid-decade, the ground handling industry cannot afford to return to pre-pandemic norms. Right now, with airports well decongested, is the time to get ahead of trends that can shape the coming decade. Christopher Brown, our Head of Strategy, outlines how airlines and airports should start planning now.

COVID-19 may have pushed the Fourth Industrial Revolution out of the headlines, but it has not stopped it. Ground handling can expect to see significant disruption in the coming decade from technologies such as: AI, Big data, IoT, EV and AV, Synthetic and hydrogen fuels and VTOL.

The ground handling ecosystem will need to evolve rapidly in response to these technologies and others. Players looking to thrive in the post-COVID normal need to assess now both the threats and opportunities presented for their long-term strategy.

Read more in our article Ground handling beyond COVID-19 or download PDF version.

Disruption beyond COVID-19

Pandemics and economic downturns expose the volatility of the aviation sector. Understandably, the impact of COVID-19, including travel restrictions, has dominated short-term commentary.

We place COVID-19 in longer-term context and also evaluate the potential implications of air taxi ports and revolutionary plane design. We do this through the lens of six key player types:

  • OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and their supply chain
  • Lessors
  • Operators
  • MROs (maintenance, repair and overhaul (organizations))
  • Airports
  • ANSPs (air navigation)

Download our report for more (PDF).

Implications of disruption for aviation

Major disruption is promised by a range of powerful new technologies and public pressure. Players that turn these trends to their advantage have the opportunity to reshape the industry. In Aviation 2030, we survey the landscape of the aviation industry, looking forward to the next decade and beyond.

What are the trends likely to impact the key players of the aviation sector? In this report, we outline three key disruptive forces that the sector must grapple with.

Download our report for more (PDF).

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