Why Now Is the Time to Be Investing In the Aviation Industry
July 19, 2021 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Few people understand just how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the aviation industry more than Bhanu Choudhrie. Choudhrie, the Founder of Alpha Aviation Group, recently discussed the multiple impacts of social distancing and other pandemic precautions on the future of aviation.
Pandemic Containment Measures Have Grounded Pilot Training
Alpha Aviation Group is one of the leading pilot training organisations in the world. Choudhrie has extensive experience in the aviation, hospitality, and healthcare industries, giving him unique insight into aviation investments.
When people first started cancelling flights in March 2020, Choudhrie understood that his organisation needed to act fast to adjust to the changing times, so Alpha Aviation Group proposed e-learning as an alternative to in-person pilot training while the strictest restrictions were still in place.
The primary motivation for creating an online learning programme was to provide continuity for the cadets currently completing their pilot training. Alpha Aviation Group normally has 600 to 700 cadets enrolled at any given time across the Philippines and United Arab Emirates. The cadets enrolled at the time of the pandemic had paid for an in-person training programme that lasts an average of 20 to 30 months.
No one could foresee when pilot training would resume back in March 2020. Thanks to the quick actions of Bhanu Choudhrie, flight students shifted their learning to an online format and did not lose valuable instruction time.
Bhanu Choudhrie on the Future of Pilot Training
Alpha Aviation Group has always been at the forefront of technology, and its pandemic response was no different. The company recently developed a digital-first simulator-driven approach to pilot training that it intends to use moving forward.
The development came about as a solution for pilots who still needed to put in over 1,500 flying hours per year to receive and maintain their ATP certificate. An investment in simulator training even as airlines grounded thousands of flights was necessary to ensure pilot availability in the future.
Flight simulators are unique in that instructors can customise learning programmes to individual student needs. Current and future pilots can practise any in-flight scenario using a simulator, giving those who need it extra time to learn certain maneuvers. The digital-first simulator developed by Alpha Aviation Group will permanently change the way pilots receive their flight training.
A Double-Edged Sword for the Aviation Industry
The result of cancelled flights, lockdowns, and travel bans has been devastating for the aviation industry. By the time airlines across the world finish calculating losses, the tab will reach more than $300 Billion dollars (USD). As challenging as this is to recover from, Bhanu Choudhrie also sees an opportunity. He notes that the industry has developed and implemented several new forms of technology in under a year that could have taken up to 15 years to put in place otherwise.
E-learning and pilot flight training using digital simulators are only the beginning of the changes in store for the industry. The pandemic has also presented an opportunity to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence (AI). As airlines continue to struggle with ways to reduce overheads, they have discovered that they need to optimise current resources to remain solvent until the worst of the pandemic effects pass.
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Pilot Training
Bhanu Choudhrie sees data as a means of revolutionising the future of aviation, and he believes that now is the time for deeper investments into machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to make pilot training more efficient. AI is also instrumental in serving and processing passengers, and the airline industry already uses it in the following ways:
- Airport passport security facial recognition
- Baggage check-in
- Remote aircraft monitoring
As important as these developments have been, Choudhrie believes that AI has even greater potential when used in combination with flight simulators. Machine learning algorithms and AI are highly efficient at collecting data from cadet training programmes and recognising pilot patterns. Since most flight simulators already contain sensors that log and generate significant amounts of data, Choudhrie states that Alpha Aviation Group can use these features to assess the competency of each pilot from the first day of training.
The best machine learning algorithms and AI have the capacity to analyse hundreds of flight details. This technology can also sort through several thousand hours of data from a flight simulator to determine findings that most people would miss. Using AI with a pilot training simulator provides real-time details for the cadet and instructor. Each cadet will have a greater understanding of their strengths and weaknesses much earlier in the training process.
Digital-first flight simulators also enable AI programmes to collect data from pilot training to determine how each cadet flies different training routes. Specific data analysed by an AI programme include periods of acceleration and angles of the aircraft when in descent mode. This information routes back to the cadet and instructor, providing valuable insight regarding the best routes for the cadet to fly after earning pilot certification.
The rate at which each cadet burns fuel is an important part of their overall assessment. Decisions a pilot makes about throttle settings during the take-off and ascent can have a dramatic impact on how much fuel a pilot uses during a flight. Having access to fuel usage in real time enables pilots to develop a plan for greater fuel efficiency on future flights. With fuel costs currently making up approximately one-third of overhead expenses for airlines, finding new ways to conserve its use is essential for survival.
Airlines already use AI to collect aircraft weight, altitude, and flight distance to determine the appropriate amount of fuel for a flight. Data collected from flight training simulators will match pilots to specific routes based on flying patterns to optimise the use of fuel. The cost savings for airlines will help them recover from pandemic losses faster, which is a positive sign of industry recovery.
How Investors Can Benefit Themselves and the Aviation Industry
The staggering losses the airlines have suffered due to the pandemic have understandably left investors hesitant. However, Bhanu Choudhrie sees things differently. By investing in the industry now when prices are lower, investors can aid industry recovery while getting in ahead of others too hesitant to act until they see more obvious signs of improvement.
Airlines around the world are reporting ticket sales up to 90 percent of what they were pre-pandemic. The number of commercial flights should only continue to improve with the widespread use of vaccines and improved industry technology.