As we ease into 2019, Connected Aviation Today is connecting with different thought leaders in the aviation industry about what this new year holds. To learn more about business aviation growth and connected aircraft adoption in that market, we caught up with James Hardie, Principal Marketing Manager, ARINC Direct at Collins Aerospace. Hardie touched on the connected aircraft’s growing presence and influence on the business aviation market and how competition in the market is evolving. Here’s our full conversation on the topic:
Connected Aviation Today (CAT) Editors: What technologies and solutions do you believe will make a significant impact on business aviation in 2019?
James Hardie: The growing number of fully connected aircraft will increase the attractiveness of a business jet as a travel solution. Connected aircraft offer a better value proposition for potential customers with the promise of delivering reliable connectivity for both passengers and crew. We can already see higher utilization of connected aircraft starting to take effect for operators with up to 20 percent year over year growth in flight activity for some operators.
CAT Editors: Is there expected legislation, regulation, or guidelines in place that will help propel the industry along?
Hardie: The growth in airspace activity has necessitated regulations like ADS-B adoption and controller–pilot data link communications (CPDLC). Best equipped aircraft can access the best air traffic solutions, ensuring easier transactions when aircraft are sold. In turn, this increases their competitive capabilities.
CAT Editors: What challenges will the industry need to address in the coming year?
Hardie: ADS-B adoption is a huge challenge. ADS-B is the key technology for the future of air traffic management. Legacy technologies relied on analog radar systems, which in turn limited the volume of aircraft for a given airspace. ADS-B technologies can transmit more data faster, therefore, allowing more aircraft to fly in a given airspace. With only 11 months before the ADS-B mandate goes into effect, the number of non-compliant aircraft is really challenging the MRO capacity. If the MROs run out of space and time, there will be some operators that are not compliant by the deadline of Jan. 1, 2020.
CAT Editors: Any advice for how industry can collaborate with operators and government to ensure that advances are made?
Hardie: It’s important to keep a close check on the regulations as they arise and make a plan to manage them in a timely manner. The requirements are necessary to ensure safe and efficient flight within the airspace we all need to utilize. Business aviation is growing and is competing for space with commercial airlines, so we need to keep up with and stay on top of those regulations.
CAT Editors: The year 2018 was a big year for providing high speed internet services for passengers. What do you predict for 2019?
Hardie: Twenty nineteen will be the year of making more effective use of those connections to enable better operations solutions that will promote growth. A lot of growth potential in business aviation rides on the availability of reliable connectivity.