In an industry disproportionately affected by the ongoing pandemic, aviation has had a tremendously challenging year. With the aviation industry working towards a new normal, members of the connected aviation community can begin thinking about the road to recovery and longer-term goals in 2021. To that end, the editorial team at Connected Aviation Today compiled a year in review of some of our top content to revisit the trends that drove 2020.

It comes as no surprise that among our top content were three pieces on the aviation industry’s response to COVID-19. As the industry began to consider what it will take to boost passenger confidence in their safety, stories that focused on the tangible steps that the industry undertook to invite passengers back resonated with readers. Other topics of interest included spotlights on members of the industry that know what it takes to be successful, no matter the circumstances.

Read below for some of our top 2020 content from Connected Aviation Today: 

Raytheon Technologies CTO Discusses Innovating for the Future of Connected Aviation

Connected Aviation Today looked to industry leader Mark Russell, Raytheon Technologies CTO. In this executive spotlight, Russell shared his thoughts on what it takes to succeed, in normal times and extraordinary ones. When considering what will empower Raytheon Technologies to succeed, it comes down to “people and innovation.”

Russell detailed his history at what is now Raytheon Technologies and how he inspires his team to innovate. From providing funds that encourage employees to pursue higher education to allowing his engineers to explore their own projects, Russell advises the industry on what it will take to move forward on the road to recovery. As the new normal beings to stabilize, Russell’s insight and his 38 years of industry experience are worth revisiting when preparing to meet the future head-on.

Read the article here.

3 Tiers of Air Travel Recovery in Airports to Expect Post COVID-19

As the dust began to settle around the global lockdowns in the first half of the year, we spoke with Chris Forrest, Vice President of Airport Systems at Collins Aerospace, about what he saw as the path forward for the industry. Forrest broke the response down into three “tiers” that served as his outline for a phased recovery.

According to Forrest, Tier One will use biometrics to reduce touchpoints, Tier Two is concerned with health monitoring and alerting passengers of potential exposure risks, and Tier Three leverages AI to manage the traffic in the airport itself. As the year went on, Forrest’s outline looked more and more like the direction that the industry was going towards. Revisiting this piece can provide a good foundation for anyone looking to contribute to aviation’s road to recovery and align their goals with a proven pathway forward.

Read the article here.

Airports of the Future will Utilize Biometrics for a Contactless Journey to Boost Passenger Confidence

The contactless passenger journey has become a major trend in aviation during the pandemic, as passengers and staff seek to avoid high touch surfaces for safety reasons. Leveraging existing and emerging technologies in innovative ways, check-in, bag drop, boarding can be contactless. With airports globally working to safely bring back staff and passengers, it comes as no surprise that biometrics has become a staple of the future airport.

This article breaks down the areas where passengers can see their traditional journey enhanced with contactless biometrics. The article dives into how airports can use facial recognition technology to replace boarding passes to reduce touchpoints even further. Biometrics may also augment existing processes, including the use of heatmaps to plan more effective routes for staff and passengers. All total, with the future of aviation and the airport being reimagined before us, reviewing readily available innovations can help in planning what to prioritize as passengers begin to return.

Read the article here.

Executive Spotlight: CEO of flybig Highlights India’s Domestic Aviation Opportunities

As part of our Executive Spotlight series, we spoke with Srinivas Rao, CEO of start-up Indian Air Carrier flybig, where he discussed his career journey and how his new company was fairing during the pandemic. As a start-up, flybig felt the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic especially hard, but Rao says, “In every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity,” quoting Napoleon Bonaparte.

Rao’s experience, as a pilot, academic, researcher, and team manager, all culminated in his decision to launch an airline start-up. In addition to his incredible story, this article also contains information that can help anyone in aviation, big or small, as they look for proven best practices with a demonstrable return on investment.

Read the article here.

Fly Safe, Fly Smart: A4A Shares How Airlines are Protecting Passenger Health

Before the pandemic, U.S. Airlines were experiencing one of the largest years of passenger growth in their history. This story brought together two aviation industry leaders, ATCA CEO Peter F. Dumont and Airlines for America (A4A) CEO Nicholas E. Calio, to discuss how airlines were moving towards the road to recovery.

Dumont and Calio focused mainly on what customer-facing initiatives they viewed as most practical: masks and disinfection of touchpoints. The pair shared their optimism that the crisis can be a catalyst for new technologies, biometrics among them, that have sat on the sideline. And, as a sign of things to come, the two expressed that while it may take some time to restore passenger confidence they outlined how they viewed a multi-layered approach to keeping passengers and crews safe as part of the path forward.

Read the article here.