In today’s increasingly maturing and competitive markets, there are ever-rising challenges in how to differentiate and innovate in the business aviation arena. In many ways, this comes down to managing, understanding, and leveraging new technologies that are the ABCs of our future.

Specifically, these “ABC’s” are A: Artificial Intelligence, B: Biometrics and C: Connectivity. While all three of these concepts can create a fear of the unknown, the reality is that we can address these challenges by anticipating how they will impact our industry.

With regards to AI, it is important to note that the human-element is still essential, and we are far from living in the dystopian world that we saw in the Terminator movies. There are actually three levels of AI, which are analytics, human inspired, and humanized artificial intelligence – with the latter being when machines are self-aware and in control, and we are not nearly there yet. 

The key is that AI should help to work out logical decision-making, where the human element will always play an important role. System design still lies with people, and these systems are not quite as advanced as we all think. Ultimately, if you have a problem you want to solve, and it’s big and requires lots of data, then AI could probably be the solution. 

Meanwhile, biometrics is starting to make its way into airport terminals – with facial recognition being rolled out in 20 U.S. airports – with the goal of moving people along in their travels. In terms of business aviation, one opportunity lies in developing applications that help with creating invisible borders for seamlessly entering and exiting countries. This is a primary benefit for high-profile passengers, which are more common in business aviation.

In terms of connectivity, the launch of near-Earth orbiting satellites and the future-focus of ever faster networks will create a fully connected ecosystem, on the ground and in the air. Now is an ideal time to consider how having access to ubiquitous data will impact the overall passenger experience, and the wider airspace management system.

Are the ABCs of business aviation an opportunity or a threat?  Understanding the value and difference between the roles of technology and humans when looking over the horizon is critical. Processes and analytics exist to complement the human touch and judgment. In other words, technology should be used to meet human goals, as well as enhance our lives and the passenger experience.

Of course, fully predicting the future can be difficult when it comes to technology adoption. However, being prepared – and knowing your ABCs – can help in creating more differentiation and a much stronger competitive advantage.