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Four Things to Know About New Airspace Challenges and Opportunities

Four Things to Know About New Airspace Challenges and Opportunities

Today’s current and future mandates are designed to create safer skies and address issues of increasingly crowded airspace. As the airspace changes, opportunities arise for organizations who know how to capitalize on them. The mandates will allow for more aircraft to be in closer proximity to one another and also result in better, more efficient communications. Here are four interesting facts about new airspace challenges and opportunities that you should know:

An increase in air travel will result in new routes, airports and airlines. As air travel increases around the globe, the situation creates both challenges and opportunities. A report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that there were 3.8 billion air travelers in 2016—and predicts that number will almost double to 7.2 billion travelers by 2035. This skyrocketing growth means many possibilities for aircraft manufacturers, governments and airline operators alike—and will result in many new routes and airports. It will also require thousands of new planes, as well as pilots and crews to staff them. The growth of the industry will also necessitate new technologies and solutions and will transform air travel across the world.

Europe is overhauling its entire airspace through 2020. The name Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) has been given to the massive collaborative project that will mean a complete transformation of European airspace. The project was created to unite the currently fragmented airspace over European countries and to increase airspace capacities. Data link communications are a key element of the Single European Sky, and a division of the program is coordinating the European implementation of Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) in upper airspace through 2020.

Urban air mobility is making regulators rethink airspace. The use of unmanned commercial drones in urban areas is on the rise—a recent study even reported that there will be around 3,000 passenger drones in use by 2025, as the first commercial urban air mobility routes begin to operate. As of today, no one yet has an air traffic management system that can handle those new aircraft taking up airspace. There are a lot of hurdles with infrastructure, technology and legal issues that need to be worked out. Experts around the world are meeting now to figure out how to accommodate these new capabilities while keeping airspace safe and manageable.

A global plan is in place to curb environmental impacts of air travel growth. With experts saying that air travel will almost double within several years, it’s important that the industry work immediately to prevent carbon emissions from doubling as well. In October 2016, 68 countries signed on to the Carbon Offsetting Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Those 68 countries’ air traffic makes up almost 90% of all aviation. The pilot phase of the program will begin in 2021.

Modern airspace is increasingly crowded, but aviation regulatory agencies are working hard to find new ways to alleviate that crowding and streamline flight paths. That’s why today’s mandates are so important.

Kathryn Kearney
Content Marketing Specialist
Katie Kearney is the global content marketing specialist for Honeywell Aerospace.


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