While there’s always something exciting going on in the aviation industry, we’ve picked out a few of the more interesting stories to come out recently, including stories on uncertainty over the future of black boxes, 8,000 jobs being created or redeveloped in Singapore and an industry analyst casting serious doubts on buzzy, Tech-industry attempts to disrupt the aviation industry.

The Black Box Debate

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 triggered attempts to adopt new flight-data recorder technologies, but in the three years since the plane’s disappearance, the international aviation industry is in a standoff over the best approach to take.

Disagreements among major stakeholders in both the United States and Europe have obstructed consensus around modifications to “black boxes” that document flight data and cockpit conversations up until the time of an accident.

The biggest conflict involves buoyant, “deployable” devices that are made to be automatically jettisoned before an impact. These kinds of black boxes are already being used in military aircraft.

Advocates have said supplementing current techniques with deployable technology would lead to better searches. Critics have said the deployable technology isn’t needed with so few collisions of huge jets. Critics have also argued that the recorders are costly to maintain, as well as potentially dangerous if ejected by accident.

Read the full story here.


Singapore’s aviation job surge

Changi Airport in Singapore is one of the biggest aviation hubs in the world and plans to redesign it into a smart airport are expected to create or affect 8,000 jobs.

Through new technologies and skills training tied to the project, the Singapore aviation industry has been projected to grow about $720 million over the next three years, a 20-percent increase.

“This is a very challenging target we are setting ourselves, as productivity in the sector has historically grown at lower rates. We need to be ambitious, if we want to stay ahead,” Singapore transport official Ng Chee Meng said at a recent aviation conference in the Asian city-state. “We must address every aspect of the airport and airline business, from passenger services, to cargo handling, airside functions, airline operations and air traffic control.”

Read the full story here.


Analyst says don’t expect tech to disrupt aviation anytime soon

From flying personal transport proposals by Uber to supersonic jet start-ups, there has been a lot of talk a lately about technology and tech industry money disrupting the aviation industry.

To veteran aviation industry analyst Richard Aboulafia, all that talk is just that – talk.

“If Dr. Seuss drew air vehicles, he’d be perfect for these newcomers,” Aboulafia chortled in his latest monthly missive for the Teal Group – a consultancy firm for the aviation and defense industries. “That Silicon Valley thing with engineers in T-shirts, ramen noodles, a foosball table and no business plan? That just ain’t aircraft.”

Aboulafia said the aviation industry is not like the tech industry. For one, the analyst said, there’s nothing like Moore’s Law, the idea that technological advances lead to a doubling of processing power every 18 to 24 months. For aviation to become faster, less expensive and more personalized –some are speculating that it might – new engine and battery technology must be developed and that seems unlikely to come from Silicon Valley startups, Aboulafia argued.

Read the full article here.

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