Dubai Airshow 2021 is going ahead on 14-18 November, with the goal of serving as a platform for industry to showcase the role that cutting-edge technologies can play in bolstering the recovery of the aviation, aerospace and defence sectors following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the travel sector.
According to the show’s organiser, Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East (“Tarsus”), the impact of the pandemic has accelerated the use of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, cybersecurity, touchless solutions, 5G, robotics and automation. These technologies serve as a means to drive new opportunities within the industry and enhance safety, operations, productivity and profitability.
Tarsus adds that a recent report (uncited) shows that 69% of aerospace and defence executives say they have prioritised anticipating and responding to supply-chain events in order to protect the customer experience. ‘Covid-19 has emphasised the need for more resilient, flexible and adaptable supply chains for the industry. Executives overwhelmingly agree that emerging technologies like AI, internet of things, automation and wearables have accelerated the pace of automation over the past three years’, said the company in a statement.
The report also found that 60% of industry executives are making investments to enable long-term remote work for the next six months . Tarus states that this finding indicates the increasing importance of digital transformation within the aerospace, aviation and defence sectors. AI is also being used to deliver personalised travel experiences to passengers in order to maximise customer satisfaction. A new market study (also uncited) predicted a CAGR of 46.4% for AI in the aviation market by 2023.
As part of Dubai Airshow 2021, aerospace companies from across the world are expected to launch and exhibit their latest technologies and innovations that can help promote the sector’s growth in the region and the world. The event will also include conference programmes dedicated to the topics of AI, 5G and cybersecurity.
VISTA – an opportunity for startups
New ideas, innovation and higher customer expectations have created a prime opportunity for start-ups within the aviation, defence and aerospace sectors. A new event called VISTA is being launched in 2021, co-located with Dubai Airshow. The event is a start-up hub giving innovators within the aerospace and defence fields an opportunity to access venture capitalists and investors, who are increasingly looking for disruptive new market entrants to compete with the big industry players. In a regional first, VISTA will feature a number of sub-events in partnership with Gothams, an accelerator that is helping to build the next generation of aerospace and defence start-ups.
Commenting on its partnership with VISTA at Dubai Airshow 2021, Elodie Robin-Guillerm from Gothams said, “We believe in the importance of providing the right resources, technology and connections to help empower companies to successfully own their vision and accelerate into the aerospace and defence industries. The start-up ecosystem is thriving not just with ideas, but also with innovative startups and investors looking to help businesses scale up and expand. Dubai Airshow 2021 will be an important, in-person, platform for understanding the role of innovation, cutting-edge solutions and services for the future growth of the aerospace sectors. It will be the only live event of its kind this year and we look forward to collaborating with the wider industry to help showcase the power of technology for its future.”
The aviation and aerospace sectors have continuously found ways to create new methods and ways of operating through progressive and modern technology. For example, as part of the rapid digitalisation that the aviation sector in the UAE is undergoing, Etihad Airways and SITA conducted a trial on the use of facial recognition technology to identify and authenticate crew members. This initiative aims to substitute check-in kiosks, which require crew to use their staff identity cards as a form of authentication.
A recent announcement between Amadeus and Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, paves the way for a touchless travel journey for passengers. Avinor, which operates 44 airports, is trialling touchless technology that allows passengers to check in, drop bags, proceed through security and board their flight without any form of physical contact.
UAE carrier Emirates has partnered with IATA to become one of the first airlines to test IATA Travel Pass, a mobile application that enables passengers to create a ‘digital passport’ to verify their required pre-travel Covid-19 test or vaccination and manage all travel documentations digitally and seamlessly throughout their airport journey.
The impact of technologies such as cybersecurity, robotics, AI and 5G will be high on the agenda at Dubai Airshow, which is set to take place at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai Airshow Site, from 14-18 November 2021.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence, the event will bring together experts and representatives from commercial and business aviation, aircraft interiors, defence and military, and air traffic management, among others.