Civil freight aircraft will be flown by either a single pilot on board with a remote co-pilot on the ground, or no on-board crew at all within 10 to 15 years, delegates of the ATC Global conference in Amsterdam were told.
I guess this means further downward pressure on wages and salaries in aviation? Like every other industry on earth, expensive-to-run things get engineered out of the system.
Where do the PPRuNers think aviating will be in 20-30 years?
This reality has been brewing for quite some time. I recall an ABC interview with an ATC officer back around 10 years ago. The ATC guy was adamant pilots will become redundant as in his view he proffered words to the effect "we tell them what path to take now from the ground, why couldn't pilots be removed altogether". Also, isn't Rio Tinto trialing driverless trucks in one of their open cut mines right now? The news report showed and described footage of trucks which will all be driverless and controlled remotely within 5 odd years! One would hope the union guys are onto this already.
Dual engine failure over New York with a landing in a river... I doubt the computer could have done that. It will not happen in commercial aviation, to much at stake if the remote system fails for whatever reason.
This reality has been brewing for quite some time. I recall an ABC interview with an ATC officer back around 10 years ago. The ATC guy was adamant pilots will become redundant as in his view he proffered words to the effect "we tell them what path to take now from the ground, why couldn't pilots be removed altogether".
Actually I see it the other way round. I see ATC functions being automated/computerised to a much greater extent before pilots are removed from the cockpit.
The computers using ADSB type data will work out the flow and issue enroute instructions via telemetry links.
When something goes pear shaped (digger cuts cable etc) it's much easier to put a human at a radio on the ground than it is to teleport someone into the cockpit.
Besides I think it will take a very very long time before the travelling public will be comfortable getting into a pilotless aircraft.
Agreed 27/09. Future aircraft will fly around autonomously in a 'soup' of airspace with the aircraft's computers arranging separation and a four-dimensional trajectory via a future form of TCAS and datalink with the other aircraft.
Air Traffic Controllers will be made redundant, maybe those who can afford it going on holiday in Economy class in the back of one of these planes, dreaming of when they used to punch off that 'request position report' uplink, chip those pilots (still up front) about reading back those weather deviation clearances, and pinging them for being one nautical mile off track .
Even an ATCO wouldn't get on a future aircraft that didn't have a pilot...would he...?
Location: Hughes Point, where life is great! Was also resident on page 13, but now I'm lost in Cyberspace....
Dual engine failure over New York with a landing in a river...
I doubt the computer could have done that.
It will not happen in commercial aviation, to much at stake if the remote system fails for whatever reason.
With the continual de-skilling of the industry, there may come a time when the guy up the front won't be able to achieve this either...
Sounds true in a perfect world that we'll lose both pilots and ATC, but the world's not perfect. We'll always need some man, as someone above mentioned the Hudson River incident. NO computer can pull that off. ATC runs on rails till the emergency or wild weather hits and the cells are screaming through willy nilly, then no computer can cope, other than the one in man's head. Yeah lifts had drivers and now they're auto, but they are confined to one path... and sometimes they stop mid floor. Trains could become driverless as they run on rails but won't, because of the same 'dealing with the unknown in an instant.' The egg heads come up with wonderful ideas and get marketing to sell them to management who want to be on the cutting edge, be world leaders and claim it was them who introduced the new age world's best practice. The ATC simulator is just one case. 'Get rid of half the man power in in the training of controllers and be the envy of the world.' Management were sold a lemon by Slick Sam the salesman and spent three times more money than the airlines spend on three full motion aircraft simulators on a bunch of PCs, big screens and A COMPUTER PROGRAMME. It's pathetic. After complaints from trainees, management came back with the gem, "It's no worse than the old simulator!" That one was over fifteen years old and in today's technological explosion should be a dinosaur. Think back to the mobile phone of fifteen tears ago and what's in your pocket now! The new sim promised to be the bee's knees. It is more complicated, doesn't actually do many functions it's supposed to (We're gunna fix that") but the cost of tweeking the computer programme is astronomical so doesn't happen. It needs people to madly click on mouse buttons up to ten clicks to get round the problem of the sim not doing what it is supposed to with the one click, promiced. It's a bloody joke, same as all the ideas of the industry's getting rid of pilots and ATCers.
To put it in perspective. Most pros have heard muggins the private pilot or RAA pilot who reckon HE could land the big jet if the pilots died. He's a pilot! Learned how to fly. Done hundreds of hours flying the big jets on flight sim AND has had a go at flying the 737 sim the public gets to pay to have a go in AND he landed it perfectly. He's also the guy who reckons '178 seconds to losin' it' is bulldust. He's got five hours under the hood in his bug smasher and could keep her under control if he flew INADVERTENTLY into cloud. We know how well they'd do. Them that don't do it, have fnny ideas ... their bum has never been in the seat when it's real and someone's gunna die if he doesn't get it right first go. Reset buttons ... none in the real world.
Also, isn't Rio Tinto trialing driverless trucks in one of their open cut mines right now? The news report showed and described footage of trucks which will all be driverless and controlled remotely within 5 odd years! One would hope the union guys are onto this already.
Quite a few mines have been. All "new" mine sites in Australia will be driverless. Currently operating minesites cannot replace mining truck drivers with computers. From what i have been told, the mining companies have set up a complex in Orange (NSW) where they will be controlling mining trucks all over Australia and Asia.
But with aircraft, at least the A320 neo, A350, 737x is going to be flown by pilots, so hopefully there will be jobs available until 2040.