As we've states already several times, big events is the best place to meet aviation professionals and to discuss the future of the industry. We had such opportunity during Dubai Airshow, exchanging with Mike Ingram, Vice President and General Manager, Cockpit Systems, Honeywell Aerospace. Here are essential points of our discussion:
Q. We are living in a very interesting period in aviation. Electric propulsion, carbon offsetting, VTOL aircraft…In your opinion, what the tomorrow’s aircraft looks like?
A. Tomorrow’s aircraft will transform and disrupt mobility within urban areas. Global concerns around congestion and pollution are only growing, and urban air mobility (UAM) offers a promising solution to reduce urban congestion and provide new ways for people to travel around cities and large urban areas. UAM vehicles will be smarter, smaller and greener than traditional aircraft.
To support the realization of tomorrow’s aircraft, Honeywell is working with the likes of Pipistrel, Vertical Aerospace and Jaunt Air Mobility to support the vision of a future UAM aircraft with Honeywell’s industry-leading avionics, flight control systems and other products and services. We have also adapted our speed, processes, tools and management to work better with these companies, while sharing key learnings around structured processes, program management expertise and certification insights we’ve gathered across a century of aviation experience and transformation.
Q. With innovative technologies, innovations changing the industry, what is important to change from regulations point of view?
A. The UAM space will need to operate under the guidance of the existing aviation infrastructure. At Honeywell, we have the expertise to support companies at all phases and scales of the UAM journey, navigate the regulation and certification process to make their concept aircraft a safe and efficient aerospace reality.
Honeywell is participating in committees, industry conferences and symposiums to help define and shape the market, regulations, and products that will enable UAM. We sponsor and participate in industry-wide events, including UBER Elevate, to align with other companies that are forging ahead with the design of aircraft. Honeywell has decades of experience collaborating with the Federal Aviation Administration, European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and various international governments on the challenges, opportunities and safe integration of various technologies and aircraft.
These UAM vehicles will operate in urban areas, initially on missions that are similar to a helicopter. The challenge is that there will be an exponentially larger number of vehicles and likely be overwhelming to the air traffic control to manage. It’s important for the airspace and ground infrastructure, as well as the air traffic system technology and regulations are updated to account for this growth.
Q. The speed of industry development is quite impressive, does this mean it needs more qualified professionals? What is Honeywell doing in order to assure the next generation of aviation professionals?
A. Honeywell has long championed and encouraged people of all ages to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and math. We believe there is no better time to consider a career in aerospace. In the next decade, for example, job growth in the computer science and information technology sectors is predicted to exceed that of all other occupations, according to the Education Commission of the States. Honeywell sees Dubai as a global hub of innovation and IoT adoption. It’s why we opened The Honeywell Technology Experience Center last year to encourage people and businesses to learn about the potential for industrial digitalization.
Honeywell is helping to establish the future for UAM and, in the process, paving the way for a new generation of aviation professionals. We have the fundamental technology building blocks, both in the form of hardware and software, certification experience and critical system integration to support UAM businesses of all shapes and sizes. It will be important that our curious minds are encouraged and afforded opportunities to become active in making UAM a reality. We expect that our technologists of all experience levels will love the work that they do at Honeywell since we are at the forefront of this exciting new market.
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