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From Five to None? Evolution of the Flight Crew

The Autonomous Taxi, Take-off and Landing (ATTOL) project leveraged computer-vision technologies and techniques to successfully complete fully autonomous tests (taxi, take-off, approach, and landing) using a commercial aircraft. Image: Airbus

An Industry Shift?

Commercial flights must have at least two Pilots in the cockpit, according to the current US law, FAA rules, and EU legislation. However, in January of this year, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) revealed it was considering the relaxation of the rules, which restrict Single-Pilot operations in commercial aviation.

Back in June 2021, several media outlets reported that Cathay Pacific (CX) and Airbus were working on a project named Connect, which was intended to reduce the number of Flight Crew on long-haul flights by using a single Pilot in the cockpit for most of the flight time.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Airbus aims to certify its A350 XWB family aircraft for single-pilot operations starting in 2025.

 DALLAS – Single Pilot Operations (SPO) refers to flying commercial aircraft with only one Pilot in the cockpit. The sole Pilot would be assisted by advanced onboard automation and/or ground operators, providing piloting support services.

Improvements in automation technology may eventually eliminate the need for a Co-Pilot on commercial flights, a potentially disruptive trend that has already generated safety concerns among Pilots and Cabin Crew.

According to a whitepaper from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the evidence and experience that includes more than a decade of study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal read more ⇒

Source:: “Airways Magazine”

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