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Futurist Keynote, Vietnam: The Future of Aviation for IATA


In this keynote session futurist Matthew Griffin explores the next decade of aviation and how new technologies will challenge its safety record while driving new levels of efficiency and sustainability.


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Firstly, thank you to Mark Searle, the Director of Safety at IATA, the trade association for the world’s airlines that represents more than 300 airlines and 83% if all passenger journeys, for asking me to be the keynote at this years IATA WSOC Summit in Vietnam, Hanoi where over 600 aviation leaders, government officials, regulators, and operators assembled to hear about the industry’s latest safety and operations best practises and breakthroughs.


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With a focus on the future of aviation efficiency, safety, and sustainability during my keynote I explored what the next ten years has in store for the industry, and there was a lot of ground to cover especially as the industry digitises and begins embedding Artificial Intelligence (AI) into every part of its operations.


The Future of Aviation 2030 &Beyond, by Keynote Matthew Griffin


While the global pandemic dealt the industry a heavy blow, with over 97 percent of aircraft moth balled, huge numbers of layoffs, and some operators verging on bankruptcy, today it’s rebounded well and faces a bright future with another 37,500 aircraft needed to fulfil future demand. As a consequence efficiency, safety, and sustainability are very much top of mind.

Famously one of the safest industries on Earth with no fatalities again last year the industry, like many others, faces new threats with a dramatic increase in cyber attacks now threatening Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations, and Data and GPS spoofing, among many other emerging threats, now affecting the safety of airline operations worldwide.


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Meanwhile, moving on to efficiency we’re seeing new technologies being used to automate operations and accelerate the development of autonomous aircraft and ground vehicles, and then when it comes to sustainability, arguably the industry’s greatest Achilles heel, over the past few years we’ve seen significant advancements in the development of new fuels and propulsion systems that range from Ammonia, electric, and Hydrogen aircraft, with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) now playing a much greater role as capacity increases – all of which means that from 2030 we should see the industry making much greater inroads into decarbonising itself and taking a leading role in helping combat climate change.

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