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Risk in Context Podcast: The next generation of aviation technology

From artificial intelligence, to virtual reality, to advanced equipment, emerging technology is revolutionizing the aviation industry, impacting both air and ground operations and transforming training and risk.

From artificial intelligence, to virtual reality, to advanced equipment, emerging technology is revolutionising the aviation industry, impacting both air and ground operations and transforming training but also introducing new risks.

When used effectively, today’s quickly evolving technologies can contribute to improved safety, efficiency, and operational capabilities and also potentially cut costs. However, emerging technologies can bring significant risks, underscoring the importance that they are carefully considered, tested, and properly trained on, especially when being introduced into such a safety-critical environment.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Andy James, who leads Marsh’s Aviation Operational Advisory team, speaks with Kinga Kolasa-Sokolowska, a client advisor at Marsh Japan, about the opportunities as well as the risks that technology advancements are bringing to the aviation industry. Greg Wyght, a senior vice president within Marsh’s Aviation Practice, and Rory Heilakka, a Partner at Oliver Wyman, also discuss specific innovations and how these are impacting commercial airlines, air traffic management, and emergency response.

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Key takeaways

Emerging technology could help address the persisting pilot shortage.

The global pilot shortage is expected to continue through 2027. Rapidly advancing technology is expected to shape the workforce of the future, especially through advanced simulations that help new pilots through their training process. But a mindset shift is still needed to embed advanced training technologies more broadly.

Effective training is critical to minimise risks and overreliance.

As the aviation industry introduces new technologies, there should be an emphasis on comprehensive training for those using it to minimise potential risks and overreliance. Setting up robust policies and procedures and clear guidance will help both new and existing aviation professionals better understand the most effective use of new tech and risk management.

AI has the potential to revolutionise the industry.

From advanced analytics, to predictive maintenance, to technology to monitor and reduce congestion in the air and on the ground, AI has many applications within the aviation industry that can help improve safety, efficiency, and potentially cut costs. But AI is not a magic bullet and businesses should be careful of unreasonable expectations when looking to achieve specific goals.

About our speakers

Andy James

Andy James

Aviation Operational Advisory Lead, Marsh UK

  • United Kingdom

Andy James leads Marsh’s Aviation Operational Advisory team, working alongside the aviation broking and advisory teams. He has more than 30 years of operational aviation experience, flying as a helicopter pilot in the British Army for 11 years, followed by 21 years as a commercial pilot and instructor.

Kinga Kolasa Sokolowska

Kinga Kolasa-Sokolowska

Client Advisor, Marsh

  • Japan

Kinga Kolasa-Sokolowska works as a Client Advisor at Marsh Japan, where she is responsible for contract advisory for aviation and aerospace clients. She is also a lecturer at Rikkyo University’s College of Law and Politics in Tokyo and has authored a chapter on the use of artificial intelligence in the aviation industry. 

Greg Wyght

Greg Wyght

Senior Vice President, Aviation, Marsh Specialty

  • Canada

Greg Wyght is a senior vice president within Marsh’s Aviation Practice. Based in Canada, he has more than 35 years of aviation experience in operations, safety management, and training, including 15 years as a line pilot in forest fire suppression, HEMS, utility, and offshore and two decades of executive-level experience overseeing, among others, flight operations and safety management systems.

Rory Heilakka

Rory Heilakka

Partner, Oliver Wyman Transportation and Digital Practices

  • United States

Rory Heilakka is a Partner within Oliver Wyman and part of the firm’s Transportation and Digital Practices. Based in the New York office, he has been with Oliver Wyman for almost 15 years, advising clients on a range of issues and has worked extensively in the travel and hospitality sector, with a focus on applying technology and advanced analytics to inform strategy and lasting business outcomes. He is also a leader within the Oliver Wyman Forum focused on the implications of technology and AI for global cities and has helped develop Oliver Wyman’s Cities AI Readiness Index.

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