As airlines transition to a new generation of software-driven aircraft while continuing to fly older models with outdated electronics, industry concern is rising that avionics issues are a growing source of AOG (aircraft on ground) situations.
A dynamic shift is taking place in the air freighter market as older aircraft reach obsolescence, and air cargo traffic growth is expected to outpace that of passenger boardings over the next 20 years. This means that for more cargo haulers, fleet planning decisions are at hand. Sweetening the pot is the fact that since Sept. 11, 2001, reduced passenger airline flying has made younger airliners more affordable for conversion to freighters.
In the not-so-distant future, pilots and air traffic controllers will talk less as a way to improve communications and reduce workload. Rather than relay routine messages over often-congested high frequency (HF) voice communication channels, pilots and controllers will ``talk'' through controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC) systems working in tandem with automated dependence surveillance (ADS) systems. Pilots will send routine messages, both en-route and in terminal control areas, in much the same way that office workers communicate by e-mail.