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This article was originally published on SmartBrief on January 31.
Aviation is one of the fastest-growing forces in the world today. From advancing technology to an increasing consumer base, this is a critical time for fast and effective change.
Here we talk with Carol Hallett, counselor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and leading executive of its annual Aviation Summit, about the industry’s direction and what discussions we can expect to see represented onstage at the Summit on March 5, 2020.
What aviation trends are you seeing around the world?
As the number of people flying grows, new technologies, consumer options and processes are developing right before our eyes. Airlines are offering more options to meet expanding consumer needs, new markets are gaining access to flight, and an increasing number of commercial goods and products are being transported in airplane cargo holds. State-of-the-art manufacturing, advanced communications systems and new biometric technologies are supporting these changes. We are living in an era of unprecedented opportunity in aviation. With all these opportunities come new challenges, such as finding a sustainable way to build and expand the aviation workforce. The industry also has new questions to answer, including how to handle new entrants like space launch and unmanned aircraft.
How is the industry working toward building and growing the skills of the workforce?
The need for skilled workers is one of the industry’s biggest challenges right now. With the aviation industry experiencing so much growth and transformation, there’s a strong demand for talent. From mechanics to pilots to engineers, the industry has an unending need for high-quality workers with advanced skills. Companies are partnering with aviation and flight schools to recruit and train more pilots, and the industry is working with the military to recruit veterans. These companies and organizations are also working with Congress to promote transportation careers. We want to expand and sustain the aviation workforce so that the industry can continue to thrive and innovate.
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers make up some of the largest companies in the world. How often do all of them sit in the same room on the same day?
Because aviation leaders and professionals are based all over the globe — and often traveling — it takes a special reason to get everyone together on the same day. But our Aviation Summit brings the whole crowd. Our attendees represent all aspects of the aviation industry from airlines and manufacturers to unions and regulatory agencies. Nearly 60% of participants are vice presidents or above at their respective organizations, and we encourage our guests to get to know each other and continue the conversations after the Summit ends. We may not find all the solutions in one day, but we will continue to make progress as we work together.
As the world changes, how do you see the aviation industry reacting, adapting and finding new opportunities?
Technology is developing faster than anyone could have ever imagined, and the aviation industry is tapping into new and exciting trends. For example, with the modernization of the air transport system through NextGen, we are laying the groundwork for cutting-edge aviation systems that could transform the way we view transportation. On the horizon, we also see the potential for supersonic commercial flight, autonomous aircraft, electric propulsion and even space tourism. As an industry, we need to work together across the private sector and with regulators to achieve these dreams safely and efficiently. In the meantime, we’re all focusing on using technology to continue to improve air travel for everyone from the everyday commuter to astronauts circling the planet.
What is the best way for aviation professionals to stay ahead of the competition and gain quality industry insights?
Our Aviation Summit is the best way to hear and discuss the latest industry hot-button issues. Guests will have opportunities to hear from nearly 50 executives of top airlines, airports and manufacturing companies and mingle with their peers and colleagues across industries. We always say the Aviation Summit is where you can get a whole year’s worth of business meetings done in one day.
This year marks the 19th annual Aviation Summit held by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Summit, taking place on March 5, 2020 at the Ronald Reagan Building, will host nearly 1,000 participants, including executives from across the industry and stakeholder groups in panels and remarks onstage, and will foster conversations through engaging, interactive displays and door prizes. Join Carol Hallett and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the 2020 Aviation Summit.