Aviation moving toward digitalization, electrification and sustainability
- May 1, 2024: Vol. 11, Number 5

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Aviation moving toward digitalization, electrification and sustainability

by Kali Persall

In the not-so-distant past, the idea that waterfalls, butterfly gardens and canopy bridges could find a home within an airport — the most unlikely of places — may have been chalked up to science fiction. But these features are real, and they reside in Singapore’s Changi Airport, one of the largest air hubs in Asia.

In the Jetsons-style universe that is fast becoming our reality, airlines have chief digital officers instead of chief information officers; commercial airplanes run on hydrogen or feedstock rather than jet fuel; and AI powers every aspect of the traveler experience. These innovations represent a larger transformation taking place within the aviation sector — a response to the growing need to modernize and decarbonize.

The aviation sector currently contributes between 2.5 percent and 3 percent of global carbon emissions. Although these seem like relatively small numbers, if not addressed, the implications are concerning. The air-transport sector is f

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