Emirates Group hopes to improve efficiency with driverless cars
Emirates group is exploring the possibility of using driverless cars to transport parts between the hangars. (Wikipedia)
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Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international passenger traffic, conducted a trial using a drone to inspect an aircraft earlier this year and is now looking at using driverless cars as it explores new ways to improve efficiency.
Emirates Group announced on October 20 it is embarking on an enterprise-wide strategy to introduce improvements and efficiency through big data and smart technology.
Roughly six months ago, the airline used a drone fitted with a camera to inspect one of its Boeing 777s, Iain Lachlan, Emirates’ Division Senior Vice President – Engineering, told Gulf News on Monday at the Dubai International Project Management Forum.
Lachlan said he was impressed with the trial, which was used to inspect hard-to-reach areas of the aircraft, including the top of the tail and crown of aircraft. Emirates is now interested in seeing how it could introduce drones across its maintenance operations, however, will have to work with regulators to overcome current restrictions.
“There is a lot of work we have to do to get it approved because the regulator would need to approve that as an inspection technique,” Lachlan said.
In April this year, Dubai announced restrictions on using drones and further rules for personal and commercial use in Dubai and the UAE are expected.
“There is a long way to go before we’re able to use it,” Lachlan said.
Emirates is not the only airline to have used a drone. In June 2015, British low-cost airline, easyJet, reportedly used a drone for safety inspections one if its aircraft. EasyJet has said technology can be used to cut the amount of time an aircraft is out of service for inspections.
Meanwhile, Emirates was given a demonstration of driverless cars at the Dubai Airshow that took place earlier this month. The unnamed company is now set to visit Emirates’ aircraft maintenance and spare parts hangars at Dubai International to see how driverless cars could be used at the airport, Lachlan said.
Emirates is looking at how the driverless cars could be used to move around parts between the hangars. However, they would not be used on runways or airport tarmac, Lachlan said.
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