OPINION: The pros and cons of automation in aviation

In recent years, automation has become an increasingly important aspect of aviation.

From autopilots to advanced computer systems, automation has revolutionized the way aircraft are flown and managed. However, the increasing use of automation in aviation has also raised concerns about the potential threat it poses to the industry.

In this article, we will explore the potential risks associated with automation in aviation and the steps that have been taken to mitigate these risks.

One of the most significant risks associated with automation in aviation is:

● The potential for system failures; Because aircraft rely more on automated systems, the likelihood of a system failure is greater. If a system failure occurs, it could lead to a catastrophic event. The prevalence of this risk is even more worrying in situations where pilots are not adequately trained to operate an aircraft manually.

● Another concern associated with automation in aviation is the potential for complacency among pilots; As aircraft become increasingly automated, pilots may become overly dependent on these systems and may not be as vigilant as they should be. This can lead to incidents where the pilot does not immediately assess a problem and therefore will not take action until it is too late.

● In addition, automation in aviation can also lead to job losses in industry; As more tasks become automated, there will be less need for pilots and other aviation professionals (ATSEPS, CTAs). This will have a significant impact on the global aviation industry as well as the wider economy.

To mitigate the risks associated with automation in aviation, several measures have been taken:

● One of the most important steps is ensuring that pilots are properly trained to operate an aircraft manually. This includes regular training and conducting simulation exercises to ensure that pilots are better equipped to handle system failures.

● Another step that has been taken is to improve the operation of automated systems, to make them more reliable and less prone to failure. This includes using redundant systems and fail-safe mechanisms to ensure that the aircraft can continue to operate safely even in the event of a system failure.

● Finally, efforts are being made to ensure that pilots remain vigilant and engaged even when using automated systems. This includes training on how to monitor automated systems and how to respond appropriately in the event of an anomaly.

In conclusion, while automation has brought significant benefits to the aviation industry, it also poses a potential threat. Risks associated with automation include system failures, complacency among pilots and job losses. However, by taking the appropriate steps to mitigate these risks, the aviation industry can continue to benefit from automation while ensuring safety, passengers and crew alike.


Ivani Valente is the CEO of AngoAviação.

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