The Jetsons, a popular cartoon in the 1960s, wasn’t too far off in its depiction of how the future might look. With flying cars, robots, and technologically advanced appliances, Orbit City could be any city in the U.S. in just a few years. Virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, are now commonplace, as are smart home appliances and devices. Companies like Boeing, Airbus, Aston Martin, Kitty Hawk, and others are producing personal flying vehicles and autonomous, on-demand air transportation using vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Ride-sharing companies are looking to offer flying taxi services, known as urban air mobility.
With the increasingly rapid pace of technology development, the transformation of the nation’s air transportation system needs to be addressed.
The U.S. has the largest, safest, and most secure aviation system in the world, but its infrastructure is also the most complex. It seems to be stuck in a holding pattern with legacy technology platforms that have limited capabilities. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently has several modernization programs underway to update some of the large critical elements of the infrastructure. Moving forward, this ability to adapt – and most importantly, implement – technological advances will determine how competitive the U.S. aviation industry remains.
With the development of artificial intelligence, autonomous and remotely piloted vehicles, smart airports and cities, and even commercial space flights, the aviation industry should focus on how current technology can be used and how quickly future technologies can be integrated. New entrants into the nation’s airspace system are creating a paradigm shift for the way airspace and airport operations and other modes of transportation are managed.
To help shape the future of U.S. aviation, CACI is working with the FAA and industry on the “Blue Skies” campaign. The campaign doesn’t aim to answer the question of what comes next. Rather, it aims to address the future of the aviation industry and the need to stay ahead by adopting the latest technology for a holistic, fully integrated, and safe air transportation system.
As the industry adapts to the changing environment, CACI continues to develop and field cyber security, enterprise IT, command and control, and analytic tool suite solutions that can help connect, advance, and secure the National Airspace System.
For more information, contact Gene Hayman, CACI Vice President and FAA Client Executive.