15 May 2024

AI is set to significantly transform the way work is conducted and it might be sooner than you think. There is the potential that if implemented and communicated correctly, aviation businesses and airlines may become more efficient, but it also holds the prospect of not only replacing jobs but also improving them and creating new ones.

The creators of ChatGPT (OpenAI) conducted a research study that estimates 80% of today’s workers could see their jobs impacted by AI. I cannot see aviation not being part of this.

AI initiatives gain traction in aviation

In our Leaders in Aviation Survey 2024, over a third of aviation leaders said their business was already using AI, whilst 64% said they were not and 2% did not know.

AI was the top skill or knowledge that aviation leaders wanted to improve upon in our survey this year, and we can see why. With the majority still not using it in their businesses, there is a huge opportunity to get in on the action and see how it can benefit their business. This may be through business performance and efficiency, cost reductions, or even how people do their jobs.

AI in Aviation - GOOSE Recruitment

AI‘s potential to elevate aviation employment

We asked aviation leaders what impact they believed AI would have on jobs in aviation over the next two years.

  • 15% said it would replace some aviation jobs

  • 9% said it would create new aviation jobs

  • 28% felt it would improve jobs

  • 40% said it would impact all of these areas

  • 8% didn’t see it as having an impact at all

What we are seeing from these answers is a real sense of opportunity in aviation. More jobs and better jobs in aviation whilst replacing others. I believe what won’t change with AI is the need for strong and clear leadership with a heightened focus on the human element. We must remember the things that AI cannot do or excel at. Judgment, rationality, empathy, and creativity are what make us human, and no computer, technology, or robot can replicate this (well at least not yet).

AI Anxiety

For anyone reading this part of the report, it may create some feelings for you or your team of ‘AI Anxiety’, a phenomenon of people worrying and questioning whether AI will replace their jobs.

It is natural that if you implement AI in your business there will be fears that some of your employees will become obsolete. This threat can feel personal and create concerns about a person’s workplace value and what their professional identity is and will be. Questions like, ‘What will I do?’ ‘Who will I be?’ could be coming to you and other leaders in your business by implementing AI without the right communication to your people.

It's crucial to recognise that while AI possesses significant capabilities, it primarily mimics rather than innovates or creates. Despite these anxieties, it's premature to anticipate a total takeover by robots in the workforce.

I don’t think robots are coming for our jobs just yet.

AI Anxiety - GOOSE Recruitment
AI from an aviation leader perspective

We asked aviation leaders to provide their commentary on the impact of AI:

  • The core of many frontline roles will remain unaffected by AI, but AI will provide a valuable tool to improve performance and the provision of real-time data in operational settings. In non-frontline roles, AI will have a massive impact. The way the industry, unions and colleagues harness these opportunities could provide fantastic opportunities for job enrichment, more exciting career choices and real changes in workplace practices - by removing some of the routine and repetitive tasks and using our people for added-value tasks (high-value customer service, critical decision-making, strategic development, safety, and security). Aviation Leader in Europe

  • I am not really into AI but understand its importance, a bit like you don't have the choice and you would have to adhere to it. Is it for good or bad? Nobody knows. Aviation Leader in the Middle East & Africa AI will be invaluable as part of any organisation. Data analysis of leading and lagging indicators to identify trends and actionable information will enhance safety and the compliance-based aspect of aviation for one example. Aviation Leader in North America

  • Aviation moves at a much slower pace. Two years is nothing in aviation... no approval of AI will be granted in the next two years. Aviation Leader in Europe

  • AI will continue to disrupt the aviation industry as we know it. Those who don't embrace it will be left behind by competition. Aviation Leader in the Middle East & Africa

  • AI has been improving different areas of aviation for a while, from aircraft design, performance analysis, weather forecasts, and so on; in the next few years traffic management and piloting roles will be under this trend too, the most important is not to struggle with the changes but to understand how can we adapt to it before it’s too late. Aviation Leader in Asia-Pacific

  • The best companies will utilise AI to improve their people's capabilities. It needs to add value and not replace the people whom we need to look after as our assets. Aviation Leader in the Middle East & Africa

What next?

If you would like to read more of the findings from the Leaders in Aviation Report, you can download it here:

Download the Leaders in Aviation Report

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