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What are some jobs in the aviation industry that rely heavily on advanced technology?

I really want to work with technology. I also love airplanes and wold love to work in the airline industry. What kinds of technology is used in the industry? What are my career options to get involved? This question was posted by a CareerVillage administrator on behalf of the students of CareerVillage. #aviation #airline-industry #aviation-industry


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Andrei’s Answer

Hello Kingsley,
Technology is a very broad topic, and aviation has a lot of different technology aspects. There are technology fields in electronic/computer , aeronautical, mechanical, engineering, environmental, chemical, metallurgy, etc, etc. You will have to figure out what technology field appeals to you the most and focus on that. Ask yourself, what you like to do and what are you good at, and this will help you narrow down your choices. If you like working with your hands and fixing things, you might be a technician. If you like driving, operating machinery and are very well coordinated, you may be a pilot. Engineers constantly look for ways to improve and design new things. Figure out your traits and see where you fit in. Don't forget that you can change your mind, I know a lot of people that started in one field and moved to another.
As an aircraft maintenance technician, we deal with troubleshooting and fixing various systems and components. One of the biggest challenge, is dealing with mixed systems. Aircraft are very expensive and technology is constantly changing, so there is a lot of updating that takes place. You may have analog systems that feeds information to a digital computer, which activates an electro-hydraulic valve which eventually moves a mechanical part. Connectivity and entertainment systems are becoming very popular and more complex. In the civilian aviation world, the technology is not necessarily cutting edge, but its interaction with existing platforms is. Aircraft take time to design, build and test, so an aircraft rolling off the assembly line today has the best technology from 5 to 10 years ago when it was designed. The latest data links that everyone has been talking about is not necessarily new, oversimplified, its very similar to the texts that you have been getting on your cell phones for a while now. What is new, is the way its being used in aviation. Don't get me wrong, aviation is challenging, exciting and wonderful to work in, but it comes with huge responsibilities.


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Stephen’s Answer

I really want to work with technology. I also love airplanes and wold love to work in the airline industry. What kinds of technology is used in the industry? What are my career options to get involved?


I believe this might be too big of a question for one person to answer, but I'll give it a shot. You are starting to see advanced technology take over every aspect of flying. From getting in the airplane, to taxiing down the taxiway to the runway, and in flight. Lots of different technologies combine together like thousands of little puzzle pieces to fit together into one big puzzle. There are several different areas that encompass a lot of technology. You have the airport environment, the aircraft, and technologies used by ATC once the aircraft is in the air. Airport technologies include tracking software and hardware, technologies for tracking baggage and passengers, etc. There are too many technologies on aircraft now a days to explain them all, but they are ever growing. Air traffic control uses a whole other set of technologies that are designed to identify, track, and avoid collisions with a lot of aircraft coming to and going from the same place at the same time.

Since you want to work with aircraft, I would suggest trying to get an engineering degree in some sort of computer technology, and go work for the manufacturers of aircraft themselves. Once an airplane comes out, the airlines do not really modify them too much, so working for the airline with the airplanes may be a little harder. However, if you work with the people who make the planes, then you'll know that whatever you worked on, anyone who buys the airplane that you helped design will be using your work in the airline industry. I hope this helped answer some of your questions.


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Marla’s Answer

Today's planes include a lot of computer technology. Understanding programming, software, or having any types of computer skills will be very valuable. Understanding physics also helps with working on planes. The instruments of many planes are totally digital now. You have several options for careers. Radar, video, aircraft instruments, autopilot, and navigation systems are all systems you can work on. You can fix aircraft components or work on the flight line and troubleshoot planes, Aviation instructor, teaching students is also an option for you. Quality assurance personel inspect planes and components to check the work of technicians before the plane flies. You can maintain, inspect, sell, design, or write software for planes. You many also want to consider scheduling flights/or aircraft for maintenance. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators is also a growing field to consider. Last but not least, you may want to work for the FAA or the NTSB ensuring aircraft safety and investigating accidents.


I used to work for the Air Force and enjoyed working on planes. The aviation industry is growing as more people from around the world fly. Technicians are needed as aging aircraft have to be fixed or replaced. Aircraft designers must now design with the environment in mind. Consider looking into companies that are setting up space tourism. Virgin Galactic is trying to design a vehicle to take people to space and back. Good Luck and feel free to ask questions.


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James’s Answer

When I first hired on with Continental Airlines as an Aircraft Dispatcher in 1986, all aircraft were non-rnav except for those operating in class-II airspace. Class II airspace required either 2 inertial navigation systems (INS) or LORAN along with 2 High Frequency (HF) radios. New-Gen aircraft which are now equipped with global positioning satellite (GPS), Data Link (HF & satellite), satellite telephones, & Automatic Dependent System Broadcast (ADS-B). For the dispatcher, the flight planning systems were fine tuned. The Operations Engineering staff worked with the piloting group to secure solid individual performance data for each aircraft. For long range flight planning from 12 to 15 hours, fuel planning is critical. Providing a data base and flight planning system that cockpit crews & dispatch facilitates confidences & fuel savings. Dispatch also has the latest weather sources available & can relay most of this data to the cockpit via data link. In some areas of the world, ADS-B/DATA LINK is being used as a favored source of ATC airspace management tool. ATC route clearances are issued via DATA LINK due to radio congestion. You check Eurocontrol's web for Avionics requirements into core Europe.


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