Despite a steady growth in passenger and cargo numbers ever since 2010, aviation industry is bracing for potential turmoil ahead. Geopolitical instability, increasing fuel costs, uneven distribution of profits within the sector, thin net profit margins and pilot shortage - all threaten to shake up the industry. The upcoming Annual Aviation Industry Awards aim to recognize companies and initiatives taking up upon themselves to safeguard against the possible threats, awarding the best aviation players within ten categories.

Dealing with aviation personnel shortage – a real challenge

One of the most challenging issues threatening the industry is pilot shortage. High costs of training, strict requirements for flying commercial aircraft, forming unions pose challenges for retaining and recruiting new staff, especially for regional airlines. While legacy airlines can be more flexible and competitive when it comes to attracting employees, smaller airlines can’t always afford that.

“This is where Annual Aviation Industry Awards come in – we want to recognize the companies doing the most to offer a solution. That is why we have two categories for flight schools - Step Forward in Aviation Training and Pilot Training Center of the Year. Additionally we want to encourage airlines themselves to look for solutions and, considering a huge diversity problem in aviation, we want to honor initiatives for greater Diversity and Inclusion,” says Skaiste Knyzaite, Managing Partner of AeroTime Media Group, organizer of the awards.

Indeed, diversity is a significant problem in aviation – only 3% of pilots worldwide are female. The situation is slowly changing for the better, as more companies all over the world are launching initiatives to get female pilots encouraged in flying. Airlines are taking steps to increase the number of female cadets, involved in training programs, planning to reach up to 20% female pilot employment rates in the one or two years’ time-span and even bigger percentage in the future.

Managing capacity and increasing industry competitiveness

Finding sufficient capacity to meet the air travel growth is another pressing issue. In order to achieve better capacity index in terms of overall capacity crisis, airport infrastructure needs a more complex approach. Airport privatization, which was previously considered a possible solution, has its pitfalls, already visible by airlines and passengers. Instead of the more expensive infrastructure model offered by privatized airports, there is a challenge to find more efficient and competitive models. When developing a functional and cost-effective airport infrastructure, it seems fair to imply users’ demand and choose a customer focused approach. The most effective solutions in airport infrastructure development are to be recognized and highlighted within the  Annual Aviation Industry Awards categories for most innovative and advanced airports regarding both customer and employee experience.

Meeting the customer needs to increase aviation market effectiveness is an issue for the airlines as well, the best business and marketing solutions of which are to be revealed after the awarding best-performing airlines in Long Haul and Low Cost categories.

Environmental sustainability issues

As air traffic increases, the environmental responsibility must grow in direct ratio. Unregulated carbon pollution, noise and other environmental impacts add to the overall pollution increase, caused as a result of air travel market growth. This drives the industry to find new sustainable solutions and makes the issue of the front-rank importance.

Governments are trying to find possible ways to implement sustainable aviation fuel policy and schemes at carbon offsetting to improve the aviation sustainability in the long-term, as far as it is feasible. The most challenging part of the process is to maintain steadiness in meeting economic, environmental and social demands to optimize the available capacity, produce more sustainable equipment and implement efficial technology. Annual AIR Awards 2018 wants to recognize sustainable aviation visions, while signifying the best environmental aware manufacturers, products and technologies.

The whole composition of Annual Aviation Industry Awards is specifically designed to distinguish the most progressive and innovative thinkers in the field of global aviation, discovering most effective sector practices to help spread aviation global mission and produce greatest improvements. The nominations are structurally divided into two main sections: “Business” and “Innovation”, and each of the sections includes five categories.

The “Business” section is dedicated to acknowledge the most outstanding 2018 industry players within the categories “Air Manufacturer of the year”, “Airport of the Year”, “Long Haul Carrier”, “Low Cost Carrier” and “Best Pilot Training Center of the Year”. The “Innovation” section aims at revealing the most progressive solutions, products and services of 2018, including “Eco product of the year”, “Step forward in aviation training”, “Diversity and inclusion initiative of the year”, “Innovation and technology: Breakthrough of the year”, “Most captivating marketing product of the year”.

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