Press release

Inaugural conference raises awareness on AI and aviation

Over 400 leaders from across the European aviation community gathered today for the inaugural conference on Aviation and AI organised by EUROCONTROL in collaboration with Airbus.

Brussels, BelgiumOver 400 leaders from across the European aviation community gathered today for the inaugural conference on Aviation and AI organised by EUROCONTROL in collaboration with Airbus, and to exchange views on how to take advantage of the opportunities of artificial intelligence for the aviation sector at large.

A few independent initiatives on AI are being implemented across the aviation industry – we saw some of them showcased during the Aviation and AI event here at EUROCONTROL. But this is not enough, we need to create an awareness to the advantage of everyone in the European value chain,” said Eamonn Brennan, Director General of EUROCONTROL. “As a result of this conference, EUROCONTROL has committed to working together with all the different parts of our industry and with EU bodies, to agree a common way forward that will allow us to take full advantage of the benefits offered by AI while managing the negative aspects and societal impacts.”

Revenues for AI are growing exponentially and are expected to reach USD 31 billion by 2025. AI offers great opportunities for aviation in the areas of safety, ATM, airport operations, passenger experience and airlines.

The inaugural Aviation Artificial Intelligence Conference brought together leaders from across the European aviation community as well as experts in AI more broadly. Keynote speeches from leaders such as Marc Fontaine, Digital Transformation Officer at Airbus, Lucilla Sioli, Director for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry at DG CONNECT, Loubna Bouarfa, CEO and founder of OKRA Technologies focused on opportunities for AI in a wide context.

A panel of international experts chaired by Ray Pinto of DIGITALEUROPE and comprised of Francoise Soulie-Fogelman, member of the European Commission’s High-level Expert Group on AI, Daniel L. Chen, Director of Research at the CNRS, Graham Katz from IBM Watson, John Hurley, Chief Technical Officer at Ryanair and Leonard Bouygues, Head of Flight Operations at Loon LLC looked at how AI was already being implemented across different sectors.

The closing panel, chaired by Florien Guillermet, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking discussed how AI could reshape aviation. Contributions to this panel came from Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technical Officer of Airbus, Bruno Stoufflet, Chief Technical Officer Dassault Aviation, Jean Ferré, Vice President Air Traffic Management at Thales and Andrew Taylor, Chief Solution Officer Digital Tower at NATS.

Note to editors

EUROCONTROL has as its primary objective to develop a seamless, pan-European air traffic management (ATM) system that fully copes with the growth in air traffic, while maintaining a high level of safety, reducing costs and respecting the environment. EUROCONTROL has 41 Member States: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,  Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. EUROCONTROL has Comprehensive Agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel.