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Evolving Sustainable Benefits of AI in Nigeria’s Aviation

By Patience Chat Moses

In recent years, the Nigerian aviation sector has witnessed significant advancements in technology, particularly in the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems.

These developments cannot only improve operational efficiency but also pave the way for a more sustainable future in the country’s aviation industry.

Experts have noted that, one of the key areas where AI can make a profound impact is in aircraft maintenance. AI-powered predictive maintenance systems analyze vast amounts of data to predict potential issues before they occur, reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

This proactive approach not only enhances safety but also reduces the environmental impact of aviation by minimizing the need for unscheduled flights due to maintenance issues.

Furthermore, AI can be employed into air traffic management in Nigeria. AI algorithms optimize flight routes, reduce congestion, and improve fuel efficiency, leading to lower carbon emissions. These advancements not only benefit the environment but also contribute to cost savings for airlines, making air travel more affordable and accessible.

In addition to operational improvements, AI can also play a crucial role in enhancing passenger experience.  AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide real-time information and support to passengers, improving customer service and satisfaction.

 These innovations streamline the check-in process, reduce waiting times and create a more seamless travel experience. Looking ahead, the integration of AI in Nigeria’s aviation sector holds immense potential for further sustainable development.  By harnessing the power of AI, Nigeria can reduce its carbon footprint, enhance operational efficiency and improve the overall travel experience for passengers.

 As the aviation industry continues to evolve, AI will undoubtedly play a central role in shaping a more sustainable future for air travel in Nigeria. In an aviation report last year, experts in the sector predicted that the global artificial intelligence in aviation market size estimated at $ 653.74 million in 2021 is expected to surpass $9.985 billion by 2030 with a registered Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 35.3 per cent from to 2030.Artificial intelligence in aviation market, experts say, is expected to witness a significant rise during the forecast period, owing to the rising usage of big data analytics in the aerospace industry.

Experts familiar with the development say rapidly increasing investments by aerospace companies towards the adoption of the cloud-based technologies and services is boosting the growth of the global artificial intelligence in aviation market.

In Nigeria, aviation authorities involved in management of airports and air navigation services as well as airlines are adopting the latest and novel technologies like artificial intelligence to improve services and scale up operations.

Experts say rising operational costs and compelling need for enhanced profitability is fostering the adoption of Artificial intelligence in the aviation industry.

Investigations show that there has been a significant rise in the adoption of the Artificial Intelligence-based chat bots that facilitates travels in online ticket booking with other technologies that are expected to enhance the air traffic control and predictive maintenance activities in the near future.

Just recently, the coordinating Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani revealed that they received $3.5 million seed funding from interested partners.

 He noted that with a collective pool of resources by both local and foreign partners, there is nothing impossible for Nigeria to achieve with the AI strategy. He said Nigeria desperately needs the strategy now to prepare the citizens ahead of the future.

Tijani explained further that the AI Collective for Growth initiative led by NITDA and run by Lagos Business School will receive funding from partners for the next three years. With this development, the adoption of AI usage in Nigeria at large will be more feasible.

The virtual assistants powered by the AI technology can be used to improve the efficiency and performance of the pilots by reducing or eliminating the recurring tasks such as reading wind forecasts, providing on request position information, and changing radio channels.

However, despite the many benefits AI has to offer in the Nigerian aviation sector, experts are of the opinion that the nation has to put in place the many strategies that will enhance adoption of AI to enable the nation harness its benefits.