The likelihood of single pilot operations and the technology needed to achieve them have both been tested by airlines and manufacturers.
Nevertheless, even before the idea can be put into practice, other industry participants, including some of the most well-known names in aviation, have been opposing the technology.
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who memorably ditched a US Airlines Airbus A320 with first officer Jeffrey Skiles on the Hudson River in New York, the United States (US), has been vocal about this single pilot operation.
“Having only one pilot in a commercial aircraft flies in the face of evidence and logic. One way we have made commercial aviation ultra-safe is by having two fully-qualified and experienced pilots in every cockpit,” he stated in April 2018.
“Every safety protocol we have is predicated on having two pilots work seamlessly together as an expert team cross-checking, backing each other up, managing the workload, catching and correcting errors – even collaborating wordlessly in situations where the time pressure and workload are so great there is not even time to talk about what has happened and what must be done,” Sully continued.