AIX: Thoughts of blue skies

tUnder the overarching conference theme of a connected journey, Jason Chua, project executive at A3 by Airbus Group, opened the fifth Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg, with a blue sky talk.
tttLeaving the assembled delegates with more questions than answers, Chua set out to challenge the traditional concept of the cabin. Why, he wondered, 90 years on from the first commercial passenger services, is the airline industry still clinging to the modality of seating passengers in rows. Food for thought for certain OEMs!ttttttWarming to his theme, he argued that a move away from a model of seat densification to one of revenue densification was preferable. Can we generate more revenue and deliver a customisable cabin without jeopardising seating numbers? In answer Chua pointed to the example of shopping malls which are deliberately designed to be customised by tenants. This extends to the placement of utilities. Can we remodel cabins on this template?ttttttThe final plenary session of the morning sought to bring a sense of cohesion to the disruptive rhetoric of Chua. A debate on the merits of collaboration across the entire supply chain and the initiatives it can engender led to an insightful discussion.ttttttStarting at the beginning of chain, JPA Design’s Ben Orson highlighted the need to get the right people involved at the start. Matching the team dynamics to the job specifications was important he argued, stating that no one works in isolation.ttttttA point picked up by Cristian Sutter, cabin design and development specialist for B787 and A350 programs. For Sutter, it was not what not what organisation can enable you to do, but what you can do to enable that organisation.ttttttNigel Duncan of STG Aerospace underlined the importance of leadership across all those parties involved – design company, OEM and client.ttttttFor Baden Smith of AIM Altitude, the picture was clear: collaboration is good, but it is not done well or enough. The aviation industry is too mechanical in its approach.ttttttThe takeaway lesson was that trust plays an important part. Everything who touches the cabin interior has a role to play, and it is important to empower them, giving them confidence to speak. Everyone is important.ttttttTonight’s Crystal Cabin Awards will recognise just how successful collaboration can be, and the important role played by everyone in developing a product from concept to reality.tttt

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