The challenge facing the insurance profession of assisting the airline industry with getting automated flights off the ground is uncovered in a 24-page report produced for the Society of Underwriting Professionals.
The report concludes aircraft would be safer without pilots, but underwriters will need extensive operational and security details on the technology required to fly this way if airlines are to get the insurance required to allow automated flights to take to the skies.
The author of the report, Suzanne Bazire, a Chartered insurance broker for general aviation and fully trained commercial pilot, has studied the history of piloted flights, autopilot and automated flight technology.
She concluded that while fully automated airlines may still be decades away, automated air-taxis will be a reality in a matter of years and underwriters will need to get to grips quickly with the key considerations, such as what cyber protection is in place.
Ms Bazire, insurance broker for aircraft operations with less than 60 passengers per flight, predicts that while underwriters unpick and assess the risks of automated flight technology, premiums are likely to increase initially.
The full report can be found here: www.socup.org.uk/101134
Read our article on aviation risk on page 36 of The Journal