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Posted: 2019-03-07 19:20:53

New research(1) reveals that some 15% of people would ‘definitely’ fly on an aircraft with no pilot in the cockpit, and a further 19% said they would ‘probably’ do this.  Only 37% said they would definitely not do this, with the remainder undecided.

The research(1) into what percentage of people would fly in a pilotless aircraft is from Revolution.Aero, the global meeting place for people who are reshaping, rethinking and revolutionising business and personal aviation.

Many in the aviation industry believe pilotless commercial aircraft will become a reality as the industry cannot produce enough pilots to meet growing demand for air travel.  Indeed, a recent report(2) from Boeing reveals that between 2018 and 2037, the world will need 790,000 new pilots.

Revolution.Aero’s findings further reveal a huge gap between genders and age groups when it comes to be willing to fly in a pilotless aircraft. Only 5% of women say they would definitely do it, a further 17% said they would probably do so. The corresponding figures for men are 23% and 21% respectively.

When it comes to different age groups, 47% of those aged between 18 and 24 say they would fly in an aircraft with no pilot in the cockpit, but this drops to 19% for those aged 65 and over.

Percentage of people by age who would fly in a pilotless aircraft

Age Would definitely flyWould probably flyWould not flyDon’t know
18 – 2411%36%18%36%
25 – 3427%19%24%30%
35 – 4412%21%39%28%
45 – 5410%17%43%30%
55 – 645%18%49%28%
65+6%13%56%25%

Alasdair Whyte, co-founder, Revolution.Aero said: “Demand for air travel is increasing dramatically around the world, but the aviation sector cannot produce enough pilots to meet this.  It is therefore fact and not fiction that in the not too distant future, people will be flying on aircraft that don’t have pilots in the cockpit.”

Revolution. Aero’s first European meeting is in London on 11th to 12th March 2019 at The Royal Garden Hotel.

Some 200+ aviation professionals will be attending, including more than 50 founders or chief executive/C suite level.  There are also over 20 professional investors and investment firms attending.  

  1. 1,024 UK adults were interviewed by the research company Consumer Intelligence between 16th and 21st January 2019.  All interviews were conducted online.
  2. Boeing – Pilot Outlook: 2018 – 2037 

About Revolution.Aero

Revolution.Aero is where the people reshaping, rethinking and revolutionising business and personal aviation meet.   The event brings together new start-ups disrupting the market with companies that have been leading the industry for decades. It will help investors, analysts, journalists and other opinion formers understand this uniquely regulated industry and help regulators plot the future.

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