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Single-Pilot Airline Operations Studied

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A study funded by the European Commission and involving 35 aviation and government groups is taking a serious look at single-pilot operations for airliners. Advanced Cockpit for Reduction of StreSs and workload (ACROSS) will spend more than $40 million studying creating an electronic copilot to keep the human pilot flying correctly. The project is being coordinated by Thales Avionics.

Airbus and Boeing are also taking part in the project. At first, the electronic gear will be aimed at allowing crew rest periods or to take over in case of pilot incapacitation but there seems little doubt about where this is heading according to Forbes contributor Matthew Stibbe. He opines that the initiative may lead to better safety gear for airliners but he wonders whether the flying public is ready for just one warm seat up front.

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