Flying solo: Technology takes aim at co-pilots
Whether passengers will be willing to use a single-pilot plane depends largely on cost, according to Ashley Nunes, a research fellow at Harvard Law School.
“For the average consumer, cash is king. If the price is low enough, you’re going to catch that flight,” he said. “The saga with the Boeing 737 MAX is a great example of this; in the aftermath of that particular event, large groups of consumers said, ‘We’re not going to fly that plane.’ And guess what? They’re flying it today.”
But reducing the number of pilots on board may not in fact drive down airlines’ costs and allow them to offer cheaper flights, Nunes warned: “There are numerous industries where you remove the human, your costs actually increase because of the amount of safety oversight that is required for the technology.”