EasyJet to employ drones to do safety checks
EasyJet like safety, because there's no worse publicity you can have than your aircraft being strewn across a field, filled with cadavers that have been split open like watermelons. Unless you're into that sort of thing.
So, with safety in mind, they're looking into having drones carrying out inspections on its fleet of 220 Airbus aircraft.
Insert your own 'drone = humans' joke here.
These drones - formerly known as 'remote control helicopters' - will be programmed to fly around planes and assess them for problems, reporting back on any damage that might need inspection or maintenance work.
They're currently in development with a potential trial in the next few months, and if it goes well, they'll be in operation as of 2015.
EasyJet's head of engineering Ian Davies said: "Drone technology could be used extremely effectively to help us perform aircraft checks. Checks that would usually take more than a day could be performed in a couple of hours and potentially with greater accuracy."
His boss, EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall added: "We have examined and assessed cutting edge technology across many different industries and are now applying a range of new technologies to the aviation sector for the first time to help us run our fleet of aircraft more effectively, efficiently and safely."
"The advantage of these emerging technologies is threefold - freeing up our engineering team to undertake more skilled tasks, keeping our costs down which in turn keeps our fares low and helping to minimise delays so maintaining our industry leading punctuality for our passengers."
"Safety is our number one priority and so all of these new technologies will be applied by our experienced engineering and flight crew to ensure our leading safety record is maintained."
So, next time you fly with EasyJet, if you see little drones flying alongside you while you hurtle through the sky in a flammable metal sausage, start fiddling with your rosary beads.