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IATA WSOC2024: Embracing innovation & tech for safe and efficient operations

Under the theme, ‘Embracing Innovation and Technology for Safe and Efficient Operations’, the IATA World Safety and Operations Conference has developed four exciting tracks to consider the practical applications of innovation and technology. The four tracks covering Safety, Cabin Operations, Flight Operations, and Crisis Management will follow an opening plenary of VIP opening addresses and executive panels.

WSOC2024 is delighted, and honoured, that industry leaders that have already confirmed their participation to Conference plenary discussions include Abdelhamid Addou, Chair and CEO of sponsoring airline Royal Air Maroc; Mesfin Tasew Bekele, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO; Michele Merkle, ICAO ANB Director; Jennifer Homendy, NTSB Chair; Christian Scherer, Airbus Commercial Aircraft CEO; Marc Parent, CAE President and CEO.


The Safety track builds on the success of the 2023 World Safety and Operations Conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam whilst pivoting the sessions to the WSOC2024 theme “Embracing technology and innovation”.

Specifically, and associated with current IATA activities and campaigns on Safety Leadership; Accident Investigation; Risk-Based IOSA; and Runway Safety, panels will explore where technology may support advances to enhance safety performance and how innovation across current work practices may unlock better solution to current issues.

The safety track will challenge the status quo of what we do to enhance aviation safety around the world.

Key Panel Highlights

Safety Leadership: How the IATA Safety Leadership Charter is delivering practical actions that enhance organisational safety culture to support greater business and industry resilience; and how this mindset is critical to deliver the change management required to embrace complex and dynamic challenges around the adoption of new technology, the roadmap to a more sustainable aviation system, and continuous changes in the geopolitical landscape.

Accident Investigation: The IATA campaign for the delivery of timely and comprehensive Accident Investigation Reports, where States fulfil all requirements presented in ICAO Annex 13, continues to identify non-compliance. Panellists from FAA, IFALPA and BEA will discuss the issues and how, through creative means, industry can continue to learn from previous accidents to ensure similar events are avoidable in the future.

Risk-Based IOSA: As IOSA completes it move to a risk-based audit program, the session will discuss the importance of data to continuously evolve the program. It will explore how the new IATA Connect platform will unleash the next level of stakeholder collaboration by capturing and sharing safety insights from audits, how intelligence will inform thinking around variable audit periods, and the criticality of the IOSA Maturity Assessment.

Runway Safety: Incidents and accidents around runway incursions and runway excursions appear on the rise – is this a perceived or real concern that is bucking the trend of improved safety performance in aviation? This session will examine current trends; look at the recent evolution of industry-derived documentation such as GAPPRI and GAPPRE; and consider how technology can mitigate the risks of safety events occurring within the runway environment.

Cabin Operations

Cabin operations, and the need for highly-trained cabin crew to utilise well developed standard operating procedures, are critical for assuring the safety of all passengers within commercial aviation.

The WSOC Cabin Operations track provides a unique opportunity to bring together cabin safety specialists with global aviation regulators, operators, training and solution providers to discuss today’s key cabin safety issues. 

Topics included at WSOC2024 include the safe carriage of electronic devices and lithium batteries; evacuation of aircraft; the safety of passengers with disabilities; inadvertent slide deployment and cabin crew training innovations. 

While flying is now safer than ever, our passengers also have safety responsibilities that they are mostly unaware of, so we are including a session on how we might communicate these safety messages to them in a way that appeals to them and helps them understand more about how to fly safely.

These sessions aim to be fully interactive with the audience, actively encouraging open discussion and collaboration between our delegates and speakers with a common goal of improving inflight cabin safety around the world.

Crisis Management

The Crisis Management track is designed to provide aviation professionals with the knowledge and tools needed to effectively handle crises and enhance safety protocols in the modern operating environment. A high-level summary of topics include:

Corporate Apologies: How to Say Sorry in the Modern Operating Environment – explore the evolving landscape of corporate apologies and the importance of sincere, effective communication in crisis situations. Learn best practices for issuing apologies that maintain trust and integrity, even under challenging circumstances.

Cybersecurity and Its Link to Geopolitical Risk – the critical intersection of cybersecurity and geopolitical risk. Understand how global political dynamics can impact cybersecurity threats and what measures can be taken to protect aviation infrastructure from these emerging risks.

Aircraft Recovery Protocols – gain insights into the latest protocols and strategies for aircraft recovery following incidents. Learn from case studies and expert experiences to enhance your organization’s preparedness and response capabilities in the event of an aircraft recovery scenario.

Crisis Communication – learn of the principles of effective crisis communication. This topic will cover strategies for timely, transparent, and accurate information dissemination to stakeholders, passengers, and the public during a crisis. Emphasis will be placed on maintaining trust and managing the narrative.

Management Systems Approach to Managing Risk and Crisis Planning – explore comprehensive risk management systems and their application in crisis planning. Understand how to integrate risk management into your organizational culture, ensuring a proactive and systematic approach to identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks.

Flight Operations

Building on the success of the 2023 Conference, this year operations track will focus on the use of data, technology, and artificial intelligence across the aviation sector including:

Innovating Aviation Training: Learn about the latest developments in aviation training, such as competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) and the application of technology. Experts from regulatory bodies and the industry will discuss both the challenges and opportunities.

Future aircraft avionics: Blue-sky thinking is required for the application of future technologies to support aviation communication, navigation, and surveillance systems. This includes the arrival of new entrants and the ways to manage existing and emerging risks.

Future skies: Learn how a system change is needed to embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with the introduction of new entrants that rely on increasing levels of automation, such as advanced air mobility (AAM), supersonic and even hypersonic aircraft.

 Applied Flight Operations: This session will examine the development of technology in both the flight deck and beyond that using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Digitalization and Aircraft Maintenance: A look at the ways airlines are implementing new technologies to provide real-time data to improve aircraft maintenance. This includes sensors and connectivity infrastructure that capture information to enhance decision-making and cooperation.

Aircraft Health Management: Learn about the future of aircraft health management using technology to move from scheduled maintenance tasks and events to condition-based maintenance.

Technology Transforming the Role of Dispatch and Airline Ops Center: Discover how dispatch and operational control centers (OCC) will be impacted by the implementation of trajectory-based Operations (TBO) and system-wide information management (SWIM).
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