Come fly with us

Thailand April 23, 2017 14:30

By The Nation

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Airbus has shortlisted the five student teams who have made it through to the finals of the fifth edition of the Fly Your Ideas contest thanks to their new technologies and business models that could well shape the future.

The key concept of the contest is to enhance innovations going from an alternative to satellite imagery, to improved aircraft taxiing, clever ways of boarding, new areas for luggage storage or offering a new business model using existing Airbus aircraft.

 Representing nine different nationalities and eight universities across Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific, the five finalist teams embody true diversity, which is a key driver of innovation and performance. Their inventive ideas were selected from more than 350 entries in Airbus’ biennial global student competition run in partnership with UNESCO.

Students’ ideas had to answer one of five challenges identified by Airbus to provide sustainable future solutions. The innovations proposed by the five finalist teams look at alternative business models, passengers’ experience and flight operations. 

The five finalist teams from Australia, France, Hong Kong, Nigeria and the UK will soon travel to Toulouse, France, where they will spend a week at the Airbus ProtoSpace facility to prototype, test and visualize their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with personal guidance from Airbus.

Team DAELead from The University of Hong Kong presents the Private Stowage Compartment – a clever aircraft cabin design that locates a Private Stowage Compartment (PSC) underneath passengers’ feet, utilising the space between the cabin floor and the cargo ceiling.

 Team Aquarius of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia invents the A400M Aerial Firefighting Platform that incorporates modular systems using pressurised fire retardant containers fixed to fast-loadable pallets for a network of Airbus A400M aircraft, to create a system of aerial firefighting platforms that can be used for rapid wildfire suppression. 

Team SkyVision from University of Surrey, UK develops the Airborne Earth Observation. A radical concept turns a commercial airliner into an “Earth Observation Device” by installing equipment into the belly of the aircraft to monitor ground activity during flight, while an alternative to satellite imagery gives new opportunities such as ecology analysis and urban planning. 

Team Nevada from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria introduces Improving Airport Taxi Flow and Efficiency. This is an airport taxiing system using sensors and algorithms for automated Ground Traffic Control, both in the tower and on the aircraft, to significantly improve aircraft traffic at airports and thus reduce emissions.

Team PassEx from Institut d’Administration des Entreprises – IAE Toulouse, France designs the Compact Luggage Strategy Mobile App. This revolutionary boarding system will connect a real-time mobile app to assign boarding status to passengers according to their luggage size. The Compact Luggage Strategy (CLS) addresses current storage issues in over-head compartments by distributing passengers across the aircraft according to the size of their baggage. 

The winning team will receive a €30,000 (Bt1.2 million) prize with the runner-up team receiving €15,000 at a live event taking place on May 17 in Toulouse.  Find out more at