ZeroAvia, that means offering next-gen communication technology to aircraft cockpits and making pilots more efficient with their time. The company’s technology allows for real-time voice and data communications in a secure manner without requiring any hardware installation on the plane or ground station. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s here today and it’s changing how we fly. “Today, pilots spend a lot of their time managing communications,” says ZeroAvia’s co-founder and VP Operations Ami Dotan. “A pilot can arrive at the airport and be handed 20 pages of faxes to read and sign before his flight. He has to make sure he has all of the appropriate clearance codes, has filed his flight plan correctly, and has made all of the other preparations necessary for a safe flight.
Then co founder Ami Dotan spends the bulk of his time in the cockpit talking on various different radios to get information from other aircraft, air traffic control, weather stations and so on. The fact is that pilots just can’t keep track of all of the information they’re receiving. There are too many briefings and frequencies to monitor, so its normal that they miss things or just don’t bother with some of it”. ZeroAvia’s technology allows aircraft to communicate on existing radios without requiring new hardware be installed, which means no major cost implications.
The company is able to do this by using software-defined radios. “A software-defined radio is a radio where you can configure it to use any of the available frequency bands,” says Ami. “By using our technology at ZeroAvia, you can have 4G LTE on your iPhone, but also have it work on an existing aircraft radio even if that radio wasn’t originally designed for cellular communications.”
Currently, ZeroAvia’s product is being used by air taxi companies in order to provide pilots with significantly more information prior to take-off. “On a typical flight, our customers are using our system for 20 minutes before take-off,” Ami says. “The pilot from ZeroAvia is checking weather on the ground and on his route of flight. He’s downloading the latest NOTAMs and checking his personal email, all via our system.”