The increasing size of the middle class throughout the world has been the driver for traffic growth in the past 20 years and will continue to be the main growth driver for the next 20 years. It is expected that the middle class worldwide population will grow from over 2 billion people today to over 5 billion people by the early 2030s.
As a consequence airline traffic till the early 2030s is expected to match the growth pace of the past 20 years with a forecasted year over year growth of around 5%. This growth is the equivalent of doubling the total traffic every 15 years. In order to accommodate this increased volume of passengers, the airlines and the air traffic authorities of the world have two options: introduce larger capacity aircraft or add aircraft which requires improving the efficiency of the airspace.
Statistical data from the past 20 years has shown that while airlines have put more seats in airplanes, the average aircraft size has not increased. Therefore in order to accommodate over 20,000 new airplanes in the next 20 years, the airspace operators from all over the world – FAA with NextGen, Europe with SESAR and China with their ADS-B rollout – are introducing new onboard tools. One of these tools is a Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) application that provides through ADS-B inputs and outputs a clear picture of all the traffic surrounding the aircraft in the air and on the ground. It is a significant shift in the concept of service for airspace users, as we are going from a first come, first served philosophy to one of best equipped, first served.