Was 2020 a lost year for aviation or an accelerator for innovation?: Signol Recap

Natalie LeRoy
January 14, 2021

In December 2020, Signol participated in  #rebootaviation’s roundtable discussion: Was 2020 a lost year for aviation or an accelerator for innovation? The panel explored COVID-19’s influence across all areas  of airline operations. In such times of austerity, marginal gains can create the most impact, and so Signol presented the opportunity of a behavior change technology focused on stacking up little improvements in efficiency. Here’s our highlights reel from the roundtable:

About #rebootaviation

#rebootaviation promotes digitization, automation, & optimization of airport processes. Signol is excited to join this group of startups that offer a variety of tools to make the operations of airports, airlines, ground handlers, and ATC more efficient, more effective, as well as safer.

Was 2020 a lost year for aviation or an accelerator for innovation?


Andreas Hofmann, Director Business Development at Amorph Systems

Rico Barandun, Head of Strategy and Business Development at Elenium

Lee Spencer, Founding Partner at UCHU Group

Natalie LeRoy, Product Manager at Signol

Jan Willem Kappes, Director Business Development at Assaia ApronAI

Vincent Lambercy, Founder of FoxATM

To address the changing landscape of aviation during 2020, members of #rebootaviation decided to recap experiences, effects, and shifts in day-to-day business as well as voice predictions and questions for the future. Overall, the consensus was that despite a lost year for revenue - as of August 2020, IATA reported that the airline industry suffered a 400bn loss, or about half of the earnings of 2019 - innovation gains were momentous. Indeed, COVID-19 pushed ahead developments that weren’t otherwise likely to happen for years.

For instance, Signol’s Natalie LeRoy spotlighted the industry’s interest in how behavioral science and the personalized campaigns of Signol can be applied to more than in-flight operations. Since COVID-19 began, Signol has experienced a new influx of requests to accommodate the shifting priorities of aviation companies. Priorities which we believe will be here to stay post-pandemic or ripple through the next 5 years.

Watch the clip here!

Natalie LeRoy from Signol and Vincent Lambercy from FofATM discuss the influence of COVID-19 crisis on ATC, ATM, and flight operations.

To save time and money, it’s likely that airports, airlines, and crews will have to collaborate more closely and work together to invest in systems that guarantee marginal gains. In the past, such changes have been on the horizon - “nice-to-haves” - but they’ve now arrived at the forefront of solutions. Airlines cannot afford to disregard small, simple changes in operations that save even $20 / flight over the course of 1k flights / day.

In this spirit, we’ve received requests for extending behavioral change beyond flight operations to silos such as:

  1. Flight planning and dispatch. Some airlines and countries feature heavier influence of flight planners and dispatch that can affect fuel savings and timing.
  2. Baggage handling. Airlines are encouraged to optimize all facets of turnaround time.
  3. Cargo. As cargo and charters get more space in the market, shipping companies are looking to optimize as well at scale.
  4. Private. In minimizing exposure to COVID-19, private fleets and charterers have picked up business.

Similarly, we’ve explored changing behavior across entire operational processes:

Turn around processes in individual airlines and co-op terminals:

  1. Assessing the time taken for ground power to be shut off and coaching and guiding workers responsible for APU to improve efficiency.
  1. Reviewing how customers are moved from the gate to boarding and the  onboarding procedures that encourage positive staff behaviors.
  1. Reviewing how operators achieve efficient aircraft turnaround times including: correct docking, receiving the plane, fueling, cleaning, baggage handling, and customer loading.

Finally, the aviation industry was already  grappling with fatigue and burnout, but with COVID-19, the pressure is on. Employees and trained individuals are exiting at a rate that isn’t sustainable for ongoing operations. As a result, airlines and aviation partners are further considering how wellness factors into the new climate. Signol can guide:

  1. Checking in on how affected employees are working
  2. Giving positive feedback on good performances
  3. Keeping employees engaged and involved through communication
  4. Collecting information for collaborative change
  5. Review incentives for collection of employee feedback to create more open discussions of policies and gather data that might otherwise be lost or go unaddressed

We’re excited to field requests from aviation partners that want to explore the Signol platform’s expansion beyond flight operations. Signol is actively searching for partners and innovative companies to trial personalized campaigns and their creation of marginal gains.

You can watch the full discussion of Was 2020 a lost year for aviation or an accelerator for innovation? on YouTube here.

Thanks to #rebootaviation for hosting the panel, we’re so happy to partner with all of the leaders in this community. Stay tuned for updates in the future and collaborative content! You can learn more about #rebootaviation here on LinkedIn. Sign up for their newsletter to get daily updates on aviation news!

About Signol

Signol is a software platform that draws on insights from behavioral economics to encourage employees to make more efficient decisions. Signol provides personalized feedback through multiple communication channels, as well as data analysis for managers. In aviation, Signol aims to use behavioral "nudges" and incentives to reduce pollution and fuel waste and cut operating costs.

Get a demonstration

Join us.
We're looking for partners who want to pull ahead using data driven decisions.

Get a demonstration
Curious? Keep in touch.
We promise to never send you anything less than fascinating.