Drone technology provides a range of opportunities to increase efficiencies across the industry, IATA has said.
The air cargo sector will have the chance to open new routes, reduce costs and increase revenues.
Drones will also offer opportunities to transport humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Using automated drones can make the aircraft inspection process up to 20 times faster
Meanwhile, in airport operations, drones can accelerate the aircraft inspection process.
Today the vast majority of inspections are conducted visually, but using automated drones can make the process up to 20 times faster—reducing aircraft downtime.
Drones can also reduce the risk of aircraft damage caused by bird strikes. Drones that look like birds and mimic their movements can chase away their living counterparts.
Long-term, IATA has said that it is foreseeable that unmanned aircraft will even be used to transport passengers.
However, Rob Eagles, IATA Director, ATM Infrastructure, says safety will remain the industry’s overarching priority when introducing all forms of drone technology.
“Our goal is to facilitate this new branch of aviation by developing standards to support safe, efficient, orderly, and sustainable high-frequency drone operations into the airspace system,” he said.