Artificial Intelligence to help manage airspace incidents in Dubai
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has launched a new artificial intelligence-led programme that will help manage airspace-related incidents.
The system, called Integrated Investigation and Notification (IIAN), will be a virtual manager and push through notifications to concerned people at the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) once any kind of incident occurs, including airspace and ground-related incidents.
The IIAN has been launched to help the DCAA respond faster to problems and improve efficiency among staff in the authority. Part of the system functions using artificial intelligence (AI) and will also help predict what the root of the problem is.
Abdulla Mohammed Al Blooshi, head of accidents investigations section at the DCAA, told Khaleej Times: "The system is born from our weakness. We had weaknesses in the system itself which delayed the process and made it very difficult to follow up certain investigations to a level we wanted to. However, we turned our weaknesses to strengths by using this system. We created a specific feature to target every weakness that we have and each feature is quite unique and innovative. It integrates the notification side of the investigation. Basically, the air control tower usually calls us if they need to notify us, but through the system, they will be able to type in the notification and they can send it to our duty investigator, who in turn will verify the information before pressing the submit button."
The IIAN also creates a chat system and automatically invites all the necessary staff it thinks should be involved in dealing with the problem.
It can also send text messages, emails and call an employee's phone to alert him or her of any notification.
Al Blooshi said AI will play a larger role once the employees at the DCAA start the investigation process. The IIAN will be able to use its AI and give thorough research or supporting documents that may help the investigator solve a case, as well as detect what possibly could have caused an accident.
"The AI in the system will analyse each image and from its database and it will recognise what might have caused the damage - a drone, a bird or the ground equipment," he said.
Since 2015, there have been four incidents where drones have caused either the Dubai or Sharjah airports to shut down, costing the aviation industry millions of dollars.
When asked if the IIAN will help the DCAA gain efficiency, especially when dealing with situations as drones flying in restricted airspace areas, Al Blooshi said that currently it takes the DCAA "some time to gather some information". However, now they can produce faster solutions with the help of the IIAN.