INAIR 2020

We are already used to distance education in “virtual world”. However, at the Air Transport Department, Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications, University of Žilina we have not yet had virtual scientific conferences with international participation. We didn't even want to have it - until the last moment, we believed that we would be able to make the ninth international conference on air transport "live" with the participation of guests from all over the world. But, it didn't happen.

But saying, " Unfortunately, it didn't happen, ," would be at least inappropriate in our case. Virtual world is no longer a scarecrow for us. It inspires us to think about how to make things smarter and more engaging.

On the 4th and 5th November 2020, it was our task to secure that each of the 40 speakers present their paper without any problems. We set up a virtual conference studio and started.

Our main intention was to bring good quality information on current development in the field of air transport to participants and also allow them to have the opportunity join a professional discussion. Main topics were mainly related to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on air transport, future perspectives, but also technical aspects of airport operations, regional air transport using hybrid-electric aircraft, ultra-long-distance air transport, prediction of airport infrastructure failures, aspects of fatigue in the performance of flying crews, or a scientific view of maintenance and repair of aircrafts.

One of the keynote speakers, Michael TMEJ (Fig. 2 - top row on the left), CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Košice Airport, outlined a vision of how small regional airports will "survive" the current crisis and how they can function successfully in the future.

Benedikt BADÁNIK (Fig. 2 - top row on the right) was a "more visible" member of Air Transport Department team at the INAIR 2020 conference in the role of moderator. He relied on the support of "less visible", but all the more valuable colleagues from the "broadcasting team" (especially Juliana BLAŠKOVA, Matúš MATERNA and Filip ŠKULTÉTY). "Thank you very much for your support, it would not be possible without you!"

Miroslav ŠPÁK (Fig. 2 - bottom row on the left) represented the organization for the safety of air navigation services in Europe (EUROCONTROL, Belgium) and provided details on improvements to the methodology for selecting an alternate airport in flight planning.

Matija BRAČIĆ (Fig. 2 - bottom row on the right) from the University of Zagreb analyzed the recommended measures in connection with COVID-19 in ensuring the smooth movement of passengers in airport terminals in Croatia.

We would like to thank all the speakers for keeping their favour with us. Thanks to them, the INAIR 2020 Conference could be what we wanted it to be - a professional discussion forum where the academic community meets with representatives of air transport companies to exchange views and share experiences.

At the same time, we would like to thank all those who contributed to the fact that the conference was a top professional event, especially the chairwoman of the scientific committee of the conference prof. Anna TOMOVÁ. Head of the Air Transport Department prof. Andrej NOVÁK. Members of the Scientific Committee, a members of the Conference Organizing Committee, the entire Air Transport Department team and all teams who supported the INAIR2020 conference in any other way.

It is not for us to evaluate the level of the INAIR 2020 conference. However, our guests shared their impressions. 

Doris NOVAK, Department of Aviation, University of Zagreb Croatia: „Excellent topics, nice organisation through MS Teams, very interesting for me and also for my collegues - Matija who also participated, as well as one of our student with her mentor (Dorea Antolović).“

In conclusion, we think that the INAIR 2020 conference was specific from two points of view. For the first time in its history, it offered participants a "virtual experience". The second (perhaps also positive) peculiarity was that the conference participants could spend the social evening at home with their families.

We took a break from the conference for a week, but today we discussed with our colleagues at the department how we will make next year's INAIR 2021 Conference even better. And maybe in some more exotic place than a laptop monitor.

assoc. prof. Benedikt BADÁNIK
Air Transport Department
Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications
University of Žilina

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