EasyJet to use drones to inspect planes

British carrier EasyJet will soon start using drone technology/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to scan and assess its fleet of planes.

EasyJet on Thursday confirmed that it was modifying an unmanned drone in partnership with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, CopterCraft and Measurement Solutions; and that trials of the technology could be started within the next few months.

The unmanned drones will inspect and assess the carrier's planes and report back to engineers in case they detect any damage.

Revealing the plans, the carrier said in statement, "The drones will be programmed to scan and assess the planes, reporting back to engineers on any damage which may require further inspection or maintenance work."

Dr. Arthur Richards, of Bristol Robotics Laboratory, said plane inspection would be a great application for smart navigation & computer vision-equipped UAVs as they can provide engineers with accurate data from hard-to-reach places.

Alongside the drone technology, EasyJet is experimenting with augmented reality glasses as well as new diagnostics programs that provide its engineers a better idea regarding planes in real time during the flights.

In addition, the carrier is advancing with is so-called "paperless plane" policy, which aims to de-clutter its planes by equipping pilots with tablets. In other words, pilots will not use printed log books. This measure is expected to save nearly £278,000 ($500,000) per year in fuel costs.