On April 29, Inmarsat Aviation, in collaboration with APEX, will bring together a host of aviation leaders, industry bodies, global airlines, ecosystem partners, industry analysts and commentators through a combination of streamed interviews, virtual panels, live discussion and interactive Q&A. Register now to watch the broadcast, and to receive updates on contributors as they are confirmed.

With just one week to go, APEX Media director Maryann Simson interviewed Dominic Walters, vice-president, Inmarsat Aviation, about the reasoning and logistics behind this colossal effort. Simson will team up with Alex Preston, editor at HMG Aerospace, to present global and regional headlines during the broadcast.

Why is Inmarsat staging this online broadcast event?

I’ve had discussions with people from across the global aviation industry over the past couple of months about the impact of COVID-19. The general consensus, even amongst those who have worked in aviation for decades, is that the industry has never faced a bigger crisis. Companies have quickly redirected their focus to deal with their specific challenges, but there is also a lot to learn from coming together as an industry, sharing experiences and expertise, and looking at what can be done to accelerate recovery. We just needed the right platform to make that happen.

What We’re Made Of: How the Aviation Industry Is Rising to the Challenge During COVID-19

Inmarsat Aviation is normally focused on connecting our industry at 30,000ft, but given the scale of this crisis and the challenges we are all facing, we developed the concept of FlightPlan to bring our industry together at this critical time.

Why is Inmarsat partnering with APEX? Who else is involved?

APEX is a very important part of the aviation industry. They have been a powerful voice over the past few months, representing their members and airlines as a whole with governments and authorities such as the United Nations and US Congress during this moment of crisis.

It’s really fantastic that so many others from the industry have also rallied around this event. We will have contributions from airline executives, including the CEOs of Avianca and Delta Air Lines, in addition to trade bodies such as IATA, the European Space Agency and ATAG, and aviation ecosystem partners ranging from Airbus and Rolls Royce to Collins Aerospace, Deutsche Telekom, Honeywell and Panasonic Avionics.

A number of leading journalists will also play a key role on the day and our media partners including APEX Media, Air Transport World, Inflight, Paxex.aero and Simple Flying.

How long have you been developing FlightPlan and how are you going to deliver the experience?

It’s amazing to think the timeframe from planting the seed to broadcasting the event is only two months. The concept of a seven-hour online broadcast for the aviation industry is really unique and I have no doubt it would normally take several months to plan, but we had to act a lot faster.

Given current restrictions in place, most filming is taking place remotely from the homes of contributors, with technology that we’ve all become accustomed to now. We are using Skype to film the majority of content remotely, and the event will be broadcast using live video platform Wavecast. As you can imagine, organizing an all-day broadcast completely virtually has not been easy, but with the help of our production team we are confident we will deliver a truly unique event for the industry.

How will people be able to interact?

We’ve included a number of interactive Q&As in the agenda, so viewers can easily interact with us and other participants on the day. In addition, we will be checking the #FlightPlan social media feed and encouraging people to join the conversation online.

The full agenda has been divided into short segments with a combination of streamed interviews, virtual panels and live discussions, so people can easily watch the sections that are most relevant to them, at times that can work around their schedules.

Can you share some of the key topics, guests, sessions that will add value for attendees?

COVID-19 is naturally dominating the news agenda at the moment and we have a dedicated session to discuss the impact on aviation, with learnings from previous pandemics such as SARS and MERS. At the same time, it’s important to continue driving debate on wider industry issues, from next-generation passenger trends and the future of air travel technology to short and long-term solutions for tackling aviation sustainability. These topics will make up a substantial part of our agenda for the day.

What do you hope attendees will take away from this?

This event is unique in that participants will hear from both a wide range of leading industry stakeholders, such as airlines, trade bodies and analysts, as well as thought leaders outside of the industry, including behavioral science expert Rory Sutherland. We hope that FlightPlan will provide a platform for the aviation industry to not only learn from each other, but to also hear the views and innovative thinking from individuals outside of the sector. More than anything, we hope it will offer some much-needed relief and confidence that the aviation industry will come out of this, just as it has done with all historic challenges.

AIX Hamburg would normally be a launchpad for new products and services – do you plan to make any key announcements on April 29th?

Inmarsat will not be making any major announcements on 29th April – but we will be curating news from across the industry in three news segments throughout the day. We hope your readers will tune in to find out more on the day!