Why test automation is so critical to the aviation sector

Oct. 5, 2020
It is crucial to check each line of code for defects, and each software unit should be tested how well it integrates with other units, says ACCELQ director of solutions engineering Stephen Rosing.

Stephen Rosing, Director of Solutions Engineering at ACCELQ

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., - The big giants in the airline industry have started emphasizing on building apps that will ensure a seamless and hassle-free travel and booking experience for the travelers. It can be achieved to a large extent through “test automation.” The article discusses the importance of test automation in the aviation sector.

The need for the test automation platforms in the aviation sector is rising; hence the companies should shift their focus from manual testing processes to modern ones, leveraging automation testing to validate and map technology, logistics systems, control, and management systems together. 

Leveraging test automation in the testing process as part of the quality assurance solutions help in streamlining test cycles and allowing quick version deployment and approval.

No doubt, implementing test automation in the aviation industry will not only enhance the safety of the air travelers but also help provide them a hassle-free and smooth experience.

How Can a Minor Glitch Turn a Company Upside Down?

While an airplane takes off, there are hundreds of millions of codes run in the background within several components. Now, it is crucial to check each line of code for defects, and each software unit should be tested how well it integrates with other units.

You might have heard several instances of software glitches in the aviation sector in the past decade that have turned a company upside down. In one such incident, Air France and Lufthansa, leading software system suppliers to British Airways, have experienced a software glitch in their system on September 28, 2017, due to which their check-in system crashed for 15 minutes during the holiday season. This led to thousands of customer filing complaints as almost 70,000 passengers were affected, and six hundred flights were canceled.

Customer loyalty is so important these days, and it can weaken instantly, the moment a customer becomes unsatisfied. Even a small glitch can negatively impact airline brands and lead to a huge loss in their profits as there is a higher chance that unsatisfied customers will move on to a competitor.

Here are some of the key challenges or hurdles in the growth of the aviation sector:

  • Systems safety and performance

  • Maintaining competitive cost pressure

  • Increasing consumer expectations

  • Increased global competition

  • Growing focus on customer experience

  • Continuous investment in improving efficiency

  • Improvement of in-flight connectivity

  • Identification and fixing of configuration issues

    Continuous innovations and upgrades

  • Managing the development of invalid input tests which lead to security breaches

With the onset of the digital revolution, customers have suddenly got more power who expect nothing less than a seamless and hassle-free experience.

In order to match the rising expectations and to overcome the above challenges, the aviation industry is focusing on building apps that offer a smooth and hassle-free travel and booking experience to the passengers.

Importance of Test Automation in the Aviation Sector

Software testing processes still rely heavily on manual efforts, which does not match up with this fast-paced industry. The new era demands modern automation testing in order to thrive in the agile world.

Automation testing can be leveraged to test dedicated modeling and simulation solutions for aircraft systems.

These simulation systems were extensively tested using manual testing practices in the past. But as it is the case in almost any domain, manual testing showed to be very tedious, error-prone, and effort-intensive. There was a need for proper infrastructure and a system for test automation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the testing practices.

To adopt such a system, it is crucial to first conduct a detailed requirement planning activity to ensure that the testing tool can be easily adaptable to test different models and types of simulation systems along with a clear understanding of the software architecture of the simulation.

Additionally, as more and more passengers prefer to book their airline tickets online, it is crucial for the airlines to focus on the customer experience their websites or mobile applications offer. 

With automation testing, the testing efforts will reduce by several-fold, and test engineers will be able to test more effectively and more efficiently. Test automation allows multiple tests to run in parallel, which not only eliminates the extra work but increases the test coverage and helps achieve reduced costs.

It is crucial that writing test cases using the automation tool did not require expert-level coding skills, and testers should be able to write test scripts easily with minimal effort. 

ACCELQ’s codeless test automation and agile test management platform provides an ideal ecosystem enabling the QA team to kick off automation in no time. It uses the power of modern technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analysis in test automation, which makes it an ideal platform for implementing automation in agile delivery.

The aviation industry is undergoing a massive digital transformation, and the customers are looking for complete digitization from the businesses. If a company wants to survive or beat the competition, it needs to make its internal processes robust with the help of automation.

It’s not only about the continuous improvement in the software quality process, but the QA team should expand their skills too with learning on the new tools, modern testing techniques, to measure their efficiency against the management objectives effectively.

It is crucial for the airline companies to have a proper digital assurance strategy in place by selecting the right tools, methodologies, and testing measures in order to ensure a seamless customer experience. Modern manual testing, coupled with a combination of top test automation tools and an integrated team, is the perfect recipe to keep the aviation industry en route on its digital roadmap. 

The implementation of test automation serves as a power booster to bring the QA into the DevOps world where there are no software glitches and chaos at the airports caused due to those software glitches.

It’s not about why the aviation industry should incorporate test automation in their software testing processes; it’s about how soon it will be integrated within the system to enhance the quality standards by many folds.

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