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  • Writer's pictureThe Redeye

Would you remove the Airplane Galley?

Can lockers and new automation improve the flight experience?

An airplane galley is usually used for a kitchen space, but on some aircrafts, it can serve as a sleeping compartment, an office space, and more. This overabundance of uses makes it difficult for the flight crew to operate most efficiently.

And now, there’s a radical idea going around about the galley: To do away with it altogether and replace it with something better. And by the looks of it, the new suggestions would make piloting a whole lot better.

Remove the Galley

Associate creative director at Teague, Bernadette Berger, wants to do away with the galley. In its place, she wants to add automated lockers and vending machines. These electric capsules could potentially contain any flight-safe item that the passengers (or even pilots!) could want. Think hamburger and fries with a nice warm blanket to-go.

The idea was inspired by Japanese vending machine. Specifically, many advanced vending machines in Japan are able to keep a wide variety of stock fresh until purchased. As an added bonus, these self-service machines could even work as viable real estate for retail items for passengers to purchase.

But if you can’t imagine getting fresh food from a vending machine, there are still more options being explored. One concept involves storing an inventory of food below the cabin. When ordered, robots would take the request, find the food, heat it up, and deliver the perishable item whenever a passenger orders it.

According to Berger,

“The storing and warming of food will be automated with robotic systems. The condensed packaging of ready-made food can be sorted and stored all in the lower lobe. Without the need for flight-attendants to locate and prep food, future galleys below deck can be incredibly dense and managed through inventory data. Once a meal is ordered by a passenger, robotic arms can locate and transport the meal to the prep area for warming. The robotic arms will then transport the warmed meal to the elevator and the waiting flight attendant.”

With Berger’s ideas, warmed food will be available on-demand for pilots or passengers. Plus a whole lot of extra floor space where another row could be added. Or even beds for the crew on 17-hour flights.

Automation Has Its Perks

As an pilot, you’re likely no stranger to some of the advancements automation has brought the airline industry. Flight Management System, or FMS, for example takes a pilot’s input for the flight and determines the optimal way to get there. Sure FMS is fantastic, but we could do so much more to improve the piloting experience. And these galley substitute concepts sound pretty good.

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