PLANES without pilots could be used for passenger air travel in the future – and much sooner than you might expect.

Knowing that there's at least two trained people in charge of the aircraft makes flying a lot less stressful.

However, those people could soon be taken out of the equation with "autonomous" planes a potential way for airlines to cut costs.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said there are still some processes to work out before it can be implemented properly, but said it's not that far away.

He told Bloomberg TV: “It’s going to take time. Everyone’s got to build confidence. We need a certification process that we all have faith and believe in.”

Forbes claim that small, self-flying planes "could be carrying passengers by the end of this decade".

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However, not everyone in the aviation industry is convinced that it's a good idea just yet – especially pilots.

Dennis Tajer, who has been a pilot for 35 years and is spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association said the idea was focused exclusively on saving money.

He told Forbes: “It’s all about money. Manufacturers are looking for the next innovative technology to deploy so that they can sell it and make money, and airlines are looking at how they can do this more cheaply.”

The technology isn't that new, with autonomous planes having been used for military purposes for decades.

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However, airline manufacturers are reportedly now looking at using the tech for commercial flights.

It's expected that once it's brought in, safety pilots would initially need to be on board the plane, in case of any problems.

They would be able to manually override the self-flying plane's systems and steer the plane manually.

To begin with, the technology is likely to be used on board cargo planes.

However, passenger aircraft are likely to follow suit soon after.

Stephane Fymat, who helps create autopilot systems for planes said: "All of these companies are really looking forward to the day where there will not be a pilot on board. They’re all planning for it, in fact, and we’re helping them get there.”

Pilotless travel has been proposed before, with Boeing previously suggesting that self-flying planes are possible thanks to drone technology.

And travel booking company has invested into Zuri, a pilotless plane that could carry up to four passengers.

The company said that it would be looking to producing a functional prototype of the plane with the initial investment.

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Meanwhile, these genius plane designs could transform air travel.

And this triple decker sky whale airliner could carry as many as 755 passengers at a time.

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