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With the innovation in aviation and the continuous growth of aircraft speed, nowadays we can travel further and faster by air within shorter time. The following chart shows the increment of aircraft speed in 70 years.
The cruise speed of 1940s propeller-driven aircraft increased from about 100 to 300 knots over a period of 20 years, for Boeing and Douglas aircraft. At the start of the commercial jet age, at the end of the 1950s, cruise speeds were about 450 knots. The majority of turbofan-powered aircraft in today's world fleet have average cruise speeds of about 500 knots.
The global airline industry expanded by 12% in 2010 to generate revenue of more than $501 billion. It is predicted that the aviation industry will be worth $714 billion in 2015, representing 42% growth in five years. In terms of volume, the global airline industry grew 6% in 2010 to reach almost 2.4 billion passengers; this figure is forecast to climb more than 28% by 2015 to exceed 3 billion passengers.
The following video shows an animation of all commercial air traffic in the world during a 24-hour period, with each point of light represents a plane.
Aviation is a vital part of the increasingly globalised world economy, facilitating the growth of international trade, tourism and international investment, and connecting people across continents. The economic impacts and benefits of aviation can be summarised as the following (hover the mouse over the head bar to view):
The world’s airlines carry over 2.6 billion passengers a year and 48 million tonnes of freight. Providing these services generates 8.4 million direct jobs within the air transport industry and contributes $539 billion to global GDP, larger than the pharmaceuticals ($445 billion), the textiles ($236 billion) or the automotive industries ($484 billion) and around half as big as the global chemicals ($977 billion) and food and beverage ($1,162 billion) sectors.
Over 9.3 million indirect jobs globally (aviation fuel suppliers; construction companies that build airport facilities, etc.) are supported through the purchase of goods and services by companies in the air transport industry. These indirect jobs contributed approximately $618 billion to global GDP in 2010.
Worldwide, nearly 4.4 million induced jobs globally (retail outlets, companies producing consumer goods, banks and restaurants, etc.) are supported through employees in the air transport industry. The induced contribution to global GDP is estimated at $288 billion in 2010.
Benefits to tourism
Aviation plays a central role in supporting tourism. Over 51% of international tourists now travel by air. Tourism is particularly important in many developing countries, where it is a key part of economic development strategies. Air transport supports 34.5 million jobs within tourism, contributing around $762 billion a year to world GDP.
Contribution to world trade
Today, air transport is a vital component of many industries’ global supply chain, used primarily for the transfer of time sensitive goods. High-value, lightweight and sensitive electrical components are transported by air from manufacturing facilities all over the world to be assembled. While accounting for less than 0.5% of the tonnage of global trade, air freight makes up over a third of the value of international trade.
Stimulus for greater productivity
Improved connectivity by aviation opens up new markets and boosts exports, drives down costs and prices for firms that have a comparative advantage. It can further enhance an economy’s performance by making it easier for firms to invest aboard. The greater links to the outside world often drive a more conducive global business environment.
Influence on innovation
Air transport is a technology-advanced industry heavily involved in the production of high-specification products which drives research and development in a number of areas. This focus on research and innovation across the sector not only leads to more efficient aircraft technology and operational practices but also helps build research capacity at universities and skills across society.
As well as being very exciting, airplane travel really can be one of the most efficient ways to travel around the world. The availability of cheap air travel means that it is now easy for almost anyone to fly anywhere. Nobody can doubt the fact that our lives have been changed by air travel.
Speed:It is much faster to travel by plane; it is possible to cross to the other side of the world in less than a day. It is now possible to easily go to places that would previously been too far away for most of us to travel to.
Safety: When you are looking for a safe way to travel from one place to another, air travel is near the top.
Cost: It is now possible to get to destinations all over the world at very affordable prices because of the availability of cheap flights.
Comfort: Airplanes can be quite comfortable with quality food, entertainment, and this makes it a nice way to travel.
Convenience:You can book air tickets easily online or by making a phone call. Most international airports are equipped with comprehensive facilities such as WiFi can car rental services.
Cost: Airline travel is costly in general compared with other methods. It's possible to get a low-priced ticket if you purchase it far in advance, but if you need to fly at the last minute, expect to pay a premium for your flight.
Flight delays: Having your flight delayed is a significant disadvantage of flying on an airplane. a long delay can force you to miss a connecting flight or business engagement.
Travel to airport: Most airports will be situated on the outskirts of the city. Considering the time to/from airport and the time waiting around before taking off, plane travel can sometimes end up as long as other types of travel, particularly short flights.
Security checks: There are a lot of people who feel that the hassle involved with security checks on airplanes can be quite troublesome.
You do not have nearly the same room for movement on a plane as you do on a train.
Lost luggages: One of the worst parts about flying is learning that your luggage hasn't arrived at your destination. While numbers show that the odds of having your baggage lost are low, missing luggage is a serious inconvenience for those affected.
Limited space: Some economy sections of certain planes are quite crammed and there is very little room.
Sir Richard Branson examines the history of aviation over the last two hundred years, putting the spotlight on trailblazers such as Tony Jannus, who made the first ever commercial flight over Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1914, Leo Valentin, the "bird man" who jumped from 9,000 feet wearing a pair of wooden wings in the 1950s, and Steve Fossett, who broke 130 world records in planes, balloons, and airships. The pioneers of flight made it possible for any of us with the desire and the commitment to reach for the skies ourselves.
An extraordinary visual history. Fortunately the Wright brothers' first flight was captured forever by photography. A spectacular visual record accompanies every step of aviation's astonishing advances, and memorable images record travel events, such as the Hindenburg disaster. Flight is a comprehensive history of air travel as told through four hundred dramatic photographs.
Journal of Commerce - Air Cargo News
The Journal of Commerce (JOC) is the "leading information and marketing services provider for the domestic and international containerized cargo community" (JOC website)
Explore these links to find the latest news on aviation industry from the Journal of Commerce website:
TikiToki enables you to create interactive multimedia timelines that can include text, images and even videos. You can sign up for an account that allows you to create one free timeline. Reference: Click (i) above
Reference: trinerm21, 2013 Changes of air transportation over time. [Online] Available at: http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/98519/Changes-of-air-transportation-over-time/#vars!date=1903-12-17_00:00:00! [Accessed 17 September 2013].
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