The advantages and disadvantages of air transport

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					The advantages and disadvantages of air transport.
Air transport is of recent origin in the development of transport system of a country. It is the gift
of 20th century to the world. The second world ware has stimulated the growth of air transport
and it has made progress in the recent years because it is the fastest way of transporting of goods.
The transport of goods through airways is costly and therefore it is designated to carry costly
goods of small quantity.
The following are some of the advantages of air transport:
I. High Speed:
Air transport is the fastest mode of transport and therefore suitable carriage of goods over a long
distance requiring less time. There is no substitute for air transport when the transport of goods is
required urgently.

II. Quick Service:
Air transport provides comfortable, efficient and quick transport service. It is regarded as best
mode of transport for transporting perishable goods.

III. No Infrastructure Investment:
Air transport does not give emphasis on construction of tracks like railways. As no capital
investment in surface track is needed, it is a less costly mode of transport.

IV. Easy Access:
Air transport is regarded as the only means of transport in those areas which are not easily
accessible to other modes of transport. It is therefore accessible to all areas regardless the
obstruction of land.

V. No Physical Barrier:
Air transport is free from physical barriers because it follows the shortest and direct routes where
seas, mountains and forests do not obstruct.

VI. Natural Route:
Aircrafts travels to any place without any natural obstacles or barriers. Because the custom
formalities are compiled very quickly. It avoids delay in obtaining clearance.

VII. National Defence:
It plays a significant role in the national defense of the country because modern wars are
conducted with the help of aero planes. Airways has a upper hand a destroying the enemy in a
short period.
Inspite of many advantages air transport has a number of disadvantages. These disadvantages
I. Risky:
    Air transport is the most risky form of transport because a minor accident may put a substantial
    loss to the goods, passengers and the crew. The chances of accidents are greater in comparison to
    other modes of transport.

    II. Very Costly:
    Air transport is regarded as the costliest mode of transport. The operating cost of aero-planes are
    higher and it involves a great deal of expenditure on the construction of aerodromes and aircraft.
    Because of this reason the fare of air transport are so high that it becomes beyond the reach the
    common people.

    III. Small Carrying Capacity:
    The aircrafts have small carrying capacity and therefore these are not suitable for carrying bulky
    and cheaper goods. the load capacity cannot be increased as it is found in case of rails.

    IV. Unreliable:
    Most of the air transport are uncertain and the unreliable because these are controlled by weather
    condition. It is seriously affected by adverse weather conditions. Fog, snow and heavy rain
    weather may cause cancellation of some flights.

    V. Huge Investment:
    Air transport requires huge investment for construction and maintenance of aerodromes. It also
    requires trained, experienced and skilled personnel which involves a substantial investment.

    Different Types of Air Transportation

    Hot air balloons are among the many forms of air transportation mankind has invented.

    A number of different types of air transportation exist, both commercially and privately. Some of
    these types have been developed over the course of decades or even centuries to meet the needs
    of modern humans. Each different type is unique in the way it achieves flight, the speed
    it travels and the sustainability of its voyage. Many of the inventions have developed into large
    scale industries. However, some methods are still in their infancy, or they merely represent a
    small niche within the world of flight.

1. Hot Air Balloons
o   The first successful type of air transportation that carried humans was the hot air balloon. The
    Montgolfier brothers developed the idea of designing a large bag or balloon that held hot air in
    the late 1700s. Passengers and the heat source were placed in a gondola or wicker basket
    underneath the balloon. Since hot air rises, the balloon flew according to the direction of the
    wind. By cooling the balloon's temperature, the passengers safely floated back to earth. Today's
    hot air balloons use almost the exact same technology, however, they are able to design the
    balloons into nearly any shape imaginable.
o   An offshoot of the hot air balloon is the blimp. Blimps have been around since the end of the
    19th century and were first used as scouting tools by various militaries. The technology has
    developed into a convenient and cost-effective way to travel and advertise products. To float,
    blimps use hot air and large fans attached to the gondola underneath. They can be deflated for
    storage or transportation and inflated cheaply when service is needed. Arguably, the Goodyear
    Blimp is the most famous of this mode of transportation, seen at sporting games and events
    around the world.
o   Zeppelins were built in the early 20th century, based on designs by Count Ferdinand von
    Zeppelin. Visually, zeppelins appear very much like blimps. However, they differ on two key
    points: zeppelins have a metal skeleton with a rigid covering, and they are filled with hydrogen.
    These two elements made zeppelins much larger than blimps and capable of sustaining long-
    distance flights. During World War I, they were introduced as the first flying machine to practice
    bombing runs. Through the successive decades, zeppelins were used in the first commercial
    airline service, ferrying passengers from Germany to the Americas. Unfortunately, the zeppelin
    industry was destroyed by the public outcry from the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, when a zeppelin
    exploded over New Jersey, killing 35 people.
o   The fixed-wing aircraft is the most popular form of air transportation available. According to
    FlightAware, a flight tracking organization, there are 49,315 commercial flights around the
    world each day that use fixed-wing aircraft. Nearly 1.1 billion people are flown each year. Fixed-
    wing aircraft are distinguishable from other types of air transportation in that they achieve lift
    through forward motion. A long runway is needed for the vehicles to achieve enough velocity to
    become airborne. Airplanes use a propeller or jet engine to power the aircraft, and the wings act
    as a stabilizer for keeping the vehicle in the air.
    The first design for functional fixed-wing aircraft dates back to the 1800s. Most of these designs
    were models that were not large enough to hold passengers. The first official sustained flight was
    performed by the Wright Brothers on Dec. 17, 1903. Over the next decade, advances in the
    technology continued. World War I became the first full-scale testing ground for fixed-wing
    aircraft. Thousands of planes were built for the purpose of spying, bombing and fighting. By the
    time the war ended, aviation had become a science. Following the war, larger passenger planes
    were produced, and ultimately, the jet engine was designed, making way for one of the fastest
    modes of transportation in the world. Airplanes are used by militaries and civilian agencies
    around the world. They have been incorporated with luxurious facilities in the case of passenger
    planes and extensive weapons systems for military use.
o   With the success of the fixed-wing aircraft, engineers and technicians looked for a way to make
    the general principles of airplanes, sustained and fast flight, more efficient. The goal was to
    develop a flying vehicle that could take off from a sitting position and carry people to another
    location. This invention is the helicopter. Helicopters are propelled using horizontal rotors
    consisting of two or more blades. These blades rotate around the top of the machine, and achieve
    lift, pulling the body of the helicopter along. Designs for the helicopter had been conceived as far
    back as the 1480s, with Leonard da Vinci. However, it wasn't until the early 1900s that
    individuals created working models. The post-war era saw the birth of the helicopter industry.
    However, most models can only carry four to six people, limiting its commercial use. The
    primary applications for helicopters are in the military, law enforcement, medical, news or fire
    control sectors.
    Personal Air Transportation
o   The mid-1900s saw the birth of a new type of air transportation: the personal vehicle. Individuals
    invented autogyro, gliders and jet packs for the purpose of transporting a single person from one
    place to another. Some of the earliest styles of helicopters were single-seat vehicles. This was the
    inspiration for the autogyro. The autogyro uses elements from both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft
    in order to fly. The lift is supplied by a rotor positioned on the mast. The stability and power for
    flight is achieved by a rear propeller and a set of wings. Gliders use no power to control flight.
    They simply use the stability of fixed-wings to soar through the air. The controller can move
    flaps on the wings in order to hit updrafts that keep the vehicle in the air. A jet pack is a device
    that is generally strapped to the back and releases a powerful blast of gases that allow the user to
    fly. These devices are very inefficient, as most models can only contain enough gases to sustain
    flight for a few minutes.
o   Perhaps the most advanced form of air transportation comes in the form of rockets. Rockets use
    thrust obtained via the chemical reaction of a fluid that is ejected at high velocities from the
    vehicle. The force from the explosion within the vehicle's combustion chamber forces gases out
    of the tail of the rocket, pushing the vehicle to extremely high speeds. The principle is based on
    inertia, in that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Rockets have been used at least
    since the 13th century for small-scale military applications and recreational displays. However,
    the first full-scale implementation was during World War II with Germany's V-2 rockets and
    various rocket-powered aircraft. The post-war era saw the rocket implemented as a mode of
    transportation that allowed for suborbital and orbital flights in the upper atmosphere. These
    vehicles are used for both public and private enterprises.

    Among the different modes of transport, air transport has experienced the fastest growth.
    However, it must overcome the problem of its infrastructures becoming saturated.

    Goods and services. Air transportation plays an integral role in our way of life. Commercial
    airlines allow millions of Americans every year to attend business conventions, go home for the
    holidays, take vacations around the globe, or travel to other important events. Air transportation
    also represents the fastest way to ship most types of cargo over long distances. Passengers and
    cargo can be transported by air either over regularly scheduled routes or on "charters," which are
    routes specifically designed for a group of travelers or a particular cargo.
What is air transportation used to transport?

For rapid delivery over long distances, air transportation is a logical but more costly choice.
Larger products and large quantities of a product are moved by cargo planes while smaller
parcels are carried on many types of planes

Aviation accidents and incidents

Thunderbird 1st year Capt. Christopher Stricklin ejected from his USAF F-16 aircraft at an
airshow at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, on September 14, 2003. While performing a
Reverse Half Cuban Eight, Stricklin realized he could not pull up in time and ejected. Eight-
tenths of a second later, the plane crashed, skidding aflame 200 yards, and the engine flew out
and went another 100 yards. Except for a few bruises, he was not injured.

An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as
an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time
any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked,
in which a person is fatally or seriously injured, the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure
or the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible. The first fatal aviation accident occurred
in a Wright Model A aircraft at Fort Myer, Virginia, USA, on September 17, 1908, resulting in
injury to the pilot, Orville Wright and death of the passenger, Thomas Selfridge

An aviation incident is also defined there as an occurrence other than an accident, associated
with the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect the safety of operations.

An accident in which the damage to the aircraft is such that it must be written off, or in which the
plane is destroyed is called a hull loss accident.

Major disasters

September 11 terror attacks

The deadliest aviation-related disaster of any kind, considering fatalities on both the aircraft and
the ground, was the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11,
2001, with the intentional crashing of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight
175. The World Trade Center crashes killed 2,752, most of them occupants of the World Trade
Center towers or emergency personnel responding to the disaster. In addition, 184 were killed
when American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon and 44 were killed when
United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field, bringing the total number of
casualties of the September 11 attacks to 2,996 (including the 19 terrorist hijackers). Being
deliberate terrorist acts, the 9/11 crashes were not classified as accidents, but as mass murder-
suicide, and subsequently treated by the United States and the member nations of NATO as an
act of war.


The March 27, 1977, Tenerife disaster remains the accident with the highest number of airliner
passenger fatalities. In this disaster, 583 people died when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted take-off
without clearance, and collided with a taxiing Pan Am 747 at Los Rodeos Airport on the island
of Tenerife, Spain. Pilot error was the primary cause of this catastrophe.

JAL Flight 123

The crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 in 1985 is the single-aircraft disaster with the highest
number of fatalities. In this crash, 520 died on board a Boeing 747. The aircraft suffered an
explosive decompression from an incorrectly repaired pressure bulkhead, which failed in mid
flight and destroyed most of its vertical stabilizer, and severed all of the hydraulic lines, making
the 747 virtually uncontrollable. The pilots were able to keep the plane flying for several minutes
before crashing into a mountain. Incredibly, several people survived the impact, but by the time
that the rescue teams could get there, all but four had died.

Other crashes with high death tolls

The world's deadliest mid-air collision was the 1996 Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision involving
Saudia Flight 763 and Air Kazakhstan Flight 1907 over Haryana, India. The crash was mainly
the result of the Kazakh pilot flying lower than the altitude for which his aircraft was given
clearance. Three hundred and forty-nine passengers and crew died from both aircraft. The
Ramesh Chandra Lahoti Commission, empowered to study the causes, also recommended the
creation of "air corridors" to prevent aircraft from flying in opposite directions at the same

On March 3, 1974, Turkish Airlines Flight 981, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed in a forest
northeast of Paris, France. The destination was London but the plane crashed shortly after taking
off from Orly airport. A total of 346 people were on board; all of them perished in the crash. It
was later determined that the cargo door had detached which caused an explosive decompression
which in turn caused the floor just above to collapse. When the floor collapsed it severed the
control cables, which left the pilots without control of the elevators, the rudder and the No. 2
engine. The plane entered a steep dive and crashed. It was the deadliest plane crash of all time
until the Tenerife disaster in 1977.

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 crashed off the southwest coast of Ireland when a bomb
exploded in the cargo hold. On board the Boeing 747-237B were 307 passengers and 22 crew
members, all of whom were killed when the plane disintegrated. One passenger had checked in
as "M. Singh". He did not board the flight, but his suitcase which contained the bomb was loaded
onto the plane. "Mr Singh" was never identified and captured. It was later found out that Sikh
extremists were behind the bombing and that it was a retaliation for the Indian government's
attack on the sacred Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, which is very important for the
Sikhs. This was, at the time, the deadliest terrorist attack involving an airplane.

Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on Sunday, 3 July 1988,
over the Strait of Hormuz killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children,
ranking it seventh among the deadliest airline disasters.

On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, lost control
and crashed near O'Hare International Airport in Des Plaines, Illinois, following inproper
maintenance and the loss of an engine. The crash killed all 271 passengers and crew on board, as
well as two people on the ground. It remains the deadliest single-aircraft accident in United
States history, and was also the deadliest aviation disaster until the September 11 attacks in 2001.

On September 1, 1983, a Soviet Sukhoi Su-15 shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 after it
unknowingly flew into Soviet airspace, killing all 269 passengers and crew.[1]

On November 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300, crashed in the Belle
Harbor neighborhood of Queens, New York, just after departing John F. Kennedy International
Airport due to the first officer's overuse of the rudder in response to wake turbulence from a
Japan Airlines 747. The crash killed all 260 people on board, as well as five people on the
ground. It is the second-deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil, after American Airlines Flight

Pan Am Flight 103 was a Boeing 747-121 that was destroyed by a terrorist bomb over the town
of Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988. The crash killed all 243 passengers, all 16 crew
and 11 people on the ground (all of whom were residents of Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie),
making it the worst terrorist attack involving an aircraft in the UK. It remains the deadliest
terrorist attack on British soil.

On October 31, 1999, at around 01:50 EST, EgyptAir Flight 990 (MSR990) crashed into the
Atlantic Ocean, about 60 miles (97 km) south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in
international waters, killing all 217 people on board. The National Transportation Safety Board
report concluded that the pilot had intentionally dived the aircraft into the ocean; Egyptian
authorities have vigorously denied this conclusion, saying that a mechanical failure was to

[edit] Safety
Controlled Impact by NASA and the FAA.

Main article: Air safety

Aviation safety has come a long way in over one hundred years of implementation. In modern
times, two major manufacturers still produce heavy passenger aircraft for the civilian market:
Boeing in the United States of America and the European company Airbus. Both have placed
huge emphasis on the use of aviation safety equipment, now a billion-dollar industry in its own
right, and made safety a major selling point—realizing that a poor safety record in the aviation
industry is a threat to corporate survival. Some major safety devices now required in commercial
aircraft involve:

      Evacuation slides — aid rapid passenger exit from an aircraft in an emergency situation.
      Advanced avionics - Computerized auto-recovery and alert systems.
      Turbine engines - durability and failure containment improvements
      Landing gear - that can be lowered even after loss of power and hydraulics.

When measured on a passenger-distance calculation, air travel is the safest form of transportation
available: these figures are the ones mentioned by the air industry when quoting statistics on air
safety. A typical statement is this one by the BBC: "UK airline operations are among the safest
anywhere. When compared against all other modes of transport on a fatality per mile basis air
transport is the safest — six times safer than traveling by car and twice as safe as rail."[2]

However, when measured by fatalities per person transported, buses are the safest form of
transportation and the number of air travel fatalities per person are surpassed only by bicycles
and motorcycles. This statistic is the one used by the insurance industry when calculating
insurance rates for air travel.[3]

For every billion kilometers traveled, trains have a fatality rate 12 times larger than air travel,
while automobiles have a fatality rate 62 times larger. On the other hand, for every billion
journeys, buses are the safest form of transportation. By the last measure, air transportation is
three times more dangerous than car transportation and almost 30 times more dangerous than

A 2007 study by Popular Mechanics found that passengers sitting at the back of a plane are 40%
more likely to survive a crash than those sitting in the front, although this article also quotes
Boeing, the FAA and a website on aircraft safety, all claiming that there is no safest seat. The
article studied 20 crashes, not taking in account the developments in safety after those
accidents.[5] However, a flight data recorder is usually mounted in the aircraft's empennage (tail
section), where it is more likely to survive a severe crash.

Over 95% of people in U.S. plane crashes between 1983 and 2000 survived.[6]

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