What’s Aviation Industry?

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The aviation industry transports cargo and passengers by air, generating billions of dollars in revenue annually. It provides essential services to various industries and is primarily involved in the use and manufacture of airplanes. Air travel has revolutionized tourism and cargo transportation, with specialized companies like FedEx and UPS operating fleets of specially designed jet planes. Despite increased security measures after 9/11, the aviation industry remains an essential part of the global market.

The aviation industry is the global transportation network that carries cargo and passengers by air. While air travel was only made possible in the early 20th century, the aviation industry now generates billions of dollars in annual revenue. It also provides essential services to numerous other industries, from medicine and national defense to tourism and sports. Most of the world’s aviation industry is involved in the use and manufacture of airplanes.

Light industrial materials first available in the 1800s enabled the creation of the first aircraft, lighter-than-air devices such as balloons. In 1903, the American Wright Brothers created the first heavier-than-air flying vehicles. Within a decade, airplanes were being developed for commercial, travel and military use, still the primary applications for aircraft today. Lighter materials and new technologies such as jet engines made aircraft faster and more efficient in the second half of the 20th century. The business that manufactures specialized aviation components and equipment is itself a global industry.

Much of the aviation industry is focused on tourism and travel, generating more than 400 billion US dollars (USD) globally in revenue annually. Traveling by air means that nearly any place on Earth can be reached within hours, a vast difference from travel options prior to the early 20th century. Although some passengers become anxious and even nauseous from air travel, airplanes are widely cited as among the safest means of transportation. Some passengers even travel by plane for its own sake rather than to reach a destination; examples include hot air ballooning, skydiving and helicopter tours.

Another sector of the aviation industry involves the transportation of cargo. Air freight is much faster than other means of cargo delivery and readily available in most locations. Thus, aircraft play an essential role in delivering supplies to various other industries, ranging from entertainment to manufacturing to medicine. Cargo companies like FedEx and UPS have fleets of specially designed jet planes to deliver cargo. Air freight delivery creates an annual revenue of $50 billion worldwide.

The requirements to operate a large fleet of aircraft safely mean that most major airlines operate on very tight profit margins. Security has been of the utmost concern for all sectors of the aviation industry, especially since September 11, 2001. The aerial terrorist attacks of that date had repercussions that nearly paralyzed the American airline industry. Since then, increased security measures have changed the nature of air travel and have sometimes proved controversial. Despite these drawbacks, the aviation industry remains an essential part of the global market.

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