The Paramount Importance of Safety Management in Aviation
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Air transport implies the use of aircraft or airplanes in transportation. Due to its reliability and convenience, air transport has snowballed and become a central part of life. Air transport is used both commercially and by the military. Commercially, air transportation is used to transport people and cargo. On the other hand, the military utilizes air transport for diverse reasons.
It is common to wonder why air transport is preferred over other means of transport like rail or road transport. To understand this, it is essential to look at the advantages and disadvantages of air transport. This article offers a snapshot of some of the main advantages and disadvantages of air transport.
Aircraft used in air transport are capable of traveling at very high speeds, making air transport the fastest mode of transport. Therefore, air transport can be used effectively for transporting people and goods over long distances.
As a result of the high speed, someone who needs to transport perishable goods or attend a meeting urgently in a different location, say a different country, would be better off choosing air transport over any other mode of transport.
One of air transport advantages is the minimum infrastructure cost required for this mode of transport. For railway transport, there is a need to lay the railway line to connect the two regions where the transport mode is to be used. The same case applies to road transport with the construction of roads.
The only surface track necessary for air transport is an airport. Aircraft need airports at the point of origin and destination. However, the construction of airports is cheaper than constructing a road, rail, or surface track over long distances. Therefore, a country can easily develop and maintain the infrastructure for air transport since the country will only focus on airports.
Air transport is a fast means of transportation, making it prime for offering fast service. Air transport allows airlines the convenience, reliability, and efficiency of fast service to all their clients. For instance, clients looking to transport cargo from one country to another can do so quickly. Fast service is one of the air transport advantages that makes it highly valuable.
Another one of the air transport advantages is offering accessibility that other modes of transport cannot attain. The only means of transport that does not require a direct connection between two places is air transport. This is because it is not affected by physical barriers. Additionally, air transport is not affected by natural obstacles.
So, air transport is an excellent choice for traveling to places not readily accessible to other modes of transport due to physical limitations. Moreover, accessibility makes air transport an amazing option for both passenger and cargo transport to places that are not readily reachable.
Security implications offered by this mode of transport are also notable. There is a low risk of injury, damage to goods, or robbery when cargo is transported by air. Strict safety restrictions are enforced in airports and during air travel, ensuring that all cargo and passengers are safely transported. The chances of security being compromised during air travel are less compared to other modes of transport.
The other security implication of air travel that is advantageous is its contribution to the military. The military benefits from air travel as it can use planes for the shipment of equipment and personnel. Additionally, the military can use planes to monitor situations, offer quick security responses, and for other security needs.
Air transport makes emergency response a possibility. Since aircraft are fast, they come in handy in offering aid in times when natural calamities strike. For instance, in times of earthquakes, floods, famines, and accidents, aircraft are efficient in making search and rescue relief operations fast and efficient.
Planes as well as helicopters are convenient for such operations because they can fly to any location irrespective of the natural obstacles. What’s more, air travel is not subject to formalities like seeking clearance between borders, making it time efficient for emergency responses.
Cargo freight has fewer packaging requirements than shipment by sea or road. Therefore, it is cheaper and more time efficient to send cargo as air freight compared to ocean or land shipment.
Another advantage of air transport is its application in agriculture. Aero planes have an application in agriculture for aerial spray on insects and pests. Additionally, air travel allows for the transportation of agricultural produce to different places allowing the goods to stay fresh and ready for consumption.
Despite its numerous advantages, there are certain disadvantages to air transport.
Aircraft accidents are rare compared to accidents on the road or in the rail transport system. However, when they occur, the losses are catastrophic. The losses to goods, passengers, crew, and businesses in air transport are huge compared to losses that occur in accidents involving other modes of transport.
Sadly, more often than not, plane crashes leave no survivors, or if they do, the accidents leave the people disabled. Crashes are also a point of no return for aircraft as bigger impacts leave the airplanes decommissioned and unusable.
The other disadvantage of air transport is how reliant it is on the weather. Extreme weather causes planes to get grounded and can lead to delays in shipment. Additionally, air transport depends on other external factors like political stability and health conditions.
For example, when a country has political instability (war, coup d’état, etc.), air transport is halted in that country. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of airports for passenger travel, affecting all movement of air transport.
One of the main disadvantages of air transport is cost. Travelling or shipping by air is a costly service. The initial costs of constructing airports and purchasing aircraft are high; not to mention, airports and aircraft need constant maintenance.
The maintenance costs make operations more expensive. Moreover, the investment in professional training requires that those working in this industry are paid highly. The costly services, high personnel wages and maintenance expenses are a disadvantage because it limits the people who can afford air transport.
There are some types of cargo that cannot be transported by air. They include explosives, gasses, flammable liquids, and batteries. The limitation makes air transport disadvantageous to those who trade such goods. Such businesses often have to rely on more unstable sea, rail or road cargo which doubles and triples the amount of time the cargo would spend in the air.
Aircraft also have limited capacity for carrying cargo as one of their general characteristics. Unlike trains, the capacity of an aircraft cannot be increased when the demand is high. Therefore, it is not suitable for transporting large volumes of goods.
Air transport is a diverse and adaptable means of transportation. Aero planes can be utilized for tasks ranging from passenger transportation to shipping time- and environment-sensitive cargo to completing military operations.
Of course, as there are upsides, there are bound to be disadvantages of air transport, too. However, the aerospace industry experts are working to reduce the negative aspects of air transport to make it safer, greener and more affordable.