This is a solution of Social Benefits Of Air Transport in which we discuss It contributes to the social well-being and an improved quality of life in various ways.
The air transport industry does not have an impact on the economy of the country alone. It contributes to the social well-being and an improved quality of life in various ways. Its impact on the sustainable development of a country for example cannot be measured in an economic way but it is development of the country after all. Some more benefits like supporting emergency transport situations, helping the people of remote communities or helping the customer have better choices are in a way intangible benefits which are not measured by the standard economic indicators used.
Wider Social benefits of the air transport industry
The air industry analysis has further huge benefits on the society and I have tried to analyze each and every small impact that it has on the society in the points to follow.
Contributing to sustainable development:
Boosting tourism augments sustainable development of a society too. Tourism promotes the conservation of heritage areas which attract more tourists and generate economic growth. This inclusive growth helps reducing poverty which boosts a country towards sustainable development for the future.
Benefitting the nature:
Tourism is regarded to improve or preserve the natural habitat of a country which attracts more and more tourists. Nature induced tourism is very well known to boost the nature and environment of the country. Such kind of tourism is further a boost for the countries in various world forums and unions. It also increases the sense of ownership within the locals for the nature and heritage.
Providing access to neglected regions:
Air transport opens up connectivity to the places of the world which do not enjoy any other form of transport networks. This way it makes the neglected regions and communities of the world accessible to top quality health & hygiene, food, education, hospitals, clean water, energy sources, postal services, etc. The aviation industry acts like a lifeline for them.
Delivering humanitarian aid:
Air transport over the years has been known to provide help in case of emergency situations like natural disasters or during warfare. There have been numerous instances of floods, famine, earthquake and war where air transport has come to the rescue of the suffering people just at the right time. This connectivity has been particularly very much helpful in conditions where access was a problem. Natural disasters lead to a complete cut off of a certain community and to provide humanitarian aid to such communities could be done only by the air transport network. The concept of ‘air drops’ have been largely used in a lot of disasters where accessibility to even the nearest airport is not possible. For people to survive in such conditions, air drops have come really handy. This has been the first response for the disaster induced cut off communities. Among other humanitarian assistance, air transport also provides with rapid organ supply from worldwide for urgent transplantation needs. It can provide rapid medical supplies and assistance also wherever and whenever required.
Contributing to consumer welfare:
Along with manifold economic benefits, tourism also provides substantial social benefits by empowering the end consumer in more than one ways. A consumer starts developing better ideas and conceptions about different products from different parts of the world. Customer’s demand for the best possible product is fulfilled by the air transport industry thereby facilitating improved standard of living. It helps countries in better social integration and improved social exchange relations. Tourism also gives a boost to the cultural and leisure activities in the country.
Better understanding of cultures:
In the earlier years, there was very less acceptance of people from different cultures and backgrounds. But this has changed now over the last few decades since people have started developing a learning and acceptance of different cultures, traditions and religions. In fact, air transport has ultimately brought people of different regions closer in a lot of sense.
Connecting countries establishing links:
Among everything else, air transport has always connected countries, brought them closer in terms of cultural exchange, social exchange, trade, etc. It has also over the years helped the developing countries establish strong links with the developed countries and thereby foster growth. Air transport has made the international culture and the countries all the more inclusive.
Promoting affordable travelling:
Air transport industry promotes travelling for the people who wish to have different cultural and social experiences. It enhances the overall cultural and leisure experience that a person can have. It promotes traveling more among the frequent travellers by schemes like measuring the air miles one has traveled.
Alleviating poverty and misery:
It is a stated fact that tourism helps a country reduce the poverty and hence narrows down the rich-poor divide. This helps people reduce their misery in life and makes people more employable and increases the social acceptability of the neglected class of the society who now has found work through tourism.
Promoting sharing of ideas:
Air transport has made it easier to people to share their ideas and work on them in a collaborative way. In the earlier days, this was very difficult. It was very difficult for Einstein in Switzerland and Eddington in England to communicate and share ideas swiftly which would’ve made Einstein’s work quite quicker. There was a major social divide also between them which did not allow or encourage sharing of ideas and collaborative development. This is very much possible in today’s world. Terence Mckenna, one of the world’s best psychonauts, makes it a point that he travels around the globe and shares all his experience with a lot of people and through this he himself keeps learning a lot, he has confessed. The air transport industry has made such kind of sharing of ideas and resources possible to a very good extent that it has united the world in the front of Science & Technology too.
Leading the world towards sustainable transport:
The air transport industry is hugely supported and regulated by agencies like IATA (International Air Transport Agency), ATAG (Air Transport Action Group), ABBB (Aviation Benefits Beyond Borders), etc. These agencies and the other airlines under the leadership of IATA have been shifting towards a sustainable future of the transport industry. They have laid down the 2050 vision of the aviation industry and are determined to work towards the same. The foundation has been laid and it has received support from all its member countries. The most important outcome of the first meeting of the Vision 2050 which was held in February 2011 in Singapore was that the industry would reduce carbon emission by 50 per cent till 2050. The agency has further charted out small term plans in order to achieve this long term plan and as per the same, there would be a 25 per cent reduction in net carbon emission of the industry by 2030. The fleet fuel efficiency would have already improved by 1.5 per cent by 2020 if everything goes as per plans. Such initiatives could make this transport system far more environmentally efficient than the water, road or rail transport systems. This move towards environmental sustainability would benefit the society a lot and simultaneously inspire the other transport systems towards moving to a sustainable future too.
The air transport industry lets you meet new people and increase your business as well as social networks. It is very common for people to have foreign friends these days whom they meet once in a year or couple of years. Look one century back and this was almost impossible and the people were restricted to their own culture, country and society.
The air transport industry has brought along a better social and cultural features understanding among the people broadening their horizons. It has shed quite a few blind beliefs among people about the other cultures and their superstitions too. For example, in India it was considered a sin to cross a sea and visit a foreign land just a century back. And now India is one of the major countries in the current air transport scene of the world.
Endorsing Efficiency in transportation industry:
The transport industry before the aviation revolution was never considered to be an efficiently operating industry. With a consistent occupancy of over 70 per cent over the years, the air transport industry has set a very good example for the rest of the transport industries to move towards better efficiency rates. The rail and road transport systems also have since undergone an overhaul especially in the developed countries and metro trains in cities like Tokyo run very efficiently nowadays. The following chart shows the efficiency in terms of occupancy of aircrafts in comparison to the other more conventional modes of transport.
Occupancy efficiency in various modes of transport
Nurturing Road & Rail Transport:
The air transport industry provides a lot of support to the existing rail and road networks of a country. Not all the parts of a given country would be well connected through the air transport. So to commute further within the country, the nation also has to develop efficient connecting road and rail networks. The road and rail transport in the vicinity of airports and air transport establishment are directly funded and taken care of by the aviation industry itself. This provides better commuting facilities to the countrymen and hence contributes to inclusive social development of a nation.
Improving National Security:
Air transport industry provides multiple benefits to the national security. Firstly, it provides a quicker transport network for the armed forces which enhances the military security of a country. Secondly, it improves sustainable and inclusive social leadership development the social security of a country. Transportation of energy resources to all the corners of the country and world is carried out effectively by the air transport industry and hence boosting the energy security of the country. Through tourism, the country preserves its natural resources and uses them to attract tourists from around the world. This improves the natural resources security for the country. The inclusive economic growth that is attained by the country boosts the economic and political security of the country. Hence, overall it improves the national security of the country in various ways.
Providing better infrastructure to the country:
Air transport is known to bear all the infrastructure costs related to its operations on its own. The industry has built thousands of airports and other vital infrastructure required for the economic as well as social growth of a country and its populace. The under developed countries which hardly have any infrastructure to boast about now has a lot of modern facilities like airports, connecting roads and other infrastructure induced through the growth in the air transport industry.
Earning respect for a country:
We have already understood how the air transport industry hugely benefits the economy of a nation. This better economy translates into better economic security for the nation which subsequently gives them a power and a say in the global scenario and earns the country a respectable position in the global networks.
Air transport removes a lot of restrictions for goods as well as people. Goods and people can now be freely transported to any part of the world. There have now opened up newer markets even for perishable goods which can be easily transported using the fast and convenient air transport. There is a newfangled sense of freedom too that the aviation industry has developed within individuals, communities and societies. This movement of people and goods encourages social integration too.
Driving the society towards better education:
The air transport industry has promoted global education in more than one ways. Students from any countries can come to the globally best schools to study. The aviation industry made it possible for such kind of a global system to exist in the education industry. The universities are also global in the true sense now preparing even more global students.
The air transport industry has indeed made the world a really small and local place. As discussed above, air transport has globalized education, societies, cultures, communities, nations, tourism, research, science, technology and even armies. All of these have transpired the humans into globally acceptable beings.
Protecting Societies and Armies:
Like the US provides protection to South Korea against North Korea, the military troops can travel anywhere within a matter of hours and be present for any operation or protection. Or like in Mumbai blasts in India in 2011, the air control police was there with commandos before the situation got any worse and they shot out the hiding terrorists. The air transport industry has always considered this as a responsibility and provided all the possible support to the armies and societies.
We could very well take the example of the African continent while understanding the social benefits of the air transport industry. The continent that was long isolated is home to over 15 per cent of the world’s total natural resources. Due to this, it has developed a comparative advantage in tourism over the other countries and have subsequently preserved the natural resources for tourism purposes in a very well maintained manner. This gave the continent a major boost in tourism which shaped up the economies of a lot of African countries. For more than half of the African countries, tourism is still the major sources of income and economic as well as social progress.
The economic as well as social progress of any nation goes hand in hand. Hence, any kind of economic benefits will lead to a lot of social benefits as well. We have very well understood this with the perspective of the air transport industry.
The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has shown the social impact of the aviation industry by producing the following infographic in 2013 which describes with facts and figures what happens in the aviation industry within a very short span of 60 seconds.
seconds in Aviation.
Air Transport: Vision 2050, The Game Changer
The International Air Transport Agency (IATA) has been serving and leading the air transport industry in a brilliant way and in the recent times driving it towards sustainable future of transport and the whole industry. Through the Vision 2050 initiative, it has identified the long term challenges and threats to the industries by analyzing its current weaknesses.
The industry has been constantly growing in the recent times and is poised to grow even further. At times like this, it is very important to address the issues of increased capacity, environmental concerns, guiding the industry towards better safety & security and also simultaneously moving towards financial sustainability. To make the industry ready for the future needs as well as developments, IATA formed a task force which met in Singapore to discuss on the Vision 2050 on February 2011.
The strategy that has been developed for Vision 2050 is based on four pillars on which IATA will guide and drive the whole industry. Following is the four pillar approach that the industry plans to undertake in the coming future:
Structuring the industry for increased profitability: There have been some serious local issues in local airlines mostly which has questioned the profitability model of the aviation industry. The task force plans to address the same for a sustainable financial future of the industry.
Moving towards adequate and proficient infrastructure: Air transport industry leads to a lot of infrastructure development as we know. This development has to be sustainable for the future and hence it becomes very important that it happens in a planned and structured way. There should be a broader vision associated with each and every single development in the infrastructure. It should also keep in mind the future needs and growth and how the planned infrastructure would cater to the same. IATA plans to address this issue to by regulating it even more.
Shifting towards using sustainable technology to fuel the industry: One of the main agendas of the Vision 2050 is environmental sustainability by reducing the carbon emissions by over 50 per cent. This is possible only if the industry finds newer ways of developing the aircrafts and using alternative technologies which could provide more efficient power and fuel for the industry.
Building capacity to meet the future customer needs: The air transport industry has been witnessing an unparalleled growth recently which is estimated to grow further in the coming years. By shifting towards sustainable transport, the industry would attract even more passengers. More customers would make it necessary for the industry to develop enough capacity from right now that it can sustain the customer needs through the existing facilities as it keeps growing. The IATA task force for Vision 2050 aims to regulate this also among all its member countries, airlines and fuel as well as aircraft suppliers of the industry like Airbus and Boeing.
The February 2011 meeting in Singapore for the Vision 2050 was attended by 35 strategic personnel from across the world. These people formed the task force as representatives of the industry from various facets of the industry. It included people from different stakeholder groups, government representatives, technologists, regulators, financiers, airlines manufacturers, industry laborers, airport authorities, air navigation service providers as well as the end consumers. All of them together have pledged to work towards the sustainable future of the industry by putting in some cohesive efforts towards the same.
Airbus has already started working towards the sustainable future agreed at the Singapore meeting. It has come up with an initiative called ‘Smarter Skies’ and have developed sustainable and fuel efficient fleets promoting the same. This new range of fleets developed by Airbus takes the aircraft technology to a completely new level and brings along new sustainable developments in the following aspects:
Eco-Climb take-off: The new range of aircrafts would make use of renewable energy to propel the take-off process. It would not make use of the conventional fuel and hence reduce carbon emission and noise pollution to a great extent. This would also provide a steeper and better climb. The land usage also could be decreased as the runway would be decreased by the use of renewable energy.
Free Flight and creating express sky-ways: The smart aircraft would organize its route on its own depending on the sky and weather conditions. It would automatically select the best possible route reducing energy consumption and providing better safety & security to the passengers. Airbus also aims to create express sky-ways just like express highways on the land. This would allow the aircrafts to fly in a bird like free and steady formation guiding all the fleets simultaneously and hence needing less energy and focus on each and every single fleet.
Low noise and freely gliding fleets: These aircrafts would make landing also energy efficient by using renewable energy sources for landing process too. The energy efficient take-off as well as landing process would decrease noise pollution to a major extent. The aircrafts would be gliding freely in the air as well as during take-off and landing processes.
Ground operations with low emissions: Apart from optimizing the energy use in take-off and landing processes, the new Airbus fleets also plan to optimize the energy usage on ground by shorter and more efficient runways and quicker transportability of aircrafts on lands too which would make it easier for them to be transported for repairing or dismantling purposes.
Powering infrastructure and the future aircraft: The future aircraft would make use of locally available biofuels such as hydrogen, electricity, solar power, etc. This would lead to a development in the energy infrastructure of the countries and hence would guide the countries and other transport systems as well towards the use of efficient energy sources reducing the environmental footprints by a major magnitude.
These new developments and technologies would definitely drive the rest of the world too and we can very well foresee a sustainable future of the air transport industry. Aircrafts running on biofuels and Express Sky-ways could be the next big leap for this industry. These developments would further yield consummate economic as well as social benefits to the countries.
The vision of new aircrafts and ‘Smarter Skies’ by Airbus has been showed in the following:
Airbus Smarter Skies Concept
Source: Airbus Media Gallery, 2013
Over the years, the air transport industry has transpired to become an environment friendly industry. It has been constantly driven by innovation and progress. And it has in return driven a lot of economies to growth and success contributing in a really major way to the overall world economy too. This industry has further always been an attraction to people. People have always dreamt to fly and the modern day society just loves air commutation that the air transport industry has made available to them at a very reasonable cost. The aviation industry has also become one of the most important contributors to the advancement of the world, especially through Science & Technology.
The industry has responded to the ever growing demand in an efficient way and has been constantly evolving towards better ways. There are international agencies like IATA who are guiding this industry towards a noble global vision. As discussed in the report, there is a great synergy between all the stakeholders of this industry which has been driven by IATA. They have come together and shaped up a Vision 2050 also towards a sustainable future of this industry.
This report has confirmed in detail the benefits of air transport industry for the society and economy at both regional as well as global levels. Analyzing all the facts, figures and benefits discussed in this report, it would be fair to say that this industry has had tremendous effect on the growth of the mankind and that a growth in this industry would mean a parallel exponential growth for the mankind.
However, it will be of prime importance that the governments and the industry maintain their vision for this industry and strive towards a responsible & sustainable future, all working in perfect synchronization and constructive partnerships.
Till now, the industry has responded well to various challenges and the growing demand. It has always kept progressing by bringing in newer technologies, constantly improvising on safety & security, producing better aircrafts, moving towards efficient fuels, envisioning biofuels, etc. It has also modernized itself wherever required and provided adept infrastructure to societies. It also achieved business simplification by deregulating the industry but yet keeping it under check through IATA. For customers also, the industry has kept evolving and now caters to them a wide range of goods and in-flight services as well.
Overall, the industry has done quite well. And it is under the able leadership of IATA. But there could yet be some possible diplomatic and political challenges that the industry might face. The IATA has to somehow keep the governments also regulated or at least involved in the processes of the industry. And a way has to be found out by which the government also works in harmony with the interests of the global air transport industry. It must be realized to them that this industry is one of the most globally powerful industries. It goes without saying that the efforts of the air transport industry has to match with the action of the government.
The government should also consider this industry of prime importance and liberalize their aviation markets and not get into the micro management of this industry in particular. A lot of government have been realizing this lately and are ever since expanding their economies. The industry should be allowed to thrive and not be over burdened by tax. This would make it prosper and attractive also for investors.
The governments should also deploy a proper framework for the mass transport system within the country without harming national interests yet working in congruence with the global interests.
Lastly, the government should support the infrastructure development that this industry needs by not imposing arbitrary regulations or conditions and not restrict the sustainable growth that this industry always strives for. Stay true to the statistics that suggest an exponential growth for the countries that play fair with the air transport industry.
Don Berliner. “Aviation: Reaching for the Sky“. The Oliver Press, Inc. (1996). p.28.ISBN 1-881508-33-1
Gina De Angelis. The Hindenburg. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers (2001). 87–101. ISBN 0-7910-5272-9.
Kingsbury, Kathleen (October 11, 2007).“Eyes on the Skies”. Time Magazine. Retrieved 2013 from: http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1670256,00.World Air Transport Statistics (WATS). IATA Publications 57th Edition (2013).
Aviation and the Global Atmosphere. IPCC Special Reports. Grid Arendal. Retrieved December2013from: http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_sr/?src=/climate/ipcc/aviation/032.htm
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