The current academic essay discusses the issues that the global aviation industry faces and its possible future developments. Air transport has become essential to the global society. It is a driver of social, cultural and economic development. Air industry has totally influenced the possibilities to travel, do business and interact with the other members of global society. What is more, it has changed the methods of political and military regulation of the international situation. It is impossible to envisage a world without aviation today. The democratization of international air travel over the last 40 years decreased the real cost of flying by 60% making it more accessible to common people. During the same period, aircraft have solved many complicated issues and have become 75% quieter and 70% more energy efficient. Through the increased use of environmentally friendly materials, low-carbon technology, sustainable energy sources and new aircraft systems the air transport sector is making serious advances across a range of sustainability issues. It should be mentioned that the aviation industry estimate that by 2030 the number of international and domestic and international passengers could reach six billion with approximately 50 million flights per year, which is twice bigger then the levels of 2013. International aviation nowadays is under pressure to change. The industry faces many financial difficulties, especially in the aspect of its dynamic development. Air transport has responsibilities for sustainable development, decreasing its impact on the environment, maximizing its support for economic development and consolidating its social benefits (Gwilliam, 2008). What is more, there exist a big amount of unsolved problems, which continue being potentially very dangerous to the global ecology and social relations. The analysis of main problems, which aviation industry faces today or can face in future, is a primary task for researches in this sphere. Without finding clear answers for to the challenges, the welfare of aviation industry and public order would be compromised.
It should be noted that sustainable development is one of the greatest challenges and serious opportunities facing the aviation industry in the 21st century. While global air traffic is growing at an average rate of 4-5% per year, environmental concerns are gaining an increasing importance. It should be highlighted that despite the fact that an aerospace industry has already made specific efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, further operational and technological improvements are necessary to outweigh the huge impact of traffic growth. Environmental concerns have arisen in the layout and operation of airports, which face such problems as control of water quality management systems for runoff water, control of exhaust emissions from ground service and aircraft vehicles, the reduction of big noise pollution from aircraft and the management of various wildlife populations in the airport vicinity (Carney, 2006). It should be mentioned that new airports have the opportunity to design facilities around such requirements, while other older and often congested airports face many problems and a big need in technical solutions, which must be superimposed on the existing facilities. Researches show that two main environmental issues of aviation industry are noise and emissions (Zhang, 2012).
It should be mentioned that aircraft noise issues can be extremely technical and complex. It should be highlighted that aircraft noise is noise pollution, which is produced during various phases of a flight by any aircraft or its components. There are two main noise sources from an aircraft, noises are emitted from the body frame itself due to turbulence around from different parts, but the large part of noise comes from the engine, an acoustic maelstrom. Although today’s aircrafts are much less noisy than a decade ago, the serious increase of air traffics has led to significant noise burden on the society. It should be mentioned that not only the noise pollution is a disturbance in common life but also a burden to group of people, especially for shift workers who are sleeping during the day time and living close to the airport or a flight path of the aircrafts. A few recent studies show that children’s cognition as well as the stability of their health is affected due to aircraft noise. Some other effects of aircraft noise exposure are psychosocial, like irritation or tiredness and communication problems. Studies have shown an increase in blood pressure for people under the exposure of aircraft noise. There is a big amount of medical reports about hearing loss and heart disease and some secondary effects like eczema and asthma, which are revealed by aircraft noise. Some complaints of headache and tiredness have the aircraft noise as the reason.
Taking everything into account it should be noted that noise pollution is a critical issue for airlines. Variety of programs was developed with an aim of increasing the understanding of different noise impacts, identifying specific solutions to reduce those impacts, and making educational programs for public on the issues and ongoing efforts of solving them. Many airports have implemented special noise related charging schemes, some night time restrictions or even most of the night curfews. It is necessary that the number of airports affected in this way would increase further during the next decade.
As it has been already mentioned, pollution by emission is another environmental issue which plays a big role in the aviation industry. Jet engines emit such pollutants as carbon monoxide, smoke, not burnt hydrocarbons, sulphur oxides, and nitrogen oxides. Water vapor and carbon dioxide are also significant pollution emissions. The first three have been reduced by the development and introduction of more efficient engines, while sulphur oxide emissions have been significantly reduced by the use of fuels with small sulphur content. From the other side, production of nitrogen oxides in jet engines has increased as airplane efficiency has increased, due to higher temperature combustion. It should be highlighted that emissions of nitrogen oxides at lower altitude make a big contribution to the greenhouse effect by significant increasing of atmospheric heat retention while at higher altitude those emissions deplete the ozone layer (Gossling, 2009). What is more, they also contribute to acid rain. One more problems is, that difficulties arise in determining the levels of nitrogen oxides emissions, which are produced at high altitude and their effects, because of the lack of understanding of chemical reactions which occur upon emission into the atmosphere. New technology is required to reduce the pollution of atmosphere with nitrogen oxides and maintain efficiency without increasing of other pollutants. Alternative fuels should become an influent driver in reaching the objective of carbon-neutral fuel growth for aviation. Some innovations in drop-in bio-fuels have been successfully tested and test samples are already in use on certain commercial routes. The industry is aiming at replacing 6,1% of current fossil fuel with bio-fuel by 2020. The ultimate aim for the whole aviation industry must be sustainable development, where the environment is not sacrificed for continuous growth and future generations will be able to benefit from air travel. It should be noted that the aviation industry has already started to tackle this serious task, but imaginative and continued effort is required to ensure that the industry maximizes the use of its environmental capacity.
The other issue of the contemporary aviation industry lies in the sphere of flights safety. Commercial airline safety has improved since the industry’s birth over a century ago. The percent of fatal accidents for large scheduled jet airlines have significantly fallen to the level where aviation is the safest mode of commercial transportation. It should be highlighted that safety performance has not been equally distributed across all segments of global commercial aviation, nor among all regions and countries of the world. The finding that developing countries or countries with political problems have much poorer safety records then the advanced countries has been a persistent conclusion in aviation safety scientific research and continues to be the big issue. Unfortunately, operations data for many of the airlines that experience fatal accidents are not available for researches, so it is not possible to calculate precise fatality rates for many segments of the global aviation industry. It will likely be difficult to make substantial improvements in the safety of these operations without more complete information.
The other side of the problem is that the importance of aviation safety is rarely recognized in common thought. Social opinion usually only consider some aspects of safety when horrific accident occurs. On a daily basis, on thousands of military and commercial flights, the lives of passengers are dependent upon the implementation of special safety regulations adopted to protect the public’s interest. An airplane crash into a large metropolitan area that is densely populated would most assuredly result in countless ground fatalities, and in retrospect it is amazing that those types of incidents are so few in number.
It should be mentioned that the implication of aviation safety not only save many lives while people travel with the help of airplanes, but ensures the safety of everyone, who are going about their business on the ground as well. Due to the huge responsibility these individuals shoulder, the unexpected consequences for non-compliance of special aviation safety rules is usually costly and harsh to both air carriers and individuals.
In terms of economics, the importance of aviation safety is quite staggering, and is understood by rare people in the general public. Researches show that with every air traffic accident, a specific segment of the common public is more hesitant to fly, resulting in a big loss of revenue to the airline industry. It should be highlighted that approximately 40 percent of all tourists travel by air; that is why a small decline in this area due to safety concerns will result in hundreds of millions of dollars, which would be transferred to other travel industries (Upham, 2003). There are also 14 million jobs around the world, which are tied to air travel. If there were even a 2 or 3 percent decline in freight movement and air travel due to aviation safety problems, the result would be a serious economic disaster, impacting not only some local airline industry in the country of origin, but almost globally for some period of time to come. That is why aviation safety is of equal importance to every economy and country on the planet.
Taking everything into account, it should be noted that the issues in aviation industry connected with the safety of flights are extremely important, especially after the serie of terrorist attacks in United States in 2000’s. Challenges to improving aviation security include the analytics of identifying the terrorists and the tools they might use, determining the responds to terrorist threats and the dialectics of public and private roles in providing aviation security. It should be mentioned that the next generation of safety challenges require development and understanding of qualitatively new forms of data to improve safety in different segments of commercial aviation, and consistent moving from an incident-based, reactive approach toward a more predictive, proactive and systems-based approach.
Another layer of issues in aviation industry is connected with airline ethics. It should be highlighted that ethics are essential in the airline industry because they are the framework, which guides individuals in the process of making different business decisions. Ethics in the airline industry is closely connected with the previously discussed problems of environmental pollution and safety of passengers. In the world many companies cut budgets to save money, sometimes at the expense of people’s safety. It is the problem, which has to be analyzed and solved in future.
It should be noted that almost all airline companies usually have formal declarations of their codes of ethics (Gayle, 2007). They usually encompass such features as an incorporation of one’s personal values, an application of one’s professional skills and good judgment. This can be also categorized under a series of topics such as asset protection, conflict of interest and working together. It should be highlighted that conflict of interest is one of the most unsafe issues in aviation industry and it refers to those scenarios where company representatives or employees have to decide between their private interests to their employer obligations (McDonald, 2008). Researches show that most airline companies have noted some of the issues that can be possibly labeled conflict of interests in their code of conduct, but it does not always prevent the negative accidents in the industry (Wensveen, 2010).
Conflict of interest comes about when airline staff receives rewards or gifts or rewards from stakeholders, suppliers or consumers for doing their job. Most airlines usually prohibit gifts especially when those gifts may seem excessive. The reason of such a restriction is that when a client gives an expensive piece of jewelry for receiving good customer service, the staff may be obliged to meet some strange consumer’s demands the next time even when those demands are not procedural (Suhartanto, 2012). It means that by accepting lavish gifts, one puts himself in a position where he feels obligated to meet the gift giver’s different needs and this eventually compromises their ethical and moral obligations. The other side of this problem may also occur when a member of staff understands that he has to work extremely hard with some clients and he requests those clients for rewards for the service. This is a conflict of interest because a question of salary can be solved with the connivance of small bribes, but a good name of the airline company may be spoiled. It becomes necessary for airlines to establish that this is a wrong thing.
Additionally, conflict of interest may also appear when an employee works for some different companies. Working for other airlines is not usually a violation of ethics codes, but it may become a source of conflict of interests in certain special circumstances. It can happen in occasion, when a staff member within one random airline company chooses to participate in activities of a competing airline company. This can be regarded as conflict of interest and bring serious destruction to the industry. One more aspect of this problem may also arise when employees have private investments in competing Airlines. Such personnel may find it difficult to work hard to one’s company performance when they can loose their profit with the other company if the former company does well (Dobruszkes, 2006). This creates a dilemma for the employee and can hurt one or both airlines. However, because this issue is fairly debatable and sensitive, then it is advisable for employees to speak about investment decisions with their respective human resource managers in order to ascertain that they are not going to violate their airline’s moral code.
Taking everything into account, it should be noted many companies have created ethical procedures and rules to assist their representatives in business processes. While these ethical codes assist a range of employees, there is number of cases in which companies violate these terms. Such examples include corruption, monopoly in service provision by liaising with different suppliers, lack of fulfilling environment obligations or non-compliance to mechanical investigations. Every airline company has to participate in the global project of coordination and development of the qualitatively new ethical system in aviation, which will solve the issues, which undermine the work process from inside of the industry.
It should be concluded that tremendous industry growth, rapid technological change and new industry practices will dramatically change the aviation system over the next years. This growth of aviation and its global and local impacts has created serious problems that have to be resolved in short period of time. The current research showed how serious these problems can be without an attention and continuous work in the direction of solving them. It would be disastrous to world sustainable development policy not to find an understandable and clear way that can manage the impacts of aviation industry within a framework that reduces growth, protects health and environment and reduces impacts. It has been mentioned that there are a number of ways in which some parts of the global problem can be solved. Without adoption of these recommendations, congestion and delays will become overwhelming, air traffic control services and investments will be inadequately funded and disconnected from users needs, and the anticipated growth in the aviation industry will stop. What is more, there exists a huge amount of additional problems, which had not been analyzed in current essay. The aviation industry faces serious challenges in 21st century, and the future of the whole world transport system depends on how it would cope with them.
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