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Chapter 1: Brief History of Aviation Chapter 2: Deregulation Chapter 3: Structure of the Industry Chapter 4: Airline Economics Chapter 5: How Aircraft Fly Chapter 6: Safety Chapter 7: Airports Chapter 8: Air Traffic Control Chapter 9: Airlines and the Environment Airline Handbook Glossary
Chapter 1: Brief History of Aviation First Flights On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright capped four years of research and design efforts with a 120-foot, 12-second flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina - the first powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine. Prior to that, people had flown only in balloons and gliders. The first person to fly as a passenger was Leon Delagrange, who rode with French pilot Henri Farman from a meadow outside of Paris in 1908. Charles Furnas became the first American airplane passenger when he flew with Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk later that year. The first scheduled air service began in Florida on January 1, 1914. Glenn Curtiss had designed a plane that could take off and land on water and thus could be built larger than any plane to date, because it did not need the heavy undercarriage required for landing on hard ground. Thomas Benoist, an autoparts maker, decided to build such a flying boat, or seaplane, for a service across Tampa Bay called the St. Petersburg - Tampa Air Boat Line. His first passenger was ex-St. Petersburg Mayor A.C. Pheil, who made the 18-mile trip in 23 minutes, a considerable improvement over the two-hour trip by boat. The single-plane service accommodated one passenger at a time, and the company charged a one-way fare of $5. After operating two flights a day for four months, the company folded with the end of the winter tourist season. World War I These and other early flights were headline events, but commercial aviation was very slow to catch on with the general public, most of whom were afraid to ride in the new flying machines. Improvements in aircraft design also were slow. However, with the advent of World War I, the military value of aircraft was quickly recognized and production increased significantly to meet the soaring demand for planes from governments on both sides of the Atlantic. Most significant was the development of more powerful motors, enabling aircraft to reach speeds of up to 130 miles per hour, more than twice the speed of pre-war aircraft. Increased power also made larger aircraft possible. At the same time, the war was bad for commercial aviation in several respects. It focused all design and production efforts on building military aircraft. In the public’s mind, flying became associated with bombing
runs, surveillance and aerial dogfights. In addition, there was such a large surplus of planes at the end of the war that the demand for new production was almost nonexistent for several years - and many aircraft builders went bankrupt. Some European countries, such as Great Britain and France, nurtured commercial aviation by starting air service over the English Channel. However, nothing similar occurred in the United States, where there were no such natural obstacles isolating major cities and where railroads could transport people almost as fast as an airplane, and in considerably more comfort. The salvation of the U.S. commercial aviation industry following World War I was a government program, but one that had nothing to do with the transportation of people. Airmail By 1917, the U.S. government felt enough progress had been made in the development of planes to warrant something totally new - the transport of mail by air. That year, Congress appropriated $100,000 for an experimental airmail service to be conducted jointly by the Army and the Post Office between Washington and New York, with an intermediate stop in Philadelphia. The first flight left Belmont Park, Long Island for Philadelphia on May 14, 1918 and the next day continued on to Washington, where it was met by President Woodrow Wilson. With a large number of war-surplus aircraft in hand, the Post Office set its sights on a far more ambitious goal - transcontinental air service. It opened the first segment, between Chicago and Cleveland, on May 15, 1919 and completed the air route on September 8, 1920, when the most difficult part of the route, the Rocky Mountains, was spanned. Airplanes still could not fly at night when the service first began, so the mail was handed off to trains at the end of each day. Nonetheless, by using airplanes the Post Office was able to shave 22 hours off coast-to-coast mail deliveries. Beacons In 1921, the Army deployed rotating beacons in a line between Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, a distance of about 80 miles. The beacons, visible to pilots at 10-second intervals, made it possible to fly the route at night. The Post Office took over the operation of the guidance system the following year, and by the end of 1923, constructed similar beacons between Chicago and Cheyenne, Wyoming, a line later extended coast-to-coast at a cost of $550,000. Mail then could be delivered across the continent in as little as 29 hours eastbound and 34 hours westbound - prevailing winds from west to east accounted for the difference which was at least two days less than it took by train. The Contract Air Mail Act of 1925 By the mid-1920s, the Post Office mail fleet was flying 2.5 million miles and delivering 14 million letters annually. However, the government had no intention of continuing airmail service on its own. Traditionally, the Post Office had used private companies for the transportation of mail. So, once the feasibility of airmail was firmly established and airline facilities were in place, the government moved to transfer airmail service to the private sector, by way of competitive bids. The legislative authority for the move was the Contract Air Mail Act of 1925, commonly referred to as the Kelly Act after its chief sponsor, Rep. Clyde Kelly of Pennsylvania. This was the first major step toward the creation of a private U.S. airline industry. Winners of the initial five contracts were National Air Transport (owned by the Curtiss Aeroplane Co.), Varney Air Lines, Western Air Express, Colonial Air Transport and Robertson Aircraft Corporation. National and Varney would later become important parts of United Air Lines (originally a joint venture of the Boeing Airplane Company and Pratt & Whitney). Western would merge with Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), another Curtiss subsidiary, to form Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA). Robertson would become part of the Universal Aviation Corporation, which in turn would merge with Colonial, Southern Air Transport and others, to form American Airways, predecessor of American Airlines. Juan Trippe, one of the original partners in Colonial, later pioneered international air travel with Pan Am - a carrier he founded in 1927 to transport mail between Key West, Florida, and Havana, Cuba. Pitcairn Aviation, yet another Curtiss subsidiary that got its start transporting mail, would become Eastern Air Transport, predecessor of Eastern Air Lines.
The Morrow Board
The same year Congress passed the Contract Air Mail Act, President Calvin Coolidge appointed a board to recommend a national aviation policy (a much-sought-after goal of then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover). Dwight Morrow, a senior partner in J.P. Morgan’s bank, and later the father-in-law of Charles Lindbergh, was named chairman. The board heard testimony from 99 people, and on November 30, 1925, submitted its report to President Coolidge. The report was wide-ranging, but its key recommendation was that the government should set standards for civil aviation and that the standards should be set outside of the military. The Air Commerce Act of 1926 Congress adopted the recommendations of the Morrow Board almost to the letter in the Air Commerce Act of 1926. The legislation authorized the Secretary of Commerce to designate air routes, to develop air navigation systems, to license pilots and aircraft, and to investigate accidents. The act brought the government into commercial aviation as regulator of the private airlines spawned by the Kelly Act of the previous year. Congress also adopted the board’s recommendation for airmail contracting, by amending the Kelly Act to change the method of compensation for airmail services. Instead of paying carriers a percentage of the postage paid, the government would pay them according to the weight of the mail. This simplified payments, and proved highly advantageous to the carriers, which collected $48 million from the government for the carriage of mail between 1926 and 1931. Ford's Tin Goose Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer, was also among the early successful bidders for airmail contracts, winning the right, in 1925, to carry mail from Chicago to Detroit and Cleveland aboard planes his company already was using to transport spare parts for his automobile assembly plants. More importantly, he jumped into aircraft manufacturing, and in 1927, produced the Ford Trimotor, commonly referred to as the Tin Goose. It was one of the first all-metal planes, made of a new material, duralumin, which was almost as light as aluminum but twice as strong. It also was the first plane designed primarily to carry passengers rather than mail. The Ford Trimotor had 12 passenger seats; a cabin high enough for a passenger to walk down the aisle without stooping; and room for a "stewardess," or flight attendant, the first of whom were nurses, hired by United in 1930 to serve meals and assist airsick passengers. The Tin Goose’s three engines made it possible to fly higher and faster (up to 130 miles per hour), and its sturdy appearance, combined with the Ford name, had a reassuring effect on the public’s perception of flying. However, it was another event, in 1927, that brought unprecedented public attention to aviation and helped secure the industry’s future as a major mode of transportation. Charles Lindbergh At 7:52 a.m. on May 20, 1927, a young pilot named Charles Lindbergh set out on an historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean, from New York to Paris. It was the first trans-Atlantic non-stop flight in an airplane, and its effect on both Lindbergh and aviation was enormous. Lindbergh became an instant American hero. Aviation became a more established industry, attracting millions of private investment dollars almost overnight, as well as the support of millions of Americans. The pilot who sparked all of this attention had dropped out of engineering school at the University of Wisconsin to learn how to fly. He became a barnstormer, doing aerial shows across the country, and eventually joined the Robertson Aircraft Corporation, to transport mail between St. Louis and Chicago. In planning his trans-Atlantic voyage, Lindbergh daringly decided to fly by himself, without a navigator, so he could carry more fuel. His plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, was slightly less than 28 feet in length, with a wingspan of 46 feet. It carried 450 gallons of gasoline, which comprised half its takeoff weight. There was too little room in the cramped cockpit for navigating by the stars, so Lindbergh flew by dead reckoning. He divided maps from his local library into thirty-three 100-mile segments, noting the heading he would follow as he flew each segment. When he first sighted the coast of Ireland, he was almost exactly on the route he had plotted, and he landed several hours later, with 80 gallons of fuel to spare. Lindbergh’s greatest enemy on his journey was fatigue. The trip took an exhausting 33 hours, 29 minutes and 30 seconds, but he managed to keep awake by sticking his head out the window to inhale cold air, by holding
his eyelids open, and by constantly reminding himself that if he fell asleep he would perish. In addition, he had a slight instability built into his airplane that helped keep him focused and awake. Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Field, outside of Paris, at 10:24 p.m. Paris time on May 21. Word of his flight preceded him and a large crowd of Parisians rushed out to the airfield to see him and his little plane. There was no question about the magnitude of what he had accomplished. The Air Age had arrived. The Watres Act and the Spoils Conference In 1930, Postmaster General Walter Brown pushed for legislation that would have another major impact on the development of commercial aviation. Known as the Watres Act (after one of its chief sponsors, Rep. Laurence H. Watres of Pennsylvania), it authorized the Post Office to enter into longer-term contracts for airmail, with rates based on space or volume, rather than weight. In addition, the act authorized the Post Office to consolidate airmail routes, where it was in the national interest to do so. Brown believed the changes would promote larger, stronger airlines, as well as more coast-to-coast and nighttime service. Immediately after Congress approved the act, Brown held a series of meetings in Washington to discuss the new contracts. The meetings were later dubbed the Spoils Conference because Brown gave them little publicity and directly invited only a handful of people from the larger airlines. He designated three transcontinental mail routes and made it clear that he wanted only one company operating each service rather than a number of small airlines handing the mail off to one another. His actions brought political trouble that resulted in major changes to the system two years later. Scandal and the Air Mail Act of 1934 Following the Democratic landslide in the election of 1932, some of the smaller airlines began complaining to news reporters and politicians that they had been unfairly denied airmail contracts by Brown. One reporter discovered that a major contract had been awarded to an airline whose bid was three times higher than a rival bid from a smaller airline. Congressional hearings followed, chaired by Sen. Hugo Black of Alabama, and by 1934 the scandal had reached such proportions as to prompt President Franklin Roosevelt to cancel all mail contracts and turn mail deliveries over to the Army. The decision was a mistake. The Army pilots were unfamiliar with the mail routes, and the weather at the time they took over the deliveries, February 1934, was terrible. There were a number of accidents as the pilots flew practice runs and began carrying the mail, leading to newspaper headlines that forced President Roosevelt to retreat from his plan only a month after he had turned the mail over to the Army By means of the Air Mail Act of 1934, the government once again returned airmail transportation to the private sector, but it did so under a new set of rules that would have a significant impact on the industry. Bidding was structured to be more competitive, and former contract holders were not allowed to bid at all, so many companies were reorganized. The result was a more even distribution of the government’s mail business and lower mail rates that forced airlines and aircraft manufacturers to pay more attention to the development of the passenger side of the business. In another major change, the government forced the dismantling of the vertical holding companies common up to that time in the industry, sending aircraft manufacturers and airline operators (most notably Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and United Air Lines) their separate ways. The entire industry was now reorganized and refocused. Aircraft Innovations For the airlines to attract passengers away from the railroads, they needed both larger and faster airplanes. They also needed safer airplanes. Accidents, such as the one in 1931 that killed Notre Dame Football Coach Knute Rockne along with six others, kept people from flying Aircraft manufacturers responded to the challenge. There were so many improvements to aircraft in the 1930s that many believe it was the most innovative period in aviation history. Air-cooled engines replaced water-cooled engines, reducing weight and making larger and faster planes possible. Cockpit instruments also improved, with better altimeters, airspeed indicators, rate-of-climb indicators, compasses, and the
It had more powerful engines (1. using radio to transmit weather information from the ground to their pilots. By World War I. the airframe was designed so that the skin of the aircraft bore most of the stress on the plane during flight. so they could avoid storms An even more significant development. The DC-1 also was easier to fly. was the realization that radio could be used as an aid to navigation when visibility was poor and visual navigation aids. and it featured such amenities as upholstered seats and a hot water heater to make flying more comfortable to passengers. The DC-3 had 50 percent greater passenger capacity than the DC-2 (21 seats versus 14). The airlines followed suit after the war. adding 18 inches to its length so it could accommodate two more passengers. some pilots were taking radios up in the air with them so they could communicate with people on the ground. There was no interior skeleton of metal spars. yet cost only ten percent more to operate. but the best was still to come The DC-3 Called the plane that changed the world. Marconi sent his first message across the Atlantic on the airwaves just two years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk. allowing pilots to locate airports in poor visibility. It was a fantastically popular airplane. that reduced takeoff distances. Once technical problems were worked out. However. to reduce engine noise levels inside the plane. the Boeing 247. Its DC-1 incorporated Boeing’s innovations and improved upon many of them. only one DC-1 was ever built. They became fully operational in 1932. for added lift during takeoff. and boosted cruising speeds Not to be outdone by United. the DC-3 had a noise-deadening plastic insulation. however. It was unveiled in 1933. Boeing also gave the 247 variable-pitch propellers. It also was considered a safer plane. for all its advancements. that pilots could follow to their destination. The first air traffic control tower was established in 1935 at what is now Newark International Airport in New Jersey The First Modern Airliners Boeing built what generally is considered the first modern passenger airliner. The DC-1 had a more powerful engine and accommodations for two more passengers than did the 247. and seats set in rubber to minimize vibrations. For greater passenger comfort. following its debut in 1936 with American Airlines (which played a key role in its design). Douglas decided almost immediately to alter its design. TWA went searching for an alternative to the 247 and eventually found what it wanted from the Douglas Aircraft Company.a fast trip for that time. Eventually. and it could travel coast to coast in only 16 hours . were useless. such as beacons. twin-engine bomber with retractable landing gear built for the military. Another important improvement was the use of a hydraulic pump to lower and raise the landing gear.000 horsepower versus 710 horsepower for the DC-2). the DC-3 was the first aircraft to enable airlines to make money-carrying passengers. It was equipped with the first automatic pilot and the first efficient wing flaps. longer version was called the DC-2 and it was a big success. automatically transmitting directional beams. thus giving passengers more room than they had in the 247. This freed pilots from having to crank the gear up and down during takeoffs and landings. As a result. More importantly. and it helped attract many new travelers to flying. which showed pilots the attitude of the aircraft relative to the ground important for flying in reduced visibility Radio Another development of enormous importance to aviation was radio. . it quickly became the dominant aircraft in the United States. and United Air Lines promptly bought 60 of them. or tracks. The new. Based on a low-wing.introduction of artificial horizon. built of an aluminum alloy stronger than materials previously used in aircraft construction. Marker beacons came next. the 247 accommodated 10 passengers and cruised at 155 miles per hour. the Department of Commerce constructed 83 radio beacons across the country. Aviation and radio developed almost in lock step. Its cabin was insulated. increased the rate of climb.
Pressurized Cabins Although planes such as the Boeing 247 and the DC-3 represented significant advances in aircraft design. All the airlines had been losing money. higher. the airlines had far more business . However.to investigate accidents. It was the first pressurized aircraft. and the Civil Aeronautics Act gave them what they needed.for passengers as well as freight . The breakthrough came at Boeing with the Stratoliner. President Roosevelt convinced Congress to transfer the accident investigation function to the CAA. meaning that air was pumped into the aircraft as it gained altitude to maintain an atmosphere inside the cabin similar to the atmosphere that occurs naturally at lower altitudes. widespread skepticism about the commercial viability of a jet prevented Whittle’s design from being tested for several years. through an independent agency. Airlines sometimes were pushed and pulled in several directions. They could fly no higher than 10. Most of the planes. airmail rates.000 planes a year. aircraft manufacturers were producing 50. Many of them also had opportunities to pioneer new routes. that enabled planes to go faster. the 33-seat Stratoliner could fly as high as 20. the airlines provided much needed airlift to keep troops and supplies moving. The Jet Engine Isaac Newton was the first to theorize. thereby encouraging the development of commercial air transportation. The airlines wanted more rationalized government regulation. and one of the most important aviation bills ever enacted by Congress was the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938. With its regulated air compressor. The airlines wanted to fly higher. The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 Government decisions continued to prove as important to aviation’s future as technological breakthroughs. no one found a practical application for the theory until Frank Whittle.S. put the industry on the road to success. Throughout the war. in the 18th century. since the postal reforms in 1934 significantly reduced the amount they were paid for carrying the mail. The major innovations of the wartime period .000 feet. and there was no central agency working for the long-term development of the industry. however. of course. they had a major drawback. mass production was the chief goal of the United States.occurred in Europe. Even then. designed the first jet engine in 1930. numerous government agencies and departments had a hand in aviation policy. a British pilot. It created the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) and gave the new agency power to regulate airline fares. mergers and routes. a derivation of the B-17 bomber introduced in 1940 and first flown by TWA. coupled with the tremendous progress made on the technological side. because people became dizzy and even fainted. There were fewer than 300 air transport aircraft in the United States when Hitler marched into Poland in 1939. holding rates to reasonable levels while. Motion sickness was a problem for many airline passengers. that a rearward-channeled explosion could propel a machine forward at a great rate of speed. By the end of the war. which was then renamed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). interline agreements. and an inhibiting factor to the industry’s growth. In 1940. to get above the air turbulence and storms common at lower altitudes.than they could handle. Until that time. U. World War II Aviation had an enormous impact on the course of World War II and the war had just as significant an impact on aviation. aircraft design during the war. These moves. .radar and jet engines . and farther than ever before.S. to the front and throughout the production chain back home. Congress created a separate agency . at the same time nurturing the still financially-shaky airline industry.the Air Safety Board . Its mission was to preserve order in the industry. gaining an exposure that would give them a decidedly broader outlook at war’s end. but the importance of air transports to the war effort quickly became apparent as well. due to the reduced levels of oxygen at higher altitudes.000 feet and reach speeds of 200 miles per hour. were fighters and bombers. For the first time in their history. While there were numerous advances in U.
Dawn of the Jet Age Aviation was poised to advance rapidly following the war. The tanker. Americans. Boeing employed a swept-back wing design for its B-47 and B-52 bombers to reduce drag and increase speed. was a huge success as a military plane. America’s first jet plane . putting less stress on the plane’s airframe and reducing maintenance expenses. the Federal Aviation Agency. For example. Whittle also improved his jet engine during the war. the KC-135. meanwhile. The Jet Age had arrived. in large part because of the development of jets. it flew in 1939. the 707 could carry up to 181 passengers and travel at speeds of 550 miles per hour. the Boeing 707. and airline training and maintenance programs. following World War II. It would take another five years for German scientists to perfect the design. helped secure the funding needed to solve such problems and advance the jet’s development. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 Following World War II. all questions about the commercial feasibility of jets were answered. by which time it was. fortunately. which cost half as much as the high-octane gasoline used in more traditional planes. such as the certification of aircraft designs. With the 707. In 1952. and Congress responded by passing the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. later called the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when Congress created the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1967. British scientists also perfected the cathode ray oscilloscope. but with the industry’s growth came new problems. They also burned kerosene. the Comet. air travel soared. found a way to distinguish between enemy aircraft and allied aircraft by installing transponders aboard the latter that signaled their identity to radar operators. Its engines proved more reliable than piston-driven engines . to maintain safe separation of all commercial aircraft through all phases of flight. Radar Another technological development with a much greater impact on the war’s outcome (and later on commercial aviation) was radar. the Comet’s career ended abruptly following two back-to-back accidents in which the fuselage burst apart during flight . but even more successful when revamped and introduced.was built the following year. in 1958. which produced map-type outlines of surrounding countryside and showed aircraft as a pulsing light. Later. although not as well as the Germans had hoped. South Africa. The agency was charged with establishing and running a broad air traffic control system. The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.producing less vibration. The skies were getting too crowded for existing systems of aircraft separation. In 1956 two aircraft collided over the Grand Canyon. The Civil Aeronautics Board retained jurisdiction over economic matters. With a length of 125 feet and four engines with 17. too late to affect the outcome of the war. flew from London to Johannesburg. The legislation created a new safety regulatory agency. The best example of military . a student whose work was independent of Whittle’s. making them faster and thus more attractive to passengers. and by 1940 Britain had a line of radar transceivers along its east coast that could detect German aircraft the moment they took off from the Continent. killing 128 people.civilian technology transfer was the jet tanker Boeing designed for the Air Force to refuel bombers in flight. such as airline routes and rates. the design was incorporated into commercial jets. Based on a design by Hans von Ohain. a 36-seat British-made jet. at speeds as high as 500 miles per hour.the result of metal fatigue. In addition. Two years later. as the first U. and other airlines soon were lining up to buy the new aircraft.the Bell P-59 . and in 1942 he shipped an engine prototype to General Electric in the United States. passenger jet.S. first ordered and operated by Pan Am. . but there still were significant problems to overcome. British scientists had been working on a device that could give them early warning of approaching enemy aircraft even before the war began. it assumed jurisdiction over all other aviation safety matters.The Germans were the first to build and test a jet aircraft.000 pounds of thrust each. Most of the breakthroughs related to military aircraft that later were applied to the commercial sector.
Edward Kennedy chaired hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure that concluded airline prices in particular would fall automatically if government constraints on competition were lifted. Earnings were poor throughout the mid-70s. Shortly thereafter. During the same period of time.Widebodies and Supersonics 1969 marked the debut of another revolutionary aircraft. with two aisles. The Soviet Union was the first to succeed.S. the industry resembled a public utility. seating about 250 passengers. jets for commercial service. the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). It also embarked on a four-year moratorium on authorizing new services and approved a series of agreements among the carriers to limit capacity on major routes. which. which led to skyrocketing fuel costs and contributed generally to price inflation. Lockheed flew its contender in the widebody market. efforts were underway in both the United States and Europe to build a supersonic commercial aircraft. testing the Tupolev 144 in December of 1968. With seating for as many as 450 passengers. The turning point was the Airline Deregulation Act. the Ford Administration began to press for government regulatory reforms. The staff of the CAB reached the same conclusion in a report issued in 1975. Sen. in 1970. Furthermore. A consortium of West European aircraft manufacturers first flew the Concorde two months later and eventually produced a number of those fast. U. not monopolistic. Douglas built its first widebody. Both coincided with an economic downturn that put severe strain on the airlines.S. in response to a growing public sentiment that government regulations were overly burdensome to U. Business was falling at the same time that capacity and fuel prices were rising. approved by Congress on October 24. the CAB responded to this crisis by allowing carriers to increase fares. with customer demand determining the levels of service and price. determining the routes each airline flew and overseeing the prices they charged. It was the first widebody jet. the DC8. The report said the industry was "naturally competitive. other aircraft manufacturers quickly followed suit. At that time. Pan Am was the first to purchase and fly in commercial service. with a government agency. Airline Handbook Chapter 2: Deregulation The Airline Deregulation Act Today's airline industry is radically different from what it was prior to 1978. again. it was a series of developments in the mid-1970s that intensified the pressure and brought the issue to a head. particularly among economists who pointed out. despite these fare increases and capacity constraints. Recognizing the economies of scale to be gained from larger jets. the DC-10. the L-1011. the CAB action did little to improve the carriers' financial picture. Pressure for airline deregulation had been building for many years. and only a month later. Today. In line with its mandate to ensure a reasonable rate of return for the carriers. but small. in numerous studies. None of these moves were popular with the public. Events Leading to Deregulation One of those developments was the advent of widebody aircraft. and four engines. on the other hand. 1978 and signed into law four days later by President Jimmy Carter. It cost more to fly. In 1974. that unregulated intrastate airfares were substantially lower than fares for interstate flights of comparable distances. industry and were contributing significantly to inflation." and that the CAB itself could no longer justify entry controls or . Both of these jets had three engines (one under each wing and one on the tail) and were smaller than the 747. the Boeing 747. However. stalled in 1971 due to public concern about it’s expense and the sonic boom produced by such aircraft. which significantly boosted airline capacity on many routes. efforts to produce a supersonic passenger jet. it was twice as big as any other Boeing jet and 80 percent bigger than the largest jet up until that time. Another was the Middle Eastern oil embargo in 1973. a distinctive upper deck over the front section of the fuselage. it is a market-driven industry.
1983. the board began to loosen its grip on the industry. and therefore restrictive. Deregulation gave express carriers the operating freedom such high-quality services demand. Kahn. the CAB could certify new domestic cargo carriers as long as they were found "fit. although several board functions shifted to other government agencies. 1985. it was deregulation that really opened the door to success for such services. and how much regulatory authority the governments will exercise over fares. The CAB actually moved much more quickly than that. the United States made a concerted effort to liberalize its international aviation markets. which exchange traffic rights. Congress also declared that one year following enactment of the bill. However. 1981. the U. had concluded 45 "Open Skies" agreements. the CAB itself was disbanded. What Remains Regulated International Among the CAB functions shifted to other parts of the government were the responsibility for awarding landing rights and other privileges in foreign countries to U. Bilateral negotiations involving the United States are led by the State Department. who became CAB chairman in 1977. but particularly express package delivery. Express Package Delivery There was another important development following cargo deregulation . Deregulation produced dramatic results for all aspects of the cargo business.the rapid expansion of overnight delivery of documents and small packages. Air Cargo Deregulation Congress took the first legislative steps toward airline economic deregulation in November of 1977. It provided for complete elimination of restrictions on routes and new services by December 31. referred to as bilaterals.public utility-type pricing.S. Eventually." No longer would there have to be the more demanding. and as of April 2000. Restrictions on domestic routes and schedules were eliminated along with government controls over domestic rates. In 1994. Congress further encouraged the development of this part of the airline industry by preempting state efforts to regulate intrastate air/truck freight and air express package shipments. primarily the Department of Transportation. and later under Alfred E. acting at first under the leadership of John E. This effort has been very successful. Passenger Deregulation The same principle of free-market competition was next applied to the passenger side of the business in the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. when it gave cargo carriers freedom to operate on any domestic route and charge whatever the market would bear. the number of . In the 1990s. Overnight delivery of high-value and time-sensitive packages and documents began in the early 1970s. without any limitation on routes. Mr. and the end of all rate regulation by January 1. between two nations. was persuasive in arguing that the board should give the airlines greater pricing freedom and easier access to routes. The CAB ceased to exist on January 1. It began granting new route authority so readily that within a year of the law's passage carriers were able to launch virtually any domestic service they wanted. and the result was outstanding growth for that segment of the aviation industry over the next decade. more liberal trade policies by many partners and the increasing importance of global airline alliances. Robson. willing. On its own. an economist. carriers. in view of strong airline traffic growth. finding of public convenience and necessity. Congress mandated that domestic route and rate restrictions be phased out over four years. with active DOT policy input and participation. as there had been in the past. These agreements specify such things as the cities each nations' airlines may serve. Kahn. the number of flights they may operate. International air services are usually governed by air-transport service agreements.S. and able.
Essential Air Service Another function assigned to DOT with the demise of the CAB was the responsibility for maintaining air service to small communities. because of its comprehensive regulatory jurisdiction over the airline industry. Safety As Chapter 6 explains in greater detail. Once on the ground. but not airline safety. The Airline Deregulation Act ended government economic regulation of airline routes and rates. if they offered only direct. They are also collection points for passengers and cargo traveling to and from the immediate region to other parts of the country or points overseas.000 residents. rather than handing them off to other carriers. the government continues to regulate the airlines on all matters affecting safety. which provides subsidies to carriers willing to serve domestic locations that otherwise would be economically infeasible to serve. the arriving passengers and cargo from those flights are transferred conveniently to other planes. The government has performed this regulatory role since 1926. however. Airlines schedule banks of flights into and out of their hubs several times a day. makes economic sense for small-city markets. DOT received authority to approve and immunize agreements affecting international air transportation. To assure appropriate service. In cases where the agreements are less liberal and some restrictions exist. With the sunset of the CAB. Congress anticipated that some of the lightly traveled routes would lose service. However. and provide liberal regimes for pricing. of flights to different cities. Antitrust Exemption The CAB. had the authority to approve agreements between airlines and to grant antitrust immunity to those transactions that it approved. with hubs in several locations across the United States. is unlikely to generate enough passengers to any single destination to fill more than a handful of seats aboard a commercial jet. cooperative marketing agreements and other commercial opportunities.carriers or capacity. where passengers can connect to dozens of different cities. which in turn lowered unit operating costs and enabled them to offer lower fares. therefore. has a better chance of keeping its passengers all the way to their final destination. which existed on a more limited basis prior to 1978. Geographic location. it established the Essential Air Service program. At a hub. the authority over domestic transactions lapsed. Airlines developed hub-and-spoke systems because they enable them to serve far more markets than they could with the same size fleet. The carriers also found that with hub-and-spoke systems they could achieve higher load factors (percentage of seats filled) on flights to and from small cities. determining subsidy levels and soliciting bids from carriers. it is the tasks of the DOT to decide which U. is a prime consideration in deciding where to put a hub. An airline with a hub-and-spoke system. of course. Effects of Deregulation Hub and Spoke A major development that followed deregulation was the widespread development of hub-and-spoke networks. Hubs are strategically located airports used as transfer points for passengers and cargo traveling from one community to another. thus. Travelers enjoy the advantage of staying with a single airline. charters. and often can do so several times of day. With carriers free to go wherever they want. point-to-point service. A city of 100. sometime hundreds. that will take them to their final destinations. travelers can connect to dozens. Operating a jet into a hub. for example. DOT administers the program. it may very well generate passengers going to a number of different destinations. and continues to do so through the Federal Aviation Administration. Most of the major airlines maintain hub-and-spoke systems. airlines get those rights through traditional administrative processes. Each bank includes dozens of planes arriving within minutes of each other.S. Another is the .
It is now possible to build up frequent flyer points by purchasing things other than airline tickets. . While the programs vary. and many small carriers have their own programs. the discounts are the most important result of airline deregulation. Airlines prefer to locate their hub airports at cities where there already is significant "origin and destination" traffic to help support their flights.S. extensive discounting. U. adult population had flown at least once. most notably low prices for used aircraft and the availability of pilots. the essential elements are the same. as well as tie-ins to larger programs. which reward repeat customers with free tickets and other benefits. air travel has grown rapidly since deregulation. resulted in unprecedented competition in the airline industry. and from the traveler's perspective. In 1978. the biggest increase in competition occurred in the small. It opened the airline business to newcomers just as Congress intended. the number again was on the rise as new airlines offering direct. The Brookings Institute. The rewards (free tickets and upgrades that convert coach tickets to first class or business class tickets) are pegged to certain point totals. They have become so low. he or she is credited with points for every mile flown with the sponsoring carrier or with other airlines tied into the sponsor's program. there were 43 carriers certified for scheduled service with large aircraft. 45 percent from increased service frequency. By 1998. The growth of hub-and-spoke systems resulted in increasing competition in small markets that would not normally support competitive service with a linear route system. In 1977. Fares have declined more than 35 percent in real terms since deregulation in 1978. Once a customer enrolls. combined with the rapid expansion into new markets by many of the established airlines. the number of carriers has doubled. with changing market conditions. By 1999 they were carrying nearly 640 million. estimated that the traveling public was saving in excess of $20 billion a year as a result of deregulation. A more recent development has been the marriage of frequent flyer programs with promotions in other industries in general. Most major airlines have such a program. Increased Competition The appearance of new airlines. in 1999. which today provide the primary means of public transportation between cities in the United States. and in some cases to exchange miles for other goods and services. mechanics and other airline professionals.and mediumsized markets. compared with only two-thirds in 1978. low-cost. Discount Fares Increased competition spawned discount fares. Fifty-five percent of the savings resulted from lower fares. Today. that interstate bus and rail service has been hard pressed to compete with the airlines. The new airlines were a result of several factors. A recent Gallup survey revealed that 80 percent of the U. Proportionately. More than 90 percent of air travel today involves a discount. and more available flights. airlines carried 240 million passengers.S. in fact. 85 percent of airline passengers have a choice of two or more carriers. with discounts averaging two-thirds off full fare. The number has fluctuated over the years. Growth in Air Travel With greater competition on the vast majority of routes. no-frills service began to emerge. Today. the last full year of government regulation of the airline industry.size of the local market. Frequent Flyer Programs Deregulation also sparked marketing innovations. however. the most noteworthy being frequent flyer programs. New Carriers Deregulation did more than prompt a major reshuffling of service by existing carriers. and the credit card industry in particular. which helps reduce the number of nights travelers must spend on the road. more than onethird of them in the previous 12 months. The airlines compete intensely with one another in virtually all major markets.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issues fitness certificates . Operating certificates. provide for schedule coordination for convenient connections between carriers. obtain only cargo-service authority. Codesharing Another innovation has been the development of codesharing agreements. Many U. and there is no sharing of codes in computer reservation systems. but also those of any other airline willing to pay a fee to have their flights listed. also pay various fees for those conveniences. and in most cases. schedules are not necessarily coordinated. the passenger buys a single ticket. Basically. Codesharing agreements allow two different airlines to offer better coordinated services to their customers. Codesharing agreements can be between a larger airline and a regional airline or between a U. Several major airlines developed their own systems and later sold partnerships in their systems to other airlines.S. These agreements enable a ticketing airline to issue tickets on the operating airline and to use that operating airline's two-letter code when doing so. The systems also enable airlines and travel agents to efficiently process the millions of passengers who fly each day.S. Codesharing also applies to international routes. in most cases with several regionals and also with other nationals and majors. giving them greater control over these important services that feed traffic from outlying areas into the major hubs. which occur very rapidly today. national and regional. The certificate typically authorizes both passenger and cargo service. a much older industry practice in which a carrier simply hands off a passenger to another carrier to get the passenger to a destination the first carrier does not serve directly. Some airlines. All the major airlines have codesharing agreements with regional carriers. however. Travel agents using the systems to check schedules and fares for clients. are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). airline and a foreign airline. The systems list not only the schedules and fares of their airline owners. scheduled airlines are classified by the government on the basis of the amount of revenue generated from operations. there are no frequent flyer tie-ins.under it's statutory authority. In such situations. as well as to print tickets.S. and the airline issuing the ticket makes the arrangements for the traveler on the second carrier. The codesharing agreements also usually tie each airline's marketing and frequent flyer programs. which spell out numerous requirements for operating aircraft . permit smaller airlines to paint their planes with markings similar to those used by their larger partners. Codesharing differs from interlining. on the other hand. All airlines hold two certificates from the federal government: a fitness certificate and an operating certificate.000 pounds can operate under the alternative authority of Part 298 of DOT’s economic regulations. Some also own regional carriers outright.Programs Computer Reservation System (CRS) Another important development following deregulation was the advent of computer reservation systems. Commuter airlines that use aircraft with a seating capacity of 60 or fewer seats or a maximum payload capacity of no more than 18. These systems help airlines and travel agents keep track of fare and service changes. These classifications are major. The flights of each carrier appear independently in the CRSs. and foreign airlines now have codesharing agreements that essentially enable those airlines to expand their global reach through the services operated by their partners. However. Airline Handbook Chapter 3: Structure of the Industry Types of Airline Certification U. the certificate establishes that the carrier has the financing and the management in place to provide scheduled service.called certificates of public convenience and necessity .
DOT only requires that they register their service and make certain annual reports to the department under Section 298 of the DOT economic regulations. not only passenger carriers. In addition. America West. nationals operate mostly medium. built into the floors. surrounding communities. carry nothing but freight. Majors Major airlines generate operating revenues of more than $1 billion annually.with 10 or more seats. and hinged nose and tail sections. Also in this category are some of the former supplemental carriers. so they hold DOT fitness certificates from DOT and must comply with FAA Part 121 operating requirements. their decks are reinforced to accommodate heavier loads. Southwest. All majors. were licensed by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to operate between major cities and smaller communities surrounding them. is limited to a single region of the country. extra-large doors. Northwest. While much of the cargo that moves by air is carried in the bellies of passenger jets or in combination aircraft where the main deck is divided into two sections. Previously called trunk carriers. they generally provide nationwide. American. three all-cargo airlines were classified as majors: DHL Airways. but cargo carriers as well. one for cargo and one for passengers. such as rollers. which supplemented the capacity of the trunk carriers. and they typically have other cargo-handling features. although some provide long-haul and even international service. Nationals National carriers are scheduled airlines with annual operating revenues between $100 million and $1 billion. In addition. Like the majors. worldwide service.S. represent the largest segment of the regional airline business. FedEx and United Parcel Service. American Trans Air. This has been one of the fastest growing and most profitable segments of the industry since deregulation. Trans World. Medium regionals follow the same market-niche strategy as the large regionals and operate many of the same type aircraft. Evergreen. Regional carriers are divided into three sub-groups: large. Atlas Air. Large regionals are scheduled carriers with operating revenues of $20 million to $100 million. Midwest Express and Polar Air Cargo. Many of the airlines in this category serve particular regions of the country. previously licensed by the CAB to operate unscheduled charter service. national and regional airlines are. Among the nationals are some of the former local service lines that.and large-sized jets. is the size of the aircraft they operate. regional carriers are airlines whose service. Cargo Carriers Within the categories of major. which means they do not require a fitness certificate from DOT. They are subject to DOT fitness requirements. Most of their aircraft seat more than 60 passengers. other aircraft in use by principally all cargo carriers. more than anything else. Their distinction is simply that they operate on a smaller scale. The requirements cover such things as the training of flight crews and aircraft maintenance programs. medium and small. There is no official revenue definition of a small regional. There were 12 major U. passenger airlines in 2000: Alaska. transporting travelers between the major cities of their region and smaller. called freighters. Small regionals. and in some cases. Among today’s nationals are Aloha. Freighters are. most often. as well as the FAA Part 121 operating requirements. All have less than 61 seats. Emery Worldwide. sometimes called commuters. . Hawaiian. United and US Airways. nationals and regionals operate with a Part 121 certificate. passenger jets that have been stripped of their seats to maximize cargo-carrying capacity. for the most part. American Eagle. prior to deregulation. Regionals As their name implies. What distinguishes them as a group. Delta. Continental. with operating revenues under $20 million.
where a carrier has extensive operations. As explained in the next chapter. How Major Airlines are structured Line Personnel These include everyone directly involved in producing or selling an airline’s services . etc. preserve the airline’s valuable physical assets (its aircraft). the pilots. larger airlines sometimes have more than one maintenance base. Among the largest cargo carriers are companies that began in the small package and overnight document-delivery business. although less than at its hubs. ensure passenger comfort. reservations and customer service. security guards. These maintenance facilities generally are called maintenance stations. combining the services of the traditional airline and the freight forwarder. by keeping planes in excellent condition. Line personnel generally fall into three broad categories: engineering and maintenance. ramp-service agents. Maintenance Maintenance accounts for approximately 11 percent of an airline’s employees and 10-15 percent of its operating expenses.DOT has a special fitness review procedure for all-cargo carriers. following a review of all factors affecting a flight. Operations This department is responsible for operating an airline’s fleet of aircraft safely and efficiently. These three divisions form the heart of an airline and generally account for 85 percent of an airline’s employees. Smaller maintenance facilities are maintained at an airline’s hubs or primary airports. While all of them are important. who sell approximately 80 percent of all airline tickets. but makes money only when it is flying with freight and/or passengers aboard. Dispatchers also are part of flight operations. called the maintenance base. airline prices change frequently in response to supply and demand and to changes in the prices of competitors’ fares. Therefore. routes the flight may follow. these facilities perform routine maintenance and stock a large supply of spare parts. flight operations. and it establishes the procedures crews are to follow before. so called because they offer door-to-door service. working order. A third level of inspection and repair capability is maintained at airports. Travel agents. These are the integrated carriers. but most of the large ones hold a certificate of public convenience and necessity. use the same systems to . who serve passengers and perform various inflight safety functions. who fly them. the reservation clerks. Schedules change less often. Weight must be distributed evenly aboard an aircraft for it to fly safely. scheduling. during and after each flight to ensure safety. and both have become more complicated since deregulation. both initial and recurrent training for pilots and flight attendants. Sales and Marketing This division encompasses such activities as pricing. advertising. and sales and marketing. and ensure maximum utilization of those assets.the mechanics. ticket and cargo sales. Called major maintenance stations. It is in charge of all flight-crew training. It schedules the aircraft and flight crews and it develops and administers all policies and procedures necessary to maintain safety and meet all FAA operating requirements. Maintenance programs keep aircraft in safe. who book and process the passengers. the flight attendants. it is vital to an airline’s financial success that aircraft are properly maintained Airlines typically have one facility for major maintenance work and aircraft modifications. An airplane costs its owner money every minute of every day. including food service. who maintain the planes. where aircraft are likely to be parked overnight. These include the weather. airport check-in and gate personnel. Airlines use sophisticated computer reservation systems to advertise their own fares and schedules to travel agents and to keep track of the fares and schedules of competitors. but far more often than when the government regulated the industry. fuel requirements and both the amount and distribution of weight onboard the aircraft. pricing and scheduling in particular can make or break an airline. Their job is to release flights for takeoff.
this includes the important function of fleet planning. fuel. a service industry.book reservations and print tickets for travelers. In addition. it is common for them to farm out certain tasks to other companies. the airline business is similar to other service businesses like banks. airport security. Electronic self-service check-in computer kiosks at major airports will soon be available for most passengers using electronic tickets. used to store and analyze data needed for operations and planning. The number of air travelers shopping. making reservations and purchasing electronic tickets using the Internet is increasing daily. fundamentally. on the way to the airport. Airline Handbook Chapter 4: Airline Economics Chief Characteristics of the Airline Business Service Industry Because of all of the equipment and facilities involved in air transportation. Airlines might contract out for all of this work or just a portion of it. The next step for airlines will be to automate the check-in procedure. Staff Personnel These include specialists in such fields as law. accounting. insurance . Subcontractors While major airlines typically do most of their own work. legal. request refunds etc. Self-service automated ticketing machines are also widely available at major airports around the country. In that sense. obtain class of service upgrades. maintenance work. the carrier remains responsible for meeting all applicable federal safety standards. all of the major airlines are now offering electronic ticketing for domestic and international air travel. aircraft parts and other supplies needed to run an airline. fueling. Reservations and Ticketing There are major changes in air transportation.transporting them and their belongings (or their products. Finance & property handles company revenues and finances. staff personnel work out of corporate headquarters and fall into seven broad job categories typical of major corporations: finance & property. check baggage with bar-coded baggage tags and obtain their own boarding passes. food service and in some instances. Selfservice machines will enable passengers to verify their itinerary. However. Information services designs and maintains the company's internal computer systems. which simplify the process for airline passengers to make a reservation and to purchase a ticket. select specific seat assignments. Electronic ticketing allows an airline to document the sale and track the usage of transportation. medical. in the case of cargo customers) from one point to another for an agreed price. it oversees all company property and the purchase of food. whether an airline does the work itself or relies on outside vendors. Airlines perform a service for their customers . Their function is to support the work of the line personnel. Electronic commerce is playing a significant part in the airline industry. Passengers no longer worry about carrying flight coupons or losing their tickets. so that the airline runs efficiently and earns a profit.. At an airline. These tasks could include aircraft cleaning. public relations and planning. Passengers have the ability to shop for the lowest priced transportation. finance. In addition to the paper tickets issued in the past. keeping the jobs in house at their hubs and other key stations. A boarding pass is issued at the airport in exchange for proof of a reservation (an airline confirmation number) and payment (cash or a major credit card). it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this is. personnel. For the most part. More information about airline pricing and scheduling can be found in Chapter 4. employee relations and public relations. make or change a reservation. explained in greater detail in the next chapter. not only from their travel agent but from their own personal home computer or from a telephone. information services.
less than 10 percent of revenue comes from cargo (in many cases far less). gate agents. As a result. airlines are discounted. airlines are also leasing equipment. Labor Intensive Airlines also are labor intensive. accountants. requiring large sums of money to operate effectively. flight attendants. For the all-cargo carriers. Labor costs per employee are among the highest of any industry. Each major airline employs a virtual army of pilots.S. but there is no changing the fact that they are a service business. Fewer than 10 percent pay full fare. Capital Intensive Unlike many service businesses. about 15 percent from cargo shippers. security personnel.Where the Money Comes From About 75 percent of the U. compared to an average of above five percent for U. nor inventory created and stored for sale at some later date. which depreciate in value over time. with discounts averaging two-thirds off full fare. There is no physical product given in return for the money paid by the customer. the airline industry is a capital-intensive business. of course. most of them . Seasonal The airline business historically has been very seasonal. even in the best of times. Most equipment is financed through loans or the issuance of stock. Airline Revenue . an airline's ability to repay debt and acquire new aircraft is jeopardized. The remaining 10 percent comes from other transport-related services. cargo is the sole source of transportation revenue. More than one-third of the revenue generated each day by the airlines goes to pay its workforce. the largest of which is the U. through the years. have earned a net profit between one and two percent. the airline industry is highly unionized. airlines need more than storefronts and telephones to get started. its capital needs require consistent profitability. The summer months were extremely busy. industry as a whole. High Cash Flow Because airlines own large fleets of expensive aircraft. Winter. with the exception of the holidays. they typically generate a substantial positive cash flow (profits plus depreciation). managers.S. as many people took vacations at that time of the year.S. The result of such peaks and valleys in travel patterns was that airline revenues also rose and fell significantly through the course of the year. Most of the passenger revenue (nearly 80 percent) comes from domestic travel.S. More than 90 percent of the tickets sold by U. Thin Profit Margins The bottom line result of all of this is thin profit margins. When profits and cash flow decline. They need an enormous range of expensive equipment and facilities. Whatever arrangements an airline chooses to pursue.companies or even barbershops. lawyers. For the major passenger airlines which also carry cargo in the bellies of their planes. Increasingly. Airlines. reservation agents. Computers have enabled airlines to automate many tasks. Postal Service. airline industry's revenue comes from passengers. etc. Highly Unionized In part because of its long history as a regulated industry. was slower. cleaners. although it is less pronounced than in the past. This pattern continues today. The growth in the demand for air transportation since deregulation has substantially lessened the valleys. where customers require personal attention. while 20 percent comes from travel to and from destinations in other countries. on the other hand. baggage handlers. Most airlines use their cash flow to repay debt or acquire new aircraft. cooks. mechanics. including equipment they owned previously but sold to someone else and leased back. from airplanes to flight simulators to maintenance hangars.
9 percent. the break-even load factor for the industry in recent years has been approximately 66 percent.6 percent. Like travel agents. That is the percentage of the seats the airline has in service that it must sell at a given yield. and to print tickets for customers. Labor costs are common to nearly all of those categories. as a percent of total costs.10 percent.equipment and plants . Administrative . labor accounts for 35 percent of the airlines' operating expenses and 75 percent of controllable costs. such as fuel and pilot salaries . Eighty percent of the industry's tickets are sold by agents. they make about 40 percent of the trips. Airlines typically operate very close to their break-even load factor. freight forwarders are an independent sales force for airline services. When looked at as a whole.16 percent. as more sales are now made directly to the customer through electronic commerce. Maintenance . airline costs were as follows: Flying Operations . There are more than 40. dispatchers and airline gate agents .13 percent.mostly inflight service and including such things as food and flight attendant salaries .including advertising. Another rapidly rising cost has been airport landing fees and terminal rents. in their case working for shippers. A relatively small group of travelers (the frequent flyers who take more than 10 trips a year) account for a significant portion of air travel. reservations and travel agent commissions . Escalating costs push up the break-even load factor. While these flyers represent only eight percent of the total number of passengers flying in a given year. Fuel is the airlines' second largest cost (about 10 to 12 percent of total expenses). and travel-agent commission is third (about 6 percent).13 percent. Depreciation/Amortization . to cover its costs. Airline Costs . most of who use airline-owned computer reservation systems to keep track of schedules and fares. Break-Even Load Factors Every airline has what is called a break-even load factor. providing a vast network of retail outlets for air transportation. while increasing prices for airline services have just the opposite effect. however. or price level. Travel agencies play an important role in airline ticket sales.essentially any cost associated with the operation of aircraft.both parts and labor . Aircraft and Traffic Service . to book reservations. receive discounts when they travel.27 percent. Airlines pay travel agents a commission for each ticket sold.Where the Money Goes According to reports filed with the Department of Transportation in 1999. have recently been declining. Overall.delivery trucks and inflight sales . cargo and aircraft on the ground and including such things as the salaries of baggage handlers.last-minute business travelers. Passenger Service . Commission costs. Similarly. pushing it lower. The sale of just one or two more seats on each flight can mean the difference between profit and loss for an airline. so does the break-even load factor. The majority of business travelers. freight forwarders book the majority of air-cargo space. Promotion/Sales .basically the cost of handling passengers.6 percent. .000 travel agents in the United States. Transport Related . Since revenue and costs vary from one airline to another.
If a customer does not fly on the flight which he or she has a reservation. The salesperson. An airline's inventory is comprised of the seats that it has on each flight. As a result. it makes perfect sense. The goal is to have the overbooking match the number of no-shows. to a salesperson who suddenly has an opportunity to visit an important client than it is to someone contemplating a visit to a friend. and passengers sitting in the same section on the same flight often are paying different prices for their seats. In most cases the practice works effectively. Normally. likely will pay a higher premium in order to make the appointment. Some travelers. especially business travelers buying unrestricted. but when there are not enough volunteers. airlines have had the same pricing freedom as companies in other industries. For the airlines. Although this may be difficult to understand for some travelers. Historically. have not traveled on the flights for which they have a reservation. They examine the history of particular flights. without adding proportionately to its costs. airlines do not overbook haphazardly. by offering the right mix of full-fare tickets and various discounted tickets. Overbooking Airlines occasionally overbook flights. Free tickets are the usual incentive. or to cancel their travel plans altogether. with fewer. his or her seat is unused and cannot be returned to inventory for future use as in other industries. reserve seats on more than one flight. Both airlines and customers are advantaged when airlines sell all the seats for which they have received reservations. many travelers. fares change much more rapidly than they used to. If low prices are what an airline's customers favor. considering that a seat on a particular flight is of different value to different people. in the process determining how many no-shows typically occur. that contributes to lower airfares and expanded service. larger seats. it will seek to maximize the number of seats to keep prices as low as possible. of course. airlines must bump passengers involuntarily. The pleasure traveler likely will make the trip only if the fare is relatively low. however. it is increasing productivity. often with little or no notice to the airline. It is far more valuable. the chief objective in setting fares is to maximize the revenue from each flight. Consequently. for instance. In the rare cases where this occurs. meaning that they book more passengers for a flight than they have seats on the same flight. and then decide how much to overbook that particular flight. unfortunately. Too little discounting in the face of weak demand . Importantly for travelers. there are more volunteers than the airlines need. Pricing Since deregulation. Changes in their own schedules may have made it necessary for them to take a different flight. because it knows that its business customers are willing to pay premium prices for the added comfort and workspace. Occasionally. on the other hand. The practice is rooted in careful analysis of historic demand for a flight.Seat Configurations Adding seats to an aircraft increases its revenue-generating power. This undermines the productivity of an airline's operations. federal regulations require the airlines to compensate passengers for their trouble and help them make alternative travel arrangements. the total number of seats aboard an aircraft depends on the operator's marketing strategy. a carrier with a strong following in the business community may opt for a large business-class section. The amount of compensation is determined by government regulation. airlines sometimes overbook flights. However. The key for most airlines is to strike the right balance to satisfy its mix of customers and thereby maintain profitability. They set fares and freight rates in response to both customer demand and the prices of competitors. full-fare tickets. when more people show up for a flight than there are seats available. economics and human behavior. maybe with a different airline. On the other hand. airlines offer incentives to get people to give up their seats. those volunteering are booked on another flight.
marketing and flight operations. and revenue-generating opportunities will be lost forever. The substitution was made in order to inconvenience the fewest number of passengers. and another flight will have to be canceled. Fleet Planning Selecting the right aircraft for the markets an airline wants to serve is vitally important to its financial success. such productivity gains must be weighed against the cost of acquiring a new aircraft. how much are maintenance costs. it may choose to cancel the flight with the fewest number of passengers and utilize that aircraft for a flight with more passengers. therefore. If an airline must cancel a flight because of a mechanical problem. Airlines establish their schedules in accordance with demand for their services and their marketing objectives. In general. And. airlines do not cancel flights because they have too few passengers for the flight. and they adjust their schedules often. On the other hand. changes in markets already . These are the type of questions that must be answered. typically cannot pursue that goal without long-range. Marketing strategies are important. For business travelers. play a key role in the aircraft acquisition process. It is a complex process. for example. As planes get older. However. means the airline will be short an aircraft someplace else later in the day. how much fuel do they burn per mile. the larger 757 requires only a two-person flight crew. or less directly. requiring continual adjustments as market conditions change. maintenance costs can also rise appreciably. however. Unexpected discounting in a particular market by a competitor. While it may appear to be a cancellation for economic reasons. maintenance needs and airport operating restrictions. airlines have been free to serve whatever domestic markets they feel warrant their service. can be extraordinarily complex and must take into account aircraft and crew availability. Do existing aircraft need to be replaced. A Boeing 727. schedule is an important consideration for air travelers. it may not have that type of aircraft in its fleet. Business travelers like to see alternative flights they may take on the same airline if. The process of finding the right mix of fares for each flight is called yield. the selection and purchase of new aircraft is usually directed by an airline's top officials. What's more. newer aircraft are more efficient and cost less to operate than older aircraft. although it involves personnel from many other divisions such as maintenance and engineering. versus three for the 727. too much discounting can sell out a flight far in advance and preclude the airline from booking last-minute passengers that might be willing to pay higher fares (another lost-revenue opportunity). for instance. An airline considering expansion into international markets. for instance. and what must it pay to borrow money? What are investors willing to pay for stock in the company if additional shares are floated? A company's finances. a meeting runs longer or shorter than they anticipate. so it can price the seats accordingly. beginning with the composition of an airline's existing fleet. too. Can the airline afford to take on more debt? What does that do to profits? What is the company's credit rating. inventory or revenue management. is less fuel efficient than the 757 that Boeing designed to replace it. widebody aircraft.for the flight. A carrier that has several flights a day between two cities has a competitive advantage over carriers that serve the market less frequently. finance. in response to market opportunities and competitive pressures. Along with price. for example. Scheduling Since deregulation. what plans does the airline have to expand service. it is an ongoing process. like those of an individual considering the purchase of a house or new car. Scheduling. In addition. There are numerous factors to consider when planning new aircraft purchases. The nature of scheduled service is such that aircraft move throughout an airline's system during the course of each day. As a result. can leave an airline with too many unsold seats if they do not match the discounts. Contrary to popular myth. it is not. and the plane will leave the ground with a large number of empty seats. If it has been largely a domestic carrier. requiring sophisticated computer software that helps an airline estimate the demand for seats on a particular flight. A flight cancellation at one airport. and how many people are needed to fly them. schedule is often more important than price.
and some airlines have chosen to pursue this option rather than make the much greater financial commitment necessary to buy new airplanes. airline planners determine their company needs an aircraft that does not yet exist. if the manufacturers have not already anticipated their needs. and Congress has produced timetables for the airlines to retire or update their older jets. deregulation has enabled airlines to respond more effectively to consumer demand. While more expensive than hush kits. Stage 3 jets. the fourth trend has been in response to airline and public concerns about aircraft noise and engine emissions. has been in effect since January 1. Conversely. An economic downturn coinciding with the delivery of a large number of expensive new aircraft can cause major financial losses. The development of hub-and-spoke networks. today.and medium-sized aircraft to feed the hubs. Technological developments have produced quieter and cleaner-burning jets. Hush kits are also available for older engines. There have been several important trends in aircraft acquisition since deregulation. 1985. Having the right-sized aircraft for the market is vitally important. or replace their older. As the price of fuel rose rapidly in the 1970s and early 1980s. Some carriers also use the leasing option to safeguard against hostile takeovers. taking their place. In such cases. increased the demand for small. Typically. Airlines. In addition. because start-up costs for the production of a new aircraft are enormous. . were to be phased out by the year 2000. since 1978. One is the increased popularity of leasing versus ownership. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the planning process.a statistic that compares favorably with even the most efficient autos. if there is a production backlog). include the Boeing 757 and the MD-80. meaning an airline willing to step forward with a large order for the plane. Leasing leaves a carrier with fewer tangible assets that a corporate raider can sell to reduce debt incurred in the takeover. the airlines gave top priority to increasing the fuel efficiency of their fleets.served may require an airline to reconfigure its fleet. A ban on the operation of Stage 1 jets. manufacturers must sell substantial numbers of a new model just to break even. average about 40 passenger miles per gallon . or even years. such as 727s and DC-9s. Too large an aircraft can mean that a large number of unsold seats will be moved back and forth within a market each day. Congress dictated that all Stage 2 jets. A second trend. they approach the aircraft manufacturers about developing a new model. such as the Boeing 707 and DC-8. Today. These considerations. resulted in airlines adding flights to small cities around their hubs. an unanticipated boom in the travel market can mean lost market share for an airline that held back on aircraft purchases while competitors were moving ahead. since high-income leasing companies can take advantage of tax credits. but the ordering trend is toward smaller aircraft. That led to numerous design innovations on the part of the manufacturers. new engines have operatingcost advantages that make them the preferred option for some carriers. Others have chosen to re-engine. as described in Chapter 2. noisier engines with new ones that meet Stage 3 standards. Leasing reduces some of the risks involved in purchasing new technology. the tax savings to a lessor can be reflected in the lessor's price. airlines also must do some economic forecasting before placing new aircraft orders. In larger markets. because no one knows for certain what economic conditions will be like many months. The third trend is toward increased fuel efficiency. Airline Handbook Chapter 5: How Aircraft Fly The Bernoulli Principle Airplanes fly when the movement of air across their wings creates an upward force on the wings (and thus the rest of the plane) that is greater than the force of gravity pulling the plane toward the earth. Similarly. Too small an aircraft can mean lost revenue opportunities. relates to the size of the aircraft ordered. In 1989. into the future. plus smaller purchase commitments from several other airlines. Since aircraft purchases take time (often two or three years. this often means more frequent service. new aircraft reflect the needs of several major airlines. Larger aircraft remain important for the more heavily traveled routes. in turn. They usually will not proceed with a new aircraft unless they have a launch customer. Sometimes. It also can be a less expensive way to acquire aircraft. In such cases.
In addition. The same principle applies to moving air. Once aligned on the runway.the speed beyond which a safe stop on a runway is no longer possible. the pilot or first officer of an aircraft releases the brakes and advances the throttle to increase engine power to accelerate down the runway. which equals not only the speed of the plane relative to the ground. Some of these factors also are important in calculating V1. The pressure differential creates lift. When the airspeed reaches a certain predetermined point known as rotation speed. Aircraft need more speed to leave the ground at a place like Denver than at a place like New York. the lower the air pressure. is one of three important airspeed settings calculated before every flight. so air moving around a wing has a longer way to travel over the top than it does underneath. certain aircraft are permitted to power back. the greater the lift becomes. Instruments onboard the aircraft display this airspeed. A motorized vehicle called a tug sometimes is used to push the aircraft back from its gate. and get airplanes off the ground. The undersides of wings are more or less flat. The aircraft then moves under its own power along the taxiways. the more lift.Daniel Bernoulli. and are not ground vehicles. they are taxied at very low speeds. Push-back occurs only when the pilot has clearance to do so from Air Traffic Control. the higher the altitude. the higher the pressure. This means that following engine start at the gate. The air going over the top moves faster than the air going underneath. At some airports. Some of the factors affecting VR and V2 are the weight of the aircraft. involves the movement of the aircraft away from the terminal jetway and along taxiways to a runway. air passes faster and faster over its wings and lift is created. Hot air is less dense than cool air and less density produces less lift for the same speed. and cleared by Air Traffic Control to proceed.the minimum speed needed to keep a plane flying should an engine fail after the aircraft surpasses V1. and V2 . . The Phases of Flight Push-Back and Taxi-Out This first phase of flight. the thrust reversers are used to literally back the aircraft away from the gate. The angle of a plane's wings to the air flowing around them is extremely important to maintaining lift. where slower moving air molecules bunch together. and vice versa. eventually overcoming the force of gravity upon the aircraft. Takeoff and Climb When ready for takeoff. Rotation speed. If the so-called angle of attack is too severe. Since aircraft are designed primarily for flight. Most large jets leave the ground at about 160 miles per hour and initially climb at an angle in excess of 15 degrees. Bernoulli discovered that the pressure exerted by a moving fluid is inversely proportional to the speed of the fluid. while their tops are curved. the slower it moves. and the faster the wing moves through the air. the air temperature and the altitude of the airport. wings are slanted slightly downward from front to back. the pilot manipulates panels on the tail of the aircraft to rotate the nose of the plane upward. The heavier the aircraft. The others are V1 . first described the physics behind this phenomenon. which monitors all aircraft movements during taxi. after all doors have been secured. The faster that air moves through a space. and thus speed is needed to get it off the ground. with all other factors such as weight being equal. steering the aircraft is normally accomplished by using foot pedals that manipulate the nose wheel until the speed is sufficient enough that wind rushing by the rudder on the aircraft tail makes nose wheel steering unnecessary. the less dense the air. abbreviated VR. Similarly. the flow of air around the wings becomes disrupted and the plane loses lift. This creates even stronger lift and the plane leaves the ground. an 18th century Swiss mathematician and scientist who studied the movement of fluids. Aircraft also need to go faster to fly on a hot day than on a cool day. Aircraft wings are designed to take advantage of that fact and create the lift force necessary to overcome the weight of the aircraft. but also the speed of any wind that may be blowing toward the aircraft (aircraft normally take off headed into the wind). although the key factor is the length of the runway that is being used. fluid pressure decreases as fluid speed increases. and the air pressure above the wing thus is lower than it is under the wing. In other words. As the aircraft gains speed.
power is reduced from the setting that was needed to climb. To fly level. of course. By this point. that disrupt airflow and increase wind resistance. Since most gates are equipped with moveable jet ways. There is no standard altitude for cruising. These computer-based systems calculate the plane's position from its point of departure. panels at the trailing edge of the aircraft's wings. or leaving.To make an aircraft more aerodynamically efficient. Cruise Once a plane is in the air. carefully separating it from all other aircraft headed for. the wheels on which an aircraft rolls when it is on the ground are retracted into a cavity in the belly of the plane after it is airborne. This capability makes for more efficient operations and adds capacity to the aviation system. There is less drag (wind resistance). GPS enables aircraft to operate. although that too can vary considerably with headwinds. it is around 35. and the aircraft maintains a consistent. The flight crew then slows the aircraft quickly with several actions: pulling back on the throttles. . This is known as the Global Positioning System. called spoilers. speed and other factors after it leaves the gate. Some aircraft also are capable of using signals from a constellation of satellites to pinpoint their position. The aircraft is driven at slow speed under its own power onto the taxiway and from there to a gate. applying the brakes. During flight. The landing gear is lowered. with the permission of Air Traffic Control. Those control surfaces are described in greater detail later in this chapter. are manipulated to increase drag and thus reduce speed and altitude.000 feet. reversing the thrust of the engines. the pilot gradually brings the aircraft back toward the ground. or covered ramps. that are marked on flight maps and are defined by their relationship to radio navigation beacons. In addition. about 82 percent of the speed of sound. pilots normally follow designated airways. The so-called final approach begins several miles from the airport. or highways in the sky. by reducing engine power and speed. Pilots control and steer aircraft in flight by manipulating panels on the aircraft wings and tail. and. slowing the plane further. the continuous radio signals the flight crew will follow to the end of the runway. and an aircraft can fly faster when its landing gear is retracted. raising yet another set of panels on the top of the wings. Airline aircraft generally are traveling at about 120 miles per hour relative to the ground when they touch down. level altitude. the weight of the aircraft and the lifting force generated by the wings are exactly equal. This translates to a groundspeed of about 550 miles per hour. At this point. Air Traffic Control has put the aircraft in a sequence to land. Commercial aircraft are increasingly using it. and the rudder are used (as they are throughout the flight) to steer the plane and keep it on the localizer (heading) and glide slope (glide path). it continues to climb until it reaches its cruising altitude. which is determined by the pilot and must be approved by Air Traffic Control. whose signals are picked up by the aircraft. tailwinds and other factors. Descent and Landing In this phase of a flight. Generally. the same airport. Other panels. and thus the force of the lift. Taxi-In and Parking The final phase of a flight is a reverse of the first phase. Some jets also have inertial navigation systems onboard to help pilots find their way. Cruising speeds are at a constant mach number. known as flaps. aircraft generally are parked under their own power. weather conditions. air turbulence and the location of other planes in the sky. by closely tracking its heading. but that can vary considerably depending on length of flight. to operate safely off predetermined airways. known as elevators.
It is pressurized. Like the fuselage to which they are attached. Access to the cargo holds is through doors in the belly of the aircraft. where an airline carries passengers. meaning the wings are angled back toward the rear of the plane. an aircraft off the ground. which are attached to pylons hung beneath the wings. closets and overhead bins. Wings are mostly hollow inside. or balance point. with large compartments for fuel. meaning tapered. for stowing baggage. Small jets carry about 60 passengers. or both. but they are more efficient at high speeds because they create less drag. and seats for one or two observers that could be from the airline itself. Swept wings produce less lift than perpendicular wings. in the case of a combination carrier. Cabin The cabin is the section of the fuselage behind (and below in the case of the double-deck Boeing 747) the cockpit. fusele. and has heating systems for areas designated for the carriage of live animals. the larger ones like the Boeing 747 can carry more than 400. and inside are three primary sections: the cockpit. The term derives from a French word. Most jet aircraft have swept wings. the cabin (which often is subdivided into two or three sections with different seating arrangements and different classes of service) and the cargo hold. The point of attachment is the aircraft's center of gravity. A typical passenger cabin has galleys for food preparation. exclusive of its tail assembly. The number of exits is determined by the number of seats. the cockpit has seats for the pilot and co-pilot. . On most of the aircraft in service today. the wings also support the engines. and other things carried onto the plane by passengers. one or more seating compartments. on some planes. Aircraft also have ventilation systems that force air into these areas. coats. most of which are used only for emergency evacuations. wings and engines. It is made of aluminum sections that are riveted together. along with the rest of the fuselage. Cargo Hold This is the area of the fuselage below the passenger deck where cargo and baggage are carried. The cockpit is off limits to passengers during flight and to flight attendants during takeoffs and landings. Sometimes referred to as the flight deck. Wings The wings are the airfoil that generates the lift necessary to get and keep. freight. or from FAA. a flight engineer. There is no access from the cabin area. lavatories. and several doors to the outside. they are made of aluminum alloy panels riveted together.Major Parts of an Aircraft Fuselage This is the main body of an aircraft. It is basically the lower half of the fuselage cylinder. Cockpit The cockpit is the most forward part of the fuselage and contains all the instruments needed to fly the plane. because the fuselage is the shape of a long cylinder with tapered ends.
The elevators control the pitch of an aircraft. consisting of large fins that extend both vertically and horizontally from the rear of the fuselage. Flaps are mounted on the trailing edge of the wings. Engines The exact number of engines on an airplane is determined by the power and performance requirements of the aircraft. if a pilot deflects downward the aileron on the left wing of the aircraft. It is used to control yaw. The ailerons are panels built into the trailing edge of the wings. to ensure a comfortable ride. also part of the tail assembly. slats on the leading edge. the aircraft will roll. In others. Like the elevators. Jet aircraft also have automatic yaw dampers that function at all times. and they are fitted with many different kinds of control surfaces. Aircraft tires are filled with nitrogen rather than air because nitrogen does not expand or contract as much as air during extreme temperature changes. brakes. Flaps also are commonly deployed during final approach to increase lift. When extended. Most jet airplanes have two. Virtually all jet aircraft have a nose wheel with two tires. they also have control surfaces built into them that help the pilots steer the aircraft. tires. These steering motions deflect the ailerons up or down. which provides control and stability at slower speeds. Thus. Their primary purpose is to help stabilize the aircraft. which in turn affect the relative lift of the wings. while an aileron deflected up decreases the lift of its wing. three or four engines. width and depth. plus two or more main gear assemblies with as many as 16 tires. They also can be used during flight to expedite a descent.Wings are designed and constructed with meticulous attention to shape. they increase lift because they make the surface area of the wings larger and accentuate the curve of the wings. In addition. which is the movement of the nose up or down. hydraulic lines connect the cockpit controls with these various exterior panels. The other major control surfaces are the flaps and slats. depending on aircraft size. hanging below the wings. shocks. Many have them mounted on pylons. Empennage The empennage is the tail assembly of an aircraft. The rudder is a large panel attached to the trailing edge of a plane's vertical stabilizer in the rear of the plane. It is manipulated via foot pedals in the cockpit. The landing gear is usually raised and lowered hydraulically and fits completely within the lower fuselage when retracted. Spoilers are panels built into the top surfaces of the wings and mostly are used during landings to spoil the lift of the wings and thus keep the aircraft firmly planted on the ground once it touches down. They are used during flight and are manipulated by pulling or pushing on the control wheel or side-stick controller in the cockpit. axles and other support structures. much like the keel of a boat. or empennage. or bank. thus reducing the chances of a tire blowout. they are used during flight to steer an aircraft and are manipulated by turning the control wheel or side-stick controller in the cockpit to the left or right. They are manipulated from controls in the cockpit. The elevators are panels attached to the trailing edge of an aircraft's two horizontal stabilizers. . the connection is electronic. and defects upward the aileron on the right wing. which is the movement of the nose left or right. although automatic extension/retraction systems are sometimes provided to protect flight and structural integrity. Landing Gear The landing gear is the undercarriage assembly that supports an aircraft when it is on the ground and consists of wheels. An aileron deflected down increases the lift of the wing to which it is attached. both designed primarily to increase the lift of the wings at the slow speeds used during takeoffs and landings. In some planes. contour. Flap and slat settings are controlled by the pilots. which are described below. The rudder is used mostly during takeoffs and landings to keep the nose of an aircraft on the centerline of the runway. Some have the engines attached to the rear of the fuselage. to the right. length. Control Surfaces The control surfaces attached to an aircraft's wings and tail alter the equilibrium of straight and level flight when moved up and down or left and right.
scheduled airlines averaged . NTSB gathers facts about the accident and seeks to determine the reasons for it. Expressed another way. The air escaping from both a balloon and a jet engine creates a pressure differential between the front and back of the enclosed space that results in forward movement. through computerized controls. As with all combustion engines. This produces an explosion of extremely hot gases out the rear of the engine and creates a force known as thrust. with an engine under each wing and one on top of the fuselage at the rear of the plane. The pilots control the power produced by the engines. Then fuel is added to the hot. which propels the engine (and thus the aircraft) forward. or propjet. Most modern airliners are equipped with jet engines. short-range aircraft such as those often operated by commuter and regional airlines.000 pounds of thrust. the U. the turbofan pulls in more air. If appropriate. each of these giant engines can lift 90. but less so at the high speeds and high altitudes flown by the large commercial jets. airlines' safety record has improved steadily through the years. Importantly. The third type is the turboprop. or fanjets. the remaining engine or engines have enough power to keep the aircraft airborne. Thrust is generated by both the propeller and the exhaust gases of the jet itself. either directly or indirectly. some form of propulsion is required to move an aircraft through the air and generate sufficient lift for it to fly. as just described. With a larger fan at the front. The turbine is connected by a center shaft to the compressor blades at the front of the engine and thus keeps the compressor spinning while the engine is on. It also publishes transportation safety statistics. All large airliners are designed to fly safely on fewer than all engines. compresses it into smaller and smaller spaces.Some have a combination of both. This lowers the temperature and speed of the exhaust. most notably including the years since deregulation. It is the same principle that propels a balloon forward when blown up with air and released. In 1999. as the hot gases explode out the back of a jet. They are efficient in these types of operations. it can also make recommendations to regulatory bodies for safety improvements. these large engines can lift enormous amounts of weight off the ground and power aircraft at great speeds.S. Jet engines first entered commercial service in the late 1950s and were in widespread use by the mid-1960s. Airline Handbook Chapter 6: Safety The Record The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates transportation accidents. A jet engine takes in air at the front. NTSB statistics show that the U. Today's most powerful jet engines can produce more than 90. power is increased by adding more fuel to the combustion chamber.000 pounds straight up off the ground. As part of its accident investigation function. Types of Jets There are three basic types of jet engines. Turboprops are used on small. they turn a wheel known as a turbine. Turbojets are engines that use exhaust thrust alone to propel an aircraft forward. Turbofans. increasing thrust at lower speeds and making the engine quieter. compressed air and ignites the mixture in a combustion chamber. Since aircraft rely on their wings for vertical lift and engines only for horizontal movement.S. are an improved version of the turbojet. It uses a jet engine to turn a propeller. In other words. which are more powerful and mechanically simpler and more reliable than piston engines. Jet Propulsion As mentioned above. by pulling it through a series of compressor blades.3 fatal . The earliest forms of propulsion were simple gasoline engines that turned propellers. It also diverts some of the incoming air around the combustion chamber and later mixes it with the hot exhaust gases escaping out the back.
in a typical three-month period. and conducting safety-related research and development work.000 people die each year in highway accidents. according to an approved design. Since 1938. If all tests are successfully completed. Nearly three-fourths of the FAA's almost 50. takeoff and landing. corporate travel and agricultural purposes like crop spraying). Sadly.000 employees are involved in some aspect of ATC. FAA issues a type certificate for the new aircraft.S. when the government began keeping records of aviation accidents.000 licensed civil aircraft in the United States. training. FAA's other major functions include reviewing the design. an independent agency created by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. 3. the year that Congress enacted the legislation to deregulate aviation rates and routes.000 from poisoning. manufacture and maintenance of aircraft. so they can fly even when a structural element fails. 16. The FAA is also responsible for developing. 4. 3. The National Safety Council publishes an annual report on accidental deaths in the United States that also helps put the U. it sets the minimum safety standards for the airlines and acts as the public's watchdog for safety. which is described in Chapter 8. more than one way to communicate with the ground and more than one way to control the aircraft. It is the successor to the Federal Aviation Agency. followed by a production certificate. and that it is safe for commercial service. establishing operational requirements for airlines and airports. It has done so since the enactment of the Air Commerce Act of 1926. the very worst year for airline fatalities was 1974. FAA aeronautical engineers participate in the design process. and it continues to play a leading role in aviation safety today. The final step in aircraft certification is the issuance of an airworthiness certificate. Aircraft Certification Federal law requires that all civil aircraft operating in the United States be certified as airworthy by the FAA. maintaining and operating the nation's Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. This compares with two fatal accidents per one billion miles flown in 1978. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) The primary responsibility for airline safety regulation lies with the Federal Aviation Administration. Congress established the FAA as an agency of the Department of Transportation when it created the department in 1967. It attests to the fact that the plane has been properly built. By contrast. it did not end government regulation of safety.700 from burns. more people die on the nation's highways than have died in all airline accidents since the advent of commercial aviation. and 900 from guns fired accidentally. 9. The airline safety record also compares very favorably with many other everyday activities. Their mission is to ensure the safe separation of aircraft during flight and to sequence aircraft for taxiing. airline safety record into perspective. and many new regulations have been added. the vast majority of them privately owned general-aviation aircraft (small planes used primarily for pleasure flying. They also oversee the construction and flight testing of the prototype.100 from drowning. which essentially is FAA's stamp of approval for each aircraft coming off the assembly line. FAA's certification process begins with the design of an aircraft.600 people died that year in accidental falls. more than 40. with 460 deaths. In short. Although the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 ended all domestic economic regulation of the airlines. once FAA is satisfied that the manufacturer has everything in place to properly duplicate the prototype. According to the council's 1999 report for 1998. For example.accidents per one billion aircraft miles flown. There are well over 200. All safety requirements and programs in place at that time are still in force. The Government's Safety Role The federal government plays an important role in assuring the safety of air travel. .200 from suffocation brought on by ingestion or inhalation of food and other objects. The FAA requires that all commercial transport aircraft be designed with built-in redundancies. there is more than one way to lower the landing gear. setting minimum standards for crew training.
the number of flight attendants that must be aboard. These are operating requirements. FARs spell out the requirements for engaging in large-plane service. aircraft dispatchers and the FAA's own air traffic controllers. also require an FAA license. in some cases.500 hours of flight time. They must demonstrate their flying skills to an FAA examiner (or FAA-designated examiner). The schools where these aviation professionals get their training. the maintenance shops the airline intends to use (both its own shops and those of subcontractors) must be certified by FAA and open to inspection. flammability standards for cabin materials. Usually. In most situations. the equipment a carrier must have aboard each aircraft. Other requirements address such things as: Certification of Airline Personnel As with aircraft and airlines. however. or ADs. meteorology. that result in a possible unsafe condition. flight engineers. floor lighting for emergency evacuation. inflight maneuvers. including at least 250 hours flying as a pilot in command of an aircraft. either in an airplane or a simulator. separate certificate known as the certificate of public convenience and necessity. They also must pass a medical exam. but unlike manufacturer-generated service bulletins. ADs are written in consultation with the manufacturer. onboard smoking rules. In addition. Recurrent training also is required. as well as comply with airworthiness certificates for each aircraft. on demand. Operating Certificates Federal aviation regulations (FARs) require FAA certification of all airline companies. discovered after a plane is in service. the content of pre-flight announcements. ADs carry the force of law and airlines must comply with them. navigation. are addressed through airworthiness directives. there is no immediate safety hazard and the airlines are given a specified amount of time to complete the ADs. performing various types of takeoffs and landings. Through these directives the FAA informs all operators of the aircraft or engine type of the repairs or modifications needed to correct the problem. Every airline therefore is issued an operating certificate by the FAA. sometimes even before further flight. fly or manage airplanes must be personally licensed by the FAA and have minimum levels of training and experience. pilots.Design problems. . The Department of Transportation mandates that financial. replaced. radio communication and other subjects important to flying aircraft in commercial service. aircraft de-icing procedures. Large aircraft airline pilots must have a minimum of 1. both pre-employment and every year after they are hired. security procedures. FAA Flight Standards Service establishes all training and operating requirements for the airlines. Records of all maintenance work must be kept and also must be open to FAA inspection. as well as the equipment they use. the FAA will direct the airlines to complete the work quickly. insurance and citizenship requirements be complied with before it issues to the airline a second. These certification requirements apply to aircraft mechanics. Among other things. and emergency procedures. as well as the teachers in those schools. They must pass a written exam testing their knowledge of aircraft operations. If the problem poses an immediate safety hazard. rules for carry-on baggage. the people who work on. The maintenance program must specify the intervals at which certain aircraft and engine parts will be inspected and. a commercial operator must have FAA-approved training and maintenance programs.
to look for leaks. plus internal control systems. every six to none months. during which aircraft are opened up extensively. Aircraft Maintenance The airlines always have practiced a sophisticated and comprehensive form of preventive medicine when it comes to maintenance. In between these scheduled maintenance checks. safety is a top priority. as mentioned earlier. it also makes good business sense for the airlines to do everything they can to ensure safety. The act states that all airports with commercial service must be certified by the FAA and that certification will be granted only if the airport complies with certain safety criteria set by the FAA. calendar time. every 12-17 months. To airlines. or number of landings and takeoffs. Each involves a series of increasingly complex inspection and maintenance steps pegged to an aircraft's flying time.Airport Certification FAA also regulates airports. The Federal Aviation Act that established the FAA's predecessor agency stated that every license holder assumes "private sector responsibilities for maintaining the highest degree of safety. worn tires. FAA also provides grants for airport projects that enhance safety and increase the capacity and efficiency of the airport. . Every airline has a maintenance program for each type of aircraft it operates. corrosion and cracks invisible to the human eye. and cockpit and cabin emergency equipment. Among those criteria are ones dealing with the number and type of fire-fighting vehicles at the airport. Industry Safety Programs Although the FAA is charged with the responsibility for setting and enforcing minimum safety standards. a check. taking apart more and more components for closer and closer inspection. maintenance personnel probe the aircraft. in which aircraft are essentially taken apart and put back together again. With each step. of all of the above. lighting and auxiliary power systems. and every year they work jointly through the Air Transport Association on an agenda of safety-related programs. In the newest aircraft. every three to five days. important systems inside the airplane also are checked. The programs are developed jointly with the manufacturers of the equipment and. so inspectors can use sophisticated devices to look for wear. this information is even transmitted to ground stations while the plane is in flight. the ultimate and primary responsibility for safety rests with the airlines themselves. oxygen systems. airlines and aircraft. fluid levels. although to a lesser extent than pilots. The FAA also issues advisory circulars to airport operators on such topics as runway paving. must be approved by the FAA. computers onboard the aircraft monitor the performance of aircraft systems and record such things as abnormal temperatures and fuel and oil consumption. several times each day. runway lighting and storage facilities for fuel. with a primary purpose of promoting the development of new aviation infrastructure. an inspection. dents and other surface damage. of the aircraft's landing gear. with landing gear and many other components replaced." Of course. drainage and apron design. control surfaces such as flaps and rudders. The nature of the airline industry leaves no choice but to make sure that essential equipment is in good working order before an aircraft goes into service. Among the many inspection and maintenance procedures. an inspection. every three to a half to five years. a major check. cracks. It was empowered to do so by the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970. a typical program involves: a visual "walk around" inspection of an aircraft's exterior. hydraulic systems.
alerts other owners of the aircraft model through service bulletins about the problem and the steps that need to be taken. Airline pilots and flight engineers also are required to complete certain recurrent training each year. computerized video presentations. or if the item is optional or installed solely for passenger convenience. In many areas. those accepted for an interview are judged by many of the same criteria used to judge applicants for any job. and if the problem poses a serious safety hazard. since many airlines now operate globally. In effect. and all must be individually approved by the FAA. They may not postpone repairs that relate to the safe operation of the aircraft. airlines have rigorous purchasing procedures and quality-control programs that test parts when they are delivered. or whatever else is necessary to maintain safety. training in simulators. repairs. The process recognizes the fact that applicants with different prior experiences enter training programs with different skills and abilities. The airlines also have ultimate responsibility for all of the parts they buy. The FAA also gets the bulletins. however. in turn. then several more steps before they actually begin to fly. must complete some elements of recurrent training every six months. Although airline hiring procedures may differ. Programs vary. and no matter where the work is done. Items affecting safety or airworthiness must be repaired prior to further flight. it is immediately reported back to the manufacturer who. The second step is a screening process involving psychological and aptitude tests and a stringent medical examination. Between 10 and 15 percent of an airline's applicants typically make it through this process to gain acceptance to an airline's training program. Step three usually is a test in a flight simulator that evaluates an applicant's flying skills. If a problem develops. the airline itself retains ultimate responsibility for the quality of the work. but especially those who work aboard the aircraft and whose performance directly affects safety. hands-on equipment training. and the use of self-pacing. To ensure that parts meet original manufacturer specifications. Aircraft manufacturers provide considerable product support to their airline customers. both domestic and foreign. including experience and professionalism. In all cases. modifications. The airlines use various training methods. Some tasks. all of the repair stations the airlines use must be FAA-approved. drills or flight checks to ensure understanding and competence. are contracted to independent shops.All of the major U. self-testing. the manufacturers stand behind each of their aircraft for as long as they are in service. The methods include classroom instruction. Training Airline employees in general receive an extensive amount of training. but only if adequate back-up systems are available. depending on the type of airplane the pilot flies. The FAA permits airlines to temporarily operate aircraft with certain items inoperative. depending on subject matter. As mentioned. Security . recurrent training is done in an advanced simulator and takes from two to four days. Pilots in command. or captains. Applicants for jobs with a major airline must go through several steps just to get into a training program. Normally. Proficiency is the common goal of today's training programs. FAA converts the bulletin into an airworthiness directive mandating inspections. airlines have extensive maintenance facilities and do most of their own maintenance work. they require whatever training is necessary for trainees to become proficient at the required tasks. all must meet certain standards established by the FAA. but as mentioned. the training exercises conclude with exams. the FAA and the airlines no longer require a set number of hours of training at various tasks as they did in the past. Airlines are given a specified period of time to repair or replace these items.S. Instead. Pilots are among the most highly trained individuals in any field.
Subsequently. the FAA is purchasing and deploying sophisticated explosive. In the 1990s.S.The U. airlines began to screen carry-on baggage by x-ray machine. A credible threat against a specific flight could result in that flight being canceled.S. flight of the day. followed by the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Also. using government-approved. a new and much more serious threat emerged .S. airlines are also employing a government required and approved Computerized Passenger Screening System (CAPS). mechanics. to prevent weapons from being carried aboard an aircraft. following a rash of aircraft hijackings. As a result of the recommendations of the Vice President's Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. Aviation security is a fluid process requiring continuing analysis and review by the law enforcement and intelligence communities.S.detection screening equipment at certain U.S. FAA and the airlines. The airlines work closely with the FAA to increase security with additional procedures and personnel when the need arises. working closely together in 1985. such as cleaning personnel. Once again. airports. objective criteria.the threat of sabotage and terrorist acts of aggression. as well as both the FAA and the airlines to ensure the highest level of protection for the traveling public. airports for use by the airlines. cockpits and cargo holds prior to their first inspecting the property of all people who service aircraft. measures were once again enhanced to include the following steps for certain international flights: guarding aircraft at all times while they are on the ground and parking them in secure areas overnight. FAA security personnel work closely with law enforcement and intelligence officials worldwide and advise the airlines of any information that could affect their flight operations. searching aircraft cabins. questioning passengers before each flight to make sure they have not accepted gifts or packages from people they do not know. flag carriers' originating flights from overseas locations. caterers. Joint Efforts . accepting baggage only from ticketed passengers and only at ticket hand searching or x-raying all checked luggage. During the 1980s. terrorism struck the United States directly with the World Trade Center bombing. published in February 1997. Various improvements in cargo screening procedures are also being implemented. particularly against U. which passengers require additional security scrutiny. security was increased at U. mandatory background checks are now required for airline screening personnel. and cargo and baggage handlers. counters inside an airport. Passengers were required to be screened via metal detector prior to entering the concourse leading to their gate area. which automatically determines. if the threat cannot be resolved. took steps to significantly increase and add new aviation security measures. airline industry began security screening of passengers and their baggage in 1973. All aviation security measures are designed to be flexible. Oklahoma. In 1993. Enhancements are taking place in passenger screening procedures and training. U. This screening system has been in place for over 25 years and it has been extremely successful in preventing hijackings. matching checked baggage against the names of people who have boarded a flight and pulling bags from the baggage compartment for further inspection if they do not match a passenger aboard the flight.
Examples of recent efforts are: Aging Aircraft Following a highly unusual fuselage failure. TCAS is now in all commercial jets with 10 or more seats. and must be de-iced a second time if they exceed the allotted time. have been implemented as new regulations. pilots have a specific amount of time to take off. mechanics. Accident Investigations The NTSB. are appointed from among the members and serve terms of two years each. NTSB investigations have two goals . government and industry jointly developed warning devices for aircraft that alert pilots to windshear conditions so they can take appropriate action to avoid these dangerous downdrafts of air. Congress created the board under the same legislation that created the Department of Transportation in 1967. De-icing Following an accident attributed to ice on the wings of the aircraft (a condition that disrupts airflow over the wings and makes it difficult for aircraft to fly). depending on weather conditions. industry and government alike have focused resources. Flammability In a series of steps. these efforts already have produced improvements in training and in the management of tasks in the cockpit. including all civil aviation accidents. . Terms of service are five years. cabin sidewalls. FAA and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. which warns pilots when aircraft are getting too close and tells them what they should do to maintain adequate separation.to determine the cause of an accident and to serve as the basis for recommendations that enhance safety. a major effort was undertaken to re-examine and revise maintenance and modification procedures for older aircraft. which was used for administrative support only. through the 1974 Transportation Act. on studying human-factor issues. Prior to that time. with confirmation by the Senate. usually through committees or task forces comprised of representatives of equipment manufacturers. Now. as well as the aviation industry. pilots. Human Factors Recognizing that most accidents are caused by human error. well ahead of the time they would be expected to fail. airlines and government officials have upgraded aircraft interiors with more fire-resistant materials for seats. overhead bins. outside the DOT. Only the FAA has that power. Initially. Windshear As with TCAS. and are always carefully examined by the FAA. The President appoints the members of the board. the five-member NTSB was an autonomous agency within the DOT. government and industry officials conceived and implemented new procedures for pilots to follow in icy conditions. in recent years. The Board Chairman and Vice Chairman. many components are automatically replaced at specified intervals. however. is responsible for investigating all transportation accidents. While ongoing. airlines. the Civil Aeronautics Board handled accident investigations. Many of the board's recommendations through the years.Government and industry officials commonly work together to address recognized safety problems. It became a completely independent federal agency. The board does not have the authority to impose new aviation regulations. and other cabin and cargo bay materials. Collision Avoidance Years of joint research between government and industry resulted in the development and deployment of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). After de-icing (a process in which a fluid that melts ice is sprayed on an aircraft exterior). mentioned earlier. as aircraft age.
When an airline accident occurs. to small grass strips serving only a few aircraft each year. NATIONAL SYSTEM AIRPORTS (3. However. concessionaires and contractors . stating the probable cause of the accident. the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (the so-called black boxes) are deciphered. The team spends whatever time is necessary at the crash scene. preserving and enhancing the system's capacity. In other countries. Attention then shifts to the NTSB laboratory where. small other airports . Typically. ranging from large commercial transportation centers enplaning more than 30 million passengers annually. The federal interest in capital investment for airports is guided by several objectives. federal airport grants or passenger facility charges (PFCs).304 airports) General Aviation Airports (2. The teams typically consist of one member of the board and specialists in air traffic control. Since these sources constitute the majority of capital funding at most airports. helping small commercial and general aviation airports. Concerns over the possible abuse of the monopoly power of an airport. however. have held back wholesale airport privatization in the United States. aircraft operations. along with long-established legal and regulatory protections for existing airport investments and their revenue streams. financing costs would rise significantly. The cockpit voice recorder continuously records the last 30 minutes of cockpit conversation. 3. funding noise mitigation and protecting the environment. and someone trained in witness interrogation. Privatization The possible sale or lease of commercial airports in the United States to private companies has generated considerable attention in recent years. aircraft maintenance. the private sector plays a significant role in their operations and financing. Several factors. A final report. such as providing additional private capital for development.764 airports) Commercial Service Airports (540 airports) or non-hub Ownership Although all commercial airports in the United States are publicly owned. safety recommendations stemming from the accident sometimes precede the final report. medium. A privately owned airport would not be eligible for tax-exempt debt financing.airlines. including altitude. D.304 are designated as part of the national airport system and are therefore eligible for federal assistance. Even if a sale or lease transfer could overcome legal obstacles. Airline Handbook Chapter 7: Airports The United States possesses the largest. Of these. is presented to the full board at a public meeting in Washington. This normally occurs several months after the accident. most extensive aviation system in the world with more than 18. speed and the position of key controls.account for 90 percent of all employees at the nation's airports. the ability of a private airport to operate profitably is uncertain. or on the ground. the board dispatches a go team of experts in various phases of accident investigations. most airports are owned and operated by national governments. both in the cockpit and between the cockpit and people in other aircraft. the NTSB holds a public hearing to collect additional information through witness testimony and various aviation experts. secured by future airport revenue and subject to the scrutiny of credit-rating agencies. among other things. The flight data recorder maintains a continuous record of an aircraft's operating parameters. The largest source of capital for airport development is tax-exempt bonds. most notably ensuring safety and security.C. have motivated greater interest in airport privatization.000 airports. Hearings also permit the board to raise safety issues publicly. more than 400 primary airports designated as large. Employees of private companies .
groundside and airside. Airports rely on a variety of public and private funding sources to finance their capital development. operations.3 cents-per-gallon domestic air fuel tax. with departments for purchasing. or both. created by Congress in 1970 to fund improvements to airports and the nation's air traffic control system. As of January 2000. Beginning in 2000. However. baggage-claim areas. These revenues are credited to the Aviation Trust Fund.federal. The United Kingdom. 1999). and airside to the movement of air traffic into and out of the airport. with a cap of $18. many airports have also been charging airline passengers a $3. state or local. they are organized like a small city. are not funded by government general fund tax dollars . legal. only one commercial service passenger airport (Stewart/Newburgh. which the airlines collect as an add-on to the airfare. which had total outlays of $1. passenger drop-off and pick-up points.5 percent domestic ticket tax and a $2.50 per-person per-flight-segment fee for all flights. As of December 1999. of the two sides of an airport . beginning January 1. which sold its major commercial airports in 1987. and the fee expires when all of the money needed for the approved projects has been raised (unless new projects have been approved under a separate application).$4. check-in areas. Congress established an airport privatization pilot program that exempted up to five airports from legal requirements that limit their sale or lease to private entities. A $12. Groundside is geared toward the movement of ground traffic into and out of the airport. passenger facility charges (PFCs).00 for a roundtrip. Currently. New York) had submitted a final application to participate in the pilot program. engineering. and airport-generated income.50 per segment. even though one of the main objectives of the PFC program is to increase airport safety and capacity. finance. known as a passenger facility charge. personnel. Groundside includes an airport's roads. more than $1.6 billion in FY99. Congress authorized an increase in the maximum PFC rate that airports can charge passengers . including airport bonds.00 international departure tax (both adjusted for the annual rate of inflation. a 6. administration.00 fee. Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Since 1992. their passengers. public relations. airports are funded either directly or indirectly out of aviation revenue generated by airlines. or airport vendors in the form of direct payments or through earmarked taxes collected from aviation system users.00 international arrival tax and a $12. Airside includes aircraft gates. etc. Many of an airport's departments deal with one. Organization Because airports resemble small cities. these included a 7. These taxes must be pledged to specific capital improvements that will: (1) preserve or enhance safety. taxiways and runways. and taxes on the fuel used in small planes and for noncommercial purposes also fund the grant programs. or (3) enhance competition between or among air carriers. (2) reduce noise. except to certain rural airports. Every PFC is tied to specific capital improvement projects that have been approved by the FAA.5 billion in PFCs are collected each year. loading ramps. Rather. Financing Airports. only 19 percent of collected funds have been used for airfield safety and capacity improvements. In .As part of the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996. The FAA dispenses grants to airports out of the trust fund for projects under the Airport Improvement Program. contrary to popular misconception. restaurants and shops. in recent years some countries have begun to privatize all or parts of their nation's aviation system. security. They also have fire and police departments and must handle such typical municipal duties as trash and snow removal. More than 300 airports had received federal government approval to levy this tax. is one of the few countries where airports have generated profits for their shareholders. and the FAA has already authorized the collection of more than $25 billion.25 percent tax on domestic air freight. Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Airport grant programs are funded from taxes and fees specifically collected for that purpose. capacity or security of the national air transportation system. federal and state grants. While national governments of many foreign countries have historically owned and operated airports. a 4. parking lots.
was new financing for airport capital development. Capital improvements such as the construction of a new terminal or parking garage are sometimes funded privately (for example. Because airport revenue has kept pace with increased debtservice costs. restaurants. The top 71 airports. have been a useful tool in meeting aviation infrastructure needs. from the future revenue the new facility generates. after an airport deducts all nonairline revenue from its total annual expenses. while the 3.233 other national system airports account for the remaining 21 percent of the funding. an airport is divided into various cost centers (airfield. which account for almost 90 percent of all passenger traffic. or one-third of this total. Under the residual method. companies doing business at an airport (airlines. and airlines pay a share of those costs. parking areas. which are backed by the taxing power of a governmental unit. based on the weight of each aircraft that lands or departs. and rates are set accordingly. which are secured by an airport's future revenue. Usually. based on the amount of space they occupy. or about $53. issued since 1982 has been in the form of general airport revenue bonds (GARBs). the airlines are responsible for the remaining (residual) amount. Passenger facility charges.3 billion. Revenue bonds are repaid. The revenue collected from businesses.3 billion. general obligation bonds. Airport Costs With the exception of a few small airports that receive subsidies from their municipality. U.S. airports are selfsustaining. were far more common because of their stronger credit standing and. which constitute roughly 65 percent of their total funding.6 billion. revenue bonds sold for a new terminal would be repaid with the rent the airport collects from the airlines using the terminal. Today. when used wisely. by an airline if the new facility is for its own exclusive use). lower financing costs. Revenue Bonds More than 95 percent of all airport debt. more PFC funds are now being spent on interest for capital projects (29 percent) than are being spent on airfield safety and capacity. or two-thirds. Facilities built for exclusive use of a tenant. passengers and shippers using the airport covers most of the operating expenses associated with operating the airport. but pay flight fees. are sometimes leased to that tenant for a long period of time. but more often through the sale of revenue bonds by the airport operator. regardless of how their construction was financed. Typically. etc. obtain 79 percent of all capital funding. with interest. car rental companies. Under the compensatory method. while the other $36. the signatory airlines accept the financial risk and guarantee the airport sufficient revenues to meet its operating costs and debt-service costs. general aviation airports have been the most common issuers of general obligation bonds for airport development. was to refinance existing debt. while the other airports rely more heavily on federal and state grants for their funding. stores. Many businesses also pay a gross-receipts fee based on the total value of their business at the airport. The decline in general obligation bonds reflects the improved acceptance of GARBs by investors. . Compensatory agreements are generally found at mature airports that have realized successful revenue generation. etc.). planes they land/depart and other measures of airline use. Rate-Making Concepts There are two common methods for computing air-carrier fees: residual and compensatory. they also pay aircraft parking and fueling fees.) pay rents for the space they occupy. These airports also rely most heavily on private airport bonds. For example.fact. or make direct payments on long-term airport debt. Years ago. In some instances. The airport undertakes the risk of meeting costs. In a residual agreement. but also receives all the upside advantage. the airport owns all the facilities built on its property. terminals. therefore. Roughly $17. Airlines do not pay gross-receipts fees. however. the capacity to issue new debt has not been harmed.
taxiways and gates can accommodate safely. by changing departure and approach patterns. In contrast. under special arrangements that were "grandfathered" in the federal statutes addressing this issue. Revenue Diversion Of increasing concern to airlines (and many airport operators) has been local political interest in siphoning money away from airports for other non-aviation purposes. Regulation of Airports As mentioned in Chapter 6. who often want to see airport operations scaled back to reduce noise and pollution. The FAA calculates an airport's airside capacity using an engineering formula that takes into account the various ways an airport's runways are used. This certificate is known as a Part 139 certificate after the section of the federal air regulations (FARs) dealing with airport safety. is one of the most significant issues facing civil aviation. known as revenue diversion. Airline Handbook Chapter 8: Air Traffic Control ATC Facilities The Air Traffic Control (ATC) system is run by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airside capacity. Groundside capacity is the number of passengers per year the airport's roads. is prohibited by federal law. parking lots and terminals can handle. in different wind and weather conditions. Known as an Engineered Performance Standard (EPS). These and other capacity enhancements. or not used. rose 35 percent. they rose 70 percent. . is a more expensive option to expanding existing facilities. Between 1992 and 1999. and landing aids. terminal radar approach control facilities (TRACONs). Part 139 certificates are the equivalent of the Part 121 certificates for airline operations. they have been one of the industry's fastest-rising costs. is the number of aircraft operations the airport's runways. the producer price index over that same period of time increased less than eight percent and airline prices rose less than four percent. en route centers and flight service stations.S. Secondarily. on the other hand.S.one for groundside and one for airside. often face stiff opposition from residents of surrounding communities. in a few instances. it is ATC's job to keep aircraft traffic moving as efficiently as possible throughout the system. Building entirely new airports in less densely populated areas. working to ensure that aircraft do not run into each other and that traffic moves in an orderly fashion with minimum delays. The government developed the system primarily to maintain safe separation of aircraft flying over the United States and in and out of U. or lack of it.While the fees airlines pay to airports represent a small portion of overall airline operating costs (approximately 5 percent). although these usually deal with environmental or administrative matters rather than strictly with safety. it is expressed in aircraft operations per hour. an agency of the U. Airport capacity. airport costs exclusive of PFCs. In short. ATC is aviation's traffic cop. taxiways. but is allowed. Airports also may have to comply with state and local regulations. Airport Capacity Airports have two capacities . however. There are several types of ATC facilities. and often less convenient for most travelers. These include the airport towers familiar to most travelers. airports that receive scheduled air service by carriers must be certified by the FAA as operating within strict federal safety guidelines for design and operation. This can be done by adding runways. airports. or perhaps. Department of Transportation. A great deal of attention has been focused in recent years on getting more capacity out of airports that already exist. This activity. Including PFCs. Decisions that FAA's air traffic control division makes about the flight paths carriers will follow in and out of an airport also affect airside capacity. on the other hand.
. and the type of aircraft at which they are looking. Its job is to look for situations that will create bottlenecks or other problems in the system. Controllers on the ground then know how far away the aircraft is. then respond with a management plan for traffic into and out of the troubled sector. Kansas City. overseeing the entire ATC system. alternative airports the crew would use in the event of an aircraft emergency or a problem at the intended destination. also known as central flow control and located in Herndon. A Typical Flight From the standpoint of ATC. Chicago (the busiest center). Memphis. a flight plan provides crucial information to ATC about what a particular crew intends to do. In addition. They are located in Albuquerque. there are 68 of these stations providing such things as weather reports and route and terrain information. as well as the amount of fuel onboard the aircraft. Pilots tune to the frequency of the controller tracking their flight. ATCSCC will manage the number of aircraft operations into and out of the affected area. a transponder aboard the plane senses the radar signal and responds with an amplified radio signal directed toward the source of the signal received. New York. Currently. Anchorage. if bad weather develops or a runway is closed for repairs. The 21 ATC centers cover even broader areas. Boston. keep flight plans stored in the FAA's computer and merely activate them through their dispatch system prior to flight. Oakland. Jacksonville. Tracking Systems ATC primarily uses radar to keep track of aircraft flying over the United States. is FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC). also is capable of encoding the aircraft's altitude onto the return signal. In any event. The objective is to keep traffic levels in the trouble spots manageable for the controllers. is then analyzed by the receiver to determine both the distance and direction of the object hit. or radar echo. less than the number of towers because some TRACONs handle more than one airport. Central Flow Control Another key facility.S. A type of transponder known as Mode C. Atlanta. Salt Lake City. a single TRACON handles the traffic approaching and departing from all three New York-area major airports. Indianapolis. Virginia. via their dispatcher. as they move through the system and are handed off from one controller to another. Their job is to keep track of aircraft while they are en route or during the high-altitude cruise phase of their flights. Denver. Minneapolis. Flight service stations are information centers for pilots flying in and out of small cities and rural areas. Seattle and Washington. the direction it is headed. In the case of airplanes. satellites are expected to supplant ground-based radar as the primary means for keeping track of airplanes. The return signal. which spells out the route the flight crew plans to follow. flight service stations assist in emergency situations. Many airlines which fly the same routes every day. all airline flights begin with the flight plan. just prior to flight. For some flights. For example. Houston. Communications Flight crews and air traffic controllers communicate by radio using VHF frequencies between 118 and 136 megahertz. Radar transmits radio waves of ultra-high frequency that bounce back to their source when they hit something solid.The airport towers control aircraft while they taxi to and from runways and during takeoffs and landings. or during the climb and descent phases of flight. however. Miami. which is used aboard all commercial jets. initiating and coordinating searches for missing or overdue aircraft. but contains a discreet four-digit code that identifies the aircraft to a ground radar station. airports currently have such towers. For example. In the future. and switch frequencies. TRACONs control the aircraft immediately prior to and after landings and takeoffs. More than 450 U. Fort Worth. Cleveland. D. the airline operating the flight. The return signal not only is stronger. There are 236 TRACONs. The FAA bases its decision to build and operate a tower on the number and type of aircraft operations at a given airport. the pilot puts together the flight plan and submits it to ATC. Los Angeles. how high it is.C.
The tower assumes full control of the aircraft as soon as it reaches the end of the runway it will use for takeoff. When aircraft are moving at much slower speeds as they depart or approach an airport. These aircraft can. Depending on where the plane is going. the same level of positive control does not always extend to general aviation aircraft. Ideally. Since aircraft climb and descend at an angle. Under VFR. In certain oceanic airspace.000 feet while the horizontal radar separation remains at five miles. An approach controller will issue maneuver instructions to the crew to integrate the aircraft into the flow of other aircraft arriving at the airport. this reduction will follow in domestic airspace as well.000 feet at altitudes above 29. fly in uncontrolled airspace. As soon as the crew is on its final. and often do. They do not have to file a flight plan. When safely airborne. and gives them the radio frequency they need to do that. Below 29. which grants final clearance to land and monitors the aircraft until it completes its landing and exits the runway. or direction. the standard is three miles of horizontal radar separation or 1. when weather and visibility are good. Since aircraft must occasionally taxi across an active runway. It also instructs the crew on the heading. from one en route controller to another. and may give pilots new instructions before and even during a flight. unless they choose to operate in or out of an airport with a control tower. they make their first call to ATC. In general.000 feet. it contacts ground control for permission to leave the gate. the tower grants permission for takeoff. but that is not always the case. Above 29. Once an aircraft leaves a gate area and begins to taxi toward a runway. or VFR. which goes over the ATC routes and instructions the crew can expect from takeoff to landing. A ground controller then directs the aircraft to its gate. the approach controller hands the aircraft off to the airport tower. this call is made to clearance delivery. when aircraft are cruising at high speeds in the en route airspace. Once contacted. While all commercial airline aircraft are controlled every step of the way. it should follow immediately after takeoff. tower control hands off the aircraft to departure control. a receiving controller acknowledges radar contact with the plane and issues instructions for heading and altitude. this information matches the route requested in the flight plan. Given the speed and climb capabilities of modern jets. Eventually.000 feet. ATC sometimes has other ideas. this may only take a few minutes. the vertical separation is reduced to 1.000 feet of vertical separation. and they do not have to be in touch with air traffic control. and outside the airspace the airlines use on takeoff and approach to landing at the 450 plus airports with FAA control towers. When a crew is ready to depart. The controller who is handing off the flight instructs the crew to contact the next level of ATC surveillance.Once the pilots have completed their pre-flight planning and aircraft inspections and have settled into the cockpit. All of these and subsequent handoffs are accomplished by radio. it is instructed to contact approach control. but only in the immediate area of their gates. Departure control then turns over the flight to an en route center. which governs the movement of all vehicles around an airfield.000 feet in the en route airspace. the controlled airspace above an airport resembles the conical shape of a giant. which oversees the flight as it climbs away from the airport and enters the en route airspace. straight-in approach. En route controllers are assigned to specific geographic areas. pilots are responsible for . upside down wedding cake over the airport property. the standard is five miles of horizontal radar separation or 2. Airlines sometimes conduct their own ground control at their hubs. General aviation aircraft are allowed to fly under visual flight rules. it may be handed off many times. it comes under the jurisdiction of FAA ground control. outside the ATC system. Typically. during the course of its flight. ground control coordinates its instructions with tower control. and they work to maintain the safe separation of aircraft only in their sector of airspace. vertical separation has been reduced to 1. Aircraft separation standards vary according to circumstances. these uncontrolled spaces are areas below the cruise lanes used by commercial airline aircraft. As a flight crew approaches its destination airport and begins its descent. which oversees all movements across or along runways.000 feet of vertical separation. When the runway is clear.
Commercial airline flights always operate under instrument flight rules. is the primary cause of most back-ups. Congress has raised the taxes several times. and again in 1994. Among other things. The concept of a federal corporation to run ATC. An equipment glitch or personnel shortage at an ATC facility. When air travel and service soared following deregulation. on the other hand. radar systems. Pilots must be in contact with ATC and must file a flight plan. However.maintaining adequate separation from other aircraft. meaning they are proficient at navigating and flying their aircraft using cockpit instruments only. since they operate solely within the ATC system. controllers must master traffic management techniques. control towers. the extra crew costs incurred from delayed flights. which is why these rules sometimes are called the see and be seen rules. In recent years. Controller Training All air traffic controllers work for the FAA and all must go through a screening process and rigorous training before they are certified to control airplanes. applicants who pass through initial screening. the cost to passengers of extra nights on the road due to missed connections. Delays. However. In the years since. there have been an average 900 daily flight delays of 15 minutes or more. primarily air travelers and shippers. They also must be instrument rated. but deficiencies in the ATC system itself also play a major role in airline delays. The money in the fund comes from taxes and fees paid by users of the aviation system. Congress created the Aviation Trust Fund to pay for improvements to airports and the ATC system.S. and many other costs related to the delay problem. or IFR. the effort quickly bogged down and remains troubled. Congress also has authorized the use of trust fund money for FAA operating costs. are the rules under which general aviation aircraft must fly in bad weather and low visibility. they are assigned to an actual ATC station where they receive extensive on-the-job training. That is the estimated cost of the extra fuel that aircraft have burned waiting their turn to take off. Bad weather. the cost of buying or leasing the additional planes needed to maintain service in a congested system that reduces equipment utilization. Altogether. travelers were paying a tax on all domestic tickets and shippers were paying a tax on their freight bills. with little to show in terms of reducing airline delays. of course. more along the lines of a modern business. Typically. On completion of that program. They cannot process the flights fast enough to prevent a backup of traffic on the taxiways or at the airport gates. the capabilities and efficiencies of ATC has a direct bearing on the schedule performance of the airlines. etc. go first to the FAA training academy in Oklahoma City. such as the salaries of controllers. the idea met considerable opposition at that time. communication skills. without benefit of good visibility out of the cockpit windows. in order to handle air traffic efficiently. for example. landing aids. Airport and Airway Trust Fund In 1970. the FAA began a massive modernization effort intended to bring the ATC system up to where it needed to be. Airline Handbook Chapter 9: Airlines and the Environment . By 1994. Instrument flight rules. regardless of weather. and knowledge of the specific area they are overseeing. The cost of these delays to the airlines and their customers is estimated at more than $5 billion annually. when the Clinton Administration advanced its own version of the concept. airlines in FY99 totaled $21 billion. usually means that the flights it handles will be delayed because the controllers get behind in their work. was advanced by the airlines in the mid-1980s. such as new runways and taxiways. Modernization and Corporatization Because ATC is involved in the movement of all commercial airline aircraft. these and related aviation taxes and fees collected from U.
Most important. using flight simulators rather than real aircraft for pilot training. increased fuel efficiency has been a top industry priority for many years. engine manufacturers developed cleanerburning combustion chambers. because of the higher engine temperatures required to increase fuel efficiency and reduce other emissions. and the dark streaks of smoke produced by the first generation of jets all but disappeared from view. when appropriate. however. The major U. which is approximately 10 percent of total operating expenses. found that aircraft emissions of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide declined 85 percent and 70 percent. when weather or other problems delay takeoff. airlines have increased fuel efficiency nearly 65 percent by: investing in new. U. the first international environmental examination of any sector. Hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions result from incomplete combustion at the lower power settings used for descent. when jet engines also produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O). with the earliest efforts focused on reducing the highly visible smoke emitted from jet engines. Aircraft Emissions Airline efforts to reduce emissions date back to the 1960s. environmentally efficient aircraft and engines. or when idling or taxiing on the ground. using computers to determine optimum fuel loads and to select altitudes and routes that minimize fuel burn.S.000 feet. transport twice as many revenue passenger miles per gallon of fuel than the DC-9 and earlier versions of the 737. Rising fuel prices in the 1970s led to further reductions in emissions as airlines demanded (and got) more fuel-efficient cleaner engines and aircraft from the manufacturers. with engines shut down. These groups are looking at many options for the reduction of aviation emissions. exceeded only by labor. The Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-300. billions of dollars in new aircraft and engines that are far more efficient than the models they replace. Further. airlines spend more than $10 billion a year on fuel. during cruise. Airline representatives also have participated in the development of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on aviation's contribution to the atmosphere. A study by the General Accounting Office. By the late 1960s. the airlines have invested. as more fuel-efficient aircraft entered the fleet.S. on the other hand. As a result. participate in various working groups on aviation environmental protection. is produced when engines are at their hottest. today's aircraft produce less than one-quarter of the total amount of these three pollutants (HC. they emit smaller amounts of the gases of concern to scientists studying global warming and other environmental issues. respectively. such as during takeoffs and. U.S. Since deregulation. In addition. The airlines. using only one engine to taxi. through international aviation planning groups. between 1976 and 1988. airlines are participating in a voluntary EPA/FAA effort to study options for the reduction of NOx emissions below 3. published in 1992. and the industry has made giant strides in that regard. keeping aircraft exteriors clean to minimize aerodynamic drag. and continue to invest. NOx. by about 12 percent. lowering cruising speeds. Compared with the first generation of jets. CO and NOx) per landing and takeoff cycle. holding aircraft at gates. including operational measures and market mechanisms. Emissions of nitrogen oxide rose slightly during the period studied. to a lesser extent. for example. .Fuel Efficiency Fuel is the airline industry's second largest expense.
For example. the FAA with airline support. airlines have replaced the oldest. or make further gains in fuel efficiency. but several ideas appear promising.S. then reducing power and noise. airlines would have to find a way to power their aircraft without burning fossil fuels. The phase-out was an enormous undertaking. such as the Boeing 707. they use less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide for every mile flown. but it is not the only way to lessen the impact of jet noise on communities around airports. Key to their noise-reduction efforts has been the development and introduction of new technology over the past 25 years. Today. airports and the FAA are simultaneously pursuing other strategies.000 jets and more than $100 billion covering fleet replacement. were replaced during the 1970s with quieter. retrofitting and growth. involving some 2. without jeopardizing the fuel-efficiency gains and the reductions in other emissions achieved with the hotter engines. researchers are studying ways to lower the temperature inside a jet engine during high-power operations. The first generation of jets.about 2-4 percent of total man-made NOx emissions. airframe manufacturers have successfully reduced the noise created by the displacement of air as jets move through the sky at high speeds. Since NOx results from burning petroleum products at very high temperatures.the gas some scientists believe may cause global warming . meeting and even exceeding. What's more.applying maximum power. if such areas are adjacent to an airport. Congress adopted a plan for phasing out Stage 2 operations by 2000. the number of the U. according to FAA calculations.000 in 2000. be separated from airports. Now. Airlines responded. If airports are to peacefully co-exist with their communities. such as the 727. it is important to note that aircraft emit small amounts of NOx relative to other sources . which is where they continue to focus their efforts. for instance. In 1990. provides grants to airports for soundproofing homes. Through various design changes. Of course. airport operators are using federal grants to buy homes outright. Takeoffs and landings are routed over large bodies of water or industrial areas. quieter technology. to climb quickly while flying over non-residential areas near the airport. which appears impossible at this time. the noise produced by jets has been one of the airlines' biggest environmental challenges . Reducing noise at its source is important. Airlines. In addition. To cut aircraft emissions of CO2 further. Airlines account for less than 3 percent of total CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as wood. noisiest jets with new ones that incorporate the new. such as the 757. gas and oil. . schools. when passing over residential areas further away. the engine manufacturers. In some cases. all such efforts can be canceled out by poor planning and zoning decisions. As engines become more efficient. population exposed to unacceptable levels of aircraft noise declined from 7 million in 1975 to 600. only Stage 3 aircraft are flying. Stage 2 aircraft. the timetable for quieting the fleet to Stage 3 standards. That is a real challenge. it is essential that certain types of development. Stage 2 aircraft have been replaced with even quieter Stage 3 planes. airports and the FAA also work together to route aircraft away from residential areas as much as possible when flying near the ground. and the government are actively looking for ways to significantly reduce those emissions in the future. In some cases. including new combustion chamber designs with features that lower peak temperatures at high power settings. the airlines. pilots also are instructed to adjust their power settings on takeoff . engine manufacturers have made great strides in reducing noise by reducing the velocity of engine exhaust.also are minuscule compared to other man-made sources of CO2. As technological breakthroughs have occurred.While the increase in nitrogen oxide is a concern. Aircraft Noise Although many people do not associate noise with pollution. particularly houses. Airlines. As a result. Aircraft emissions of carbon dioxide .one they have spent billions of dollars to address. churches and other structures near airports. then selling the property for commercial redevelopment that is more compatible with the airport.
the fluid used to de-ice aircraft. reclamation of glycol. use of engine oil from ground vehicles to heat maintenance shops. recycling of batteries. lakes and other bodies of water near airports. Among the most significant steps have been: construction of drainage systems and holding ponds to capture the fluids used to de-ice aircraft so that those fluids can be treated before they seep into the ground or flow into streams. Fuel Management and Clean-Up The airlines have taken steps to better minimize releases of fuel into the environment and to cleanup historic fuel contamination. revers. more environmentally-sensitive methods for stripping paint from aircraft. greater use of trucks powered by less-polluting alternative fuels. donations of unwanted. removal. video tapes and other used and unwanted office supplies. recycling of laser printer cartridges. construction of facilities for the treatment of waste water at maintenance hangars. use of new. implementation of new programs to better manage the disposal of toxic substances generated by maintenance bases. greater use of metal utensils and ceramic dishes (rather than plastic and paper) aboard aircraft. Recycling The airlines have implemented a wide array of recycling programs to reduce the amount of solid waste they send to landfills and to conserve trees and other natural resources. donations to homeless shelters of partially used hotel soap and toiletries saved by flight attendants.Airport/Maintenance-Base Emissions The airlines have taken steps to eliminate or reduce emissions into the air and water from their activities at airports and maintenance bases. paper recycling at airline offices. so that maintenance workers use no more solvent than necessary to perform their tasks. shelf-stable foods such as cereal and crackers to food banks for the poor. recycling of old newspapers and magazines left aboard aircraft. or reconstruction. of underground fuel tanks to prevent leakage into ground water. use of smaller solvent containers. These steps include: . Recycling activities include: aluminum can recycling by flight attendants and caterers. scrap metal and used aircraft parts at maintenance bases. adoption of new citrus-based and alkaline-based solvents and aqueous cleaners that pose less environmental risk than chlorinated solvents. for re-use as a runway de-icer or as antifreeze for automobiles. such as compressed natural gas for delivering overnight packages and letters to and from airports. greater use of electric (rather than petroleum-powered) vehicles for towing aircraft and baggage carts around airport terminals.
or rudder designed to obtain a useful reaction from the air moving past it. Altimeter An instrument which displays the altitude above mean sea level (MSL) of an aircraft. whether the aircraft is nose-up.• removal or reconstruction of underground fuel tanks.primarily a tax on domestic airline tickets.000 available seat miles (ASMs). construction of drainage systems and holding ponds to capture the fluids used to deice aircraft. consistent with safety concerns. flown a distance of 100 miles. exploring ways to reduce environmentally harmful aspects of de-icing/anti-icing products. nose-down. i. . lakes and other bodies of water near airports. Available Seat Mile (ASM) One seat flown one mile. An airliner with 100 passenger seats. Deflection of these surfaces controls the roll or bank angle of the aircraft. represents 10. Airline Handbook Glossary Aileron A control surface located on the trailing edge of each wing tip. factoring environmental considerations into purchasing decisions. so that those fluids can be treated before they seep into the ground or flow into streams. • developed an airport-specific risk-based corrective action protocol to clean up historic airport contamination. to prevent leakage into ground water. Airworthiness A term used to describe both the legal and mechanical status of an aircraft with regard to its readiness for flight.e. rivers. Aviation Trust Fund Fund established by Congress to pay for improvements to the nation's airports and air traffic control system. • in conjunction with the American Petroleum Institute. or banking left or right. which include: where appropriate. Artificial Horizon An instrument which enables a pilot to determine the attitude of the aircraft in relation to the horizon. Airfoil Any surface such as an airplane wing. development of new de-icing procedures and products to limit the amount of de-icing/anti-icing fluid released into the environment. development of best management practices to limit the amount of de-icing/anti-icing fluid used. conducted an airport hydrant fuel system leakdetection technologies in the airport environment. Money in the fund comes solely from users of the system . De-icing Fluid Management The airlines have been developing a variety of methods to manage the environmental impacts of aircraft deicing/anti-icing practices. aileron.
it houses the air traffic controllers and equipment needed to identify and direct aircraft. Movement of the elevator will force the nose of an aircraft up or down. stopovers and connections. It generally is a continuous loop recorder that retains the sounds of the last 30 minutes. but no change of aircraft. at the front end of a jet engine that draws air into the engine and compresses the air. Computer Reservation System (CRS) A system for reserving seats on commercial flights electronically. Enplanements The number of passengers boarding a flight. including both mail and freight. among other things. carried for hire. Several airlines own and market such systems. Direct Flight A flight with one or more intermediate stops. which are used by travel agents. Codesharing A marketing practice in which two airlines share the same two-letter code used to identify carriers in the computer reservation systems used by travel agents. or several disks. The compressed air is then passed into a combustion chamber where it is mixed with fuel and burned. Connecting Flight A flight requiring passengers to change aircraft and/or airlines at an intermediate stop. which continued after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. as well as all radio transmissions made and received by the aircraft. . the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. usually on the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer. Essential Air Service Government subsidized airline service to rural areas of the United States. En Route Center Formally known as an Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). Compressor A fan-like disk.. Dispatcher An airline employee who is responsible for authorizing the departure of an aircraft. i. Empennage A collective term that refers to all of the various tail surfaces of an aircraft. The dispatcher must ensure. that the aircraft's crew have all the proper information necessary for their flight and that the aircraft is in proper mechanical condition.Cargo Anything other than passengers. which ended government regulation of airline routes and rates. Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) A device that records the sounds audible in the cockpit. including origination. primarily during the en route portion of their flights. producing thermodynamic energy. Deregulation The term commonly used in referring to the Airlines Deregulation Act of 1978. Combi A type of aircraft whose main deck is divided into two sections. which is used to control the pitch attitude of an aircraft. Elevator A control surface.e. one of which is fitted with seats and one which is used for cargo. and all intercom and public address announcements made in the aircraft.
The FAA also administers a program which provides grants from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for airport development. among other things. Flaps also have the effect of slowing an aircraft during its landing approach. Frequent-Flyer Programs Airline marketing programs designed to win customer loyalty by giving them "points" for each mile flown. Freight All air cargo excluding mail. It contains the cockpit. cylindrical in shape. main cabin and cargo compartments. Flight Deck Also called the cockpit. Hypersonic Flight Flight conducted at speeds greater than Mach 5. Flaps Control surfaces installed on the trailing edge of a wing and used to increase the amount of lift generated by the wing at slower speeds. heading and other flight parameters. There are both VFR and IFR flight plans. Hub and Spoke A system for deploying aircraft that enables a carrier to increase service options at all airports encompassed by the system. Like a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). An FDR will record information about the performance of various aircraft systems. Points can be cashed in later for free flights or upgrades in cabin service. It can provide weather briefings and en route advisories. Fuselage The main body of an aircraft. The stabilizer also usually contains the elevator. It can be electronically defined by radio signals transmitted from the ground. non-airline services or items. VFR plans are not mandatory. Horizontal Stabilizer The small wings at the rear of an aircraft's fuselage that balance the lift forces generated by the main wings farther forward on the fuselage. . a flight data recorder is designed to withstand the forces of a crash so that its information may be used to reconstruct the circumstances leading up to the accident (in some cases. Flight Service Station (FSS) An FAA facility that provides specialized flight-related services to pilots. it the section of an aircraft where pilots sit and control the aircraft. or DFDR).Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) The government agency responsible for air safety and operation of the air traffic control system. route. etc. It is filed with the appropriate FAA air traffic control facility. Freight-Ton Mile A ton of freight moved one mile. It entails the use of a strategically located airport (the hub) as a passenger exchange point for flights to and from outlying towns and cities (the spokes). Flight Data Recorder (FDR) Records pertinent technical information about a flight. An aircraft carrying a special radio receiver can detect this electronic glidepath and follow it down to the runway. or in some instances. Flight Plan A required planning document that covers the expected operational details of a flight such as destination. Glideslope The ideal descent path to a runway. or five times the speed of sound. a digital flight data recorder. altitude. fuel on board. as well as the aircraft's speed. It is the standard measure of air freight activity.
in relation to its previous altitude. PFC A tax authorized by Congress. Since a nautical mile is 15 percent longer than a statute mile. revenue passenger miles divided by available seat miles or cargo ton miles divided by available cargo ton miles. Repairs to some items not essential to an aircraft's airworthiness may be deferred for limited periods of time approved by the FAA. protected access to an aircraft from the terminal. It is used to guide landing aircraft during conditions of low visibility. a speed expressed in knots is 15% higher than it would be if expressed in miles per hour. the aircraft rises. Propfan One of several terms used to describe new generations of jet engines which typically turn very large. an aircraft is required to be in contact with air traffic control facilities and is separated by ATC from all other IFR aircraft. approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Instrument Landing System (ILS) Provides radio-based horizontal and vertical guidance to an aircraft approaching a runway. Lift The force generated by the movement of air across the wings of an aircraft. Jetway A registered trademark for a certain kind of aircraft loading bridge which allows passengers direct. Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations The FAA safety regulations covering operators of aircraft with fewer than 10 seats. When enough lift is generated to overcome the weight of an aircraft. National Carrier An airline with annual revenues of between $100 million and $1 billion. Major Carrier An airline with annual revenue of more than $1 billion. . multibladed propeller-like fans in order to produce the thrust needed for flight.Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Rules governing flight in certain limited visibility and cloud conditions. Pressurized Aircraft An aircraft that is kept at a designated atmospheric pressure so passengers and crew can breath normally. Nonstop Flight A flight with no intermediate stops. It is designed to help pay for airport improvements that enhance safety and capacity and is not revenue for airlines. or the percent of freight capacity that is utilized. assessed by airports. Under IFR. Load Factor The percentage of available seats that are filled with paying passengers. Minimum Equipment List (MEL) A list of aircraft equipment that must be in good working order before an aircraft may legally take off with passengers. Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations The FAA safety regulations covering operators of aircraft with 10 or more seats. Knot An abbreviation for one nautical mile per hour. Pitch A description of the movement of the nose of an aircraft up or down. Technically. and collected by airlines as an add-on to the passenger airfare.
they are extended to produce extra lift.Pylon The part of an aircraft's structure which connects an engine to either a wing or the fuselage. with sudden drop and possible loss of control. Terminal Control Area (TCA) A designated zone around and above the busiest airports. the airflow is disrupted. Revenue Passenger Mile (RPM) One paying passenger flown one mile. Regional Carrier An airline with annual revenues of less than $100 million whose service generally is limited to a particular geographic region. Stage 3 Aircraft Term used to describe aircraft that meet quieter Stage 3 noise requirements under FAR Part 36. which varies according to altitude but which is more than 700 miles per hour at sea level. including emergency situations.that is. usually installed on the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer. Ramp The aircraft parking area at an airport. Supersonic Flight Flight at speeds greater than the speed of sound. which controls the yaw motion of the aircraft . when raised. Spoilers Special panels built into the upper surface of the wing that. "spoil" the flow of air across the wing and thereby reduce the amount of lift generated. Seat Pitch The distance between seats in an aircraft's passenger cabin as measured from any point on a given seat to the corresponding point on the seat in front of or behind it. Stage 2 Aircraft Term used to describe jets which meet Stage 2 Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 36 noise parameters on takeoff and landing. It is used to determine an object's direction and distance. . It is the principal measure of airline passenger traffic. During takeoff and landing. Slats Special surfaces attached to or actually part of the leading edge of the wing. Rudder A control surface. Radar Term coined from the phrase "Radio Detecting and Ranging. Speed Brakes Also known as air brakes. Stall Results when a wing exceeds its angle of attack (angle between airfoil and relative flow of wind). They are useful for expediting a descent." It is based on the principle that ultra-high frequency radio waves travel at a precise speed and are reflected from objects they strike. Simulator A ground-based device used to train pilots which simulates flight scenarios. but which can be extended into the airflow to create more drag and slow the aircraft. the motion of the nose of the aircraft left and right. and the wing no longer produces lift. usually adjacent to a terminal. A flight in TCAs carries stringent requirements for pilot experience. aircraft equipment and communications capability. they are surfaces that are normally flush with the wing or fuselage in which they are mounted.
Yaw A description of the movement of the nose of an aircraft from side to side. Wind shear Weather phenomenon entailing a strong downdraft of air that can result in the loss of lift for an aircraft passing through it.Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility (TRACON) Controls aircraft immediately after and prior to landings and takeoffs. Examples of widebody aircraft include the Boeing 747 767. Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) Installed in commercial jets to search for and alert pilots to the presence of other aircraft. expressed in cents per mile. Unducted Fan A kind of engine that uses the basic core of a jet engine to drive large. Certain transponders have the ability to transmit automatically the altitude of the aircraft in addition to the special code. Vertical Stabilizer The large "tail" surface normally found on top of the rear of the fuselage. the Lockheed L-1011. and altitudes lower than. Yaw motion is controlled by the vertical stabilizer and the rudder. Turbojet The original designation for a "pure" jet engine whose power is solely the result of its jet exhaust. or left and right. Transponder An electronic device that "responds" to interrogation by ground-based radar with a special four-digit code that specifically identifies the aircraft on which it is located. Thrust The force produced by a jet engine or propeller. The rudder is usually installed at the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer. Enhanced versions of TCAS also advise pilots on actions to take to avoid aircraft that are getting too close. As defined by Newtonian physics. . Technically. Yield Average revenue per revenue passenger mile or revenue ton mile. the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. or during the climb and approach phases of flight. and Airbus Industries' A300 and A310. fan-like blades which produce the major thrust component of the engine. Turbofan A type of jet engine in which a certain portion of the engine's airflow bypasses the combustion chamber. and 777. A propfan is one kind of unducted fan. it is the forward reaction to the rearward movement of a jet exhaust. Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Rules governing flight during periods of generally good visibility and limited cloud cover. Widebody Aircraft Generally considered to be any airliner with more than one aisle in the passenger cabin. those of a typical jet. any aircraft with a fuselage diameter in excess of 200 inches may be considered a widebody. Turboprop A type of engine that uses a jet engine to turn a propeller. Turboprops are often used on regional and business aircraft because of their relative efficiency at speeds slower than. Aircraft flying under VFR are not required to be in contact with air traffic controllers and are responsible for their own separation from other aircraft.
the process airlines use to set prices for a flight. .Yield Management Also known as revenue management. The goal is to find the mix of seat prices that produces the most revenue.
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