The Airline Handbook

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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

the DC-3 had a noise-deadening plastic insulation. and seats set in rubber to minimize vibrations. was the realization that radio could be used as an aid to navigation when visibility was poor and visual navigation aids. Based on a low-wing. but the best was still to come The DC-3 Called the plane that changed the world. such as beacons. Marker beacons came next. Its cabin was insulated. the 247 accommodated 10 passengers and cruised at 155 miles per hour. that reduced takeoff distances. longer version was called the DC-2 and it was a big success. allowing pilots to locate airports in poor visibility. built of an aluminum alloy stronger than materials previously used in aircraft construction. following its debut in 1936 with American Airlines (which played a key role in its design). It was unveiled in 1933. for all its advancements. The airlines followed suit after the war. However. The DC-1 had a more powerful engine and accommodations for two more passengers than did the 247. Another important improvement was the use of a hydraulic pump to lower and raise the landing gear. however. to reduce engine noise levels inside the plane. The DC-3 had 50 percent greater passenger capacity than the DC-2 (21 seats versus 14). the Department of Commerce constructed 83 radio beacons across the country. and boosted cruising speeds Not to be outdone by United. It was a fantastically popular airplane. so they could avoid storms An even more significant development. It also was considered a safer plane. Boeing also gave the 247 variable-pitch propellers. or tracks. and it could travel coast to coast in only 16 hours . TWA went searching for an alternative to the 247 and eventually found what it wanted from the Douglas Aircraft Company. thus giving passengers more room than they had in the 247. There was no interior skeleton of metal spars. automatically transmitting directional beams. 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. Marconi sent his first message across the Atlantic on the airwaves just two years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk. They became fully operational in 1932. the airframe was designed so that the skin of the aircraft bore most of the stress on the plane during flight. and it featured such amenities as upholstered seats and a hot water heater to make flying more comfortable to passengers.a fast trip for that time. twin-engine bomber with retractable landing gear built for the military. As a result. were useless.introduction of artificial horizon. The new. using radio to transmit weather information from the ground to their pilots. it quickly became the dominant aircraft in the United States. increased the rate of climb. Eventually. some pilots were taking radios up in the air with them so they could communicate with people on the ground. It was equipped with the first automatic pilot and the first efficient wing flaps. and it helped attract many new travelers to flying. . Its DC-1 incorporated Boeing’s innovations and improved upon many of them. 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. For greater passenger comfort. This freed pilots from having to crank the gear up and down during takeoffs and landings.000 horsepower versus 710 horsepower for the DC-2). By World War I. yet cost only ten percent more to operate. Once technical problems were worked out. Douglas decided almost immediately to alter its design. and United Air Lines promptly bought 60 of them. the Boeing 247. Aviation and radio developed almost in lock step. It had more powerful engines (1. The DC-1 also was easier to fly. adding 18 inches to its length so it could accommodate two more passengers. only one DC-1 was ever built. the DC-3 was the first aircraft to enable airlines to make money-carrying passengers. More importantly. that pilots could follow to their destination. for added lift during takeoff.

Airlines sometimes were pushed and pulled in several directions.S. thereby encouraging the development of commercial air transportation. since the postal reforms in 1934 significantly reduced the amount they were paid for carrying the mail. The Jet Engine Isaac Newton was the first to theorize. that a rearward-channeled explosion could propel a machine forward at a great rate of speed.S. they had a major drawback. gaining an exposure that would give them a decidedly broader outlook at war’s end. mergers and routes. Most of the planes.the Air Safety Board .to investigate accidents. because people became dizzy and even fainted. Throughout the war. but the importance of air transports to the war effort quickly became apparent as well. 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. The airlines wanted more rationalized government regulation. through an independent agency. They could fly no higher than 10. in the 18th century. The breakthrough came at Boeing with the Stratoliner. President Roosevelt convinced Congress to transfer the accident investigation function to the CAA. and farther than ever before. The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 Government decisions continued to prove as important to aviation’s future as technological breakthroughs. which was then renamed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). .000 planes a year. a derivation of the B-17 bomber introduced in 1940 and first flown by TWA. It was the first pressurized aircraft.for passengers as well as freight . It created the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) and gave the new agency power to regulate airline fares. put the industry on the road to success. All the airlines had been losing money. These moves. By the end of the war. For the first time in their history. The major innovations of the wartime period . U. due to the reduced levels of oxygen at higher altitudes. of course. higher. There were fewer than 300 air transport aircraft in the United States when Hitler marched into Poland in 1939.than they could handle. a British pilot. no one found a practical application for the theory until Frank Whittle. and one of the most important aviation bills ever enacted by Congress was the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938. were fighters and bombers.000 feet and reach speeds of 200 miles per hour. the airlines had far more business . and the Civil Aeronautics Act gave them what they needed.000 feet. the airlines provided much needed airlift to keep troops and supplies moving. airmail rates. that enabled planes to go faster. Its mission was to preserve order in the industry. designed the first jet engine in 1930. interline agreements. Motion sickness was a problem for many airline passengers. Even then.Pressurized Cabins Although planes such as the Boeing 247 and the DC-3 represented significant advances in aircraft design. to the front and throughout the production chain back home. aircraft manufacturers were producing 50. Many of them also had opportunities to pioneer new routes. 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. In 1940. numerous government agencies and departments had a hand in aviation policy. however. and an inhibiting factor to the industry’s growth. Until that time.radar and jet engines . aircraft design during the war. The airlines wanted to fly higher. However. While there were numerous advances in U. and there was no central agency working for the long-term development of the industry. at the same time nurturing the still financially-shaky airline industry. coupled with the tremendous progress made on the technological side. to get above the air turbulence and storms common at lower altitudes.occurred in Europe. widespread skepticism about the commercial viability of a jet prevented Whittle’s design from being tested for several years. mass production was the chief goal of the United States. holding rates to reasonable levels while. the 33-seat Stratoliner could fly as high as 20. With its regulated air compressor. Congress created a separate agency .

passenger jet. Boeing employed a swept-back wing design for its B-47 and B-52 bombers to reduce drag and increase speed.S. In 1956 two aircraft collided over the Grand Canyon. America’s first jet plane . it flew in 1939.was built the following year. and other airlines soon were lining up to buy the new aircraft. to maintain safe separation of all commercial aircraft through all phases of flight. The agency was charged with establishing and running a broad air traffic control system. in large part because of the development of jets. Dawn of the Jet Age Aviation was poised to advance rapidly following the war. later called the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when Congress created the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1967. It would take another five years for German scientists to perfect the design. With a length of 125 feet and four engines with 17. Later. Most of the breakthroughs related to military aircraft that later were applied to the commercial sector. 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. at speeds as high as 500 miles per hour. helped secure the funding needed to solve such problems and advance the jet’s development. . meanwhile. a student whose work was independent of Whittle’s. which produced map-type outlines of surrounding countryside and showed aircraft as a pulsing light. Its engines proved more reliable than piston-driven engines . such as airline routes and rates. The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. and airline training and maintenance programs. although not as well as the Germans had hoped. but with the industry’s growth came new problems. putting less stress on the plane’s airframe and reducing maintenance expenses. The Civil Aeronautics Board retained jurisdiction over economic matters. Whittle also improved his jet engine during the war. British scientists also perfected the cathode ray oscilloscope. such as the certification of aircraft designs. Two years later. which cost half as much as the high-octane gasoline used in more traditional planes. a 36-seat British-made jet. the Boeing 707. in 1958. With the 707. The tanker. British scientists had been working on a device that could give them early warning of approaching enemy aircraft even before the war began.The Germans were the first to build and test a jet aircraft. The best example of military . killing 128 people. following World War II. In 1952. the Comet’s career ended abruptly following two back-to-back accidents in which the fuselage burst apart during flight . For example. flew from London to Johannesburg. the Federal Aviation Agency. and Congress responded by passing the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. air travel soared. all questions about the commercial feasibility of jets were answered. by which time it was. making them faster and thus more attractive to passengers.the result of metal fatigue.producing less vibration. as the first U. the 707 could carry up to 181 passengers and travel at speeds of 550 miles per hour. too late to affect the outcome of the war. found a way to distinguish between enemy aircraft and allied aircraft by installing transponders aboard the latter that signaled their identity to radar operators. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 Following World War II. it assumed jurisdiction over all other aviation safety matters. South Africa. was a huge success as a military plane. and in 1942 he shipped an engine prototype to General Electric in the United States.the Bell P-59 . the KC-135. The skies were getting too crowded for existing systems of aircraft separation. The Jet Age had arrived. They also burned kerosene. Based on a design by Hans von Ohain. but there still were significant problems to overcome. The legislation created a new safety regulatory agency.civilian technology transfer was the jet tanker Boeing designed for the Air Force to refuel bombers in flight. the Comet. Americans.000 pounds of thrust each. but even more successful when revamped and introduced. Radar Another technological development with a much greater impact on the war’s outcome (and later on commercial aviation) was radar. In addition. the design was incorporated into commercial jets. first ordered and operated by Pan Am. fortunately.

Lockheed flew its contender in the widebody market. A consortium of West European aircraft manufacturers first flew the Concorde two months later and eventually produced a number of those fast. it was a series of developments in the mid-1970s that intensified the pressure and brought the issue to a head. Business was falling at the same time that capacity and fuel prices were rising. which led to skyrocketing fuel costs and contributed generally to price inflation. In 1974. Earnings were poor throughout the mid-70s. The staff of the CAB reached the same conclusion in a report issued in 1975. a distinctive upper deck over the front section of the fuselage. testing the Tupolev 144 in December of 1968. despite these fare increases and capacity constraints. the Ford Administration began to press for government regulatory reforms. It was the first widebody jet. with two aisles. the CAB action did little to improve the carriers' financial picture. again. but small. Furthermore. However. 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. Another was the Middle Eastern oil embargo in 1973. Recognizing the economies of scale to be gained from larger jets. the industry resembled a public utility. Shortly thereafter. it was twice as big as any other Boeing jet and 80 percent bigger than the largest jet up until that time.S. 1978 and signed into law four days later by President Jimmy Carter. Pressure for airline deregulation had been building for many years. At that time. in response to a growing public sentiment that government regulations were overly burdensome to U. None of these moves were popular with the public. With seating for as many as 450 passengers.S. determining the routes each airline flew and overseeing the prices they charged. Sen. approved by Congress on October 24. it is a market-driven industry. other aircraft manufacturers quickly followed suit. and only a month later. jets for commercial service. Airline Handbook Chapter 2: Deregulation The Airline Deregulation Act Today's airline industry is radically different from what it was prior to 1978. The report said the industry was "naturally competitive. that unregulated intrastate airfares were substantially lower than fares for interstate flights of comparable distances. During the same period of time. Today. The turning point was the Airline Deregulation Act. efforts to produce a supersonic passenger jet. efforts were underway in both the United States and Europe to build a supersonic commercial aircraft. the L-1011. with customer demand determining the levels of service and price. the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). the DC8.Widebodies and Supersonics 1969 marked the debut of another revolutionary aircraft. Pan Am was the first to purchase and fly in commercial service. the Boeing 747. which significantly boosted airline capacity on many routes. Douglas built its first widebody. in numerous studies. in 1970. 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. particularly among economists who pointed out. Events Leading to Deregulation One of those developments was the advent of widebody aircraft. The Soviet Union was the first to succeed. not monopolistic. on the other hand. Both coincided with an economic downturn that put severe strain on the airlines. seating about 250 passengers. which. Both of these jets had three engines (one under each wing and one on the tail) and were smaller than the 747. stalled in 1971 due to public concern about it’s expense and the sonic boom produced by such aircraft." and that the CAB itself could no longer justify entry controls or . industry and were contributing significantly to inflation. In line with its mandate to ensure a reasonable rate of return for the carriers. the CAB responded to this crisis by allowing carriers to increase fares. with a government agency. and four engines. the DC-10. It cost more to fly. U.

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. with active DOT policy input and participation. Restrictions on domestic routes and schedules were eliminated along with government controls over domestic rates. and how much regulatory authority the governments will exercise over fares. 1985. 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. which exchange traffic rights. the number of flights they may operate. the CAB itself was disbanded. In the 1990s. and able. Express Package Delivery There was another important development following cargo deregulation . Congress mandated that domestic route and rate restrictions be phased out over four years. Kahn. as there had been in the past. These agreements specify such things as the cities each nations' airlines may serve. more liberal trade policies by many partners and the increasing importance of global airline alliances. International air services are usually governed by air-transport service agreements. between two nations. the CAB could certify new domestic cargo carriers as long as they were found "fit. the U. the board began to loosen its grip on the industry. In 1994. Congress also declared that one year following enactment of the bill.the rapid expansion of overnight delivery of documents and small packages.S. was persuasive in arguing that the board should give the airlines greater pricing freedom and easier access to routes. Eventually. acting at first under the leadership of John E. in view of strong airline traffic growth. and the end of all rate regulation by January 1. it was deregulation that really opened the door to success for such services. when it gave cargo carriers freedom to operate on any domestic route and charge whatever the market would bear. Kahn. although several board functions shifted to other government agencies. However." No longer would there have to be the more demanding. The CAB actually moved much more quickly than that. an economist. It provided for complete elimination of restrictions on routes and new services by December 31.public utility-type pricing. 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. Deregulation produced dramatic results for all aspects of the cargo business. Robson. 1981. This effort has been very successful. the number of . The CAB ceased to exist on January 1. without any limitation on routes. On its own. Mr. Overnight delivery of high-value and time-sensitive packages and documents began in the early 1970s. who became CAB chairman in 1977. and the result was outstanding growth for that segment of the aviation industry over the next decade. and therefore restrictive. 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. but particularly express package delivery. and as of April 2000. the United States made a concerted effort to liberalize its international aviation markets. Deregulation gave express carriers the operating freedom such high-quality services demand. carriers. primarily the Department of Transportation. referred to as bilaterals. 1983. Bilateral negotiations involving the United States are led by the State Department. willing. Air Cargo Deregulation Congress took the first legislative steps toward airline economic deregulation in November of 1977. finding of public convenience and necessity. and later under Alfred E. had concluded 45 "Open Skies" agreements.S.

but not airline safety. with hubs in several locations across the United States. for example. The Airline Deregulation Act ended government economic regulation of airline routes and rates. An airline with a hub-and-spoke system. determining subsidy levels and soliciting bids from carriers. Each bank includes dozens of planes arriving within minutes of each other. sometime hundreds. cooperative marketing agreements and other commercial opportunities.000 residents. Another is the . Operating a jet into a hub. that will take them to their final destinations. Essential Air Service Another function assigned to DOT with the demise of the CAB was the responsibility for maintaining air service to small communities. it established the Essential Air Service program. The government has performed this regulatory role since 1926. Hubs are strategically located airports used as transfer points for passengers and cargo traveling from one community to another. At a hub. had the authority to approve agreements between airlines and to grant antitrust immunity to those transactions that it approved. However. In cases where the agreements are less liberal and some restrictions exist. of course. thus. rather than handing them off to other carriers. 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. Effects of Deregulation Hub and Spoke A major development that followed deregulation was the widespread development of hub-and-spoke networks. To assure appropriate service. and often can do so several times of day. because of its comprehensive regulatory jurisdiction over the airline industry. A city of 100.carriers or capacity. and provide liberal regimes for pricing. Geographic location. point-to-point service. which provides subsidies to carriers willing to serve domestic locations that otherwise would be economically infeasible to serve. Antitrust Exemption The CAB. which existed on a more limited basis prior to 1978. of flights to different cities. it is the tasks of the DOT to decide which U. it may very well generate passengers going to a number of different destinations. DOT received authority to approve and immunize agreements affecting international air transportation. Travelers enjoy the advantage of staying with a single airline. Most of the major airlines maintain hub-and-spoke systems. the authority over domestic transactions lapsed. if they offered only direct. charters. and continues to do so through the Federal Aviation Administration. however. Congress anticipated that some of the lightly traveled routes would lose service. DOT administers the program. Airlines developed hub-and-spoke systems because they enable them to serve far more markets than they could with the same size fleet. Once on the ground. the government continues to regulate the airlines on all matters affecting safety. is unlikely to generate enough passengers to any single destination to fill more than a handful of seats aboard a commercial jet. has a better chance of keeping its passengers all the way to their final destination.S. the arriving passengers and cargo from those flights are transferred conveniently to other planes. airlines get those rights through traditional administrative processes. where passengers can connect to dozens of different cities. therefore. With the sunset of the CAB. is a prime consideration in deciding where to put a hub. Airlines schedule banks of flights into and out of their hubs several times a day. Safety As Chapter 6 explains in greater detail. 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. makes economic sense for small-city markets. travelers can connect to dozens. which in turn lowered unit operating costs and enabled them to offer lower fares. With carriers free to go wherever they want.

A recent Gallup survey revealed that 80 percent of the U. more than onethird of them in the previous 12 months. the number of carriers has doubled. the discounts are the most important result of airline deregulation. which today provide the primary means of public transportation between cities in the United States. Discount Fares Increased competition spawned discount fares. Fifty-five percent of the savings resulted from lower fares. however. with changing market conditions. Once a customer enrolls. They have become so low. The rewards (free tickets and upgrades that convert coach tickets to first class or business class tickets) are pegged to certain point totals. 85 percent of airline passengers have a choice of two or more carriers. The Brookings Institute. with discounts averaging two-thirds off full fare. mechanics and other airline professionals. It opened the airline business to newcomers just as Congress intended. as well as tie-ins to larger programs. It is now possible to build up frequent flyer points by purchasing things other than airline tickets. low-cost. A more recent development has been the marriage of frequent flyer programs with promotions in other industries in general. More than 90 percent of air travel today involves a discount. The number has fluctuated over the years. that interstate bus and rail service has been hard pressed to compete with the airlines. By 1999 they were carrying nearly 640 million. Frequent Flyer Programs Deregulation also sparked marketing innovations. New Carriers Deregulation did more than prompt a major reshuffling of service by existing carriers. Today. By 1998. estimated that the traveling public was saving in excess of $20 billion a year as a result of deregulation. Increased Competition The appearance of new airlines. the number again was on the rise as new airlines offering direct. the last full year of government regulation of the airline industry. In 1978. the essential elements are the same.and mediumsized markets. U. and the credit card industry in particular. Airlines prefer to locate their hub airports at cities where there already is significant "origin and destination" traffic to help support their flights. and many small carriers have their own programs. resulted in unprecedented competition in the airline industry. airlines carried 240 million passengers. Growth in Air Travel With greater competition on the vast majority of routes. The new airlines were a result of several factors. in 1999. 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. adult population had flown at least once. which helps reduce the number of nights travelers must spend on the road. no-frills service began to emerge. the biggest increase in competition occurred in the small. most notably low prices for used aircraft and the availability of pilots. air travel has grown rapidly since deregulation. In 1977. While the programs vary.S. compared with only two-thirds in 1978. combined with the rapid expansion into new markets by many of the established airlines. Proportionately. Today. the most noteworthy being frequent flyer programs. in fact. 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. The airlines compete intensely with one another in virtually all major markets. there were 43 carriers certified for scheduled service with large aircraft. Fares have declined more than 35 percent in real terms since deregulation in 1978. Most major airlines have such a program.size of the local market.S. extensive discounting. and in some cases to exchange miles for other goods and services. 45 percent from increased service frequency. and from the traveler's perspective. . and more available flights. which reward repeat customers with free tickets and other benefits.

The certificate typically authorizes both passenger and cargo service. Codesharing Another innovation has been the development of codesharing agreements.S. are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). scheduled airlines are classified by the government on the basis of the amount of revenue generated from operations. obtain only cargo-service authority. on the other hand. schedules are not necessarily coordinated. which occur very rapidly today.S. as well as to print tickets. Commuter airlines that use aircraft with a seating capacity of 60 or fewer seats or a maximum payload capacity of no more than 18.S. which spell out numerous requirements for operating aircraft . Many U. 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. Codesharing differs from interlining. airline and a foreign airline. Some also own regional carriers outright. in most cases with several regionals and also with other nationals and majors. provide for schedule coordination for convenient connections between carriers. giving them greater control over these important services that feed traffic from outlying areas into the major hubs. Airline Handbook Chapter 3: Structure of the Industry Types of Airline Certification U. and in most cases. Several major airlines developed their own systems and later sold partnerships in their systems to other airlines. 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 . Codesharing agreements allow two different airlines to offer better coordinated services to their customers. The codesharing agreements also usually tie each airline's marketing and frequent flyer programs. Codesharing agreements can be between a larger airline and a regional airline or between a U. Travel agents using the systems to check schedules and fares for clients. However. and there is no sharing of codes in computer reservation systems. All airlines hold two certificates from the federal government: a fitness certificate and an operating certificate. All the major airlines have codesharing agreements with regional carriers. also pay various fees for those conveniences. The systems also enable airlines and travel agents to efficiently process the millions of passengers who fly each day. These classifications are major.under it's statutory authority. national and regional. Some airlines. These systems help airlines and travel agents keep track of fare and service changes. Operating certificates. The Department of Transportation (DOT) issues fitness certificates . there are no frequent flyer tie-ins. In such situations. Codesharing also applies to international routes. The systems list not only the schedules and fares of their airline owners. The flights of each carrier appear independently in the CRSs. but also those of any other airline willing to pay a fee to have their flights listed. 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. and the airline issuing the ticket makes the arrangements for the traveler on the second carrier. Basically. and foreign airlines now have codesharing agreements that essentially enable those airlines to expand their global reach through the services operated by their partners.Programs Computer Reservation System (CRS) Another important development following deregulation was the advent of computer reservation systems.000 pounds can operate under the alternative authority of Part 298 of DOT’s economic regulations. the passenger buys a single ticket. permit smaller airlines to paint their planes with markings similar to those used by their larger partners. however.

and large-sized jets. is the size of the aircraft they operate. nationals operate mostly medium. Many of the airlines in this category serve particular regions of the country. There were 12 major U. American Eagle. were licensed by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to operate between major cities and smaller communities surrounding them. built into the floors. There is no official revenue definition of a small regional. regional carriers are airlines whose service. passenger airlines in 2000: Alaska. passenger jets that have been stripped of their seats to maximize cargo-carrying capacity. with operating revenues under $20 million. worldwide service. United and US Airways. which means they do not require a fitness certificate from DOT. America West. prior to deregulation.S. In addition. Trans World. represent the largest segment of the regional airline business. Majors Major airlines generate operating revenues of more than $1 billion annually. This has been one of the fastest growing and most profitable segments of the industry since deregulation. Continental.with 10 or more seats. Emery Worldwide. Medium regionals follow the same market-niche strategy as the large regionals and operate many of the same type aircraft. such as rollers. Atlas Air. They are subject to DOT fitness requirements. Large regionals are scheduled carriers with operating revenues of $20 million to $100 million. All majors. surrounding communities. Also in this category are some of the former supplemental carriers. Cargo Carriers Within the categories of major. American Trans Air. they generally provide nationwide. Hawaiian. their decks are reinforced to accommodate heavier loads. Regional carriers are divided into three sub-groups: large. carry nothing but freight. Evergreen. DOT only requires that they register their service and make certain annual reports to the department under Section 298 of the DOT economic regulations. nationals and regionals operate with a Part 121 certificate. one for cargo and one for passengers. other aircraft in use by principally all cargo carriers. so they hold DOT fitness certificates from DOT and must comply with FAA Part 121 operating requirements. but cargo carriers as well. and in some cases. and hinged nose and tail sections. Northwest. not only passenger carriers. Most of their aircraft seat more than 60 passengers. Small regionals. 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. In addition. for the most part. Nationals National carriers are scheduled airlines with annual operating revenues between $100 million and $1 billion. transporting travelers between the major cities of their region and smaller. American. medium and small. All have less than 61 seats. Regionals As their name implies. Delta. is limited to a single region of the country. What distinguishes them as a group. Previously called trunk carriers. and they typically have other cargo-handling features. Midwest Express and Polar Air Cargo. more than anything else. as well as the FAA Part 121 operating requirements. sometimes called commuters. FedEx and United Parcel Service. although some provide long-haul and even international service. The requirements cover such things as the training of flight crews and aircraft maintenance programs. previously licensed by the CAB to operate unscheduled charter service. extra-large doors. three all-cargo airlines were classified as majors: DHL Airways. Southwest. Their distinction is simply that they operate on a smaller scale. national and regional airlines are. Among today’s nationals are Aloha. . Like the majors. which supplemented the capacity of the trunk carriers. called freighters. Among the nationals are some of the former local service lines that. Freighters are. most often.

Line personnel generally fall into three broad categories: engineering and maintenance. These maintenance facilities generally are called maintenance stations. Dispatchers also are part of flight operations. Weight must be distributed evenly aboard an aircraft for it to fly safely. These include the weather. ticket and cargo sales. ensure passenger comfort. who fly them. and both have become more complicated since deregulation. who serve passengers and perform various inflight safety functions. combining the services of the traditional airline and the freight forwarder. A third level of inspection and repair capability is maintained at airports. It is in charge of all flight-crew training. during and after each flight to ensure safety. reservations and customer service. security guards. etc. 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. and sales and marketing. Among the largest cargo carriers are companies that began in the small package and overnight document-delivery business. How Major Airlines are structured Line Personnel These include everyone directly involved in producing or selling an airline’s services . so called because they offer door-to-door service. called the maintenance base. Smaller maintenance facilities are maintained at an airline’s hubs or primary airports. these facilities perform routine maintenance and stock a large supply of spare parts. ramp-service agents. Operations This department is responsible for operating an airline’s fleet of aircraft safely and efficiently. pricing and scheduling in particular can make or break an airline. Therefore. airport check-in and gate personnel. where a carrier has extensive operations. following a review of all factors affecting a flight. who maintain the planes.DOT has a special fitness review procedure for all-cargo carriers. by keeping planes in excellent condition. advertising. 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. Called major maintenance stations. scheduling. Maintenance Maintenance accounts for approximately 11 percent of an airline’s employees and 10-15 percent of its operating expenses. 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. both initial and recurrent training for pilots and flight attendants. Maintenance programs keep aircraft in safe. and ensure maximum utilization of those assets. the reservation clerks. routes the flight may follow. but makes money only when it is flying with freight and/or passengers aboard. working order. airline prices change frequently in response to supply and demand and to changes in the prices of competitors’ fares. Sales and Marketing This division encompasses such activities as pricing. where aircraft are likely to be parked overnight.the mechanics. fuel requirements and both the amount and distribution of weight onboard the aircraft. the flight attendants. use the same systems to . and it establishes the procedures crews are to follow before. including food service. the pilots. These are the integrated carriers. Travel agents. but most of the large ones hold a certificate of public convenience and necessity. flight operations. although less than at its hubs. who book and process the passengers. but far more often than when the government regulated the industry. Their job is to release flights for takeoff. larger airlines sometimes have more than one maintenance base. preserve the airline’s valuable physical assets (its aircraft). Schedules change less often. who sell approximately 80 percent of all airline tickets. While all of them are important. An airplane costs its owner money every minute of every day. These three divisions form the heart of an airline and generally account for 85 percent of an airline’s employees. As explained in the next chapter.

fueling. insurance . this includes the important function of fleet planning. In addition. 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. making reservations and purchasing electronic tickets using the Internet is increasing reservations and print tickets for travelers. which simplify the process for airline passengers to make a reservation and to purchase a ticket. Passengers have the ability to shop for the lowest priced transportation. all of the major airlines are now offering electronic ticketing for domestic and international air travel. the airline business is similar to other service businesses like banks.. Electronic self-service check-in computer kiosks at major airports will soon be available for most passengers using electronic tickets. Information services designs and maintains the company's internal computer systems. Finance & property handles company revenues and finances. fuel. the carrier remains responsible for meeting all applicable federal safety standards. Reservations and Ticketing There are major changes in air transportation. select specific seat assignments. Airlines perform a service for their customers . information services. a service industry. However. check baggage with bar-coded baggage tags and obtain their own boarding passes. on the way to the airport. it oversees all company property and the purchase of food. The number of air travelers shopping. 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). Passengers no longer worry about carrying flight coupons or losing their tickets. The next step for airlines will be to automate the check-in procedure. airport security. medical. it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this is. in the case of cargo customers) from one point to another for an agreed price. not only from their travel agent but from their own personal home computer or from a telephone. make or change a reservation. it is common for them to farm out certain tasks to other companies. Electronic commerce is playing a significant part in the airline industry. employee relations and public relations. maintenance work. obtain class of service upgrades. Electronic ticketing allows an airline to document the sale and track the usage of transportation. explained in greater detail in the next chapter. so that the airline runs efficiently and earns a profit. In addition to the paper tickets issued in the past. Self-service automated ticketing machines are also widely available at major airports around the country. aircraft parts and other supplies needed to run an airline. Subcontractors While major airlines typically do most of their own work. Their function is to support the work of the line personnel. More information about airline pricing and scheduling can be found in Chapter 4. public relations and planning. Staff Personnel These include specialists in such fields as law. Selfservice machines will enable passengers to verify their itinerary. finance. accounting.transporting them and their belongings (or their products. used to store and analyze data needed for operations and planning. whether an airline does the work itself or relies on outside vendors. personnel. For the most part. keeping the jobs in house at their hubs and other key stations. Airlines might contract out for all of this work or just a portion of it. At an airline. staff personnel work out of corporate headquarters and fall into seven broad job categories typical of major corporations: finance & property. request refunds etc. fundamentally. In that sense. food service and in some instances. legal. These tasks could include aircraft cleaning.

High Cash Flow Because airlines own large fleets of expensive aircraft. Each major airline employs a virtual army of pilots. There is no physical product given in return for the money paid by the customer. Airline Revenue . flight attendants. the largest of which is the U. Highly Unionized In part because of its long history as a regulated industry. cleaners. including equipment they owned previously but sold to someone else and leased back. Fewer than 10 percent pay full fare. its capital needs require consistent profitability. requiring large sums of money to operate effectively. gate agents. of course. The growth in the demand for air transportation since deregulation has substantially lessened the valleys. Airlines. where customers require personal attention. about 15 percent from cargo shippers. etc. airlines need more than storefronts and telephones to get started.S. accountants. although it is less pronounced than in the past. Most airlines use their cash flow to repay debt or acquire new aircraft. Capital Intensive Unlike many service businesses. security personnel. Thin Profit Margins The bottom line result of all of this is thin profit margins. Seasonal The airline business historically has been very seasonal. as many people took vacations at that time of the year. More than one-third of the revenue generated each day by the airlines goes to pay its workforce. compared to an average of above five percent for U.companies or even barbershops.S. airlines are also leasing equipment. managers. baggage handlers. even in the best of times. nor inventory created and stored for sale at some later date. Winter. an airline's ability to repay debt and acquire new aircraft is jeopardized. cooks. This pattern continues today. industry as a whole. they typically generate a substantial positive cash flow (profits plus depreciation). Increasingly. lawyers. They need an enormous range of expensive equipment and facilities. airlines are discounted.S. cargo is the sole source of transportation revenue. Whatever arrangements an airline chooses to pursue. reservation agents. on the other hand. while 20 percent comes from travel to and from destinations in other countries. have earned a net profit between one and two percent. Postal Service. through the years. the airline industry is highly unionized. Labor costs per employee are among the highest of any industry. The remaining 10 percent comes from other transport-related services. The summer months were extremely busy. but there is no changing the fact that they are a service business. with discounts averaging two-thirds off full fare. mechanics. For the major passenger airlines which also carry cargo in the bellies of their planes. Most of the passenger revenue (nearly 80 percent) comes from domestic travel. with the exception of the holidays. 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.S. Labor Intensive Airlines also are labor intensive. Most equipment is financed through loans or the issuance of stock. Computers have enabled airlines to automate many tasks. was slower. less than 10 percent of revenue comes from cargo (in many cases far less).Where the Money Comes From About 75 percent of the U. most of them . which depreciate in value over time. More than 90 percent of the tickets sold by U. the airline industry is a capital-intensive business. For the all-cargo carriers. When profits and cash flow decline. airline industry's revenue comes from passengers. from airplanes to flight simulators to maintenance hangars. As a result.

in their case working for shippers. freight forwarders are an independent sales force for airline services. pushing it lower.mostly inflight service and including such things as food and flight attendant salaries . Another rapidly rising cost has been airport landing fees and terminal rents. That is the percentage of the seats the airline has in service that it must sell at a given yield. to cover its costs. while increasing prices for airline services have just the opposite effect.  Maintenance . receive discounts when they travel. reservations and travel agent commissions .16 percent.10 percent.both parts and labor . Airlines typically operate very close to their break-even load factor.including advertising.27 percent.  Passenger Service . or price level.Where the Money Goes According to reports filed with the Department of Transportation in 1999.  Promotion/Sales .6 percent. and travel-agent commission is third (about 6 percent). however. to book reservations.basically the cost of handling passengers. as a percent of total trucks and inflight sales . When looked at as a whole. and to print tickets for customers.9 percent.6 percent.13 percent. There are more than 40. they make about 40 percent of the trips. Like travel agents. While these flyers represent only eight percent of the total number of passengers flying in a given year.13 percent. dispatchers and airline gate agents . airline costs were as follows:  Flying Operations . Fuel is the airlines' second largest cost (about 10 to 12 percent of total expenses). Escalating costs push up the break-even load factor. freight forwarders book the majority of air-cargo space. cargo and aircraft on the ground and including such things as the salaries of baggage handlers. The sale of just one or two more seats on each flight can mean the difference between profit and loss for an airline. Labor costs are common to nearly all of those categories.    Transport Related . The majority of business and plants . Eighty percent of the industry's tickets are sold by agents. Break-Even Load Factors Every airline has what is called a break-even load factor. have recently been declining.essentially any cost associated with the operation of aircraft. the break-even load factor for the industry in recent years has been approximately 66 percent.000 travel agents in the United States. such as fuel and pilot salaries . so does the break-even load factor. as more sales are now made directly to the customer through electronic commerce. Similarly. Depreciation/Amortization . labor accounts for 35 percent of the airlines' operating expenses and 75 percent of controllable costs. most of who use airline-owned computer reservation systems to keep track of schedules and fares. Since revenue and costs vary from one airline to another. Airline Costs . providing a vast network of retail outlets for air transportation. Administrative . Overall. 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. . Travel agencies play an important role in airline ticket sales. Commission costs.last-minute business travelers. Airlines pay travel agents a commission for each ticket sold.  Aircraft and Traffic Service .

it will seek to maximize the number of seats to keep prices as low as possible. Occasionally. airlines have had the same pricing freedom as companies in other industries. airlines must bump passengers involuntarily. airlines do not overbook haphazardly. meaning that they book more passengers for a flight than they have seats on the same flight. a carrier with a strong following in the business community may opt for a large business-class section. those volunteering are booked on another flight. In the rare cases where this occurs. They examine the history of particular flights. Free tickets are the usual incentive. The key for most airlines is to strike the right balance to satisfy its mix of customers and thereby maintain profitability. the chief objective in setting fares is to maximize the revenue from each flight. many travelers. it makes perfect sense. Importantly for travelers. federal regulations require the airlines to compensate passengers for their trouble and help them make alternative travel arrangements. Although this may be difficult to understand for some travelers. fares change much more rapidly than they used to. and then decide how much to overbook that particular flight. For the airlines. The salesperson. Overbooking Airlines occasionally overbook flights. considering that a seat on a particular flight is of different value to different people. The pleasure traveler likely will make the trip only if the fare is relatively low. it is increasing productivity. unfortunately. If a customer does not fly on the flight which he or she has a reservation. Pricing Since deregulation. by offering the right mix of full-fare tickets and various discounted tickets. however. or to cancel their travel plans altogether. the total number of seats aboard an aircraft depends on the operator's marketing strategy. They set fares and freight rates in response to both customer demand and the prices of competitors. economics and human behavior. especially business travelers buying unrestricted. of course. that contributes to lower airfares and expanded service. Too little discounting in the face of weak demand . Normally. However. Consequently. In most cases the practice works effectively. to a salesperson who suddenly has an opportunity to visit an important client than it is to someone contemplating a visit to a friend. full-fare tickets. there are more volunteers than the airlines need. If low prices are what an airline's customers favor. maybe with a different airline. airlines sometimes overbook flights. Changes in their own schedules may have made it necessary for them to take a different flight. The amount of compensation is determined by government regulation. On the other hand. The goal is to have the overbooking match the number of no-shows. The practice is rooted in careful analysis of historic demand for a flight. larger seats. An airline's inventory is comprised of the seats that it has on each flight. have not traveled on the flights for which they have a reservation. As a result. This undermines the productivity of an airline's operations. his or her seat is unused and cannot be returned to inventory for future use as in other industries. on the other hand. but when there are not enough volunteers. Historically. Some travelers. because it knows that its business customers are willing to pay premium prices for the added comfort and workspace. in the process determining how many no-shows typically occur. often with little or no notice to the airline. for instance. with fewer. reserve seats on more than one flight. likely will pay a higher premium in order to make the appointment.Seat Configurations Adding seats to an aircraft increases its revenue-generating power. It is far more valuable. when more people show up for a flight than there are seats available. airlines offer incentives to get people to give up their seats. and passengers sitting in the same section on the same flight often are paying different prices for their seats. without adding proportionately to its costs. Both airlines and customers are advantaged when airlines sell all the seats for which they have received reservations.

A Boeing 727. for instance. What's more. how much fuel do they burn per mile. and how many people are needed to fly them. These are the type of questions that must be answered. a meeting runs longer or shorter than they anticipate. For business travelers. There are numerous factors to consider when planning new aircraft purchases. changes in markets already . schedule is an important consideration for air travelers. for instance. it may choose to cancel the flight with the fewest number of passengers and utilize that aircraft for a flight with more passengers. too. versus three for the 727. can be extraordinarily complex and must take into account aircraft and crew availability. As a result. Airlines establish their schedules in accordance with demand for their services and their marketing objectives. marketing and flight operations. schedule is often more important than price. like those of an individual considering the purchase of a house or new car. As planes get older. If it has been largely a domestic carrier. Scheduling. Do existing aircraft need to be replaced. however. and they adjust their schedules often. And. how much are maintenance costs. and the plane will leave the ground with a large number of empty seats. the selection and purchase of new aircraft is usually directed by an airline's top officials. widebody aircraft. 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. maintenance costs can also rise appreciably. 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. Business travelers like to see alternative flights they may take on the same airline if. A flight cancellation at one airport. Can the airline afford to take on more debt? What does that do to profits? What is the company's credit rating. it is an ongoing process. so it can price the seats accordingly. The process of finding the right mix of fares for each flight is called yield. for example. it is not.for the flight. in response to market opportunities and competitive pressures. Along with price. If an airline must cancel a flight because of a mechanical problem. Marketing strategies are important. Unexpected discounting in a particular market by a competitor. finance. therefore. requiring continual adjustments as market conditions change. newer aircraft are more efficient and cost less to operate than older aircraft. airlines have been free to serve whatever domestic markets they feel warrant their service. is less fuel efficient than the 757 that Boeing designed to replace it. the larger 757 requires only a two-person flight crew. it may not have that type of aircraft in its fleet. In general. Scheduling Since deregulation. An airline considering expansion into international markets. means the airline will be short an aircraft someplace else later in the day. maintenance needs and airport operating restrictions. A carrier that has several flights a day between two cities has a competitive advantage over carriers that serve the market less frequently. can leave an airline with too many unsold seats if they do not match the discounts. what plans does the airline have to expand service. typically cannot pursue that goal without long-range. requiring sophisticated computer software that helps an airline estimate the demand for seats on a particular flight. beginning with the composition of an airline's existing fleet. On the other hand. play a key role in the aircraft acquisition process. inventory or revenue management. However. although it involves personnel from many other divisions such as maintenance and engineering. airlines do not cancel flights because they have too few passengers for the flight. such productivity gains must be weighed against the cost of acquiring a new aircraft. It is a complex process. While it may appear to be a cancellation for economic reasons. for example. The nature of scheduled service is such that aircraft move throughout an airline's system during the course of each day. and revenue-generating opportunities will be lost forever. or less directly. 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). Contrary to popular myth. In addition.

An economic downturn coinciding with the delivery of a large number of expensive new aircraft can cause major financial losses. taking their place. because no one knows for certain what economic conditions will be like many months. Sometimes. deregulation has enabled airlines to respond more effectively to consumer demand. manufacturers must sell substantial numbers of a new model just to break even. resulted in airlines adding flights to small cities around their hubs. plus smaller purchase commitments from several other airlines. It also can be a less expensive way to acquire aircraft.a statistic that compares favorably with even the most efficient autos. Too large an aircraft can mean that a large number of unsold seats will be moved back and forth within a market each day. Typically. today. relates to the size of the aircraft ordered. While more expensive than hush kits. new engines have operatingcost advantages that make them the preferred option for some carriers. Too small an aircraft can mean lost revenue opportunities. Some carriers also use the leasing option to safeguard against hostile takeovers. In larger markets.and medium-sized aircraft to feed the hubs. and Congress has produced timetables for the airlines to retire or update their older jets. or even years. they approach the aircraft manufacturers about developing a new model. 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. A ban on the operation of Stage 1 jets. if the manufacturers have not already anticipated their needs. meaning an airline willing to step forward with a large order for the plane. Hush kits are also available for older engines. Having the right-sized aircraft for the market is vitally important. One is the increased popularity of leasing versus ownership. 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. Others have chosen to re-engine. noisier engines with new ones that meet Stage 3 standards. because start-up costs for the production of a new aircraft are enormous. Today. as described in Chapter 2. Leasing leaves a carrier with fewer tangible assets that a corporate raider can sell to reduce debt incurred in the takeover. There have been several important trends in aircraft acquisition since deregulation. the fourth trend has been in response to airline and public concerns about aircraft noise and engine emissions. the airlines gave top priority to increasing the fuel efficiency of their fleets. if there is a production backlog). or replace their older. A second trend. but the ordering trend is toward smaller aircraft. such as the Boeing 707 and DC-8. in turn. were to be phased out by the year 2000. The development of hub-and-spoke networks. has been in effect since January 1. this often means more frequent service. include the Boeing 757 and the MD-80. In 1989. Airlines. airline planners determine their company needs an aircraft that does not yet exist. In such cases. They usually will not proceed with a new aircraft unless they have a launch customer. The third trend is toward increased fuel efficiency. 1985. the tax savings to a lessor can be reflected in the lessor's price. since 1978. Conversely. These considerations. Since aircraft purchases take time (often two or three years. Similarly. In addition. Technological developments have produced quieter and cleaner-burning jets. average about 40 passenger miles per gallon . In such cases. Larger aircraft remain important for the more heavily traveled routes. . Leasing reduces some of the risks involved in purchasing new technology. That led to numerous design innovations on the part of the manufacturers. As the price of fuel rose rapidly in the 1970s and early 1980s. Congress dictated that all Stage 2 jets. into the future. airlines also must do some economic forecasting before placing new aircraft orders. such as 727s and DC-9s. since high-income leasing companies can take advantage of tax credits. and some airlines have chosen to pursue this option rather than make the much greater financial commitment necessary to buy new airplanes. Stage 3 jets. new aircraft reflect the needs of several major airlines. increased the demand for small. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the planning process.served may require an airline to reconfigure its fleet.

When the airspeed reaches a certain predetermined point known as rotation speed. A motorized vehicle called a tug sometimes is used to push the aircraft back from its gate. the greater the lift becomes. an 18th century Swiss mathematician and scientist who studied the movement of fluids. the higher the altitude. The others are V1 . with all other factors such as weight being equal. the lower the air pressure. and cleared by Air Traffic Control to proceed. Aircraft also need to go faster to fly on a hot day than on a cool day. so air moving around a wing has a longer way to travel over the top than it does underneath.the speed beyond which a safe stop on a runway is no longer possible. If the so-called angle of attack is too severe. Some of these factors also are important in calculating V1. Push-back occurs only when the pilot has clearance to do so from Air Traffic Control. the flow of air around the wings becomes disrupted and the plane loses lift. Most large jets leave the ground at about 160 miles per hour and initially climb at an angle in excess of 15 degrees. Aircraft need more speed to leave the ground at a place like Denver than at a place like New York. This means that following engine start at the gate. The angle of a plane's wings to the air flowing around them is extremely important to maintaining lift. which monitors all aircraft movements during taxi. the more lift. involves the movement of the aircraft away from the terminal jetway and along taxiways to a runway. which equals not only the speed of the plane relative to the ground. the pilot manipulates panels on the tail of the aircraft to rotate the nose of the plane upward. The Phases of Flight Push-Back and Taxi-Out This first phase of flight. the less dense the air. 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 minimum speed needed to keep a plane flying should an engine fail after the aircraft surpasses V1. they are taxied at very low speeds. the slower it moves. Hot air is less dense than cool air and less density produces less lift for the same speed. and are not ground vehicles. Instruments onboard the aircraft display this airspeed.Daniel Bernoulli. and the faster the wing moves through the air. Similarly. Since aircraft are designed primarily for flight. The pressure differential creates lift. and vice versa. the thrust reversers are used to literally back the aircraft away from the gate. the higher the pressure. Bernoulli discovered that the pressure exerted by a moving fluid is inversely proportional to the speed of the fluid. first described the physics behind this phenomenon. the air temperature and the altitude of the airport. although the key factor is the length of the runway that is being used. where slower moving air molecules bunch together. and get airplanes off the ground. As the aircraft gains speed. after all doors have been secured. but also the speed of any wind that may be blowing toward the aircraft (aircraft normally take off headed into the wind). In other words. In addition. while their tops are curved. eventually overcoming the force of gravity upon the aircraft. Rotation speed. certain aircraft are permitted to power back. Takeoff and Climb When ready for takeoff. The same principle applies to moving air. At some airports. Some of the factors affecting VR and V2 are the weight of the aircraft. wings are slanted slightly downward from front to back. the pilot or first officer of an aircraft releases the brakes and advances the throttle to increase engine power to accelerate down the runway. and V2 . Aircraft wings are designed to take advantage of that fact and create the lift force necessary to overcome the weight of the aircraft. The faster that air moves through a space. . abbreviated VR. Once aligned on the runway. The aircraft then moves under its own power along the taxiways. is one of three important airspeed settings calculated before every flight. This creates even stronger lift and the plane leaves the ground. and the air pressure above the wing thus is lower than it is under the wing. The air going over the top moves faster than the air going underneath. air passes faster and faster over its wings and lift is created. The undersides of wings are more or less flat. and thus speed is needed to get it off the ground. fluid pressure decreases as fluid speed increases. The heavier the aircraft.

which is determined by the pilot and must be approved by Air Traffic Control. Since most gates are equipped with moveable jet ways. with the permission of Air Traffic Control. 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). In addition. and an aircraft can fly faster when its landing gear is retracted. The landing gear is lowered. Cruise Once a plane is in the air. Those control surfaces are described in greater detail later in this chapter. The aircraft is driven at slow speed under its own power onto the taxiway and from there to a gate. by closely tracking its heading. reversing the thrust of the engines. The so-called final approach begins several miles from the airport. the continuous radio signals the flight crew will follow to the end of the runway. This capability makes for more efficient operations and adds capacity to the aviation system. Cruising speeds are at a constant mach number. Descent and Landing In this phase of a flight. This is known as the Global Positioning System. to operate safely off predetermined airways. tailwinds and other factors. or covered ramps. the pilot gradually brings the aircraft back toward the ground. 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. GPS enables aircraft to operate. This translates to a groundspeed of about 550 miles per hour. During flight. although that too can vary considerably with headwinds. known as flaps. and. slowing the plane further. but that can vary considerably depending on length of flight. air turbulence and the location of other planes in the sky. and thus the force of the lift. pilots normally follow designated airways. Generally. are manipulated to increase drag and thus reduce speed and altitude. Pilots control and steer aircraft in flight by manipulating panels on the aircraft wings and tail. it continues to climb until it reaches its cruising altitude. that disrupt airflow and increase wind resistance. it is around 35. Commercial aircraft are increasingly using it. carefully separating it from all other aircraft headed for. By this point. level altitude. applying the brakes. power is reduced from the setting that was needed to climb. Some jets also have inertial navigation systems onboard to help pilots find their way. the same airport. Some aircraft also are capable of using signals from a constellation of satellites to pinpoint their position. There is no standard altitude for cruising. panels at the trailing edge of the aircraft's wings. weather conditions. and the aircraft maintains a consistent. There is less drag (wind resistance). . or leaving.000 feet. by reducing engine power and speed. The flight crew then slows the aircraft quickly with several actions: pulling back on the throttles. These computer-based systems calculate the plane's position from its point of departure. or highways in the sky. Taxi-In and Parking The final phase of a flight is a reverse of the first phase. whose signals are picked up by the aircraft. At this point. To fly level. Air Traffic Control has put the aircraft in a sequence to land.To make an aircraft more aerodynamically efficient. that are marked on flight maps and are defined by their relationship to radio navigation beacons. the weight of the aircraft and the lifting force generated by the wings are exactly equal. speed and other factors after it leaves the gate. called spoilers. Other panels. aircraft generally are parked under their own power. Airline aircraft generally are traveling at about 120 miles per hour relative to the ground when they touch down. raising yet another set of panels on the top of the wings. known as elevators. of course. about 82 percent of the speed of sound.

meaning the wings are angled back toward the rear of the plane. The point of attachment is the aircraft's center of gravity. where an airline carries passengers. along with the rest of the fuselage. meaning tapered. Wings The wings are the airfoil that generates the lift necessary to get and keep. the wings also support the engines. Like the fuselage to which they are attached. one or more seating compartments. fusele. and inside are three primary sections: the cockpit. they are made of aluminum alloy panels riveted together. Most jet aircraft have swept wings. lavatories. freight. Aircraft also have ventilation systems that force air into these areas. exclusive of its tail assembly. on some planes. coats. Cockpit The cockpit is the most forward part of the fuselage and contains all the instruments needed to fly the plane. and several doors to the outside. Access to the cargo holds is through doors in the belly of the aircraft. closets and overhead bins. in the case of a combination carrier. and has heating systems for areas designated for the carriage of live animals. Wings are mostly hollow inside. most of which are used only for emergency evacuations. or from FAA.Major Parts of an Aircraft Fuselage This is the main body of an aircraft. for stowing baggage. There is no access from the cabin area. The number of exits is determined by the number of seats. The term derives from a French word. It is pressurized. with large compartments for fuel. On most of the aircraft in service today. . or balance point. because the fuselage is the shape of a long cylinder with tapered ends. Sometimes referred to as the flight deck. A typical passenger cabin has galleys for food preparation. Cargo Hold This is the area of the fuselage below the passenger deck where cargo and baggage are carried. but they are more efficient at high speeds because they create less drag. the larger ones like the Boeing 747 can carry more than 400. an aircraft off the ground. The cockpit is off limits to passengers during flight and to flight attendants during takeoffs and landings. It is basically the lower half of the fuselage cylinder. or both. Cabin The cabin is the section of the fuselage behind (and below in the case of the double-deck Boeing 747) the cockpit. which are attached to pylons hung beneath the wings. and other things carried onto the plane by passengers. Small jets carry about 60 passengers. a flight engineer. the cockpit has seats for the pilot and co-pilot. wings and engines. and seats for one or two observers that could be from the airline itself. the cabin (which often is subdivided into two or three sections with different seating arrangements and different classes of service) and the cargo hold. Swept wings produce less lift than perpendicular wings. It is made of aluminum sections that are riveted together.

which are described below. to ensure a comfortable ride. if a pilot deflects downward the aileron on the left wing of the aircraft. Engines The exact number of engines on an airplane is determined by the power and performance requirements of the aircraft. The other major control surfaces are the flaps and slats. In addition. brakes. Their primary purpose is to help stabilize the aircraft. which is the movement of the nose left or right. Some have the engines attached to the rear of the fuselage. The elevators are panels attached to the trailing edge of an aircraft's two horizontal stabilizers. Landing Gear The landing gear is the undercarriage assembly that supports an aircraft when it is on the ground and consists of wheels. both designed primarily to increase the lift of the wings at the slow speeds used during takeoffs and landings. tires. also part of the tail assembly. They are manipulated from controls in the cockpit. These steering motions deflect the ailerons up or down. width and depth. three or four engines. Flap and slat settings are controlled by the pilots. or empennage. the connection is electronic. they also have control surfaces built into them that help the pilots steer the aircraft. thus reducing the chances of a tire blowout. The rudder is used mostly during takeoffs and landings to keep the nose of an aircraft on the centerline of the runway. while an aileron deflected up decreases the lift of its wing. which provides control and stability at slower speeds. . When extended. depending on aircraft size. An aileron deflected down increases the lift of the wing to which it is attached. It is used to control yaw. slats on the leading edge. Many have them mounted on pylons. It is manipulated via foot pedals in the cockpit. although automatic extension/retraction systems are sometimes provided to protect flight and structural integrity. length. hanging below the wings. shocks. the aircraft will roll. They also can be used during flight to expedite a descent. Empennage The empennage is the tail assembly of an aircraft. Most jet airplanes have two. The rudder is a large panel attached to the trailing edge of a plane's vertical stabilizer in the rear of the plane. to the right. and they are fitted with many different kinds of control surfaces. 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. In some planes. consisting of large fins that extend both vertically and horizontally from the rear of the fuselage. Aircraft tires are filled with nitrogen rather than air because nitrogen does not expand or contract as much as air during extreme temperature changes. 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. axles and other support structures. Flaps also are commonly deployed during final approach to increase lift. The ailerons are panels built into the trailing edge of the wings. and defects upward the aileron on the right wing. hydraulic lines connect the cockpit controls with these various exterior panels. which in turn affect the relative lift of the wings. 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. or bank. The elevators control the pitch of an aircraft. In others. Jet aircraft also have automatic yaw dampers that function at all times. Like the elevators. which is the movement of the nose up or down. much like the keel of a boat. Flaps are mounted on the trailing edge of the wings. Virtually all jet aircraft have a nose wheel with two tires. The landing gear is usually raised and lowered hydraulically and fits completely within the lower fuselage when retracted.Wings are designed and constructed with meticulous attention to shape. contour. plus two or more main gear assemblies with as many as 16 tires. Thus. They are used during flight and are manipulated by pulling or pushing on the control wheel or side-stick controller in the cockpit. they increase lift because they make the surface area of the wings larger and accentuate the curve of the wings.

it can also make recommendations to regulatory bodies for safety improvements. through computerized controls. or fanjets. Jet engines first entered commercial service in the late 1950s and were in widespread use by the mid-1960s. airlines' safety record has improved steadily through the years. increasing thrust at lower speeds and making the engine quieter.Some have a combination of both. most notably including the years since deregulation. they turn a wheel known as a turbine. 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. It also publishes transportation safety statistics. scheduled airlines averaged . which propels the engine (and thus the aircraft) forward. The earliest forms of propulsion were simple gasoline engines that turned propellers. compressed air and ignites the mixture in a combustion chamber.S. If appropriate. as the hot gases explode out the back of a jet. some form of propulsion is required to move an aircraft through the air and generate sufficient lift for it to fly. Most modern airliners are equipped with jet engines. power is increased by adding more fuel to the combustion chamber. Since aircraft rely on their wings for vertical lift and engines only for horizontal movement. All large airliners are designed to fly safely on fewer than all engines. The third type is the turboprop. Today's most powerful jet engines can produce more than 90. It is the same principle that propels a balloon forward when blown up with air and released. by pulling it through a series of compressor blades. Turbojets are engines that use exhaust thrust alone to propel an aircraft forward. 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. but less so at the high speeds and high altitudes flown by the large commercial jets. This lowers the temperature and speed of the exhaust. these large engines can lift enormous amounts of weight off the ground and power aircraft at great speeds. either directly or indirectly. as just described. the U.S.000 pounds of thrust. or propjet. NTSB gathers facts about the accident and seeks to determine the reasons for it. NTSB statistics show that the U.000 pounds straight up off the ground. Types of Jets There are three basic types of jet engines. which are more powerful and mechanically simpler and more reliable than piston engines. It uses a jet engine to turn a propeller. 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. each of these giant engines can lift 90. Then fuel is added to the hot. the turbofan pulls in more air. Thrust is generated by both the propeller and the exhaust gases of the jet itself. compresses it into smaller and smaller spaces.3 fatal . This produces an explosion of extremely hot gases out the rear of the engine and creates a force known as thrust. In other words. Turbofans. With a larger fan at the front. Expressed another way. They are efficient in these types of operations. Airline Handbook Chapter 6: Safety The Record The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates transportation accidents. the remaining engine or engines have enough power to keep the aircraft airborne. Turboprops are used on small. In 1999. As with all combustion engines. short-range aircraft such as those often operated by commuter and regional airlines. are an improved version of the turbojet. The pilots control the power produced by the engines. As part of its accident investigation function. A jet engine takes in air at the front. Importantly. with an engine under each wing and one on top of the fuselage at the rear of the plane. Jet Propulsion As mentioned above.

000 licensed civil aircraft in the United States. so they can fly even when a structural element fails. If all tests are successfully completed. The FAA requires that all commercial transport aircraft be designed with built-in redundancies. FAA's certification process begins with the design of an aircraft. there is more than one way to lower the landing gear. According to the council's 1999 report for 1998. which is described in Chapter 8. in a typical three-month period. They also oversee the construction and flight testing of the prototype. 4. more than one way to communicate with the ground and more than one way to control the aircraft. FAA's other major functions include reviewing the design. By contrast. the vast majority of them privately owned general-aviation aircraft (small planes used primarily for pleasure flying. the very worst year for airline fatalities was 1974.000 people die each year in highway accidents. Aircraft Certification Federal law requires that all civil aircraft operating in the United States be certified as airworthy by the FAA. All safety requirements and programs in place at that time are still in force. more than 40. 9.accidents per one billion aircraft miles flown. and conducting safety-related research and development work.100 from drowning. It is the successor to the Federal Aviation Agency. Although the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 ended all domestic economic regulation of the airlines. Sadly. setting minimum standards for crew training. according to an approved design. It has done so since the enactment of the Air Commerce Act of 1926. FAA issues a type certificate for the new aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) The primary responsibility for airline safety regulation lies with the Federal Aviation Administration. when the government began keeping records of aviation accidents. it did not end government regulation of safety. The FAA is also responsible for developing.000 from poisoning. and many new regulations have been added.200 from suffocation brought on by ingestion or inhalation of food and other objects. The final step in aircraft certification is the issuance of an airworthiness certificate. 3. once FAA is satisfied that the manufacturer has everything in place to properly duplicate the prototype. which essentially is FAA's stamp of approval for each aircraft coming off the assembly line. Congress established the FAA as an agency of the Department of Transportation when it created the department in 1967. For example. establishing operational requirements for airlines and airports. The airline safety record also compares very favorably with many other everyday activities. with 460 deaths. and it continues to play a leading role in aviation safety today. takeoff and landing. it sets the minimum safety standards for the airlines and acts as the public's watchdog for safety. It attests to the fact that the plane has been properly built.000 employees are involved in some aspect of ATC. Their mission is to ensure the safe separation of aircraft during flight and to sequence aircraft for taxiing. 3.S. . Nearly three-fourths of the FAA's almost 50. 16. There are well over 200. corporate travel and agricultural purposes like crop spraying). and 900 from guns fired accidentally.700 from burns. In short. This compares with two fatal accidents per one billion miles flown in 1978.600 people died that year in accidental falls. maintaining and operating the nation's Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. and that it is safe for commercial service. The Government's Safety Role The federal government plays an important role in assuring the safety of air travel. The National Safety Council publishes an annual report on accidental deaths in the United States that also helps put the U. more people die on the nation's highways than have died in all airline accidents since the advent of commercial aviation. airline safety record into perspective. Since 1938. followed by a production certificate. an independent agency created by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. manufacture and maintenance of aircraft. training. FAA aeronautical engineers participate in the design process. the year that Congress enacted the legislation to deregulate aviation rates and routes.

Large aircraft airline pilots must have a minimum of 1. rules for carry-on baggage. ADs are written in consultation with the manufacturer. however.500 hours of flight time. separate certificate known as the certificate of public convenience and necessity. fly or manage airplanes must be personally licensed by the FAA and have minimum levels of training and experience. on demand. The maintenance program must specify the intervals at which certain aircraft and engine parts will be inspected and. aircraft dispatchers and the FAA's own air traffic controllers. the number of flight attendants that must be aboard. the FAA will direct the airlines to complete the work quickly. performing various types of takeoffs and landings. pilots. either in an airplane or a simulator. Operating Certificates Federal aviation regulations (FARs) require FAA certification of all airline companies. They also must pass a medical exam. flammability standards for cabin materials. If the problem poses an immediate safety hazard. both pre-employment and every year after they are hired. a commercial operator must have FAA-approved training and maintenance programs. navigation. aircraft de-icing procedures. FAA Flight Standards Service establishes all training and operating requirements for the airlines. that result in a possible unsafe condition. security procedures. also require an FAA license. there is no immediate safety hazard and the airlines are given a specified amount of time to complete the ADs. discovered after a plane is in service. FARs spell out the requirements for engaging in large-plane service. as well as the equipment they use. They must pass a written exam testing their knowledge of aircraft operations.Design problems. These certification requirements apply to aircraft mechanics. replaced. the content of pre-flight announcements. In most situations. in some cases. floor lighting for emergency evacuation. In addition. sometimes even before further flight. or ADs. radio communication and other subjects important to flying aircraft in commercial service. 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. ADs carry the force of law and airlines must comply with them. and emergency procedures. Records of all maintenance work must be kept and also must be open to FAA inspection. These are operating requirements. Through these directives the FAA informs all operators of the aircraft or engine type of the repairs or modifications needed to correct the problem. The schools where these aviation professionals get their training. Other requirements address such things as:          Certification of Airline Personnel As with aircraft and airlines. are addressed through airworthiness directives. onboard smoking rules. as well as the teachers in those schools. Every airline therefore is issued an operating certificate by the FAA. but unlike manufacturer-generated service bulletins. insurance and citizenship requirements be complied with before it issues to the airline a second. inflight maneuvers. the equipment a carrier must have aboard each aircraft. flight engineers. . as well as comply with airworthiness certificates for each aircraft. the people who work on. including at least 250 hours flying as a pilot in command of an aircraft. Recurrent training also is required. The Department of Transportation mandates that financial. meteorology. They must demonstrate their flying skills to an FAA examiner (or FAA-designated examiner). Usually. Among other things.

hydraulic systems. maintenance personnel probe the aircraft. every three to five days. fluid levels. to look for leaks. In between these scheduled maintenance checks. oxygen systems. plus internal control systems. In the newest aircraft. runway lighting and storage facilities for fuel. it also makes good business sense for the airlines to do everything they can to ensure safety. and every year they work jointly through the Air Transport Association on an agenda of safety-related programs. Each involves a series of increasingly complex inspection and maintenance steps pegged to an aircraft's flying time. . every three to a half to five years. lighting and auxiliary power systems. of all of the above. with landing gear and many other components replaced. The programs are developed jointly with the manufacturers of the equipment and. every six to none months. and cockpit and cabin emergency equipment. taking apart more and more components for closer and closer inspection.Airport Certification FAA also regulates airports. with a primary purpose of promoting the development of new aviation infrastructure. corrosion and cracks invisible to the human eye. airlines and aircraft. several times each day. a typical program involves:  a visual "walk around" inspection of an aircraft's exterior. Industry Safety Programs Although the FAA is charged with the responsibility for setting and enforcing minimum safety standards. 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." Of course. control surfaces such as flaps and rudders. 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. as mentioned earlier. important systems inside the airplane also are checked. With each step. although to a lesser extent than pilots. or number of landings and takeoffs. worn tires. so inspectors can use sophisticated devices to look for wear. 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. Aircraft Maintenance The airlines always have practiced a sophisticated and comprehensive form of preventive medicine when it comes to maintenance. calendar time. Among the many inspection and maintenance procedures.  an inspection. the ultimate and primary responsibility for safety rests with the airlines themselves. To airlines. FAA also provides grants for airport projects that enhance safety and increase the capacity and efficiency of the airport.  an inspection. during which aircraft are opened up extensively. of the aircraft's landing gear. The FAA also issues advisory circulars to airport operators on such topics as runway paving. cracks. Every airline has a maintenance program for each type of aircraft it operates.  a check. must be approved by the FAA. every 12-17 months. dents and other surface damage. computers onboard the aircraft monitor the performance of aircraft systems and record such things as abnormal temperatures and fuel and oil consumption. in which aircraft are essentially taken apart and put back together again. drainage and apron design. Among those criteria are ones dealing with the number and type of fire-fighting vehicles at the airport. It was empowered to do so by the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970.  a major check. this information is even transmitted to ground stations while the plane is in flight. safety is a top priority.

the manufacturers stand behind each of their aircraft for as long as they are in service. As mentioned. The airlines also have ultimate responsibility for all of the parts they buy. it is immediately reported back to the manufacturer who. but especially those who work aboard the aircraft and whose performance directly affects safety. Programs vary. the FAA and the airlines no longer require a set number of hours of training at various tasks as they did in the past. hands-on equipment training. are contracted to independent shops. recurrent training is done in an advanced simulator and takes from two to four days. must complete some elements of recurrent training every six months. Pilots are among the most highly trained individuals in any field. repairs. modifications. The FAA also gets the bulletins. airlines have rigorous purchasing procedures and quality-control programs that test parts when they are delivered. since many airlines now operate globally. In many areas. Aircraft manufacturers provide considerable product support to their airline customers. To ensure that parts meet original manufacturer specifications. or captains. the training exercises conclude with exams. Step three usually is a test in a flight simulator that evaluates an applicant's flying skills. all of the repair stations the airlines use must be FAA-approved. self-testing. both domestic and foreign. Applicants for jobs with a major airline must go through several steps just to get into a training program. The methods include classroom instruction. or whatever else is necessary to maintain safety. 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. They may not postpone repairs that relate to the safe operation of the aircraft. The FAA permits airlines to temporarily operate aircraft with certain items inoperative. drills or flight checks to ensure understanding and competence. FAA converts the bulletin into an airworthiness directive mandating inspections. airlines have extensive maintenance facilities and do most of their own maintenance work. In all cases. The second step is a screening process involving psychological and aptitude tests and a stringent medical examination. Airlines are given a specified period of time to repair or replace these items. all must meet certain standards established by the FAA. Pilots in command. Security . those accepted for an interview are judged by many of the same criteria used to judge applicants for any job. including experience and professionalism. but only if adequate back-up systems are available. Proficiency is the common goal of today's training programs. and all must be individually approved by the FAA. in turn. but as mentioned. depending on the type of airplane the pilot flies. or if the item is optional or installed solely for passenger convenience. however. Airline pilots and flight engineers also are required to complete certain recurrent training each year. Items affecting safety or airworthiness must be repaired prior to further flight. alerts other owners of the aircraft model through service bulletins about the problem and the steps that need to be taken. and the use of self-pacing. Although airline hiring procedures may differ. Instead. then several more steps before they actually begin to fly. Some tasks. and no matter where the work is done. computerized video presentations. Normally. If a problem develops. the airline itself retains ultimate responsibility for the quality of the work. The process recognizes the fact that applicants with different prior experiences enter training programs with different skills and abilities. The airlines use various training methods. they require whatever training is necessary for trainees to become proficient at the required tasks. training in simulators. In effect. and if the problem poses a serious safety hazard.S. Training Airline employees in general receive an extensive amount of training.All of the major U. depending on subject matter.

In the 1990s.S. working closely together in 1985. cockpits and cargo holds prior to their first  inspecting the property of all people who service aircraft. flag carriers' originating flights from overseas locations.  questioning passengers before each flight to make sure they have not accepted gifts or packages from people they do not know. terrorism struck the United States directly with the World Trade Center bombing. which passengers require additional security scrutiny. security was increased at U. took steps to significantly increase and add new aviation security measures.the threat of sabotage and terrorist acts of aggression. In 1993. using government-approved. as well as both the FAA and the airlines to ensure the highest level of protection for the traveling public.detection screening equipment at certain 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. airports for use by the airlines. airline industry began security screening of passengers and their baggage in 1973.S. Subsequently. searching aircraft cabins. caterers. to prevent weapons from being carried aboard an aircraft. Enhancements are taking place in passenger screening procedures and training.The U.  flight of the day. As a result of the recommendations of the Vice President's Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. a new and much more serious threat emerged . following a rash of aircraft hijackings. airports.S. All aviation security measures are designed to be flexible. mandatory background checks are now required for airline screening personnel. particularly against U. 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. Joint Efforts .  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. Once again. This screening system has been in place for over 25 years and it has been extremely successful in preventing hijackings.S. FAA and the airlines. The airlines work closely with the FAA to increase security with additional procedures and personnel when the need arises. and cargo and baggage handlers. Aviation security is a fluid process requiring continuing analysis and review by the law enforcement and intelligence communities.  accepting baggage only from ticketed passengers and only at ticket hand searching or x-raying all checked luggage. Also. During the 1980s. Oklahoma. objective criteria. U. if the threat cannot be resolved. which automatically determines. published in February 1997. the FAA is purchasing and deploying sophisticated explosive. such as cleaning personnel. followed by the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.  counters inside an airport. airlines are also employing a government required and approved Computerized Passenger Screening System (CAPS). Various improvements in cargo screening procedures are also being implemented. mechanics. Passengers were required to be screened via metal detector prior to entering the concourse leading to their gate area.S.

NTSB investigations have two goals . government and industry officials conceived and implemented new procedures for pilots to follow in icy conditions. well ahead of the time they would be expected to fail. After de-icing (a process in which a fluid that melts ice is sprayed on an aircraft exterior). including all civil aviation accidents. and must be de-iced a second time if they exceed the allotted time. many components are automatically replaced at specified intervals. is responsible for investigating all transportation accidents. industry and government alike have focused resources. the Civil Aeronautics Board handled accident investigations. and other cabin and cargo bay materials. overhead bins. It became a completely independent federal agency. Only the FAA has that power. as well as the aviation industry. mechanics. mentioned earlier. Prior to that time. outside the DOT. depending on weather conditions. usually through committees or task forces comprised of representatives of equipment manufacturers. Flammability In a series of steps. Terms of service are five years. While ongoing. 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). Now. a major effort was undertaken to re-examine and revise maintenance and modification procedures for older aircraft. . FAA and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. in recent years. determine the cause of an accident and to serve as the basis for recommendations that enhance safety. Congress created the board under the same legislation that created the Department of Transportation in 1967. Examples of recent efforts are: Aging Aircraft Following a highly unusual fuselage failure. the five-member NTSB was an autonomous agency within the DOT. airlines and government officials have upgraded aircraft interiors with more fire-resistant materials for seats. The board does not have the authority to impose new aviation regulations. cabin sidewalls. The Board Chairman and Vice Chairman. TCAS is now in all commercial jets with 10 or more seats. have been implemented as new regulations.Government and industry officials commonly work together to address recognized safety problems. as aircraft age. 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. and are always carefully examined by the FAA. The President appoints the members of the board. which warns pilots when aircraft are getting too close and tells them what they should do to maintain adequate separation. Accident Investigations The NTSB. airlines. with confirmation by the Senate. on studying human-factor issues. Many of the board's recommendations through the years. these efforts already have produced improvements in training and in the management of tasks in the cockpit. pilots. which was used for administrative support only. 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). Initially. Windshear As with TCAS. Human Factors Recognizing that most accidents are caused by human error. are appointed from among the members and serve terms of two years each. through the 1974 Transportation Act. pilots have a specific amount of time to take off.

most airports are owned and operated by national governments. ranging from large commercial transportation centers enplaning more than 30 million passengers annually.When an airline accident occurs. funding noise mitigation and protecting the environment. Hearings also permit the board to raise safety issues publicly.airlines. however. A privately owned airport would not be eligible for tax-exempt debt financing. Typically. The team spends whatever time is necessary at the crash scene. the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (the so-called black boxes) are deciphered. most extensive aviation system in the world with more than 18.304 airports) General Aviation Airports (2. D. small other airports . concessionaires and contractors . Attention then shifts to the NTSB laboratory where. more than 400 primary airports designated as large. The federal interest in capital investment for airports is guided by several objectives. secured by future airport revenue and subject to the scrutiny of credit-rating agencies. aircraft operations. financing costs would rise significantly. preserving and enhancing the system's capacity. This normally occurs several months after the accident. among other things.C.account for 90 percent of all employees at the nation's airports. Since these sources constitute the majority of capital funding at most airports. Concerns over the possible abuse of the monopoly power of an airport.304 are designated as part of the national airport system and are therefore eligible for federal assistance. to small grass strips serving only a few aircraft each year. speed and the position of key controls. The flight data recorder maintains a continuous record of an aircraft's operating parameters. 3.764 airports) Commercial Service Airports (540 airports)  or non-hub  Ownership Although all commercial airports in the United States are publicly owned. federal airport grants or passenger facility charges (PFCs). the board dispatches a go team of experts in various phases of accident investigations. Privatization The possible sale or lease of commercial airports in the United States to private companies has generated considerable attention in recent years. such as providing additional private capital for development. or on the ground. along with long-established legal and regulatory protections for existing airport investments and their revenue streams. Employees of private companies . most notably ensuring safety and security. In other countries.000 airports. and someone trained in witness interrogation. is presented to the full board at a public meeting in Washington. stating the probable cause of the accident. The cockpit voice recorder continuously records the last 30 minutes of cockpit conversation. the private sector plays a significant role in their operations and financing. NATIONAL SYSTEM AIRPORTS (3. Even if a sale or lease transfer could overcome legal obstacles. Several factors. helping small commercial and general aviation airports. the ability of a private airport to operate profitably is uncertain. The largest source of capital for airport development is tax-exempt bonds. aircraft maintenance. including altitude. the NTSB holds a public hearing to collect additional information through witness testimony and various aviation experts. safety recommendations stemming from the accident sometimes precede the final report. However. have motivated greater interest in airport privatization. Of these. Airline Handbook Chapter 7: Airports The United States possesses the largest. The teams typically consist of one member of the board and specialists in air traffic control. A final report. both in the cockpit and between the cockpit and people in other aircraft. have held back wholesale airport privatization in the United States. medium.

taxiways and runways. As of December 1999. a 4. Currently. many airports have also been charging airline passengers a $3. Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Airport grant programs are funded from taxes and fees specifically collected for that purpose. or (3) enhance competition between or among air carriers. or both. these included a 7. Organization Because airports resemble small cities. (2) reduce noise. Every PFC is tied to specific capital improvement projects that have been approved by the FAA. even though one of the main objectives of the PFC program is to increase airport safety and capacity. security. They also have fire and police departments and must handle such typical municipal duties as trash and snow removal. of the two sides of an airport . restaurants and shops. with a cap of $18. and the FAA has already authorized the collection of more than $25 billion. However. The United Kingdom. created by Congress in 1970 to fund improvements to airports and the nation's air traffic control system. A $12. check-in areas. operations. except to certain rural airports. Groundside is geared toward the movement of ground traffic into and out of the airport.25 percent tax on domestic air freight. passenger drop-off and pick-up points. Beginning in 2000.$4. administration. their passengers. legal. and airport-generated income.5 percent domestic ticket tax and a $2. loading ramps. parking lots. More than 300 airports had received federal government approval to levy this tax.As part of the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996. is one of the few countries where airports have generated profits for their shareholders. which sold its major commercial airports in 1987. The FAA dispenses grants to airports out of the trust fund for projects under the Airport Improvement Program. federal and state grants. In . 1999). These revenues are credited to the Aviation Trust Fund.5 billion in PFCs are collected each year. airports are funded either directly or indirectly out of aviation revenue generated by airlines.00 international departure tax (both adjusted for the annual rate of inflation. etc. are not funded by government general fund tax dollars . Financing Airports. personnel. known as a passenger facility charge. finance. baggage-claim areas.00 for a roundtrip.00 international arrival tax and a $12. New York) had submitted a final application to participate in the pilot program. Congress authorized an increase in the maximum PFC rate that airports can charge passengers .3 cents-per-gallon domestic air fuel tax. contrary to popular misconception. While national governments of many foreign countries have historically owned and operated airports. more than $1. Airports rely on a variety of public and private funding sources to finance their capital development. Many of an airport's departments deal with one. 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. or airport vendors in the form of direct payments or through earmarked taxes collected from aviation system users. 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). engineering. which the airlines collect as an add-on to the airfare. Groundside includes an airport's roads. in recent years some countries have begun to privatize all or parts of their nation's aviation system. and taxes on the fuel used in small planes and for noncommercial purposes also fund the grant programs. passenger facility charges (PFCs). only one commercial service passenger airport (Stewart/Newburgh. with departments for purchasing. and airside to the movement of air traffic into and out of the airport. Rather. beginning January 1. public relations. which had total outlays of $1.50 per-person per-flight-segment fee for all flights.federal. Airside includes aircraft gates. including airport bonds. As of January 2000. These taxes must be pledged to specific capital improvements that will: (1) preserve or enhance safety.00 fee.groundside and airside. a 6. Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Since 1992. state or local. they are organized like a small city. only 19 percent of collected funds have been used for airfield safety and capacity improvements.6 billion in FY99. capacity or security of the national air transportation system.50 per segment.

or about $53. and rates are set accordingly. Today. but pay flight fees. which account for almost 90 percent of all passenger traffic. The revenue collected from businesses. which constitute roughly 65 percent of their total funding. Airlines do not pay gross-receipts fees. In a residual agreement. the airlines are responsible for the remaining (residual) amount.233 other national system airports account for the remaining 21 percent of the funding. however. and airlines pay a share of those costs. Roughly $17.S. but more often through the sale of revenue bonds by the airport operator. U. the capacity to issue new debt has not been harmed. Because airport revenue has kept pace with increased debtservice costs. stores. when used wisely. revenue bonds sold for a new terminal would be repaid with the rent the airport collects from the airlines using the terminal. but also receives all the upside advantage.6 billion. was to refinance existing debt. Compensatory agreements are generally found at mature airports that have realized successful revenue generation. or two-thirds. which are backed by the taxing power of a governmental unit. Under the compensatory method. more PFC funds are now being spent on interest for capital projects (29 percent) than are being spent on airfield safety and capacity. . In some instances. therefore. car rental companies. Usually. which are secured by an airport's future revenue. Passenger facility charges. The decline in general obligation bonds reflects the improved acceptance of GARBs by investors. companies doing business at an airport (airlines. general aviation airports have been the most common issuers of general obligation bonds for airport development. These airports also rely most heavily on private airport bonds.3 billion. based on the amount of space they occupy. Many businesses also pay a gross-receipts fee based on the total value of their business at the airport. an airport is divided into various cost centers (airfield. passengers and shippers using the airport covers most of the operating expenses associated with operating the airport. For example. etc. from the future revenue the new facility generates. airports are selfsustaining. regardless of how their construction was financed. the airport owns all the facilities built on its property. have been a useful tool in meeting aviation infrastructure needs. restaurants. after an airport deducts all nonairline revenue from its total annual expenses. The airport undertakes the risk of meeting costs. while the other $36. general obligation bonds. was new financing for airport capital development. parking areas. The top 71 airports. Years ago. are sometimes leased to that tenant for a long period of time. Airport Costs With the exception of a few small airports that receive subsidies from their municipality.). planes they land/depart and other measures of airline use. Under the residual method. or one-third of this total. by an airline if the new facility is for its own exclusive use). based on the weight of each aircraft that lands or departs. etc. while the other airports rely more heavily on federal and state grants for their funding.3 billion. were far more common because of their stronger credit standing and. Rate-Making Concepts There are two common methods for computing air-carrier fees: residual and compensatory. issued since 1982 has been in the form of general airport revenue bonds (GARBs). they also pay aircraft parking and fueling fees. while the 3. lower financing costs. Revenue bonds are repaid. obtain 79 percent of all capital funding. with interest.) pay rents for the space they occupy.fact. Capital improvements such as the construction of a new terminal or parking garage are sometimes funded privately (for example. Revenue Bonds More than 95 percent of all airport debt. the signatory airlines accept the financial risk and guarantee the airport sufficient revenues to meet its operating costs and debt-service costs. terminals. Typically. Facilities built for exclusive use of a tenant. or make direct payments on long-term airport debt.

they rose 70 percent. is prohibited by federal law. Regulation of Airports As mentioned in Chapter 6. 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. The government developed the system primarily to maintain safe separation of aircraft flying over the United States and in and out of U. Including PFCs. or lack of it. in a few instances. airports. 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. In short. This can be done by adding runways. parking lots and terminals can handle. and often less convenient for most travelers. Airline Handbook Chapter 8: Air Traffic Control ATC Facilities The Air Traffic Control (ATC) system is run by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airports also may have to comply with state and local regulations. Airport Capacity Airports have two capacities . In contrast. Known as an Engineered Performance Standard (EPS). they have been one of the industry's fastest-rising costs. by changing departure and approach patterns. These and other capacity enhancements. on the other hand. Groundside capacity is the number of passengers per year the airport's roads. in different wind and weather conditions. although these usually deal with environmental or administrative matters rather than strictly with safety. or not used. it is ATC's job to keep aircraft traffic moving as efficiently as possible throughout the system. Airside capacity. known as revenue diversion.S.While the fees airlines pay to airports represent a small portion of overall airline operating costs (approximately 5 percent). These include the airport towers familiar to most travelers. working to ensure that aircraft do not run into each other and that traffic moves in an orderly fashion with minimum delays. There are several types of ATC facilities. ATC is aviation's traffic cop. on the other hand. This certificate is known as a Part 139 certificate after the section of the federal air regulations (FARs) dealing with airport safety. 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. is the number of aircraft operations the airport's runways. however. This activity. often face stiff opposition from residents of surrounding communities. Department of Transportation. terminal radar approach control facilities (TRACONs).one for groundside and one for airside. airport costs exclusive of PFCs. Secondarily. under special arrangements that were "grandfathered" in the federal statutes addressing this issue. 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. is one of the most significant issues facing civil aviation. or perhaps. . an agency of the U. Building entirely new airports in less densely populated areas. taxiways and gates can accommodate safely.S. it is expressed in aircraft operations per hour. and landing aids. but is allowed. Part 139 certificates are the equivalent of the Part 121 certificates for airline operations. A great deal of attention has been focused in recent years on getting more capacity out of airports that already exist. Airport capacity. rose 35 percent. Between 1992 and 1999. is a more expensive option to expanding existing facilities. en route centers and flight service stations. the producer price index over that same period of time increased less than eight percent and airline prices rose less than four percent. taxiways. who often want to see airport operations scaled back to reduce noise and pollution.

A Typical Flight From the standpoint of ATC. the pilot puts together the flight plan and submits it to ATC. More than 450 U. also known as central flow control and located in Herndon. The FAA bases its decision to build and operate a tower on the number and type of aircraft operations at a given airport. TRACONs control the aircraft immediately prior to and after landings and takeoffs. how high it is. The return signal. or radar echo. flight service stations assist in emergency situations. Atlanta. then respond with a management plan for traffic into and out of the troubled sector. a single TRACON handles the traffic approaching and departing from all three New York-area major airports. There are 236 TRACONs. also is capable of encoding the aircraft's altitude onto the return signal. The objective is to keep traffic levels in the trouble spots manageable for the controllers. Radar transmits radio waves of ultra-high frequency that bounce back to their source when they hit something solid. a transponder aboard the plane senses the radar signal and responds with an amplified radio signal directed toward the source of the signal received. there are 68 of these stations providing such things as weather reports and route and terrain information. For example. Jacksonville. Kansas City. Virginia. is then analyzed by the receiver to determine both the distance and direction of the object hit. Communications Flight crews and air traffic controllers communicate by radio using VHF frequencies between 118 and 136 megahertz. Los Angeles. The return signal not only is stronger. Central Flow Control Another key facility. Seattle and Washington. Tracking Systems ATC primarily uses radar to keep track of aircraft flying over the United States. In addition. They are located in Albuquerque. Salt Lake City. the airline operating the flight. a flight plan provides crucial information to ATC about what a particular crew intends to do.The airport towers control aircraft while they taxi to and from runways and during takeoffs and landings. which spells out the route the flight crew plans to follow. Oakland. via their dispatcher. overseeing the entire ATC system.S. initiating and coordinating searches for missing or overdue aircraft. Houston. or during the climb and descent phases of flight. airports currently have such towers. In any event. Chicago (the busiest center). alternative airports the crew would use in the event of an aircraft emergency or a problem at the intended destination. Indianapolis. Fort Worth. but contains a discreet four-digit code that identifies the aircraft to a ground radar station. satellites are expected to supplant ground-based radar as the primary means for keeping track of airplanes. Miami. Memphis. all airline flights begin with the flight plan. and the type of aircraft at which they are looking. which is used aboard all commercial jets. and switch frequencies. just prior to flight. as well as the amount of fuel onboard the aircraft. less than the number of towers because some TRACONs handle more than one airport. as they move through the system and are handed off from one controller to another. is FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC). A type of transponder known as Mode C. however. Many airlines which fly the same routes every day. Their job is to keep track of aircraft while they are en route or during the high-altitude cruise phase of their flights. Flight service stations are information centers for pilots flying in and out of small cities and rural areas. Minneapolis. Its job is to look for situations that will create bottlenecks or other problems in the system. In the future. . For some flights. the direction it is headed. Controllers on the ground then know how far away the aircraft is. New York. Currently. D. Pilots tune to the frequency of the controller tracking their flight. if bad weather develops or a runway is closed for repairs. Anchorage. For example. In the case of airplanes. Boston. keep flight plans stored in the FAA's computer and merely activate them through their dispatch system prior to flight. Cleveland. ATCSCC will manage the number of aircraft operations into and out of the affected area.C. The 21 ATC centers cover even broader areas. Denver.

When a crew is ready to depart. An approach controller will issue maneuver instructions to the crew to integrate the aircraft into the flow of other aircraft arriving at the airport. They do not have to file a flight plan. When safely airborne.000 feet at altitudes above 29. the tower grants permission for takeoff. when aircraft are cruising at high speeds in the en route airspace. In general. it contacts ground control for permission to leave the gate.000 feet of vertical separation. As soon as the crew is on its final. and they work to maintain the safe separation of aircraft only in their sector of airspace. and may give pilots new instructions before and even during a flight. Under VFR. and outside the airspace the airlines use on takeoff and approach to landing at the 450 plus airports with FAA control towers. Departure control then turns over the flight to an en route center.Once the pilots have completed their pre-flight planning and aircraft inspections and have settled into the cockpit. they make their first call to ATC. As a flight crew approaches its destination airport and begins its descent. this reduction will follow in domestic airspace as well.000 feet. outside the ATC system. A ground controller then directs the aircraft to its gate. Since aircraft climb and descend at an angle. fly in uncontrolled airspace. It also instructs the crew on the heading. these uncontrolled spaces are areas below the cruise lanes used by commercial airline aircraft. the controlled airspace above an airport resembles the conical shape of a giant. this information matches the route requested in the flight plan. it is instructed to contact approach control. which governs the movement of all vehicles around an airfield. En route controllers are assigned to specific geographic areas. Airlines sometimes conduct their own ground control at their hubs. unless they choose to operate in or out of an airport with a control tower.000 feet in the en route airspace. the approach controller hands the aircraft off to the airport tower. during the course of its flight. and often do. In certain oceanic airspace. Above 29. General aviation aircraft are allowed to fly under visual flight rules. All of these and subsequent handoffs are accomplished by radio. this call is made to clearance delivery. Once contacted. it comes under the jurisdiction of FAA ground control. When aircraft are moving at much slower speeds as they depart or approach an airport. The controller who is handing off the flight instructs the crew to contact the next level of ATC surveillance. Given the speed and climb capabilities of modern jets. or direction. the standard is three miles of horizontal radar separation or 1. When the runway is clear. which oversees the flight as it climbs away from the airport and enters the en route airspace. which oversees all movements across or along runways. ATC sometimes has other ideas. a receiving controller acknowledges radar contact with the plane and issues instructions for heading and altitude. the vertical separation is reduced to 1. Aircraft separation standards vary according to circumstances.000 feet of vertical separation. which grants final clearance to land and monitors the aircraft until it completes its landing and exits the runway.000 feet while the horizontal radar separation remains at five miles. vertical separation has been reduced to 1. and gives them the radio frequency they need to do that. the same level of positive control does not always extend to general aviation aircraft. when weather and visibility are good. which goes over the ATC routes and instructions the crew can expect from takeoff to landing. from one en route controller to another. ground control coordinates its instructions with tower control. pilots are responsible for . it may be handed off many times. While all commercial airline aircraft are controlled every step of the way. this may only take a few minutes.000 feet. upside down wedding cake over the airport property. but that is not always the case. but only in the immediate area of their gates. and they do not have to be in touch with air traffic control. it should follow immediately after takeoff. Eventually. Once an aircraft leaves a gate area and begins to taxi toward a runway. Since aircraft must occasionally taxi across an active runway. the standard is five miles of horizontal radar separation or 2. Below 29. Typically. Ideally. straight-in approach. The tower assumes full control of the aircraft as soon as it reaches the end of the runway it will use for takeoff. These aircraft can. or VFR. Depending on where the plane is going. tower control hands off the aircraft to departure control.

Altogether. etc. when the Clinton Administration advanced its own version of the concept. applicants who pass through initial screening. Airport and Airway Trust Fund In 1970. which is why these rules sometimes are called the see and be seen rules. Commercial airline flights always operate under instrument flight rules. landing aids. Delays. control towers. primarily air travelers and shippers. and knowledge of the specific area they are overseeing. the capabilities and efficiencies of ATC has a direct bearing on the schedule performance of the airlines. go first to the FAA training academy in Oklahoma City. these and related aviation taxes and fees collected from U. with little to show in terms of reducing airline delays. of course. radar systems. more along the lines of a modern business.maintaining adequate separation from other aircraft. Congress also has authorized the use of trust fund money for FAA operating costs. regardless of weather. was advanced by the airlines in the mid-1980s. airlines in FY99 totaled $21 billion. In recent years. in order to handle air traffic efficiently. such as new runways and taxiways. the effort quickly bogged down and remains troubled. communication skills. 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. Airline Handbook Chapter 9: Airlines and the Environment . Among other things. the FAA began a massive modernization effort intended to bring the ATC system up to where it needed to be. the extra crew costs incurred from delayed flights. there have been an average 900 daily flight delays of 15 minutes or more. travelers were paying a tax on all domestic tickets and shippers were paying a tax on their freight bills. but deficiencies in the ATC system itself also play a major role in airline delays. That is the estimated cost of the extra fuel that aircraft have burned waiting their turn to take off. They cannot process the flights fast enough to prevent a backup of traffic on the taxiways or at the airport gates. they are assigned to an actual ATC station where they receive extensive on-the-job training. They also must be instrument rated. the cost to passengers of extra nights on the road due to missed connections. such as the salaries of controllers. controllers must master traffic management techniques. The concept of a federal corporation to run ATC. However. In the years since. The money in the fund comes from taxes and fees paid by users of the aviation system. An equipment glitch or personnel shortage at an ATC facility. Modernization and Corporatization Because ATC is involved in the movement of all commercial airline aircraft. are the rules under which general aviation aircraft must fly in bad weather and low visibility. is the primary cause of most back-ups. for example. Instrument flight rules. without benefit of good visibility out of the cockpit windows. Typically. On completion of that program. However. meaning they are proficient at navigating and flying their aircraft using cockpit instruments only. Congress created the Aviation Trust Fund to pay for improvements to airports and the ATC system. Pilots must be in contact with ATC and must file a flight plan. the cost of buying or leasing the additional planes needed to maintain service in a congested system that reduces equipment utilization. or IFR. and many other costs related to the delay problem. on the other hand. the idea met considerable opposition at that time. since they operate solely within the ATC system. Bad weather. and again in 1994. The cost of these delays to the airlines and their customers is estimated at more than $5 billion annually. When air travel and service soared following deregulation. By 1994. Congress has raised the taxes several times.S. usually means that the flights it handles will be delayed because the controllers get behind in their work.

is produced when engines are at their hottest. A study by the General Accounting Office. transport twice as many revenue passenger miles per gallon of fuel than the DC-9 and earlier versions of the 737. As a result. engine manufacturers developed cleanerburning combustion chambers. through international aviation planning groups. or when idling or taxiing on the ground.000 feet. for example. and the industry has made giant strides in that regard.S. with the earliest efforts focused on reducing the highly visible smoke emitted from jet engines. however. airlines spend more than $10 billion a year on fuel. and continue to invest. they emit smaller amounts of the gases of concern to scientists studying global warming and other environmental issues.  using flight simulators rather than real aircraft for pilot training. participate in various working groups on aviation environmental protection. today's aircraft produce less than one-quarter of the total amount of these three pollutants (HC. airlines have increased fuel efficiency nearly 65 percent by:   investing in new. The Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-300.Fuel Efficiency Fuel is the airline industry's second largest expense. Compared with the first generation of jets. exceeded only by labor. to a lesser extent. lowering cruising speeds. 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. 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. U. airlines are participating in a voluntary EPA/FAA effort to study options for the reduction of NOx emissions below 3. .S.S. billions of dollars in new aircraft and engines that are far more efficient than the models they replace. Since deregulation. keeping aircraft exteriors clean to minimize aerodynamic drag. NOx.  holding aircraft at gates. Aircraft Emissions Airline efforts to reduce emissions date back to the 1960s. By the late 1960s. between 1976 and 1988. U. which is approximately 10 percent of total operating expenses. environmentally efficient aircraft and engines. when appropriate. such as during takeoffs and. on the other hand. In addition. found that aircraft emissions of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide declined 85 percent and 70 percent. by about 12 percent. Most important. CO and NOx) per landing and takeoff cycle. as more fuel-efficient aircraft entered the fleet. the first international environmental examination of any sector. with engines shut down. the airlines have invested. The airlines. published in 1992. Emissions of nitrogen oxide rose slightly during the period studied.  using computers to determine optimum fuel loads and to select altitudes and routes that minimize fuel burn. including operational measures and market mechanisms. The major U. increased fuel efficiency has been a top industry priority for many years. Further. 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. during cruise. when jet engines also produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O).   using only one engine to taxi. Hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions result from incomplete combustion at the lower power settings used for descent. when weather or other problems delay takeoff. These groups are looking at many options for the reduction of aviation emissions. respectively.

then selling the property for commercial redevelopment that is more compatible with the airport. airport operators are using federal grants to buy homes outright. Of course. airports and the FAA are simultaneously pursuing other strategies. quieter technology. engine manufacturers have made great strides in reducing noise by reducing the velocity of engine exhaust. schools. In some cases. but several ideas appear promising. The first generation of jets. to climb quickly while flying over non-residential areas near the airport. noisiest jets with new ones that incorporate the new. Now. Aircraft emissions of carbon dioxide . Reducing noise at its source is important. Stage 2 aircraft have been replaced with even quieter Stage 3 planes. it is essential that certain types of development. airlines would have to find a way to power their aircraft without burning fossil fuels.S. To cut aircraft emissions of CO2 further. For example. retrofitting and growth. In 1990. then reducing power and noise. Takeoffs and landings are routed over large bodies of water or industrial areas. when passing over residential areas further away. be separated from airports. they use less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide for every mile flown. Aircraft Noise Although many people do not associate noise with pollution. the noise produced by jets has been one of the airlines' biggest environmental challenges . involving some 2. such as the Boeing they have spent billions of dollars to address.applying maximum power. without jeopardizing the fuel-efficiency gains and the reductions in other emissions achieved with the hotter engines. Airlines. including new combustion chamber designs with features that lower peak temperatures at high power settings. The phase-out was an enormous undertaking. and the government are actively looking for ways to significantly reduce those emissions in the future. That is a real challenge. As engines become more efficient. Key to their noise-reduction efforts has been the development and introduction of new technology over the past 25 years. the number of the U. As technological breakthroughs have occurred.000 in 2000. were replaced during the 1970s with quieter. provides grants to airports for soundproofing homes. Airlines responded. Through various design changes. the engine manufacturers. particularly houses. . meeting and even exceeding. if such areas are adjacent to an airport. or make further gains in fuel efficiency. Airlines account for less than 3 percent of total CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as wood.000 jets and more than $100 billion covering fleet replacement. airports and the FAA also work together to route aircraft away from residential areas as much as possible when flying near the ground. pilots also are instructed to adjust their power settings on takeoff . In some cases. What's more. In addition. Airlines.the gas some scientists believe may cause global warming . the timetable for quieting the fleet to Stage 3 standards. airlines have replaced the oldest. Stage 2 aircraft. gas and oil. As a result. only Stage 3 aircraft are flying. for instance. airframe manufacturers have successfully reduced the noise created by the displacement of air as jets move through the sky at high speeds. all such efforts can be canceled out by poor planning and zoning decisions. churches and other structures near airports. which is where they continue to focus their efforts. such as the 757.about 2-4 percent of total man-made NOx emissions. Congress adopted a plan for phasing out Stage 2 operations by 2000. such as the 727. according to FAA calculations.also are minuscule compared to other man-made sources of CO2. If airports are to peacefully co-exist with their communities. Today. which appears impossible at this time. Since NOx results from burning petroleum products at very high temperatures. but it is not the only way to lessen the impact of jet noise on communities around airports. the airlines. the FAA with airline support.While the increase in nitrogen oxide is a concern. researchers are studying ways to lower the temperature inside a jet engine during high-power operations. population exposed to unacceptable levels of aircraft noise declined from 7 million in 1975 to 600. it is important to note that aircraft emit small amounts of NOx relative to other sources .

       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. implementation of new programs to better manage the disposal of toxic substances generated by maintenance bases. donations to homeless shelters of partially used hotel soap and toiletries saved by flight attendants. scrap metal and used aircraft parts at maintenance bases. These steps include: . construction of facilities for the treatment of waste water at maintenance hangars. recycling of laser printer cartridges.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. reclamation of glycol. for re-use as a runway de-icer or as antifreeze for automobiles. 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. Recycling activities include:           aluminum can recycling by flight attendants and caterers. the fluid used to de-ice aircraft. shelf-stable foods such as cereal and crackers to food banks for the poor. greater use of electric (rather than petroleum-powered) vehicles for towing aircraft and baggage carts around airport terminals. lakes and other bodies of water near airports. use of engine oil from ground vehicles to heat maintenance shops. video tapes and other used and unwanted office supplies. paper recycling at airline offices. recycling of batteries. of underground fuel tanks to prevent leakage into ground water. use of smaller solvent containers. recycling of old newspapers and magazines left aboard aircraft. greater use of trucks powered by less-polluting alternative fuels. more environmentally-sensitive methods for stripping paint from aircraft. use of new. such as compressed natural gas for delivering overnight packages and letters to and from airports. revers. donations of unwanted. so that maintenance workers use no more solvent than necessary to perform their tasks. greater use of metal utensils and ceramic dishes (rather than plastic and paper) aboard aircraft. adoption of new citrus-based and alkaline-based solvents and aqueous cleaners that pose less environmental risk than chlorinated solvents. or reconstruction. removal. 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.

nose-down. Money in the fund comes solely from users of the system .• removal or reconstruction of underground fuel tanks. De-icing Fluid Management The airlines have been developing a variety of methods to manage the environmental impacts of aircraft deicing/anti-icing practices.primarily a tax on domestic airline tickets. rivers. • developed an airport-specific risk-based corrective action protocol to clean up historic airport contamination.000 available seat miles (ASMs). Airline Handbook Glossary Aileron A control surface located on the trailing edge of each wing tip. consistent with safety concerns. i. Airfoil Any surface such as an airplane wing. Airworthiness A term used to describe both the legal and mechanical status of an aircraft with regard to its readiness for flight. to prevent leakage into ground water.e.  factoring environmental considerations into purchasing decisions. or rudder designed to obtain a useful reaction from the air moving past it. represents 10. Altimeter An instrument which displays the altitude above mean sea level (MSL) of an aircraft. whether the aircraft is nose-up. .  exploring ways to reduce environmentally harmful aspects of de-icing/anti-icing products. Aviation Trust Fund Fund established by Congress to pay for improvements to the nation's airports and air traffic control system.  development of new de-icing procedures and products to limit the amount of de-icing/anti-icing fluid released into the environment. Artificial Horizon An instrument which enables a pilot to determine the attitude of the aircraft in relation to the horizon. An airliner with 100 passenger seats. construction of drainage systems and holding ponds to capture the fluids used to deice aircraft. lakes and other bodies of water near airports. Deflection of these surfaces controls the roll or bank angle of the aircraft. aileron. so that those fluids can be treated before they seep into the ground or flow into streams.  development of best management practices to limit the amount of de-icing/anti-icing fluid used. Available Seat Mile (ASM) One seat flown one mile. conducted an airport hydrant fuel system leakdetection technologies in the airport environment. or banking left or right. which include:  where appropriate. flown a distance of 100 miles. • in conjunction with the American Petroleum Institute.

It generally is a continuous loop recorder that retains the sounds of the last 30 minutes. it houses the air traffic controllers and equipment needed to identify and direct aircraft. including both mail and freight. usually on the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer. Connecting Flight A flight requiring passengers to change aircraft and/or airlines at an intermediate stop. that the aircraft's crew have all the proper information necessary for their flight and that the aircraft is in proper mechanical condition. and all intercom and public address announcements made in the aircraft. The dispatcher must ensure. Movement of the elevator will force the nose of an aircraft up or down. which are used by travel agents. Direct Flight A flight with one or more intermediate stops. 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. Dispatcher An airline employee who is responsible for authorizing the departure of an aircraft. producing thermodynamic energy.e. Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) A device that records the sounds audible in the cockpit.Cargo Anything other than passengers. The compressed air is then passed into a combustion chamber where it is mixed with fuel and burned. including origination. or several disks. at the front end of a jet engine that draws air into the engine and compresses the air.. but no change of aircraft. carried for hire. Enplanements The number of passengers boarding a flight. primarily during the en route portion of their flights. Several airlines own and market such systems. the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. . Elevator A control surface. Combi A type of aircraft whose main deck is divided into two sections. which continued after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. one of which is fitted with seats and one which is used for cargo. Essential Air Service Government subsidized airline service to rural areas of the United States. stopovers and connections. Empennage A collective term that refers to all of the various tail surfaces of an aircraft. i. which ended government regulation of airline routes and rates. as well as all radio transmissions made and received by the aircraft. which is used to control the pitch attitude of an aircraft. Computer Reservation System (CRS) A system for reserving seats on commercial flights electronically. Compressor A fan-like disk. En Route Center Formally known as an Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). among other things. Deregulation The term commonly used in referring to the Airlines Deregulation Act of 1978.

. as well as the aircraft's speed. Flight Plan A required planning document that covers the expected operational details of a flight such as destination. It is filed with the appropriate FAA air traffic control facility. cylindrical in shape. or five times the speed of sound. main cabin and cargo compartments. Hypersonic Flight Flight conducted at speeds greater than Mach 5. Flight Service Station (FSS) An FAA facility that provides specialized flight-related services to pilots. It can be electronically defined by radio signals transmitted from the ground. Points can be cashed in later for free flights or upgrades in cabin service. It is the standard measure of air freight activity. Flight Deck Also called the cockpit. etc.Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) The government agency responsible for air safety and operation of the air traffic control system. heading and other flight parameters. it the section of an aircraft where pilots sit and control the aircraft. Flight Data Recorder (FDR) Records pertinent technical information about a flight. It can provide weather briefings and en route advisories. There are both VFR and IFR flight plans. Glideslope The ideal descent path to a runway. 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). It contains the cockpit. Freight-Ton Mile A ton of freight moved one mile. The FAA also administers a program which provides grants from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for airport development. among other things. VFR plans are not mandatory. altitude. or DFDR). fuel on board. or in some instances. Freight All air cargo excluding mail. An aircraft carrying a special radio receiver can detect this electronic glidepath and follow it down to the runway. 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. An FDR will record information about the performance of various aircraft systems. non-airline services or items. The stabilizer also usually contains the elevator. 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. 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). Frequent-Flyer Programs Airline marketing programs designed to win customer loyalty by giving them "points" for each mile flown. Fuselage The main body of an aircraft. Flaps also have the effect of slowing an aircraft during its landing approach. route. 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. a digital flight data recorder.

Knot An abbreviation for one nautical mile per hour.Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Rules governing flight in certain limited visibility and cloud conditions. It is designed to help pay for airport improvements that enhance safety and capacity and is not revenue for airlines. approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. When enough lift is generated to overcome the weight of an aircraft. Pressurized Aircraft An aircraft that is kept at a designated atmospheric pressure so passengers and crew can breath normally. Lift The force generated by the movement of air across the wings of an aircraft. Technically. PFC A tax authorized by Congress. Under IFR. in relation to its previous altitude. Propfan One of several terms used to describe new generations of jet engines which typically turn very large. Since a nautical mile is 15 percent longer than a statute mile. assessed by airports. and collected by airlines as an add-on to the passenger airfare. National Carrier An airline with annual revenues of between $100 million and $1 billion. Nonstop Flight A flight with no intermediate stops. Major Carrier An airline with annual revenue of more than $1 billion. protected access to an aircraft from the terminal. Pitch A description of the movement of the nose of an aircraft up or down. . the aircraft rises. Jetway A registered trademark for a certain kind of aircraft loading bridge which allows passengers direct. revenue passenger miles divided by available seat miles or cargo ton miles divided by available cargo ton miles. Load Factor The percentage of available seats that are filled with paying passengers. an aircraft is required to be in contact with air traffic control facilities and is separated by ATC from all other IFR aircraft. or the percent of freight capacity that is utilized. It is used to guide landing aircraft during conditions of low visibility. 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. multibladed propeller-like fans in order to produce the thrust needed for flight. Repairs to some items not essential to an aircraft's airworthiness may be deferred for limited periods of time approved by the FAA. a speed expressed in knots is 15% higher than it would be if expressed in miles per hour. Instrument Landing System (ILS) Provides radio-based horizontal and vertical guidance to an aircraft approaching a runway. Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations The FAA safety regulations covering operators of aircraft with fewer than 10 seats.

they are extended to produce extra lift. which controls the yaw motion of the aircraft . usually installed on the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer. aircraft equipment and communications capability. Stage 3 Aircraft Term used to describe aircraft that meet quieter Stage 3 noise requirements under FAR Part 36. Regional Carrier An airline with annual revenues of less than $100 million whose service generally is limited to a particular geographic region. with sudden drop and possible loss of control. . Slats Special surfaces attached to or actually part of the leading edge of the wing. "spoil" the flow of air across the wing and thereby reduce the amount of lift generated. they are surfaces that are normally flush with the wing or fuselage in which they are mounted. the motion of the nose of the aircraft left and right. Revenue Passenger Mile (RPM) One paying passenger flown one mile. Rudder A control surface. the airflow is disrupted. They are useful for expediting a descent. It is the principal measure of airline passenger traffic. Terminal Control Area (TCA) A designated zone around and above the busiest airports. Ramp The aircraft parking area at an airport. which varies according to altitude but which is more than 700 miles per hour at sea level. During takeoff and landing.Pylon The part of an aircraft's structure which connects an engine to either a wing or the fuselage. Spoilers Special panels built into the upper surface of the wing that. Simulator A ground-based device used to train pilots which simulates flight scenarios. 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. Stall Results when a wing exceeds its angle of attack (angle between airfoil and relative flow of wind). Supersonic Flight Flight at speeds greater than the speed of sound. but which can be extended into the airflow to create more drag and slow the aircraft. including emergency situations. and the wing no longer produces lift. Speed Brakes Also known as air brakes. It is used to determine an object's direction and distance. Radar Term coined from the phrase "Radio Detecting and Ranging.that is. usually adjacent to a terminal." It is based on the principle that ultra-high frequency radio waves travel at a precise speed and are reflected from objects they strike. A flight in TCAs carries stringent requirements for pilot experience. when raised. Stage 2 Aircraft Term used to describe jets which meet Stage 2 Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 36 noise parameters on takeoff and landing.

Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility (TRACON) Controls aircraft immediately after and prior to landings and takeoffs. fan-like blades which produce the major thrust component of the engine. Enhanced versions of TCAS also advise pilots on actions to take to avoid aircraft that are getting too close. and altitudes lower than. Turboprop A type of engine that uses a jet engine to turn a propeller. it is the forward reaction to the rearward movement of a jet exhaust. Yaw motion is controlled by the vertical stabilizer and the rudder. Yield Average revenue per revenue passenger mile or revenue ton mile. 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. Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) Installed in commercial jets to search for and alert pilots to the presence of other aircraft. Unducted Fan A kind of engine that uses the basic core of a jet engine to drive large. Examples of widebody aircraft include the Boeing 747 767. 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. . Turbojet The original designation for a "pure" jet engine whose power is solely the result of its jet exhaust. Technically. The rudder is usually installed at the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer. any aircraft with a fuselage diameter in excess of 200 inches may be considered a widebody. Turboprops are often used on regional and business aircraft because of their relative efficiency at speeds slower than. and 777. 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. the Lockheed L-1011. those of a typical jet. expressed in cents per mile. or left and right. Turbofan A type of jet engine in which a certain portion of the engine's airflow bypasses the combustion chamber. or during the climb and approach phases of flight. Widebody Aircraft Generally considered to be any airliner with more than one aisle in the passenger cabin. 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 McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Rules governing flight during periods of generally good visibility and limited cloud cover. As defined by Newtonian physics. and Airbus Industries' A300 and A310. A propfan is one kind of unducted fan. Thrust The force produced by a jet engine or propeller.

Yield Management Also known as revenue management. . The goal is to find the mix of seat prices that produces the most revenue. the process airlines use to set prices for a flight.

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