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

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

of course. through an independent agency. in the 18th century. aircraft manufacturers were producing 50. however. These moves. The airlines wanted to fly higher. The breakthrough came at Boeing with the Stratoliner. they had a major drawback. Its mission was to preserve order in the industry. All the airlines had been losing money. widespread skepticism about the commercial viability of a jet prevented Whittle’s design from being tested for several years. that a rearward-channeled explosion could propel a machine forward at a great rate of speed.for passengers as well as freight . put the industry on the road to success. a derivation of the B-17 bomber introduced in 1940 and first flown by TWA. and the Civil Aeronautics Act gave them what they needed. 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. which was then renamed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). thereby encouraging the development of commercial air transportation. due to the reduced levels of oxygen at higher altitudes. airmail rates. a British pilot. The major innovations of the wartime period . Until that time. at the same time nurturing the still financially-shaky airline industry. For the first time in their history. mass production was the chief goal of the United States. gaining an exposure that would give them a decidedly broader outlook at war’s end.000 feet. The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 Government decisions continued to prove as important to aviation’s future as technological breakthroughs. However. designed the first jet engine in 1930. The Jet Engine Isaac Newton was the first to theorize. mergers and routes. They could fly no higher than 10. no one found a practical application for the theory until Frank Whittle.S. It was the first pressurized aircraft. the 33-seat Stratoliner could fly as high as 20.000 planes a year.000 feet and reach speeds of 200 miles per hour. President Roosevelt convinced Congress to transfer the accident investigation function to the CAA. Airlines sometimes were pushed and pulled in several directions. 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. coupled with the tremendous progress made on the technological side. to the front and throughout the production chain back home. higher. Even then. U. Motion sickness was a problem for many airline passengers. Congress created a separate agency . the airlines had far more business .occurred in Europe. and an inhibiting factor to the industry’s growth. While there were numerous advances in U. holding rates to reasonable levels while. to get above the air turbulence and storms common at lower altitudes. and farther than ever before. numerous government agencies and departments had a hand in aviation policy.the Air Safety Board . but the importance of air transports to the war effort quickly became apparent as well. the airlines provided much needed airlift to keep troops and supplies moving. that enabled planes to go faster. since the postal reforms in 1934 significantly reduced the amount they were paid for carrying the mail.Pressurized Cabins Although planes such as the Boeing 247 and the DC-3 represented significant advances in aircraft design. and one of the most important aviation bills ever enacted by Congress was the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938. were fighters and bombers. Throughout the war. and there was no central agency working for the long-term development of the industry. By the end of the war. It created the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) and gave the new agency power to regulate airline fares. because people became dizzy and even fainted. interline agreements. .than they could handle. With its regulated air compressor. In investigate accidents. The airlines wanted more rationalized government regulation. There were fewer than 300 air transport aircraft in the United States when Hitler marched into Poland in 1939.S.radar and jet engines . Many of them also had opportunities to pioneer new routes. aircraft design during the war. Most of the planes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAA's certification process begins with the design of an aircraft. it did not end government regulation of safety.100 from drowning. Since 1938. For example. with 460 deaths. maintaining and operating the nation's Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. The FAA requires that all commercial transport aircraft be designed with built-in redundancies. They also oversee the construction and flight testing of the prototype.accidents per one billion aircraft miles flown. corporate travel and agricultural purposes like crop spraying). so they can fly even when a structural element fails. 3.200 from suffocation brought on by ingestion or inhalation of food and other objects.000 from poisoning. If all tests are successfully completed. Sadly. once FAA is satisfied that the manufacturer has everything in place to properly duplicate the prototype. There are well over 200. more than 40. The National Safety Council publishes an annual report on accidental deaths in the United States that also helps put the U. more than one way to communicate with the ground and more than one way to control the aircraft.600 people died that year in accidental falls. an independent agency created by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. in a typical three-month period. and 900 from guns fired accidentally. By contrast. when the government began keeping records of aviation accidents. according to an approved design. there is more than one way to lower the landing gear. FAA issues a type certificate for the new aircraft. the year that Congress enacted the legislation to deregulate aviation rates and routes. 9. It attests to the fact that the plane has been properly built. and many new regulations have been added. According to the council's 1999 report for 1998. 16. manufacture and maintenance of aircraft. airline safety record into perspective. the vast majority of them privately owned general-aviation aircraft (small planes used primarily for pleasure flying. The airline safety record also compares very favorably with many other everyday activities. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) The primary responsibility for airline safety regulation lies with the Federal Aviation Administration. and that it is safe for commercial service. which essentially is FAA's stamp of approval for each aircraft coming off the assembly line. This compares with two fatal accidents per one billion miles flown in 1978. setting minimum standards for crew training. which is described in Chapter 8.S. It is the successor to the Federal Aviation Agency.000 licensed civil aircraft in the United States. more people die on the nation's highways than have died in all airline accidents since the advent of commercial aviation.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. The Government's Safety Role The federal government plays an important role in assuring the safety of air travel. establishing operational requirements for airlines and airports. and conducting safety-related research and development work. Congress established the FAA as an agency of the Department of Transportation when it created the department in 1967. All safety requirements and programs in place at that time are still in force.000 people die each year in highway accidents. . In short. It has done so since the enactment of the Air Commerce Act of 1926. 3.700 from burns. FAA's other major functions include reviewing the design. and it continues to play a leading role in aviation safety today. training. it sets the minimum safety standards for the airlines and acts as the public's watchdog for safety. followed by a production certificate. FAA aeronautical engineers participate in the design process. Although the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 ended all domestic economic regulation of the airlines. The FAA is also responsible for developing. Nearly three-fourths of the FAA's almost 50. 4. The final step in aircraft certification is the issuance of an airworthiness certificate. Aircraft Certification Federal law requires that all civil aircraft operating in the United States be certified as airworthy by the FAA. takeoff and landing. the very worst year for airline fatalities was 1974.

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

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

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

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

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

most airports are owned and operated by national governments.account for 90 percent of all employees at the nation's airports. medium. most notably ensuring safety and security. have motivated greater interest in airport privatization. secured by future airport revenue and subject to the scrutiny of credit-rating agencies. A privately owned airport would not be eligible for tax-exempt debt financing. the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (the so-called black boxes) are deciphered. helping small commercial and general aviation airports. and someone trained in witness interrogation. The team spends whatever time is necessary at the crash scene.C. Several factors. both in the cockpit and between the cockpit and people in other aircraft. stating the probable cause of the accident. however. Airline Handbook Chapter 7: Airports The United States possesses the largest. preserving and enhancing the system's capacity. Concerns over the possible abuse of the monopoly power of an airport. more than 400 primary airports designated as large.airlines. A final report. This normally occurs several months after the accident. aircraft maintenance. aircraft operations.304 are designated as part of the national airport system and are therefore eligible for federal assistance. the NTSB holds a public hearing to collect additional information through witness testimony and various aviation experts. Even if a sale or lease transfer could overcome legal obstacles. the private sector plays a significant role in their operations and financing. Attention then shifts to the NTSB laboratory where. The cockpit voice recorder continuously records the last 30 minutes of cockpit conversation. The teams typically consist of one member of the board and specialists in air traffic control. 3. Typically. most extensive aviation system in the world with more than 18. federal airport grants or passenger facility charges (PFCs). financing costs would rise significantly. The largest source of capital for airport development is tax-exempt bonds.When an airline accident occurs. However. Hearings also permit the board to raise safety issues publicly. have held back wholesale airport privatization in the United States. Employees of private companies . ranging from large commercial transportation centers enplaning more than 30 million passengers annually. the board dispatches a go team of experts in various phases of accident investigations. The federal interest in capital investment for airports is guided by several objectives. the ability of a private airport to operate profitably is uncertain. funding noise mitigation and protecting the environment. Since these sources constitute the majority of capital funding at most airports. such as providing additional private capital for development. NATIONAL SYSTEM AIRPORTS (3.764 airports) Commercial Service Airports (540 airports)  or non-hub  Ownership Although all commercial airports in the United States are publicly owned. safety recommendations stemming from the accident sometimes precede the final report. Of these. In other countries. concessionaires and contractors .000 airports. including altitude. The flight data recorder maintains a continuous record of an aircraft's operating parameters. to small grass strips serving only a few aircraft each year. among other things. along with long-established legal and regulatory protections for existing airport investments and their revenue streams.304 airports) General Aviation Airports (2. Privatization The possible sale or lease of commercial airports in the United States to private companies has generated considerable attention in recent years. or on the ground. speed and the position of key controls. is presented to the full board at a public meeting in Washington. small other airports . D.

and airport-generated income. created by Congress in 1970 to fund improvements to airports and the nation's air traffic control system. legal. or (3) enhance competition between or among air carriers. or both. While national governments of many foreign countries have historically owned and operated airports. many airports have also been charging airline passengers a $3. airports are funded either directly or indirectly out of aviation revenue generated by airlines. restaurants and shops. Rather. passenger facility charges (PFCs). These revenues are credited to the Aviation Trust Fund. In . except to certain rural airports. Groundside includes an airport's roads.25 percent tax on domestic air freight. Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Since 1992. The United Kingdom. Every PFC is tied to specific capital improvement projects that have been approved by the FAA. As of January 2000. As of December 1999.3 cents-per-gallon domestic air fuel tax. (2) reduce noise. and taxes on the fuel used in small planes and for noncommercial purposes also fund the grant programs. public relations. passenger drop-off and pick-up points. 1999). More than 300 airports had received federal government approval to levy this tax.50 per-person per-flight-segment fee for all flights.As part of the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996.$4. Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Airport grant programs are funded from taxes and fees specifically collected for that purpose. federal and state grants. personnel. they are organized like a small city. finance. Groundside is geared toward the movement of ground traffic into and out of the airport. capacity or security of the national air transportation system. operations. with departments for purchasing. The FAA dispenses grants to airports out of the trust fund for projects under the Airport Improvement Program.6 billion in FY99.00 international arrival tax and a $12. their passengers. and the FAA has already authorized the collection of more than $25 billion. They also have fire and police departments and must handle such typical municipal duties as trash and snow removal. and airside to the movement of air traffic into and out of the airport. Currently. beginning January 1. Airside includes aircraft gates. However.00 fee. security.50 per segment. baggage-claim areas. which the airlines collect as an add-on to the airfare. more than $1. including airport bonds.00 for a roundtrip. taxiways and runways. New York) had submitted a final application to participate in the pilot program. a 6. which sold its major commercial airports in 1987. is one of the few countries where airports have generated profits for their shareholders. loading ramps. 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. administration. state or local. Beginning in 2000. Airports rely on a variety of public and private funding sources to finance their capital development.groundside and airside. a 4. A $12.5 percent domestic ticket tax and a $2. parking lots. or airport vendors in the form of direct payments or through earmarked taxes collected from aviation system users. known as a passenger facility charge. check-in areas. These taxes must be pledged to specific capital improvements that will: (1) preserve or enhance safety. only 19 percent of collected funds have been used for airfield safety and capacity improvements. Congress authorized an increase in the maximum PFC rate that airports can charge passengers . which had total outlays of $1. in recent years some countries have begun to privatize all or parts of their nation's aviation system. only one commercial service passenger airport (Stewart/Newburgh. of the two sides of an airport . even though one of the main objectives of the PFC program is to increase airport safety and capacity. are not funded by government general fund tax dollars . 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). contrary to popular misconception.00 international departure tax (both adjusted for the annual rate of inflation. with a cap of $18. engineering. etc.5 billion in PFCs are collected each year.federal. Many of an airport's departments deal with one. Organization Because airports resemble small cities. Financing Airports. these included a 7.

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

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

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

it is instructed to contact approach control. the approach controller hands the aircraft off to the airport tower. Ideally. Aircraft separation standards vary according to circumstances. Eventually. or VFR. during the course of its flight. Once contacted. Once an aircraft leaves a gate area and begins to taxi toward a runway. the standard is three miles of horizontal radar separation or 1.000 feet while the horizontal radar separation remains at five miles. When the runway is clear. they make their first call to ATC. All of these and subsequent handoffs are accomplished by radio. straight-in approach. In certain oceanic airspace. pilots are responsible for . from one en route controller to another. When a crew is ready to depart. and often do. the vertical separation is reduced to 1. outside the ATC system. As a flight crew approaches its destination airport and begins its descent.000 feet. Given the speed and climb capabilities of modern jets. vertical separation has been reduced to 1. which oversees the flight as it climbs away from the airport and enters the en route airspace. this call is made to clearance delivery. the same level of positive control does not always extend to general aviation aircraft.Once the pilots have completed their pre-flight planning and aircraft inspections and have settled into the cockpit. it comes under the jurisdiction of FAA ground control. it may be handed off many times. when aircraft are cruising at high speeds in the en route airspace. the tower grants permission for takeoff. which governs the movement of all vehicles around an airfield. They do not have to file a flight plan. Airlines sometimes conduct their own ground control at their hubs. and may give pilots new instructions before and even during a flight. A ground controller then directs the aircraft to its gate. but that is not always the case. and gives them the radio frequency they need to do that. Under VFR. When safely airborne. and they work to maintain the safe separation of aircraft only in their sector of airspace.000 feet at altitudes above 29. but only in the immediate area of their gates. ground control coordinates its instructions with tower control. when weather and visibility are good. unless they choose to operate in or out of an airport with a control tower. When aircraft are moving at much slower speeds as they depart or approach an airport. it contacts ground control for permission to leave the gate. An approach controller will issue maneuver instructions to the crew to integrate the aircraft into the flow of other aircraft arriving at the airport. this reduction will follow in domestic airspace as well. this information matches the route requested in the flight plan. which goes over the ATC routes and instructions the crew can expect from takeoff to landing. these uncontrolled spaces are areas below the cruise lanes used by commercial airline aircraft. upside down wedding cake over the airport property.000 feet of vertical separation. General aviation aircraft are allowed to fly under visual flight rules. Typically. Since aircraft climb and descend at an angle. It also instructs the crew on the heading. As soon as the crew is on its final. Depending on where the plane is going. While all commercial airline aircraft are controlled every step of the way.000 feet of vertical separation. the standard is five miles of horizontal radar separation or 2.000 feet in the en route airspace. this may only take a few minutes. Since aircraft must occasionally taxi across an active runway. The controller who is handing off the flight instructs the crew to contact the next level of ATC surveillance. which oversees all movements across or along runways. The tower assumes full control of the aircraft as soon as it reaches the end of the runway it will use for takeoff. tower control hands off the aircraft to departure control. These aircraft can. ATC sometimes has other ideas. or direction. which grants final clearance to land and monitors the aircraft until it completes its landing and exits the runway. and outside the airspace the airlines use on takeoff and approach to landing at the 450 plus airports with FAA control towers. fly in uncontrolled airspace. a receiving controller acknowledges radar contact with the plane and issues instructions for heading and altitude. En route controllers are assigned to specific geographic areas. Above 29. Departure control then turns over the flight to an en route center.000 feet. the controlled airspace above an airport resembles the conical shape of a giant. and they do not have to be in touch with air traffic control. Below 29. In general. it should follow immediately after takeoff.

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

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

Airlines.000 jets and more than $100 billion covering fleet replacement. were replaced during the 1970s with quieter. To cut aircraft emissions of CO2 further. Congress adopted a plan for phasing out Stage 2 operations by 2000. That is a real challenge. but it is not the only way to lessen the impact of jet noise on communities around airports. Today.000 in 2000. In 1990. In addition. Airlines responded. Airlines account for less than 3 percent of total CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as wood. according to FAA calculations. As technological breakthroughs have occurred. airlines would have to find a way to power their aircraft without burning fossil fuels. the engine manufacturers. . Since NOx results from burning petroleum products at very high temperatures. then reducing power and noise. In some cases. it is important to note that aircraft emit small amounts of NOx relative to other sources . What's more. noisiest jets with new ones that incorporate the new. the airlines. Aircraft Noise Although many people do not associate noise with pollution. airport operators are using federal grants to buy homes outright.S. the FAA with airline support.about 2-4 percent of total man-made NOx emissions. Reducing noise at its source is important. which is where they continue to focus their efforts. the number of the U. airlines have replaced the oldest. including new combustion chamber designs with features that lower peak temperatures at high power settings. Now. The phase-out was an enormous undertaking. Stage 2 aircraft have been replaced with even quieter Stage 3 planes. airframe manufacturers have successfully reduced the noise created by the displacement of air as jets move through the sky at high speeds. airports and the FAA also work together to route aircraft away from residential areas as much as possible when flying near the ground. churches and other structures near airports. Takeoffs and landings are routed over large bodies of water or industrial areas. As a result. the noise produced by jets has been one of the airlines' biggest environmental challenges . when passing over residential areas further away.the gas some scientists believe may cause global warming . then selling the property for commercial redevelopment that is more compatible with the airport. for instance. the timetable for quieting the fleet to Stage 3 they have spent billions of dollars to address. involving some 2. they use less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide for every mile flown. or make further gains in fuel efficiency. In some cases. such as the 727. engine manufacturers have made great strides in reducing noise by reducing the velocity of engine exhaust. without jeopardizing the fuel-efficiency gains and the reductions in other emissions achieved with the hotter engines. As engines become more efficient. and the government are actively looking for ways to significantly reduce those emissions in the future. to climb quickly while flying over non-residential areas near the airport. only Stage 3 aircraft are flying. schools. all such efforts can be canceled out by poor planning and zoning decisions. Through various design changes. such as the 757. pilots also are instructed to adjust their power settings on takeoff . particularly houses. Aircraft emissions of carbon dioxide . but several ideas appear promising. population exposed to unacceptable levels of aircraft noise declined from 7 million in 1975 to 600.applying maximum power. if such areas are adjacent to an airport.also are minuscule compared to other man-made sources of CO2. retrofitting and growth.While the increase in nitrogen oxide is a concern. airports and the FAA are simultaneously pursuing other strategies. meeting and even exceeding. Key to their noise-reduction efforts has been the development and introduction of new technology over the past 25 years. Airlines. gas and oil. If airports are to peacefully co-exist with their communities. For example. which appears impossible at this time. researchers are studying ways to lower the temperature inside a jet engine during high-power operations. be separated from airports. Stage 2 aircraft. The first generation of jets. provides grants to airports for soundproofing homes. such as the Boeing 707. quieter technology. it is essential that certain types of development. Of course.

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

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

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

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

in relation to its previous altitude. Instrument Landing System (ILS) Provides radio-based horizontal and vertical guidance to an aircraft approaching a runway. Since a nautical mile is 15 percent longer than a statute mile.Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Rules governing flight in certain limited visibility and cloud conditions. an aircraft is required to be in contact with air traffic control facilities and is separated by ATC from all other IFR aircraft. Pitch A description of the movement of the nose of an aircraft up or down. It is designed to help pay for airport improvements that enhance safety and capacity and is not revenue for airlines. Major Carrier An airline with annual revenue of more than $1 billion. It is used to guide landing aircraft during conditions of low visibility. multibladed propeller-like fans in order to produce the thrust needed for flight. Nonstop Flight A flight with no intermediate stops. protected access to an aircraft from the terminal. National Carrier An airline with annual revenues of between $100 million and $1 billion. Lift The force generated by the movement of air across the wings of an aircraft. revenue passenger miles divided by available seat miles or cargo ton miles divided by available cargo ton miles. a speed expressed in knots is 15% higher than it would be if expressed in miles per hour. Load Factor The percentage of available seats that are filled with paying passengers. . Pressurized Aircraft An aircraft that is kept at a designated atmospheric pressure so passengers and crew can breath normally. Technically. PFC A tax authorized by Congress. Under IFR. the aircraft rises. Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations The FAA safety regulations covering operators of aircraft with 10 or more seats. When enough lift is generated to overcome the weight of an aircraft. or the percent of freight capacity that is utilized. assessed by airports. Knot An abbreviation for one nautical mile per hour. Jetway A registered trademark for a certain kind of aircraft loading bridge which allows passengers direct. 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. Repairs to some items not essential to an aircraft's airworthiness may be deferred for limited periods of time approved by the FAA. approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. and collected by airlines as an add-on to the passenger airfare. Propfan One of several terms used to describe new generations of jet engines which typically turn very large. Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations The FAA safety regulations covering operators of aircraft with fewer than 10 seats.

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

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

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

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