Despite its large size, the United States has one of the busiest airspaces in the world. Millions of people enter in-and-out the country alongside shipments and other products. It’s estimated that the FAA does over 16 million flights annually. It has decreased during the pandemic, but it still stays over the ten million mark.
In the early days of air travel, passengers were often subjected to long waits, poor service, and uncomfortable conditions. However, over the years, American airports have greatly improved. Here are five ways they have become much better in recent years.
It’s essential that we first talk about the digitization of airports. In the past, people would have to go to the airport to do everything. This is no longer the case.
Nowadays, you can easily book your flights and check in online from the comfort of your home. In addition, most airports also have apps that make it easier to find your way around and keep track of flight times. As a result, It has made air travel much more convenient and hassle-free.
Many airlines also now offer mobile boarding passes, adding to the convenience. In addition, some trackers can help you find exactly where your luggage is in case it gets lost.
There are now so many online services that airports provide that it’s hard to track them. But rest assured, you can do almost every transaction and interaction online.
The most accidents in the aviation industry happened between 2000 and 2011, with 2003 having the most accidents (51). Nowadays, that number has dropped significantly. In 2019, there were only 12 fatal accidents worldwide.
This is due to the many safety improvements that have been made over the years. One of the most significant changes is requiring two crew members in the cockpit. The FAA implemented it after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Other safety features that have been implemented are the strengthened cockpit doors, better training for pilots and crew, and improved technology. All of these have contributed to making flying much safer for everyone involved.
Other safety improvements include the constant monitoring of ground service equipment (GSEs). GSEs are responsible for towing, fueling, and other ground operations. Therefore, they are monitored to ensure they are in good condition and working correctly. Interestingly, most accidents happen during take-off, making GSEs an essential tool for preventing crashes.
A singular GSE malfunction can lead to thousands of lives lost. That’s why airports now hire GSE repair services daily and by the hour. These services ensure that GSEs are running smoothly to avoid any accidents. Moreover, they can take proactive measures to ensure this equipment is well-maintained.
Pilots also have almost every tool they need to fly a plane, even if something breaks mid-flight. This is thanks to the electronic flight bag (EFB). The EFB is a tablet that contains all the information a pilot needs, from take-off procedures to emergency contact information.
This has made flying much safer, giving pilots quick and easy access to essential data. In addition, they no longer need to rely on paper documents, which can be easily lost or damaged. All of these improvements and more have also led to efficient flights.
The aviation industry has become much more efficient over the years. One of the reasons for this is the use of new technology, such as the EFB we mentioned earlier.
Other examples of technology that have made flights more efficient include GPS-guided landings and automated taxiing. GPS-guided landings help pilots land planes more accurately, saving time and fuel. Automated taxiing, on the other hand, reduces ground time by allowing planes to taxi without human assistance.
These technologies have helped to make flights more punctual. As a result, the average flight delay has decreased by 10% since 2010. It’s thanks to the many improvements that have been made in the aviation industry.
More Environmentally Friendly
The aviation industry is also working on being more environmentally friendly. One of the ways they are doing this is by investing in biofuels.
Biofuels are made from sustainable sources, such as algae or plants. As a result, they produce less carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions than traditional jet fuel.
In 2015, United Airlines completed the first commercial flight powered by biofuel. Since then, other airlines have followed suit. In 2018, British Airways completed the world’s first zero-waste flight using biofuel.
Other airlines are also working on making their flights more environmentally friendly. American Airlines, for example, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. Delta has also set a goal of being carbon-neutral by that same year.
These are just some of the ways that the aviation industry is working to be more sustainable. With the help of new technology and commitment from airlines, we can expect even more improvements in the years to come.
The aviation industry has come a long way since its early days. Flying has never been easier or safer, thanks to improved safety measures, technology, and sustainability initiatives. We can only expect these trends to continue in the years to come!