Paper Example on Aviation Safety

Published: 2021-07-14
1756 words
7 pages
15 min to read
Sewanee University of the South
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Safety is a term that characterizes the state of being in no danger while in a specific situation or place. It is also a state when a person feels protected from harm or any form of non-desirable outcomes. Each year, hundreds of accidents occur in different parts of the world as people move from one place to another. In most cases, such accidents destroy property or cause loss of lives. As such, most people who t regularly from place to place often feel the need to use the safest mode of transportation. In light to this, although accidents have occurred in air travel, people who rarely travel should view commercial flight to be an optional mode of transportation because it is safe, fast and comfortable.

Technology Improvement of Airplanes Have Increased the Safety of Air Transport

Since the invention of the first airplane by the Wright Brothers in 1903, the aviation technology employed to make todays contemporary commercial planes has significantly increased (McCullough 85). Consequently, such technologies have immensely improved the safety standards of airplanes as a mode of transport. Consequently, today, there are very few accidents that occur as a result of air transport. According to a statement made by the associated press analysis of government accident data, there have only been two deaths per every 100 million passengers traveling using commercial flights (Mayerowitz and Freed 1). The report also stated that the last ten years had been the best for the United States aviation history with only a total of 153 cases of aviation fatalities (Mayerowitz and Freed 1).

In addition, according to a study focused on ascertaining the number of air crashes in the United States between, in the years 1993 as well as 2000, 90% of the airplanes passengers and crew members that were involved in an aircraft accident survived the air crashes (Becker 1). Moreover, the statement stated that there are 93,000 commercial airplane flights that are scheduled for air travel every day (Becker 1). Additionally, months or even years pass without any report of a major aviation accident having taken place. Furthermore, the publication stated that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than being involved in an airplane accident (Becker 1). Moreover, the publication stated that in the event an airplane actually goes down, its passengers and crew are highly likely to survive (Becker 1).

In addition, the enhanced engineering technologies of aircraft today have further improved the safety and comfort standards of air transport as a mode of communication. After the disappearance of the renowned Air France 447, the Prime Minister of France recommended the need to have airplanes fitted with additional safety standards in an effort to avert similar aircraft accidents in the future (Wise 1). Some of the safety standards that followed the ministers recommendation included the creation of a two-person altitude call and the implementation of retractable speed brakes on airplanes to avoid faulty landing and takeoffs (Wise 1). Improvements were also made on the airplanes fuselage skin, wing skin, wing spars and wheel bearings. Most of such safety features were also duplicated in other aircraft operating in different parts of the world.

Moreover, automated computerized systems such as the autopilot program have also been implemented in modern aircraft. Such programs can be controlled remotely from a single command center in case a pilot becomes incapacitated or unfit to control the craft himself/herself during transit. Ultimately, such technological features have also immensely improved the safety, comfort and convenience standards of air transport today, making it the best mode of transport for persons who travel regularly from one place to another.

Use of Highly Qualified Personnel to Operate the Aircraft

Today, airplanes are operated by highly qualified personnel whose skills have been vetted by qualified panels of aviation experts. Consequently, the use of qualified personnel has significantly improved the use of airplanes as a safe mode of transport. Today, there are a variety of certifications that pilots must possess before they can be allowed to charter a commercial aircraft. Different certifications depend on the type of aircraft that a pilot candidate aims to operate. There are six primary certifications that are issued to such personnel. These include a student pilot certificate, instrument rating certificate, multi-engine rating certificate and a private pilot license (MyFuture 1). Others include a commercial pilot license as well as an airline transport pilot certificate (MyFuture 1).

Moreover, to be issued each type of certificate, a pilot must pass a written examination and then successfully execute practical flying examinations. The flying examinations are also referred as check rides, and they are performed by successfully completing thousands of hours in practice. In addition to earning the different types of licenses, most pilots are required to attain a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating as an addition to their commercial operating certificate (MyFuture 1). In most cases, the CFI rating helps such pilots to build their flying experience quickly (MyFuture 1). This in turns promotes the safety of airplanes when used as a commercial form of transportation.

Additionally, from 2013, all pilot crews and attendants working in a scheduled commercial airliner are required to have ATP certificates (MyFuture 1). The certificates are only offered to such persons if they are 23-years-old and if they have a minimum of 1,500 hours in terms of flight time (MyFuture 1). Moreover, to attain the certification, such crew attendants are mandated to pass a written examination and also successfully undertake practical flight examinations. Ultimately, the emphasis of high theoretical and practical qualifications for all air transport personnel is meant to ensure that they are competent to handle any emergency situations that could arise when an airplane is in transit. Consequently, this has made the use of air transport to be ascertained as the safeties medium of movement from one location to another.

Sophisticated Airport Control Centers to Optimize Safety and Comfort of Air Transport

Today, all airports in different parts of the world are built with sophisticated technology, which controls the actions of airplanes while in an out of the airports. Today, profound improvements in the safety standards of airplanes can be seen right on an airports property. This is because most airports today have movement-detection monitors that can show all vehicles that are on every runway, taxiway or terminal gate in an airport. In addition, all airports have controller centers that warn airplane controllers, both in the airplane and at the airport on different flights traveling at close longitudes.

Consequently, this is essential as it helps the pilots in avoiding possible collisions of airplanes while in flight. Moreover, airport controllers keep pilots informed about changes in climatic conditions that may affect a flight (Air Force 160). As such, this gives the pilots sufficient time to prepare themselves to safely navigating regions with harsh climatic conditions. Additionally, when an airplane approaches an airport, the airport control centers inform the airport terminal about the presence of the oncoming airplane. The controllers then direct the airplanes to land safely if the runaways in the airport are clear. This is immensely important as it ensures that all airplanes can land safely at a given airport.

Counter Arguments Pertaining the Use of Air Transport as a Safe Mode of Transport

The Malcolm Gladwell's theory of flight cockpit culture is among the most controversial theory that has been used to characterize air as the most unsafe mode of transport. Gladwell derived his argument by citing the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed fatally on July 6 as it attempted to land at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) (Surges 6). During the incident, two persons died, and approximately 180 of the total 307 passengers of the flight were severely injured (Surges 6). Gladwell linked this occurrence to be as a result of the poor Korean culture that failed in its promotion of high level of safety standards in the nations air transport sector.

According to Gladwell, the negligence or poor coordination of airport activities by airport personnel in most nations such as Korea have rendered the use of air transport in modern times to be highly unsafe. To support his argument, Gladwell stated that the poor safety record of the Korean Air, which is also the largest Asian carrier, contributed to the occurrence of several fatal airplane crashes between 1980 and 1990 (Howard 1). Nevertheless, it is plausible that Gladwells claim that air transport is dangerous is wrong. His claim can be refuted because of three primary reasons, which make air transport to be the safest medium of communication.

First, the aviation technology employed in the construction of airports today have remarkably evolved. This is because improved safety equipment and features, like the retractable speed brakes among others, which enhance the safety and comfort standards of air travel have been implemented in aircraft. Second, in most air terminals today, the relevant airport authorities mandate that only the most qualified personnel should be employed to command airplanes and run airports. Lastly, airports situated in different nations around the world have structured technologically sophisticated and ultramodern control centers that can safely guide different airplanes to their destinations.


In conclusion, although accidents involving air travel have occurred in the past, people who travel rarely should view commercial flights to be the safest, fastest as well as the most comfortable mode of transportation. This is because the improvement of aviation technologies has significantly improved the safety and comfort of airplanes when used as a means of transport. Moreover, most governments and airport authorities mandate that only the highly qualified personnel should be employed to operate airplanes and run airports. As such, the highly trained personnel can effectively respond to any emergency situations that may occur to an airplane while in transit and also avert the occurrence of accidents. Ultimately, all commercial airports today have ultra modern control centers that guide airplanes to safe passages when in the air or when entering an airport.

Works Cited

Air Force. B-36 Peacemaker Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions. Raleigh:, 2008.

Becker, Kraig. 10 Reasons Why Flying is Still the Best Way to Travel. 7 October 2014. <>.

Howard, Brian Clark. Could Malcolm Gladwell's Theory of Cockpit Culture Apply to Asiana Crash? 11 July 2013. <>.

Mayerowitz, Scott and Joshua Freed. Airplane Deaths Hit Record Low. 31 December 2011. <>.

McCullough, David. The Wright Brothers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2016.

MyFuture. Commercial Pilots; Education. 2017. <>.

Surges, Carol S. The Science of a Plane Crash. North Mankato: Cherry Lake, 2014.

Wise, Jeff. The Tech That Makes New Airplanes and Runways Safer. 3 December 2009. <>.



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