Aviation Industry


Aviation Industry Essay, Research Paper


The Aviation Industry and the Future


This paper looks at the Aviation industry. A description of how the aviation industry includes manufacturing, airport operation, maintenance, and pilots. It looks at how the aviation industry has a positive influence on other business such as sightseeing/tour, hotels, and restaurants. Finally the paper looks at how the industry is doing now and the projections for the future.

The aviation industry is alive and well. The aviation industry means different things to many people. Some people only think of the pilots who fly commercial airplanes when they think of aviation. Others include the airports and private planes. Unless you are involved in the aviation industry, the many aspects of aviation are not readily thought of. Not only does the aviation industry involve manufacturing of aircraft, airport operations, and aircraft maintenance but it also influences many industries associated with airline travel. The travel and tour business along with the hotel and restaurant business prospers from air travel. All of these are doing well now and the projection for the future looks strong. Let s begin by looking at what makes up the aviation industry.

Aviation Industry

A lot of people think that if you say you work in the aviation industry that you are a pilot. A large percentage of the airline industry is involved in the manufacture and maintenance of aircraft, along with the jobs related to operating and maintaining an airport.

Manufacturing of aircraft is big business. Aircraft manufactures employ thousands of people. Some major manufacturers include companies such as McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt-Whitney. These companies have contracts with major airlines in both the United States and overseas. Boeing aircraft alone at the end of 1997 had contractual backlog of 93.8 billion dollars for commercial airplane (www.boeing.com). Along with that is the contracts established with the Department of Defense to provide aircraft for the military. This includes the research that is involved in producing superior aircraft for defense. Further more there are numerous companies making airplanes for the private and corporation use.

The building and operation of airports employ a huge number of people. There were thousands of people involved in the building of the Denver International Airport with over 22,000 people assigned as permanent employees. (www.flydenver.com/emplopps) Employees at airports include positions from air traffic controllers to housekeeping. There are employees of the airport itself along with all the employees working for the aircraft carriers that lease space at the airport facility. Airport employees consist of numerous positions ranging from the Airport Manager to parking lot attendants. The aircraft carriers not only employ the pilots but also staff the ticket counters, baggage handling, and maintenance crews for turn around of the aircraft.

Maintenance of the aircraft is a huge business and is linked to or under the manufactories in some aspects. Although each airline has its own maintenance crews to maintain the aircraft, they work closely with the manufacturer for part and technical support. Aircraft undergo periodic maintenance to ensure the safety of the airplane. Their extensive maintenance program eliminates a majority of aircraft problems but upgrades and modifications are continually being done to the aircraft. The huge networks of maintenance technicians are the backbone of the aviation industry.

Related Business

There a numerous jobs that are created by the airline industry which are not involved in aviation at all, but would not exists without the airline industry. These include jobs in sightseeing/tours, hotel, and restaurants. These are not all of the jobs created but include a large portion.

With the advantage of being able to fly into many, before not easily available, areas; the sightseeing/tour business has generated a lot of jobs. An example of this is Sivio Acosta who operates a sightseeing business in New York City. He started the business 2 years ago and has had a thriving business. He more than doubled his earning since he changed to this business over his prior various restaurant jobs (Christian, 1998). Travel agencies conduct a tremendous business utilizing the airlines as their source of travel. Some flight into places like the Bahamas are primarily due to travel agencies business.

Any major airport has numerous hotels and motels within the immediate area. These hotels generate a lot of business from airline travelers. Not only is this from the travelers spending the night but also from the extras that the hotel offers such as restaurants and salons for their customers. Business travelers also use the accommodations provides of conference rooms and banquet facilities. Business can conduct the meeting within close proximity to where the traveler arrived. An example of this is the Denver International Airport, which averaged 95,806 passengers per day in 1997 only. To accommodate this large number of passengers there are 17 hotels listed as available in the immediate area. (www.flydenver.com/emplopps) Multiple this by the number of large airports in the United States alone and the amount of business generated from the airlines is tremendous.

Restaurants have sprung up not only within the area of the airport but also within the airport itself. This accommodates the traveler who does not have time to even leave the airport in between flights. Due to the large volume of passengers coming from the airport, restaurants have found it profitable to locate their business either in the airport or close by. This is not only for the passengers but also for the vast amount of airport employees.


The job market for the aviation industry is good and is looking good for the future. Salaries for the pilots are up and steady. The airline industry is profiting along with the airline manufacturing companies. With more and more people utilizing the airways to conduct business and to travel, the future of the aviation industry will only improve.

With the rate that airline pilots are retiring, there looks to be a good market for future pilots. Currently about 1200 pilots a year are retiring with the number to increase to about 2500 per year by the year 2007. Not only are more pilots retiring but the number of pilots coming from the civilian sector is increasing also. Two years ago, 75% – 80% of the pilots came from the military forces, while today that number has almost reversed with 66% of the pilots coming from the civilian job market (Benensen, 1998). This is a boost to the private flying school because more students will pursue this market. Aviation schools have increased enrollment in the last few years due to the increasing demand. The draw of more jobs available and the high wages being paid ($133,000 per year average) will continue to bring more pilots into the job area (Arlington, 1998).

The airline industry has a whole is doing well. Most airline executives are optimistic that traffic will be strong and the bottom line will remain in the black for 1999 (Henerson, 1999). “Although traffic and revenue growth will stagnate, the world’s airlines will enjoy net profits of $8 billion, the same as in 1998, as revenues rise 3% to $309 billion.” (Henderson, 1999) The increase in aviation jobs in the LaGuardia and Kennedy airport area is even more evident by the double enrollment in the local College of Aeronautics (Toy, 1998). Even job search sites on the Internet have seen how the aviation industry has a whole is on the uprise. Although initially designed to market pilots, they have expanded into universal applications to address everything in the aviation industry (Flint, 1997). Indications of the industry remaining strong are evident in the recent 10 year, $2 billion contract that Lockheed Martin signed with NASA to utilize five of their sites (Anonymous, 1999).

Manufacturing of aircraft is looking strong for the future. The airlines are projected to purchase between 11,000 and 12,000 new planes per year for the next few years (Benenson, 1998). Boeing s market outlook is 17,000 airplane by the year 2017 at a value of 1.2 trillion dollars (www.boeing.com). This will continue to keep the aviation industry growing. The manufacturing companies will continue to employ thousands of personnel and even be hiring more employees in the future. With the increase demand for air travel, new and better airplanes will always be in demand.

The aviation industry is alive and well and will continue to grow in the future. We have looked at how the aviation industry is really made up of not only the pilots but everyone involved with getting the plane off the ground. This includes the manufacturing of aircraft, operations of airports, and maintenance of the aircraft. Not only commercial airlines but also the private industry and military aviation. We have seen that there are numerous jobs created by the airline industry which are not involved in aviation at all, but would not exists without the airline industry. These include jobs in sightseeing/tours, hotel, and restaurants. These various businesses strive on the amount of passengers that travel through an airport during the course of a day. These businesses account for a large portion of the jobs created but certainly do not cover all of the jobs created. We have also looked at how the job market for the aviation industry is good and is looking good for the future. The future for pilots looked strong for the future along with future orders for new aircraft. The airline industry, as a whole, is going strong and projections for the future are positive.


Christian, Nichole M. (1998, August 30). An ‘Easy Job’ On the Streets. New York Times

Benenson, Tom. (1998, June). Airline Pilot Hiring. Flying

Arlington (1998, August 31). Jobs, Pay at Core of Pilots Strike. USA Today

Henderson, Donna K. (1999, Jan.). Guessing Game: Forecast. Air Transport World

Toy, Vivian S. (1998, May 27). In Queens, the Borough of Airports, Interest in Aeronautics Careers Revives. New York Times

Flint, Perry. (1997, Nov.). Cyberspace Pilots. Air Transport World

Anonymous. (1999, Jan.). Private Companies Take Over; NASA Centers in their Hands. National Defense

http://www.flydenver.com/emplopps [1999, February]

http://www.boeing.com [1999, February]

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