Sample Aviation Essay Paper on Revolution of Aviation and its Impacts on the Economy

Revolution of Aviation and its Impacts on the Economy


The aviation industry has continued to grow in the United States (U.S.) as across the world. The expansion in the industry is not only in the aspect of capacity, but also involves improvements in technology and aspects such as avionics which contribute to the effectiveness of the industry. From the first flight by the Wright brothers, aviation technology has continued to change; adopting effectiveness in areas that address human needs in various aspects. Coupled with the concept of globalization, aviation helps to maintain various international relations, increasing efficiency of trade cycle and enabling economic potential of countries across the world. Through aviation, the U.S. and other countries have managed to develop in various economic aspects. Different aviation sectors have contributed to the growth of different economic sectors in the country. For instance, military aviation can be linked to various changes in the art of war. From the First World War to the contemporary times, military aviation has changed immensely, leading to the realization of several benefits in the country and in the international society.

Various studies have been conducted across the world on the subject of aviation revolution. The changes that have been initiated by aviation changes and the impacts of the industry on the economic and social status of the country have also been subject to study over the years. The present study focuses on the economic impacts that the changes in aviation in the recent years have had on the country. Through an analysis of past literature, it will be possible to determine the weight of the aviation industry in the GDP of the country. The following key question will be answered by the research in order to achieve the specified objective.

What are the impacts of aviation Revolution on the US economy?

Revolution of Aviation

The history of the U.S. aviation industry is characterized by lots of developments in the technology of design, as well as the use of the airplanes from their invention. Through each of the industry developmental stages, the impacts have been immense, satisfying the most pressing societal needs at each time. In the recent years however, the changes in the design have been mainly on the technology and avionics concepts rather than on the previously changing use, velocity and size of airplanes. According to a study by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the changes in aviation technology from the traditional low capacity planes to include even spacecrafts have been steered by commitment to research and development (2008). The AIAA reports that NASA and the government of the United States have been committed to the allocation of resources for carrying out research and development in the aviation industry. Because of the resource allocations, the aviation industry has continued to grow in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and safety. This has led to sustainable growth in the sector, from the first developed aircraft in 1903.

Although there was research and development prior to the First World War, the key importance of aviation was recognized during the World War itself. The previous improvements had only made it possible to expand the size of aircrafts. The previous research notwithstanding, it is still believed that the First World War was the major impetus for sustainable research in this area. This is because from the war, it was possible for countries to see the benefits of aircrafts in the nation, and particularly in the military hence the need for expanded manufacturing capacity. It can be said that the First World War led to the birth of military aviation. Through the following years, the industry continued to expand. The Revolution of various uses such as airmail and beacons also led to continued development of the sector. According to Avjobs Incorporated (2016), the aviation industry growth was also enhanced by the 1926 Act that supported commercialization of aircrafts. This led to the development of much bigger, faster and safer aircrafts. Such aspects can be recognized as the key features that led to the development of the industry and the increase in the positive impacts associated with the industry on the national economy.

Through the various stages of advancement in aviation, there have been increasing benefits. Presently, it is reported that changes in the aviation technology have continued and surpassed aspects of speed and size to be accommodative of various other technical aspects of aviation. It has led to various impacts such as improved wages in professions involved in the aviation industry. Other changes that have occurred in the aviation in the past to advance the positive impacts include the introduction of the Federal Aviation Authority, and the commencement of the age of wide bodies and supersonics. Each of the changes once initiated, is applied to all airplanes designed to serve an intended purpose. Moreover, new design improvements are incorporated into all airplanes produced after the invention of a new aspect in the aviation industry. In the contemporary times however, the changes in airplane design have however taken a back seat in the aviation industry. On the other hand, aviation infrastructure is continuously being changed to fit the needs of the newly advanced aircrafts. The introduction of commercial aviation led to the need for larger, more accommodative airport systems. The increased need for safety that came with commercial aviation also led to the realization of more stringent safety measures which need to be incorporated into the infrastructural design for the aviation industry.

From a study carried out by Dri-Wefa (2002), the changes in the aviation industry stemmed from the pre –deregulation period i.e. prior to the 1970s. In that era, the competition among commercial airlines was mainly in the aspects of food supply and air cabin crew quality. As such, the prices of passenger flight were mostly constant as it was set by the government and rarely reviewed. However, the deregulation of commercial aviation in the 1970s led to changes with regards to this aspect, which eventually led to the birth of a new era that boasted of greater competitiveness, lower prices and higher passenger volumes in the aviation industry. The deregulation led to the explosion of air travel across all the nations, and particularly in the U.S. Increased efficiency as came with the need for higher safety levels and better performance among airlines. In addition to this, commercial aviation also led to further changes in aspects of non- factory maintenance of commercial aircrafts and provision of aviation training. All the changes in the industry have led to particular benefits across the years (Dri-Wefa, 2002).

In the military aviation sector, the major changes were steered by the use of war aircraft during the First World War. Through the use of aircrafts for carrying out bomb attacks on various countries and the impacts of failing to possess the aircrafts, countries began to realize the importance of military aviation. This implies that changes that came from the First World War led to an aggressive growth of the sector. From the traditional heavy weight aircrafts used mainly for freight in the military, there have been constant changes based on intense research and development practices. Presently, military aviation involves the use of various types of aircrafts which achieve various purposes. Rizwan reports that the military aviation industry has developed with the objectives of reducing battle space and increasing war efficiency. Technologies have led to the Revolution of precision guided ammunition, unmanned aircrafts and spy satellites among other efficiency improving developments in military aviation. Because of this, the benefits of the industry both to the military and to the economic system are diverse. Moreover, the changes in military aviation have also increased the chances of social benefits connected to the preservation of lives and protection of property among others. This can also be related to improved security within the national boundaries (Rizwan, 2000).

Impacts of Aviation Changes on the economy

The revolution of the aviation industry has borne many benefits economically and otherwise. Beuthe and others discuss the benefits associated with aviation changes in the transport sector as well as in other sectors of the economy (2007). The changes in the transport sector are mainly explained through connection to the rail industry and to the road networks which were initially used in large scale transportation across countries. The major negative impacts of such systems included reduced efficiency, lower safety and higher time consumption among others. The report by Beuthe et al (2007) mainly focuses on the importance played by transport infrastructure in the establishment of strong economic backgrounds in various countries. Particularly in the U.S., the authors suggested that development of aviation infrastructure has led to improved reliance by the commercial as well as the private sector. The roles played by the aviation industry in economic growth are undeniable in the contemporary times.

The major driving factor behind the economic impacts associated with the aviation industry was the deregulation of commercial air transport in the 1970s (Smith & Cox, 2008). This action by the United States government led to improved efficiency in the air transport industry, coupled with increased safety in the process. After the formation of the Federal Aviation Authority and the subsequent improvement in aviation safety, the air transport network has been described by authors such as Crouch (2004) as the corner stone of economic prosperity in the contemporary times. In addition to this, it also enhanced aspects of national security and national defense. The particular effects of aviation revolution on the economic conditions of the country are as diverse as the changes in the industry itself.

Beginning with military aviation, the impacts on the economic sector have been immense. From the First World War, the benefits of military aviation in the economic sector transcend the national boundaries. For instance, during the First World War, countries which did not participate actively in the war had the opportunity to engage in trade for the maintenance and provision of aircrafts (Rizwan, 2000). The advancement in technology was also based on the needs of the First World War whereby countries such as Germany which were active in the war engaged in research to advance the available technologies. America was recognized as a super power due to its creation and use of functional aircrafts during this First World War, hence leading to the realization of the country’s potential in the development of the aviation industry. The use of air transport in the supply of various war paraphernalia also led to realization of economic profits to the nations that provided those substances. Through the years, military aviation has led to further benefits to the country.

Apart from increased efficiency of war and better defense, military aviation has also led to the expansion of the military sector to include more job opportunities as need arises for the design and the use of various military aviation machinery. For instance, more engineers are recruited in the military for the objective of addressing the military needs with regards to aviation (Hallion, 2008). The employment impacts of aviation are however not limited to the military aviation category. Other features of the aviation industry have also led to increased employment opportunities across the country. For instance, the aviation industry requires increased employee population in aspects such as manufacturing and engineering. This has subsequently led to the greater purchasing power and economic growth in the country. The effects on the purchasing power of the employees notwithstanding, the creation of employment in itself is an indication of economic strengthening since the level of unemployment in a country is a significant economic indicator (Hallion, 2008). Socially, the Revolution of military aviation has also led to reduction in the human losses during war. This is because Revolution has led to the establishment of new technologies such as unmanned attack planes which reduce the risk of death associated with flying military planes. Injuries have also been reduced in battle grounds as more people battle using contemporary aviation military techniques which do not expose them to injury. As a result, economic benefits are achieved as the costs incurred in the treatment of injured military officers are reduced (Rizwan, 2000). Moreover, the increase in trade courtesy of air transport has also strengthened economic growth in various countries.

In the US, the aviation industry can directly be linked to the growing economy through the revolution of trade that has been initiated by aviation. The ability to transport cargo at short durations has effectively led to increased trade efficiency in the country. Button and Stough (2004) reported that the creation of air transport networks through the facilitation of the Federal Aviation Authority has improved safety in air transportation. This has led to the preference of air transport over rail and water transportation media for the movement of freight over long distances. Although there is still need for marine transportation where there is need for hauling heavy freight, the air transportation system has improved the efficiency of export and import system leading to realization of better trade potential. In addition to this, trade between countries both within and without various trade blocks has also been encouraged by air transportation which has played down the spatial limitations that were previously prevalent in trade (Doganis, 1992). Trade has also been improved through the inclusion of air transportation systems in the supply chain in various industries. The ability to transport raw materials and final products from various countries has led to better performance in the manufacturing sector (Dri-Wefa, 2002).

According to Dri-Wefa, the manufacturing sector has also undergone immense development as a result of the changes in aviation technology. The ease of transportation has made it possible for cross country operations to be initiated. Companies are continuously outsourcing operations to other countries where the labor and raw materials are cheaper and easier to access and where the production costs are sufficiently low. For instance, in areas where the intended raw materials are bulky, U.S. owned companies invest in the manufacturing sector and only export their products to the mother country. Through this, the overall costs incurred turn out to be much lower and also lead to various economic benefits. The benefits not only apply to the US, but also to the host country which gains through the provision of employment and generation of revenue. All these have been facilitated by the ease of transportation via the aviation industry (Doganis, 1992).

The book by Doganis clearly outlines other indirect benefits of the aviation industry to the economy of the country. The aviation industry is recognized for the expansive role it plays in other industries that are significant to the economy of the country. The agricultural industry is linked to the aviation industry through the provision of transport to the players of industry. The ease and efficiency with which goods are transported via the sector makes the agricultural industry to be advanced. Perishable products such as vegetables and other horticultural products can be transported faster leading to reduced potential for losses. In addition to this, the reduction in delays occasioned by transport media inefficiency also improves the efficiency of the agricultural sector and the benefits from the sector. The aviation sector also helps the players in the agricultural industry through ease of transportation of various materials for use in the industry such as pesticides. Air spraying of agricultural products to control weeds and pests has improved productivity, particularly in large scale agricultural sector which is designed for the production of export products (Dri-Wefa, 2002).

The outlined benefits to the economy are indirect based on their nature. However, the direct benefits of the aviation revolution are also great. From the commercialization of air travel in 1970s, the aviation sector has continued to earn revenue through direct fare payments, taxes and infrastructure maintenance processes.


The changes in the aviation industry, particularly in the U.S. have led to the development of the economic sector both directly and indirectly. The present study was effective in outlining some of the benefits of the sector to the economy. In directly, the economic sector has benefitted from the revolutions in the aviation industry through factors such as contributions to other industries, creation of employment opportunities and direct revenue to the country. All the developments in the economic sector can be linked to the deregulation of commercial aviation in the 1970s. Additionally, changes in military aviation have also occasioned diverse economic and social benefits to the military sector and to the country as a whole. The main objective of the research study was to determine the economic impacts of the aviation sector revolutions. Having achieved this objective, it can thus be said that the study has been effective in achieving its goal.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). (2008). Aviation: A Key to Economic Prosperity. Aerospace Industries Association. Retrieved from

Avjobs (2016). History of Aviation – First Flights. Retrieved from

Beuthe, M., et al (2007). Transport and its infrastructure. In Metz, B., Davidson, O.R., Bosch, P.R., Dave, R. and Meyer, L.A. (Eds.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Button, K. & Stough, R. (2000). Air Transport Networks: Theory and Policy Implications. Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar.

Crouch, T. (2004). Wings: A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age. New York: W.W. Norton & Co

Doganis, R. (1992). The Airport Business. New York: Routledge.

Dri-Wefa, Inc. (2002). The National Economic Impact of Aviation. Dri-Wefa Incorporated.

Hallion, R. (2008). ‘Airplanes that Transformed Aviation: Sixteen Historic Designs that Changed the Game.’ Air and Space Magazine. Retrieved from

Rizwan, S. (2000). Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Defense Journal. Retrieved from

Smith, F. & Cox, B. (2008). Airline Deregulation. The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Retrieved from