Have you ever wondered how the aviation industry works? The way airplanes take off and land, the maintenance procedure for aircraft components, or the inner functioning of airports? It may seem complex at first glance, but a closer look reveals that it's not so difficult to understand.
The aviation industry is an incredibly expansive and dynamic world that has been increasingly growing in size and influence over the past few decades. Thanks to its ever-increasing popularity, Civil Aviation has become one of the major economic forces in many countries today. It involves a wide range of activities from airport operations to air traffic control, air cargo transportation to aerial photography--all with their own set of rules and regulations.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Aviation Sector in India is expected to get an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in the coming five years.
By 2026, the Indian Government is in talks to invest around an amount of Rs. 183 crores for the development of airport infrastructure and aviation navigation services.
It is true that the Aviation sector provides some of the best-paid jobs in the world. The Indian civil aviation sector caters to the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world.
In the past three years, the Indian civil aviation sector is known to have emerged as the fastest-growing sector in the world. Every year, the Aviation sector in India employs around 7,500 pilots.
Although job profiles and lives of pilots and air hostesses seem uber cool, the career path for aspirants in the aviation industry is not too straightforward and easy.
This comprehensive guide provides an overview of everything you need to know about the aviation industry.
What is the Aviation Industry?
The term ‘aviation’ is most commonly used for describing mechanical air transportation, which is carried out using an aircraft. The two main types of aircrafts are airplanes and helicopters, but most modern definitions of the word ‘aviation’ extend to include the use of unmanned aircraft, such as drones.
Types Of Aviation
1) Aerospace engineering -
Aerospace engineering and designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. Aerospace engineering is clear on the incorporation of all the elements such as power, communications, thermal control, life maintenance and many more. And that constitutes an aeronautical vehicle.
2) Air traffic control -
Air traffic control is the service offered by ground-based air traffic controllers, who coordinate the movement of aircraft so that they can maintain safe distances between airplanes.
Air traffic controllers Prevent collisions between aircraft and other obstructions in the area, such as mountains, antennas, buildings, etc. They expedite and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic and provide advice and useful information for the safe and efficient conduct of flights.
3) Aircraft maintenance -
Aircraft maintenance has tasks like an overhaul, inspection, replacement, defect rectification, the incorporation of modifications, compliance with airworthiness directives and repair to ensure the easy and safe functioning of an aircraft or its parts.
4) Aviation management -
Aviation management has to do all sorts of business administration related to the aerospace industry.
5) Aviation safety -
Aviation safety refers to practices offered towards the prevention of accidents in the aircraft and keeping passengers and flight crew safe while flying.
6) Civil and military aviation -
The civil aviation sector includes private, commercial and state aircraft, which mainly transport cargo and passengers, both nationally and internationally. Military aviation includes conducting or enabling aerial warfare and involves providing logistical supplies to forces stationed in the area of deployment.
The Difference Between the Aviation Industry and the Airline Industry
The terms ‘aviation industry’ and ‘airline industry’ are sometimes thought of as being replaceable, but they do actually describe different things. An airline is a business offering air transportation services for travellers or cargo, with the airline industry being the collective term used to describe these companies.
However, the airline industry forms just one part of the vast aviation industry. In addition to airlines, the aviation industry also includes aircraft manufacturers, researchers, air safety specialists, businesses involved with military aviation and, increasingly, ventures that design, produce and make use of drones.
Why is the Aviation Industry Important?
The importance of the modern aviation industry is difficult, but one of the main reasons for this importance is the globalised nature of the industry, helping to link different continents, countries and cultures. As a result, global aviation has been mainly in facilitating efficient travel to distant places, enriching many lives in the process.
The aviation industry has also been a main contributor to the global economy of the country, not only as a result of the tourism industry boosting local economies but also because it has allowed for improvements to world trade.
Meanwhile, the aviation industry also directly offered millions of jobs around the world, with examples including job profiles from pilots and cabin crew, to air traffic controllers and aerospace engineers.
3 Large Aircraft Manufacturing Companies in the Aviation Industry
Aircraft manufacturing is important to the aviation industry and the following three companies are among the biggest in the a:
Airbus is a huge European aircraft manufacturing company within the Aviation industry, which produces aircraft for both the civilian and military aviation sectors. Most of its production facilities are in France, Germany and Spain, while its headquarters is in the Netherlands.
Today the world’s biggest airline manufacturer, the Airbus A380, used by airlines like Emirates and Lufthansa, is recognised as the world’s largest passenger airliner.
Based in the United States, Boeing is classed as the second-largest airline manufacturer and one of the biggest defence contractors. The company headquarters is situated in Chicago.
The company produces commercial and military jets, and Boeing is also heavily involved in the manufacture of spacecraft. Some of its best-known commercial aeroplane models are the Boeing 737, the Boeing 747 and the Boeing 777.
3) Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin has its headquarters in the United States. Within the aviation industry, The company is recognised as the world’s biggest defence contractor, specialising in military aviation and the production of fighter and reconnaissance aircraft for air forces around the world.
Lockheed Martin was formed through a merger between Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta and some of its best-known aeroplanes are the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-35 Lightning II.
The challenges faced by aviation
1) Global Instability and the threat of war
One of the major events that took place in 2022 has been the war in Ukraine. This escalated quickly, with sanctions and bans on Russian airlines, of course having an effect on aviation Sectors. The closure of airspace has also given many operators flight planning issues and increased operating prices.
The Ukraine/Russian war situation is not the only threat either. There is growing political instability in the Middle East and Asia too. Security concerns and airspace restrictions got an impact on airlines far from the conflict zone. Aviation remains a high-profile terrorism target in that situation.
2) Staff shortages and changing demographics
Anyone travelling in 2022 will possibly have seen issues with staff shortages Due to the wars. This is affecting airlines, airports, and other companies across the world– but the situation is particularly acute in Europe and the UK so far difficult.
Firstly, the aviation industry has rebounded post-COVID situation much faster than many anticipated. Recruiting staff into the sector quickly has been difficult. Added to this, many workers have preferred not to return back to the industry. Many felt they were not well treated and have moved to look for work in other sectors of jobs.
3) Pilot shortages
This was a main matter before the pandemic and, especially in some regions, got worse after the pandemic. Many pilots have left the industry over the last two years with the reduction in staff seen.
In 2018, Boeing predicted demand for 790,000 new pilots for the next 10 years. This was due both to expansion in aviation worldwide and a high proportion of older pilots reaching retirement age.
It has stuck with this view post-COVID – beginning in July 2022 that it sees the need for up to 6,000 new pilots per year for the next 15 years just in Europe.
The shortage post-COVID has already been seen in the recovering US market. New airline Breeze Airways has had to expand pay by over 10% and expand recruitment to Australian airlines to secure new pilots for its fleet (as reported by Business Insider).
4) Climate change
Climate change is a big matter in current situations, and it will affect the aviation industry in many ways. Pledges to half of the carbon emissions are growing to changes in aircraft technology, fuel, and even aircraft tracking and spacing.
Despite its efforts to lower its impact, the industry and well exposed to the effects of climate change. The past few years have seen increasing levels of flight disruption due to extremely bad weather events, and more of this remains a real risk. Changing wind patterns will also increase more turbulent flights – and potentially more complex flight planning.
Skills you should have for a successful career in aviation?
Most jobs in the aviation sector are highly technical and need a background in mathematics, and engineering, as well as related to the industry. Most positions in this industry require working as a team with other aviation professionals and engineers.
This is the reason why strong communication is important, as well as interpersonal skills are essential for taking care of daily tasks to be performed in the Aviation sector. Apart from this, candidates in this field need to pay attention to information and the ability to follow rules and protocols to ensure passengers' safety.
Some job profiles in this sector such as that of a pilot may need to use applications to calculate wind speed, check altitude, and perform other basic aviation tasks.
Most aviation jobs profiles need the candidate to possess at least a bachelor’s degree or some work experience. Many employers offer on-the-job training regardless of the aspirant’s educational background as well as work experience since these job profiles can be highly specialized and also need in-depth knowledge about the company’s various processes, products, as well as procedures.
Here are some key skills that one needs to possess to be successful in the sectors of Aviation are as follows:
Clear speech and voice
Good health & physical fitness
Technical skills & understanding
Attention to detail
Presence of mind
Confidence & Patience
Pleasant & friendly personality
Career Prospects in Avia
Career Prospects in Aviation
It is a very sectorial field that asks for the right skill sets, great confidence, customer managing abilities, the right body language and excellent communication skills. An airline professional has to be always prepared to face the toughest of the situation, as the journey of the flights is very unpredictable.
Some of the popular aviation job profiles are –
Pilots, Co-Pilots and Flight Engineers
Air Traffic Controller
Aircraft and Avionics Mechanics
Transportation Security Screener
Airfield Operations Specialists
Guest Relations Executive
Fare Filling Executive
Air Ticket Executive
Travel Desk Executive
Corporate Travel Consultant
Programme Management Manager
Many career opportunities in the aviation sector need one to have strong technical skills and an engineering background, aspirants with some experience in this sector can branch outside of the aviation field to explore jobs in civil engineering, aerospace, and even computer administration.
Who should take up a career in aviation?
A career in the Aviation industry is such that new candidates do not have fixed work hours/shifts in the industry. Although the first profession that comes to mind when thinking of the Aviation industry is that of a Pilot, let's take an example of a Pilot however, it is worth knowing that there are many other attractive job profiles also available in this industry.
You are interested in the feeling of literally being in the air.
You feel comfortable every time you travel as a passenger on a plane.
You would like to know all kinds of destinations, tourist or not.
Do you think you could handle spending most of your time away from your affections?
You like to be in control and you feel capable of doing it correctly.
You are excited about the idea of gradually building a career, you consider it a challenge and a motivation.
You are not afraid of heights even if you are aware of the risks to which you will expose yourself.
Popular Online Aviation Courses
Advance Aircraft Maintenance
Space Flight Mechanics
Aerospace Engineering, MS
Introduction to air transportation and aviation management
Aerospace Structural Mechanics
Digitalisation in Aeronautics and Space Specialization
Analytical Mechanics for Spacecraft Dynamics
Digitalisation in Aeronautics
Fundamentals of Flight mechanics Specialization
The aviation industry enclosed almost all aspects of air travel and the activities that help to facilitate it. This means it includes the complete airline industry, aircraft manufacturing, research companies, military aviation, and much more.
Aviation connects different people, cultures, and businesses across every continent. It generates economic growth, facilitates international trade, and promotes tourism sectors. With more than 1,300 airlines that managed 31,717 aircraft at 3,759 airports, it’s hard to overstate the effect of the aviation industry.
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