Soon after the Second World War, the civil aviation industry experienced one of its biggest advancement as the international air transport rapidly its technological know-how. Before these advancements, the British’s Imperial Airline had been, for a long time, using a Flying Boat from the Boeing fly manufacturers to get to Sydney from London. This boat had the capacity of only 24 people and it was very slow taking a total of about 20 days to reach the destination especially because it made 10 stops for fuelling (Keith, 2000).
Since the advancements, things have changed drastically with an A380 having a capacity of 500 passengers or even more. In addition, this trip takes only 24 hours. However, just as many aviation industries are faced with various challenges especially with different technologies and service provision, the international aviation industry is likely to face serious setbacks and thus it requires creation of both local and international organization to manage and handle such difficulties.
Important Organizations in the Aviation industry
Both international and regional organizations are important in the aviation industry since they provide certification to the top most important aircraft manufacturers in the world, Boeing and Airbus. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are the most important international organization in the industry. Some regional organizations are equally important in the industry especially the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). They also provide services locally to Boeing, in America and Airbus, in Europe respectively.
These local/regional organizations have the responsibility of maintaining high standards in the aviation industry. The provision of high standard services by these organizations has been emulated by many other organizations in the world. This paper will discuss other organizations such as ICAO, IATA, FAA and EASA as well as Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) which forms a very important market for the industry.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
ICAO which is one of the most significant organizations in the air transport industry was founded in December 7, 1944 in Chicago. However, the organization’s headquarter is based in Canada’s city Montreal. Its success has been facilitated by its membership in the United Nations union where it has 188 members. In addition, only sovereign members are allowed to join its membership. Its main objective is to promote international air transport by developing and planning techniques for the industry’s operations. Therefore, the ICAO has the responsibility of publishing all the regulations and acts concerning the air navigation.
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
IATA was established in April 16, 1946 in Havana, Cuba. It has since grown with 230 members from around the globe. Despite the fact it is a nongovernmental organization, it has filled a very significant gap in the airline industry as it cooperates safety and reliability between various airlines (Tein 2006). It has the core function of controlling prices for the international airfare by establishing uniform standard tickets for passengers.
Additionally, IATA is responsible for setting cargo waybill as well as managing the operational processes including data and service integration with the main aim of creating cooperation between different airlines. For instance, IATA published “The Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreements” which is being used for many airlines today. Moreover, IATA creates an efficient environment for interline accounting services through which air tickets could be sold worldwide without restrictions due to geographical factors
American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
FAA was started in November 1958 in the United States of America. Since then, it has grown largely as it is now the America’s agency in the Department of Transportation. It is responsible for the regulation and control of all operations of the civil aviation in America. Its functioning is even made easier by the location of its headquarters at Washington D.C. another very important responsibility of the FAA is to provide Aircraft Certification Services especially to Boeing since it is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. With the most percentage of aircrafts being manufactured by Boeing, the FAA, therefore, is responsible for airworthiness standards for many countries thorough provision of its services.
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
As the name suggests, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) and it has offices in Cologne and Germany. Its main responsibility is to regulate and execute safety measures in the civil aviation industry. Although this organization was established in 2003, to be specific, September, 28, it only started functioning fully recently in 2008. Soon after its full functionality, it took over the responsibilities that were previously barred by the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) (Wikipedia). Since EASA is an EU agency, as mentioned above, all members of the European Union enjoy the possibility of adopting the organizations acts willingly. In addition, EASA, just like FAA, has further responsibility of aircraft certification since Airbus, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers, is located in Europe.
Civil Aviation of Administration of China (CAAC)
CAAC was established as a non-military aviation organization in November 2, 1949 with the initial objective of managing the non-military aviation services for China. As a result, its initial management was done by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force but this responsibility was later given to the direct control of the State Council in 1980. At this time, CAAC was the only airline providing both general and commercial aviation services in China, just like in the case of Aeroflot of the Soviet Union.
Then after 1987, the CAAC was reformed, an operation which saw the division of all its assets and people into 6 different airlines. Since the reformation, the CAAC has been a government agent whose main responsibility shifted to managing all operations of civil aviation in China including the certification of all aircrafts operating in the Chinese market (Alan, 2009). For instance, the certification of an aircraft, B757-300, was denied by the CAAC in 2003 because the order had been placed by an unpopular airline, Shenzhen Airline, which is the 5th biggest airline in China and hence Boeing would have closed its assembly in 2004.
The Function of Organizations in Improving Safety in the Aviation Industry
One of the most significant roles of organizations and other agencies in the aviation industry is the provision of safety services because, as we all know, airplanes are delicate and therefore require high degree safety. ICAO, one of the International organizations which are a special agent of the European Union, undertakes the tasks of ensuring safety in the aviation industry through securing developmental measures. In its efforts to unify safety measures in the aviation industry around the world, it develops standard measures meant to regulate and ensure that all aviation industries adhere to safety provisions.
For instance, the ICAO has modified a new edition of the Convention on International Civil Aviation known as the statute which is specified as the ICAO Doc 7300/9 consisting of a convention with 18 extensions (Wikipedia). The ICAO also establishes standard environmental conditions for the aircrafts including standard variable pressure and other atmospheric measures such as density and temperature. These standard measurements are essentially useful in designing aircrafts especially in scaling the instruments used in building the aircrafts body.
On the other hand, smooth operation of the industry as well as creation of opportunities in the industry is done by IATA by coordinating the operations of various airlines. The Clear House of IATA has, over the years, made it possible for many airlines to sell their tickets on a global basis rather than regional. For instance, the Airport codes and designators by IATA are used in comparison to those made by ICAO. A good example is the use of QF which is IATA code, alongside QFA which is an ICAO code in QANTAS. Despite the fact that these codes are not all directed towards ensuring safety, their standardization and coordination in airline operations are very important in preventing misunderstandings and occurrence of mistakes.
The regional organizations, on the other hand, are also important in ensuring that safety is maintained in their local navigation operations. For example, the Chinese airlines have had clean records of safety for over five consecutive years. The FAA, EASA and CAAC have played a big role in ensuring that safety measures are taken always by initiating the process through certifying manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus. Failure to have the safety measures in place could cause the delay of an aircraft delivery like in the case of A 380 which was delayed due to its inability to meet the safety requirements of EASA.
Plans of Organizations for the Future of World’s Commercial Aviation
The ICAO has various plans documented all aimed at ensuring and improving safety regulatory measures in civil aviation industry. Some of these plans include the establishment of strategic objectives after every five years of service and Global safety and Air Navigation plan both of which are focused on aviation safety globally.
Some of the IATA’s priority plans for the year 2010 indicated on their website are: improving safety and environmental measures and making the businesses’ financial operations as simple as possible.
A published plan by the FAA focuses on increasing safety in the civil aviation industry as well as increasing capacity for passengers in the aircrafts. Other plans are on improving international leadership and ensuring excellence of the organization as a whole. Since FAA is a governmental body itself, the plans also highlight its international cooperation intentions.
Just like ICAO, EASA establishes a five year plan with its latest establishment, for 2010-2014, being done in 2010. Similarly, the plan includes general aviation operations including safety measures environmental standardization. Other aspects indicated are financial aspects and better planning and management of staff members. However, this plan emphasized more on specified certification including approval of the organization and standardizing flight requirements.
Two crucial agendas discussed in an annual meeting by the CAAC, which was held in January 13, 2010, were maintenance of safety and decreasing occurrences of irregularities in its operations. To effect these plans, the organization established some of the measures that need to be adopted. For instance, the flight schedules needed to be changed especially those in busy airlines such as the PEK in Beijing and PVG in Shanghai. This would reduce airport congestions and consequently reduce flight irregularities. CAAC is still in the process of implementing these changes to ensure safety in aviation transport.
The Relationship among Organizations, Airlines and National Authorities
Since the civil aviation industry is an international venture with many people all over the world taking flights to different destination every single a day, its safety records are as well examined worldwide. It is due to this reason that governments intervene in the management of the airline organizations to maintain the required standards. All these bodies, aviation organizations, airline industries themselves and the government, work together in ensuring the safety of the industry.
Although both ICAO and IATA lack government’s support and political power in their efforts to manage airlines in any country, they can influence them through the publication of many of their acts including standards and regulatory measures concerning civil aviation. For example, the vertical separation standards (RVSM) implemented by the CCAC in 2007 have been adopted by many countries. In addition, the provision of a Clear House by IATA has attracted many airlines to adopt its use to automatically manage their integrated accounts.
- On the other hand, the various government agencies can ensure that safety is instilled in their respective countries’ aviation industries through publication of mandatory acts and requirements for the operations of the air transport industry. The use of government agencies has been effective because the regulations and standards are based on the county’s actual requirements as well as the expected international standards. Some of these requirements may even be in accordance with the aircraft manufacturers themselves. For instance, a crush on A330 of Frances led to a requirement by almost all government agencies to change the airspeed tube for similar aircrafts.
- As discussed above, FAA and EASA are very important organizations in aviation through certification of aircrafts. The two organizations have the strictest regulations in the globe with many other countries emulating them or obtaining aircraft certificates from them. This then means that issuance of a certificate by either FAA or EASA to any aircraft manufacturer; the manufacturer qualifies to supply its aircrafts to any country worldwide. However, manufacturers can as well choose to obtain the certificates from regional organizations even though obtaining them from the two international organizations is much economical in terms of sale. For example, Boeing had to obtain a type certificate from CAAC for the 737-900 it had bought in 2004 through the Shenzhen Airline.
There are over 200 big airlines in the world which transports over 2000 million passengers in a year (CAAC). With the increasing advancements in technology, the number of passengers is expected to increase by 400 million people (Airbus). However, the industry will e faced with challenges as it tries to handle the increase of passengers and maintain safety at the time especially with the increasing cases of terrorists which results to the need for more security provision. Therefore, the airlines have to work alongside the international organizations and government agents to handle the situation in the future.
- Airbus, Global Market Forecast 2009-2028, 2009.
- Alan Williams, 2009, Contemporary Issues Shaping China’s Civil Aviation Policy, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, U.K.
- CAAC, The Resources of Internal Data, No. 110. 2009.
- CAAC’S Website.
- EASA, Manual of the Business Plan 2010-2014, 2009.
- ECTSTE (The Editing Committee of Textbook of Specialty and Technology Exam of P.R. China), The Textbook of Specialty and Technology Exam of P.R. China-Civil Aviation Economics 2003, China Human resource Publishing House, Beijing.
- FAA, Manual of the FAA Flight Plan, 2008.
- ICAO, Manual of the ICAO Standard Atmosphere, Doc 7488-CD, Third Edition, 1993.
- ITAT’s Website.
- ITAT’s Website.
- Keith Lovegrove 2000, Airline Identity, Design and Culture, Laurence King Pub. London.
- Lv Xiaoping 2008, The Influence of the Air Navigation Capacity and Volume of Air Traffic after implementing RVSM in China.
- Tein, M. 2008, Topic 1 The Civil Aviation Regulatory Framework, Aerospace Industry Infrastructures Course Notes, RMIT University.
- WIKIPEDIA’s Website.