Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and airships.
Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.
Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices for civil aviation through that agency.
Civil aviation includes two major categories:
■ Scheduled air transport, including all passenger and cargo flights operating on regularly scheduled routes; and
■ General aviation (GA), including all other civil flights, private or commercial
There are five major manufacturers of civil transport aircraft (in alphabetical order):
■ Airbus, based in Europe
■ Boeing, based in the United States
■ Bombardier, based in Canada
■ Embraer, based in Brazil
■ United Aircraft Corporation, based in Russia
General aviation includes all non-scheduled civil flying, both private and commercial. General aviation may include business flights, air charter, private aviation, flight training, ballooning, paragliding, parachuting, gliding, hang gliding, aerial photography, foot-launched powered hang gliders, air ambulance, crop dusting, charter flights, traffic reporting, police air patrols and forest fire fighting.
Each country regulates aviation differently, but general aviation usually falls under different regulations depending on whether it is private or commercial and on the type of equipment involved.
Many small aircraft manufacturers serve the general aviation market, with a focus on private aviation and flight training.
The most important recent developments for small aircraft (which form the bulk of the GA fleet) have been the introduction of advanced avionics (including GPS) that were formerly found only in large airliners, and the introduction of composite materials to make small aircraft lighter and faster. Ultralight and homebuilt aircraft have also become increasingly popular for recreational use, since in most countries that allow private aviation, they are much less expensive and less heavily regulated than certified aircraft.
5 reasons why to choose Aviation as a career:
The obvious answer here is the travel opportunities a job in aviation can offer. Whilst working for an airline can be very demanding, it’s hard to find a better industry for travel opportunities. Some of the jobs themselves require extensive travel; pilots and flight attendants for example could visit as many as ten cities on several different continents in one five-day shift! And the travel opportunities are there for when you’re off the clock too.
Meeting New People
In such a dynamic, fast paced industry, a job in the aviation industry means that you’re part of a bigger picture, helping to keep things moving and keeping up with the speed at which things happen. Working for an airline or airport then, doesn’t seem to be a boring, stagnant job but one that offers variety on a daily basis, not least with the people you’ll meet. This is another big reason why candidates are drawn to working for an airline or airport because it gives them the opportunity to meet new people on a daily basis. Those that work in airports enjoy the chance to meet interesting people and ‘people watch’ with no two days being the same in terms of who comes through the airport. Flight attendants also often state that they chose their job because of the variety of interesting people it enables them to meet.
The Opportunity to Develop your Career
As a business, it’s in the best interest of airlines and airports that their employees are continually developing, so they ensure that they offer their employees training and career development. Along with annual reviews, some offer an annual financial incentive scheme to ensure that their employees’ contributions are recognized.
While airport jobs generally receive less travel opportunities, they too are often well-paid jobs with excellent benefits.
Airlines and airports also recognize how important it is that their employees enjoy life outside of work too to ensure their happiness at work.
With so many benefits to working in the aviation industry it’s not surprising that you may have decided aviation is the industry for you. Once you know which position best matches your skills and interests, it’s time to find that specialty!