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Transportation Deployment Casebook/Aviation Transportation Life Cycle

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Aviation Transportation Life CycleEdit

By BrieAnna Simon

Finding the Right Market NicheEdit

The technology and innovation for aviation was present prior to the 1920s, however it wasn’t until this time that aviation found its market niche by flying over water. Being able to fly over water was essential during this time to transport goods more quickly compared to water transportation. An important good that helped aviation enhance and meets the needs of its market niche was over land air mail. Through the Air Mail Services policy of 1925 commercial airlines began to see the profit in this industry, which initiated the formation of the four major domestic airlines that were dominant during this time.[1]

Prior to advancements that lead to aviation, transportation was limited to land and water sources. Over land both railroads and automobiles were able to transport both goods and passengers. However these sources were limited by natural features. Rough terrain, such as mountains, presented difficulties for vehicles and cars to pass easily as well as during different weather conditions. Natural waterways also presented limitations for boats to pass. Without canals and other waterway enhancements, rivers may be too low or rough for water transportation to easily pass through. When advancements are needed to alleviate the flaws in other markets, technology then evolves to meet the needs of a market niche. The market for transportation progressed as individuals continued to present the need to move passengers and goods as quickly and easily at possible. Air transportation allowed for passengers and goods to be transported without physical and natural feature limitations. Therefore as limitations were minimized, the time it took to transport services over great distances decreased significantly.

Aviation HistoryEdit

* Hot-Air Balloon at the end of the 18th century 
* Rotors for Lifting Force in 1768
* Mechanical Flight
*        Fixed-Wing Aircraft 1804 by George Cayley	
* Powered Models
* 	Monoplane 1843 by W.S. Henson
* 	Hot-Air Engines in Manned Airplanes 1874
* 	Tandem-Winged Model Aircraft 1875 T. Moy
* 	Compressed Air Engine Powering a Monoplane 1879 V. Tatin
* 	Hang Glider Experimentation 1891-1896 Lilienthal Brothers
* 	Gasoline-Fueled Engine 1903 Wright Brothers



As airmail services became important during and after World War I, commercial applications of this mode of transportation showed promise for profit. In order establish and set rates for transporting main the Air Mail Act of 1925 was enacted. The allowed private carriers to bid and be awarded government mail contracts by the United States Postal Service. This established three major commercial passenger services including the Pan American Airways, Western Air Express, and Ford Air Transportation Service. These services were then able to dominate the air transportation system and the early market niche due to this policy, prior to this policy the aviation system was privately owned and operated.

Focuses on safety lead to the formation of government involvement through the form of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which provided government regulation to both improve and maintain safety standards in the system.


Safety AdvancementsEdit

As aviation took off, other technological advancements emerged to meet the needs of the market niche. Early aviation developments was a highly dangerous activities, fatal accidents was a common occurrence During the 1930 advancements to during route navigation technology evolved, including AM radio range, voice communication radio, tower and during route traffic control. Each of these technological advancements was important to improving safety during flights.[3]

Aircraft AdvancementsEdit

After World War II since military airports were no longer needed they then became retrofitted for the transport of passengers and good transportation, however using these locations made location adjustments difficult. Airports provided access to cities and allowed cities to participate in the air traffic system. With the increased participation of cities more traffic control technology evolved, including FM radios and radar technology. Also after World War II international travel increased and the first commercial jet was introduced in 1952 by the British Overseas Aircraft Corporation. With jets having the ability to hold more passengers and reach top speeds many U.S. companies became interested, which initiated the designing and building of their own jet airlines.

Aviation EvaluationEdit

Metropolitan Washington Airports AuthorityEdit

Aviation Table

Evaluating the quantitative data for Washington Dulles International Airport presents the birth, growth and maturity of this system. In order to analyzing this growth model the total passengers, including both domestic and international flights, was collected between the years of 1962 and 2011. The data presented through the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was then graphed using a scatter plot (Series 1) and a regression test (Series 2) was run on the data.[4]

The regression analysis formulated the “s-curve” to show where the birth of the mode was, the steady increase in curve represents the growth, and the leveling off of the curve shows the maturity of air transportation for Washington. When looking at the curve compared to the original data, the s-curve fits at a rate of 0.87. Since this fit is close to the number one it is a relatively good fit line. However the variation in the fit is due to pulses or the three local maximums of the original data. These pulses tend to be due to technology advancements that enhanced the systems in the market niche. Overall the table above, representing air travel for the Washington Dulles International Airport, does a good do showing how the aviation evolved in order to meet a market niche.


Both technology and policy have shaped the development of the aviation. The birth of the system was lead by technology needs to meet the demands of a market niche. This time period was seen between 1920 and 1970. Deregulation in the 1970s allowed for the market to create competition and meet the increased demand for air transportation until mid 2000s. After this growth period air transportation is reaching its maturity phase in the market niche. This is where new technology, such as faster and more fuel efficient planes could for the market to continue to grow. Otherwise the market will be locked in and the market will start to decline. Since the air traffic market is currently within its maturity phase, new technology is needed to enhance the system and meet the needs of the market niche.


  1. The Transportation Experience, pg. 225
  2. History of Aviation
  4. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

[1]Garrison, William Louis, and David M. Levinson. The Transportation Experience: Policy, Planning, and Deployment. New York: Oxford UP, 2006. Print

[2]Torenbeek, E., and H. Wittenberg. "FLIGHT PHYSICS." Introduction to Atmospheric Flight (2009): 1-46. SpringerLink. Web. Nov. 2012. <>.

[3]"History." History. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2012. <>.

[4]"Dulles International Airport." Air Traffic Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2012. <>.