In their quest to restrict how much the aviation industry had free access and control over, the Civil Aeronautics Board along with others introduced many policies for airlines. Many were not happy about the outcomes of the legislation as there freedoms of picking routes were taken away, yet soon many changes were made. Arguments ensued aplenty, yet new deregulation measures still proved somewhat challenging in some aspects. By examining the history of aviation since the 1930’s, the issues that drove reform are recognized, along with major reform benefits/drawbacks as well as current restraints are discussed in this essay. By executing these points, we will see that a mixture of regulations and deregulations are needed for the industry to continue to run smoothly.
For nearly seven decades during the 20th century, air transportation managed to soar to new heights due to regulated policies. First, the industry was primarily developed with direct aid from the United States government which proved to have unwavering control over services. This authority quickly led to the United States Postal Service scheduling frequent flights around the nation through the gap of the first and second world wars, respectively. This service did not come without its fair share of consequences, however. To name a few, the new inventions involving the airplane technological aspects found in overseas dogfights in Europe lead to the formation of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. This task force was motivated to promote aeronautical research in order to produce new feats involving speed records, ultimately becoming NASA. Synthesizing this initial government endeavor, we can notice NACA was vital for pushing advancements onto previous projects, the federal overseers did not focus as much on commercial aspects yet.
Going on, the USPS soon began to offer domestic packaging services from Los Angeles all the way to Philadelphia. With them at the forefront, they become a monopoly with help from the unwilling US Army. Ongoing legal battles quickly led to the Air Mail Act of 1925 which led to many operators, which was overlooked by the wary government. This is true according to publishers at the Travel Insider Info in which they state that they “vaguely understood and appreciated that there were strategic and business benefits in commercial aviation. Molding this thought together, it is easy to notice how one-sided the government was at the time, as they seemed to not be able to multitask. This misguided principle was pushed aside as Juan Trippe built an international mail system which then dispersed into Pan Am – pushing major manufacturers. As commercial aviation skyrocketed, new challenges were brought to the forefront as time progressed. In closing of early aviation standards, the realization that strict government regulation would prove to be of risky purposes as fostering was not necessary. Transitioning onwards to more modern times, the United States further stood their ground when came to monitoring the industry in hopes of becoming a global power. This notion was brought up in part of previous safety issues involving curious pilots who lacked enough knowledge of instruments. This sole instance, lead to unreliable travel times which were caused due to crashes and other incidents – in hand requiring a new sense of the necessity for a backbone in coordinated infrastructure. A heavy support system would allow for rapid growth which would leave other transportation modes in the dust. Moving on, when the first regulations of 1926 were set, the main goals were to “establish air navigation facilities, create national branches meant to investigate accidents and to also issue licenses through examinations” according to Embry Riddle’s files. In connection, people may recognize how the Air Commerce Act attempted to improve lost standards of the past, but it did not do merely enough in regulating route management.This pattern was soon to change, though. When the 1930’s hit, incentives meant to veer jets away from solely catering to cargo arrived; since rates jumped on mail. Eventually, this push left the mailers to selectively use legacy carriers on routes through a merged system with four main heads. As growth occurred in the continental US, at its peak the great depression leaving mailers corrupted and soon after eradicated. Based on early statistics we notice how the Army took over, however, because of the difference in work environments only 2/3rds of flights were completed due to their busy schedules. Subsequently, this ill thought out blunder led to severe reformations that led to restrictions on total contracts.
All in all, there are many lessons to learn from issues with the post ranging from distrust which was brought along with the complete shift in duties from the airlines to the army. We can infer that this meant that the feds lost its footing when it came to realizing how profitable commercial travel could also become. Going onwards, several changes soon occurred as is the case with the FAA and the NTSB being formed which allowing for better strategies in the daily runnings of air transportation. In contrast, there are numerous reasons why airline regulation was removed during the late 1970’s. These circumstances range all the way from broken core systems to ignoring future opportunities which can be drawn upon over a series of seven unique reasons. The first of this list is rather simple in that the government’s regulations were going at a slow rhythm. This claim is noticed in contexts of how far aviation evolved since the start of the 1930’s – in which considerably slower planes than the new 747’s of the mid 70’s were manufactured. With all of the old technological advancements in both airplane models and also flying boats practically forgotten by current populations… this meant that standards were shifting and the government was incapable of maintaining the pace.
Secondly, there were issues encircling load factors being inadequate, with little of discounts being allowed. This strict rule was enforced by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and only set a couple of charges per flights. This idea is backed up by the scholar, Edward Kennedy, of the Southern Methodist University. In his pamphlet dealing with the CAB he states that “they only allowed full fares and/or two categories of discounted fares (including student fares)”. Consequently, this led to fares being rather unaffordable which lowered profits. Going on from the above points on load factors and price charging, there also numerous reasons dealing with route management and start-ups. These range from the inability to add new routes as well as not having the right to remove old ones, along with unprofitability, bad startups and also the closures.
Going in order, mentioning that both the CAAB and rivals could veto new routes, which ultimately lead many to have fought in court to get requests passed with some going on for years. With airlines giving up on additions, removing routes also proved as cumbersome. This statement is detailed by how the CAB had to approve all discontinuations and how all affected cities refused, singlehandedly telling the airliners off with CAB’s aid. Basically, we can picture this as a game of devil’s advocate where organizations ruled and airliners stood no chance. With this analogy, airlines were not profitable either. This claim has valid reasoning since Corporate FindLaw’s’ site exclaims that “the CAB considered a very generous 12% return on capital” yet airlines continued to plummet with broken promises. The falsity behind CABs statement led to the downfall of six major airlines soon after. Even with the industry spiraling out of control, new airlines were not permitted.
Sixth of all, airlines on both on the domestic and regional level were not allowed to fly inter-state flights – even though they held themselves to impeccable standards. Lastly, this pattern continued for years in a cyclical like fashion due to all the above. After numerous amendments made by Congress through several different presidential terms, airlines finally got what they deserved in deregulation between 1979 and 1984. This time period is when the effects of airline deregulation become to most noticeable to the public eye. For instance, the disbandment of the Board directly led to a free market environment which airlines had the freedom to construct their own route systems without constant authority watching over their shoulder. Although in some retrospects, some airlines now started to act somewhat clueless as they were thrown off track by all the changes. This sentiment is shared by the editor, Gautam Gowrisankan, at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco when he exclaims that “rapid growth occurred since routes had of great value previously… but not they were slow to realize the concept of owning their own”. Looking at the true meaning behind this quote, we now can understand how little of seriousness it was for the CAB to be sticklers on routes in the first place. As a coincidence of this, some carriers would sometimes drop like flies suddenly after opening – which is a common trait of most unregulated markets. While these two acts were taking materializing, the Essential Air Service was created to maintain old routes that were required to keep communities connected. Being linked to the outside world entitled the industry to see huge growth rates with conjunction to both Hub and Spoke and Point to Point travel. Immediately following significant route management shifts in the industry, there were many other major benefits/drawbacks of deregulation to be found. For instance, half of a dozen positives are noticed in our notes on this theme. These bullets range from prices on most flights dropping considerably leading to savings, and also increased usage of the airlines for travel. These two unique pros allowed thousands of jobs to enter the economy, along with safer track records and new airlines being developed on behalf of buyers.
Going further into these positives, we can learn that airfares have dipped more than three times its respective amounts since acts of deregulation were first enacted. There are plenty of facts that back up this assertion – extending from more bargains being available to the public dropping way below the average 2.3 times dip (going all the way up to 5 times lower). While this deal might be originating from a couple of legs that would be needed to complete a trip, nowadays we can fly practically nonstop anywhere. Tying in with this, a University of Minnesota article published by students stated that “domestic air travel costs increased from $8.49 in 1978 to $12.07 in 2009”. In explanation of this, it is visible to the eye how inflation has caused a change more than that increase over the past 30 years.While the above paragraph reveals how travel is getting cheaper and airlines are gaining more revenue, air travel combined with incentive programs have also leaped into the industry. These pairs of equally important benefits have transpired simply due to average flights doubling, therefore bringing in incentives to continue the pattern. Just by stating this goal, you can not fully understand the noteworthiness of this as airlines are now able to fly destinations that were judged to be unimaginable back during the times of regulation. For instance, United Airlines only had featured “68 routes in 1968, yet they presently fly to over 300 cities worldwide” according to JSON. Generally, when understanding this rate of growth, it is possible to realize why building such grandiose networks led to collecting miles becoming an incentive for flying. Scouring the terms behind these ‘Frequent Flier’ Programs, it is now possible to pay for free tickets and also receive upgrades through mileage in part of dysregulation. Literal lifesavers like these would not have been possible under the terms of the strict CAB regulations.
Continuing on, the aviation industry (as previously mentioned) gained thousands of new occupations. These newly founded occupations covered options all the way from taxi drivers to security agents, which meant that more money was being spent in general. This outburst in employment, therefore, lead to a boom in the economy. Finally, there have also been less and less fatal incidents amongst the industry along with competitors being pushed by airlines to create better products. While all of the above generally talk about the positives that were brought along at the reversal of regulation, there are several apparent negatives too. Just to name a few, even with the influx of job opportunities being present in aviation, might take a downturn in the near future. This tragic turn of events could happen sooner than later since the large sums of money poured into the field might just be kept by the government. The feds might do this in order to not have bailouts occur again (which could range up to $1 trillion dollars). Also, since most jobs are permanent positions, there are not temporary roles to cover less of expenses. Furthermore, to fix this, the government probably needs to be urged to deregulate other professions so there can be new chances to rejuvenate the economy. On that basis, the automobile industry comes to mind as there are a plethora of brands that build cars out of the states, which if brought home could offer more jobs to boost the American GDP.
In similar fashion to the automobile industry suggestion, there also seems to be monopolies found on aircraft manufacturing lines. To name a few, both Boeing and Airbus (who cover North American and European continents) have sold over 17,000 short haul planes since the late 60’s according to Geoffrey Gertz of Brookings. That mere amount alone means that not many companies can stand to make large profits due to the duo’s presence in the market. Equally important, it proves to be of great understanding that everyone in society realizes that there are quite a few regulatory constraints on airlines. These tightly bound constraints that hold close to what airlines can/cannot do still stem from partial regulation fears which trouble the daily operations of many. Impacting the whole travel process, restrictions like the establishments of new airlines, operating planes and its staff, locations, and marketing to passengers needs are different from the past.
Covering these in order, the times of when the Wright brothers were building some of the first engine powered planes has drastically changed. For example, the now defunct airline in Virgin America had to go through lengthy legal processes to be competent enough for the Department of Transportation to even allow them to fly inside the country – since they were owned by Richard Branson and his foreign branches. This power hold is shown in this statement still shows how much the government branches over the airlines, even when prominent parts of deregulation is in effect.
Going on, the act of flying and maintaining aircraft along with hiring has changed detrimentally. In the past, prototypes that Lindbergh and others used did not need to be certified for airworthiness, however, nowadays you can not get away with anything as safety compliance is a huge an issue. The public always needs to be safe, yet it comes at a cost as you also have pay pilots and train flight attendants, amongst others. Wrapping all the body paragraphs up, there are also many infrastructure constraints as well – that deal with its fair share of airport runways/terminals, restrictions, and also marketing strategies. Inside of these three core hinderances, the 21st century proves way different compared to its past counterparts as well since many systems cannot continue to grow. For example, if the airports and their respective runways were completely part of free markets, congestion would prove to be major issues in which buyers could take airports away. This would not be a huge issue for the FAA though since they would continue to receive funds to build upon projects. In addition, airports may also bar certain carriers from entering the vicinities of certain terminals to protect hubs from extensive competition. Cases like these are strengthened by typical contracts that run for long periods of time which make it difficult for startups to catch their bearings – similar to the way slot times and route restrictions are conducted.
Last of all, what many might think is freedom of speech is not such the case in aviation. Unlike most deregulated markets, airlines have to follow strict fees and can only access certain parts of terminal spaces, which is further dampened down by the use of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers. These officers according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office has not “been evaluated well for overall effectiveness in the past couple of years”.
Summing this up, it is important to realize how many varying ways deregulation affects aviation as a whole.
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