Air transport is a mode of transportation that involves the transportation of goods and passengers by the use of airplanes, helicopters, and other types of aircraft. Air transport is the most recent mode of transport. It is the gift of the 20th century to the world.
The two world wars gave a great impetus to the development of air transport in almost all the countries of the world. The peculiar characteristic of air transport is that it does not need a specific surface track for its operations.
It has no physical barriers as in the case of other modes of transport. Political boundaries are also immaterial, although it has to observe the requirements of the International Law. The supreme advantage of air transport lies in its quickness.
It is the fastest mode of transport. But the cost of its operation is very high and thus it is suitable for only rich passengers, mails and light and costly cargo. However, in advanced countries like the U.S.A., Germany, etc. it offers tough competition to the railways.
The following are the advantages of air transport:
- High Speed: It is the fastest means of transport. Passengers and goods can be transported easily from one place to the other.
- Minimum Cost: Unlike railways and road transport, there is no need to spend money on the construction of any track or road, only airports have to be constructed.
- Strategic Importance: An airway has great strategic importance. It can be used for internal and external security.
- Easy transport of costly and light goods: It is quite convenient to send costly, light, and perishable goods through air transport.
- Free from physical barriers: Air transport is free from physical barriers like rivers, mountains, and valleys, etc.
- Useful for Agriculture: Air transport is useful for aerial spray on pests and insects which cause harm to crops.
- Useful in natural calamities: During earthquake, flood, accidents and famine, air transport is used for rescue operations.