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Aviation Enters the Free Market


Since its development, the aviation industry continues to play a major role in the world economy. It is considered as an economic pillar especially in cases where a country invests in and streamlines it. Unlike other sectors of the economy, aviation mainly deals with international events and tours as it connects different destinations across the globe through the air.

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It, therefore, follows that international events mark defining moments in the history of aviation (Havel, 2009). This paper discusses the role of aviation during the period between 1975 and 1989. To achieve this, the paper explores some of the major international events that took place during this period.

Aviation Events

There are events and accidents which have become part of the aviation history. Unlike other accidents, aviation accidents are usually fatal and result from human error, weather-related factors and mechanical problems. On January 9, 1975, an American Air force Convair T-29D collided with Cessna 150H killing seven personnel on board (Brady, 2000). The wreckage fell in River James.

The locals and military personnel joined efforts and recovered the bodies of the crew and the wreckage after some days. Research later revealed that the collision was caused by intertwined factors ranging from a human error to the weather (Sparks, 2011). Safety measures were later developed to prevent related cases and accidents. Among other things, radars were designed to prevent aircraft collision.

On September 1, 1975, Tupolev Tu-16K11-16 crashed in Egypt, killing several crew members due to an explosion. The accident was considered to be one of the longest emergency cases in the country’s Air Force.

In September 1981 a socket wrench was dropped by a repairman in Damascus while servicing LGM-25C Titan II, which rolled and hit the fuel tank. The fuel gas later exploded, injuring several people. However, there was no detection of radioactive contamination.

Administrative changes in the Civil Aeronautics that took place in 1978 also shaped the aviation industry. After the dissolution of the board, Lynn Helms was appointed as FAA administrator for President Reagan. The strike by 13,000 traffic controllers in August 1978 caught the attention of the world as aviation services were paralyzed (Mackenzie, 2010). The striking workers were fired, following an order by President Reagan.

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This caused a major hitch as all scheduled flights were canceled. There were restrictions for flights, with permission being granted to urgent missions alone. Aircraft were allowed to fly after several hours, during which the safety of aircraft was guaranteed.

Advancement in technology also transformed aviation services in the world. This was based on the navigation of aircraft, which was changed following the introduction of the global positioning system in 1982. This technology has greatly been developed and is largely applied today in the entire aviation industry (Moll, 2008).

Nevertheless, computers have also been adopted to improve efficiency and reduce aviation infrastructure into manageable facilities.

Despite the penetration of aviation into the society, it is worth noting that the 1970s and 1980s saw the public’s enthusiasm in the industry diminish. The public got concerned with the noise from the industry, leading to the grounding of some airports in Santa Monica in California (Moll, 2008). This attitude led to the banning of business jets, which had been in existence for years.


From the above summary of some of the events in the history of the aviation industry between 1975 and 1989, it is true that these events have significantly shaped the industry. Of great importance is the fact that most of these events helped in transforming the industry into what it is today.


Brady, T. (2000). The American Aviation Experience: A History. Illinois: SIU Press.

Havel, B. (2009). Beyond open skies: a new regime for international aviation. Brussels: Kluwer Law International.

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Mackenzie, D. (2010). ICAO: A History of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Moll, N. (2008). A Century in Review: The 1980s. Ain Online. 

Sparks, I. (2011). Air France plane grounded after technicians noticed 30 screws were missing from wing… after FIVE days of flights. Daily Mail

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