In today’s world, the quintessential boosters of a country’s economy are the three Ts, namely, trade, travel and tourism. Intuitively, these three Ts are also the pillars for the sustenance of the aviation industry of a country. And interestingly, the relationship between the growth in aviation and the growth in the economy is bidirectional. If one grows, the other also gets a boost.

Commercial aviation has become an essential part of our everyday lives, connecting people, goods, and businesses around the world. The aviation industry has grown significantly over the years, and its contribution to the global economy is immense.

It has been proven time and again that there is a statistically significant, positive correlation between the growth of aviation and a country’s economy. It is further established that the significance of aviation-specific education cannot be over-emphasised for sustained growth of a country’s commercial aviation.

The aviation industry has grown rapidly in the past few decades, contributing significantly to the growth of the global economy.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the aviation industry contributes approximately $2.7tr to the world’s GDP and supports 65.5m jobs globally

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the aviation industry contributes approximately $2.7 trillion to the world’s GDP and supports 65.5 million jobs worldwide.

The aviation industry plays a critical role in facilitating the movement of goods and people. It enables businesses to access global markets.

Additionally, the aviation industry drives tourism, as travellers utilise air transport to experience different resorts in various parts of the world, meet people, and observe cultures and traditions. The tourism sector contributes significantly to the growth of the economy, and the aviation industry plays a key role in promoting it.

Moreover, the aviation industry has a spillover effect on other sectors of the economy. For example, the development of airports creates employment opportunities for various professionals, such as engineers, architects, managers, security personnel, and business entrepreneurs.

Also, the aviation industry drives innovation, leading to the development of new technologies that can be utilised in other sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing.

The growth of the aviation industry is dependent on a skilled workforce. Aviation-specific education provides individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the aviation industry.

The aviation industry is diverse, ranging from pilots, air traffic controllers, ground staff, maintenance engineers, admin personnel, and aviation managers. Aviation-specific education ensures that professionals in these sectors are proficient in their respective roles.

Aviation-specific education provides individuals with a broad understanding of the aviation industry, including its history, regulations, and operational requirements.

For instance, a degree in Aeronautical Engineering provides individuals with specialised knowledge related to aircraft design, maintenance, and repair, while a degree or certificate in Aviation Management is essential for managing aviation-related business domains.

Aviation marketing, supply chain, aviation finance, safety, security, aviation economics, and other administrative skills are essential for effectively managing airports, airlines, general aviation and ground support services.

Moreover, aviation-specific education ensures that professionals in the aviation industry are up to date with the latest technological advancements. The aviation industry is constantly evolving, and professionals need to possess the skills and knowledge required to operate in this dynamic environment.

For instance, air traffic controllers need to be proficient in the use of advanced technological equipment utilised in controlling air traffic. Familiarity, knowledge and application of new technologies are often a requirement for most jobs in the aviation sector.

The role of government in promoting aviation and aviation-specific education is significant. Here are a few ways in which governments can promote aviation and aviation-specific education:

Investment in Infrastructure: Govern­ments can invest in building and maintaining airports, air traffic control systems, and other related infrastructure. This can facilitate the growth of the aviation industry and create more job opportunities.

Regulation: Governments play a crucial role in regulating the aviation industry to ensure safety and security. This includes setting standards for aircraft maintenance, pilot training, air traffic control, and airport security.

Subsidies and tax incentives: Govern­ments can offer subsidies and tax incentives to encourage airlines to operate in their country. This can lead to increased competition, lower fares, and improved connectivity.

Education and Training: Governments can promote aviation-specific education and training programmes to develop a skilled workforce for the aviation industry. This can include programmes that provide technical training for pilots, air traffic controllers, aviation managers, and maintenance technicians.

Research and Development: Govern­ments can fund research and development in aviation technology to promote innovation and improve safety and efficiency.

The wheel that churns the country’s economy gets its impetus from the government’s effective role, ie, involvement in building the infrastructure, subsidies for deserving students, promoting aviation-specific education, making congenial policies, and creating an aviation-friendly environment that promotes aviation-specific education, and provides investor-friendly regulations, taxes, and duties.

As aviation grows, skilled human resources are gainfully engaged, and aviation becomes a sustainable growth and prosperity contributor for the country. The end result is that the economy starts flying in tandem with aviation and attains heights hitherto unknown.

The writer is the CEO & chairman of the Aviation Institute of Management and regionally represents his alma mater Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, May 8th, 2023

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