To an average air traveler, the importance of aviation safety is rarely recognized in conscious thought, we usually only consider aspects of safety when some horrific accident occurs. But on a daily basis, on thousands of commercial and military flights, the lives of countless passengers are dependent upon the implementation of safety regulations adopted to protect the publics interest. The implications of aviation safety not only save lives while people travel through the air, but ensures the safety of everyone going about their daily business on the ground as well. An airplane crash into a large metropolitan area that is densely populated would most assuredly result in countless ground fatalities, and in retrospect it is amazing that those types of incidents are so few in number.
In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration oversees many of the efforts concerning aviation safety, along with the education of flight crews to assure maximum safety precautions are followed at all times. Pilot and Navigator certifications, pilot ratings and even the credentials of aviation mechanics are scrutinized to make certain that only the best trained and most conscientious individuals are employed within the commercial airline industry. Due to the enormous responsibility these individuals shoulder, the consequences for non-compliance of aviation safety rules is usually harsh and costly, to both individuals and air carriers that may employ them.
In terms of economics, the importance of aviation safety is staggering, and is understood by few in the general public. With every air traffic accident, a segment of the public is more hesitant to fly, resulting in a loss of revenue to the airline industry. Approximately 40 percent of all tourists travel by air, so a small decline in this area due to safety concerns can easily result in hundreds of millions of dollars transferred to other travel industries. In terms of commerce, 45 million tons of freight is transported annually by air and 10 percent of the world’s GDP is generated by airline industries. There are also 14 million jobs around the world that are tied to air travel. If there were even a 1 or 2 percent decline in air travel and freight movement due to aviation safety concerns the result would be an economic disaster, impacting not only the airline industry in the country of origin, but globally for some period of time to come. For this reason alone, aviation safety is of equal importance to every country and economy on the planet.