The Advent of the Federal Aviation Administration in US

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According to renown historian Bilstein Roger, it is not clear when commercial air transport begun in the United States, but he traces it back to the era of hydrogen powered airplanes which operated between Oakland and Sanfransisco as early as 1913 (Freeman, n.d). In 1919, some milestones were made in the aviation industry when Lawson built the first ever multiengine airplane which was made specifically for passengers (Freeman, n.d). During this era of aviation, there was no any authority charged with the responsibility of overseeing and coordinating the aviation industry since it was not a popular means of transport. Most people by then relied on roads and railways as means of transport.

The emergence of commercial aviation in the United States may be traced back to what many have described as “the airmail experiment”. The post office in the United States has been seen by many to have initiated true commercial aviation as early as 1925 when it started delivering letters through the air. By the year 1925, the US government had in place 7 airplanes which transported letters between cities and had the capacity of delivering over 14 million letters in a year (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2008).

This airmail delivery service was controlled and managed by the government which employed the pilots and oversaw their continuous training as well as their regular medical checkups. The service was very reliable and touted as one of the safest means of transport due to the minimal incidents witnessed, which was put at one incident per over 700,000 miles flown by the planes. This made the airmail service very popular especially among business men and bankers, who preferred the method due to its efficiency and convenience (U.S. Departmen...

... middle of paper ... by the US government to consolidate its resources and efforts in enhancing national security. The Department of Homeland Security currently oversees the control and regulation of all air flights in the United States with special focus on how to free the United States from terrorism which may result from poor management of the crucial aviation industry (Whitnah, 1998).

Works Cited

Freeman, R.(n.d). The Pioneering Years: Commercial Aviation 1920 – 1930. Retrieved on July 6th, 2011 from

U.S. Department of Transportation. (July 2008).History of Aviation Safety Oversight in the United States. Retrieved on July 6th, 2011 from

Whitnah, D.R. (1998). US Department of Transportation. New York, NY: Greenwood Publishing Group. Print.

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