The global aviation industry must rely on technological advances to address three of its most pressing challenges; the worldwide economy, the environment and global air transportation system modernization; Marion Blakey told her audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society‘s Lindbergh Lecture in London, April 21.
The industry should “tap into the innovative strength shown by early pioneers to address the trials we face today and will face tomorrow,” Blakey said. “When you mix the spirit of challenge with the spirit of innovation, you get the Spirit of St. Louis. That formula has worked over the years, and it will work today.”
Aviation has been an economic workhorse that has helped to lead world economies out of lean times in the past, Blakey said. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, she pointed out, the U.S. aviation industry actually grew as manufacturers such as Douglas and Boeing rolled out the first practical passenger aircraft, one of which – the now-legendary DC-3 – allowed airlines to turn profits for the first time. Military aircraft also made great strides during that time, she said.
“Technological innovations drove this strong economic performance back then, and they do the same today,” Blakey said. “This is a fact governments all over the world should keep in mind when coming up with plans to get their economies back on their feet.”
The lecture also detailed aviation manufacturers’ strong record of environmental improvement, and the entire international aviation industry’s commitment to make further environmental gains. Another point was the importance of the development and implementation of air transportation systems based on Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast technology. In the U.S., the technology is the backbone of the NextGen system and in Europe it is the key to SESAR’s success. Blakey said the two systems must be interoperable seamlessly to set the standard for the rest of the world.
The lecture series, which honors Charles Lindbergh and his first-ever transatlantic flight, showcases luminaries from the international aviation community addressing important issues of the day.
To read the full lecture: www.raes.org.uk/conference/PDFs/lindbergh09.pdf