A Historical and Economic Perspective
Transport Economics, Management and Policy series
The aviation industry has grown at a fast pace since the first commercial flight took-off from Florida in 1914, and in the long-term the pace does not seem to be slowing down. For example, Airbus predicts that the number of airline passengers will increase from 2.9 billion in 2012 to 6.7 billion in 2032, while revenue passenger-kilometres will more than double during the same period, continuing the trend of it doubling every 15 years. Boeing makes similar predictions. This growth will be both a tremendous opportunity for the industry and a tremendous challenge for its infrastructure. A piece of that infrastructure is air traffic control and the entities that provide it: the air navigation service providers (ANSPs). They are responsible for safely and efficiently separating aeroplanes on the ground and in the air, and together with airlines and airports constitute the backbone of the aviation industry.