In the contemporary world, demand for the air travel has significantly increased. Air travel is one of the fastest means of transport. Therefore, air travel is important both for passengers and cargo. Air travel has significantly promoted trade and hence contributed to economic growth. In the modern world, technology has significantly improved the fact which has pushed for different changes to take place in airports. A security threat for instance terrorism in air travel has also raised major concern.
The History of Airports
The growth of airports can be traced from the time when airports used to be mere grass fields which were mostly used for cattle grazing. From there, airports have been growing until recently where they have grown to multi billion facilities attracting a significantly huge number of passengers. It has also attracted many tons of freight every year. Due to the increasing importance of air travel, airports have been undergoing tremendous developments especially over the recent past. In the United States, the past as well as the current generations are much committed in the improvement of their air transport for the sake of the society in general. These efforts have remained up to date and there is bright expectation in the future of the airports in the country (Elias 2007). Early developments were made when An Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was built in 1903 when the Wright brothers made freight at North Carolina. This was a remarkable achievement which contributed significantly in aviation industry. In the early days of flight, most of the flying was taking place in grass strips because there were no airports at the time. During this period, aircrafts could also land anywhere including on the roads.
Later, the World War significantly revolutionized the airports in the United States. It also led to advancement in technology levels applied in the industry. Due to the increased importance of air travel during the time, there was a tremendous expansion and development of the airport facilities. More improved engines were developed for the purpose of the war. Training schools were also started in an effort to train those going for the battle.
Airmail system also brought a tremendous improvement in airports in the country. This service developed at a high rate and hence brought some improvements in the airports. Initially, night flights were made possible by lighting bonfires which were lit to direct pilots (Elias 2007). As the service expanded, beacons substituted bonfires. Later, towers were applied which easily helped in identifying the position of the airfield.
Another factor which revolutionized the development of airports in United States is the development of the Air Commerce Act of 1926 (Elias 2007). This legislation had a significant contribution in the country as it opened the airline transportation in the country. Finally, improvement in safety in air travel also contributed in increase in the air travel. This also marked the development in the airports as the demand increased.
The Future of Airport Construction
There has been a tremendous change in the world. Most of these have been brought about by improvement in technology. The society is also dynamic and new issues has risen which had not been in existence. For instance, the acts of terrorism have increased which was not a bother in early days of air travel. Therefore, there are significant changes in airports due to these issues.
In early 1970s, the Airport and Airway Development Act in 1970 defined a system of taxation which was directed towards the funding of most airports and navigation facility improvements (Anonymous, 2008). This taxation system has led to perpetual airport developments in the United States. This has led to the expansion of the airports as well as the airport operations in the country. However, the taxation system faced criticism on the fact that it is discriminative since it poses burden to the passenger traffic.
According to McNerney (not dated), the passenger traffic is expected to double in the next 15 years. This implies there is a need to have necessary expansion measures in order to accommodate this increase in the future. In order to meet this goal, the US government has developed several measures in order to expand these airports. This increase in passenger traffic also poses a security concern. This is because terrorism has significantly increased.
The nature of the future airports is also expected to be more energy conserving. The machines are being advanced day after day as effort to conserve energy. One way through which this process has been realized is through invention of the super-jumbo aircraft, which can carry a greater number of passengers. Since they are able to carry a greater number of passengers, this craft saves more fuel.
In the United States, there are clear financing measures which maintained a reliable source of funding in airport activities. As a result the quality of airports has significantly increased. Since the process is continuous, then it is expected that the condition of American airports will continue to improve. One of these programs is the Airport Improvement Program. Through these programs, airports are able to receive grants which are used in making necessary developments in the airports.
Recently, the acts of terrorism have significantly increased. This has posed a huge threat to airport operations. In 2001, there was a bombing threat aimed art United States aircraft. As a result, several measures have been laid down in an effort to combat terrorism now and in the future. This called for more security measures in order to overcome such threats. Initially, passengers were not passed through many security checkups. However, this attempt has called for increased security procedures in the process. In order to avoid the taking passengers through many processes, it is advisable to adopt a more technologically improved security checks to avoid passengers getting stressed by the many cumbersome processes.
In 2001, two American aircrafts were hijacked and used for terrorism purposes. This raised concern on the issue of airports and airports authority. As a result of these problems, the government called for more advanced scanners in order to ensure there are no dangerous weapons sneaked into the airports. The government also called for tight security
One of the main areas which has undergone and is still undergoing improvements in an effort to combat security threats is cargo screening. An effective cargo screening process can significantly help in combating security threats in airports. In airport security operations, air cargo screening is of great significance. This is more so bearing in mind the current terrorism threats which is facing the country. The airport authorities has the responsibility of implementing the necessary measures in order to maintain the security of the cargo in both the passenger planes as well as those in cargo planes from terror attacks. The cargo must be screened for dangerous weapons as well as any explosives which can cause damages. The cargo is also screened in order to prevent drugs from being transported from one country to the other. Therefore, the overall process of screening is of great significance in maintaining security in the airport.
There are several means through which the effectiveness of air cargo side screening operations efficiency can be increased in order to improve security levels in the future. One of the main ways through which effectiveness of screening operations can be improved is through implementation of the proposed Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) (Anonymous, 2009). By adopting this system, the airport authority will not only improve the effectiveness of screening processes, but also on the security levels. This process will be of great significance in ensuring that all the cargo carried in the passenger planes is free of explosives. By following this system, the air carriers will be expected to submit data on the total amount of the cargo it has screened on the monthly basis (Anonymous, 2009). By so doing, TSA improves the efficiency of the screening of the cargo. By taking the data on the screened cargo, TSA will be encouraging the parties involved in the screening process to be more attentive.
Through implementation of the certified cargo screening program, the airport authorities will manage to improve the security level in screening process and other points in the airport. This includes the cargo warehouses and other checking points like passenger and luggage screening points (Zellan, 2003). Since different operations in the airport are interconnected in one way or another, increasing efficiency in one point will enhance the overall efficiency in all operations. For instance, if the process of loading the cargo is improved, the process of screening the cargo will also be improved. This is because the efficiency in loading of the screened cargo will reduce congestion at the screening point.
Through the Certified Cargo Screening Program, it will be possible to screen more cargo compared with the former system. The screening process will also be required to comply with all legal requirements. Therefore, every detail will be taken into account in the screening process. Consequently, this will contribute in improving the screening process.
Through the Certified Cargo Screening Program, blast resistant cargo containers will be used. The process of identifying the workers will be improved. Therefore, worker identification process will be simplified. That is, less time will be used in carrying out security identification procedures in employees. This will avoid unnecessary time wastage.
Another way through which cargo screening efficiency can be increased is by adoption of the security level through out the cargo supply chain (Corrao, 2006). For instance, the foreign air carriers, indirect air carriers and also the airport operators. This ensures that the cargo is inspected for security purposes long before it reaches the screening stage. This implies that any dangerous materials are identified long before the cargo is screened. Therefore, the chances of identifying any unwanted materials in the cargo at the screening stage will be minimal. In the process, this will increase the effectiveness of cargo screening process.
Efficiency levels in screening will also be improved by increasing the system sustainability. It is important to ensure there is adequate ways in order to improve on the accessibility of the screening areas (Corrao, 2006). It will also reduce congestion of the cargo while waiting for screening process. For instance, the screening areas must be easily accessible to the conveyor devices as well as the components like control devices. This will significantly help in clearing unnecessary complications in sorting out the cargo. This process will significantly improve on the efficiency levels.
Technological Development in the Future of Airport Construction
The future of the American airports is also expected to be characterized by the Global Positioning System. This will have a significant impact in solving the security issues. In the contemporary world, GPS (Global Positioning System) has become one of the most significant components in cargo security. This technology has significantly contributed in improvement of the security level in the industry. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a technical marvel which uses a satellites positioned such that they transmit appropriate signals which allows the GPS receivers to make calculations and display the speed, location and the time information to the users (Zahradnik, not dated). Through calculations, it becomes easy to locate where a certain cargo is from the GPS receivers. This is made possible through capturing of the signals sent. Through other technological combinations like software, the GPS receivers are able to display adequate information in a useful display format. This technology was originally used by the United States Department of Defense. However, it is now currently used in various areas. According to Collins et al. (2006), the future of the port security can only be promised through adoption of the modern technology. The importance of this technology has increased and it his now used in various ways.
In the international trade, the issue of security has brought great concern as the security threats increases. The major concerns are the issues of drug trafficking and security well being of the country. There are several security threats posed to the country through international trade. These include shipment of mass destruction weapons and other dangerous weapons. It also includes illegal drug smuggling into the country. It is, therefore, necessary to have necessary measures to maintain cargo security in the country.
However, the introduction of the GPS technology has significantly improved the security of the cargo world wide. Through application of GPS technology, various stake holders involved in the international trade will be able to track all the necessary information they need in order to monitor the condition, location and the security of their cargo. In the air cargo, GPS has significantly improved the security levels (Peterson, 2008).
In order to improve on the quality of airports, there are several changes that are expected in the airports. Many officials and concerned parties have raised concern for a need to make changes in the taxation system applied to fund aviation in the United States. By making these changes, the burden will equally be distributed among all the parties without any bias. This will again revolutionize the development of airports in the future.
According to the proposal by FAA, the Federal fuel taxes are expected to triple and enact fees to pay for air traffic control services (McNerney, not dated). This will act by reducing 7.5 % tax on every U.S. ticket.
Economic Contribution of Airports
In the contemporary world, airports have a significant contribution on the economy. Airports impact on the economy in a number of ways. This is both directly and indirectly. To start with, airports generate employment in the country. This reduces the problem of unemployment in the country.
Airports also promote international trade. International trade helps in attracting foreign exchange into the country. Efficient airport services promote trade between different countries. Airports also generate income through airport packing fees. The ticket sales also generate income as well as the sale of airport fuel. On-airport hotels have also contributed in generation of income as well as creating employment. The airport and aircraft maintenance also have an economic activity which contributes in economic well being. All these have significantly contributed in economic development in the United States.
In conclusion, this discussion has clearly shown that there is really a need for future improvement of airports in the United States. The passengers’ traffic is increasing everyday and, therefore, there is a need to have necessary changes to accommodate this increase. In fact, the number of passengers is expected to double in the next one decade. Another development is on security measures. There is a need to integrate the modern security technology in airport construction in order to maintain maximum security. Since airports have a significant impact on economic well being, it is therefore necessary to ensure that the expected developments are met.
Anonymous. (2008). The National Airspace System (NAS). Web.
Anonymous. (2009). Air Cargo Screening Moves Ahead. Web.
Corrao, J. (2006). Recommended Security Guidelines for Airport Planning, Design and Construction. Web.
Elias, B. (2007). Air Cargo security. Web.
McNerney, M. (n.d.). A Look into the Future of Airport Planning, Design, and Construction by Analyzing Current Issues. Web.
Peterson, B. (2008). GPS from the ground up. Web.
Zellan, J. (2003). Aviation security: current issues and developments. New York: Nova Publishers.