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How Airlines Engineer Safe Flight

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Flight is a fundamental part of modern life and commerce. Airlines ferry passengers around the globe, and cargo planes deliver commercial goods internationally. While many have a fear of flying, the statistics show that air travel is, on average, safer than other forms of public transportation or even driving your own car. However, the fear of flying isn’t unfounded. There are many logistical problems that need to be solved before an aircraft is passenger ready. Here’s what you need to know about the safety measures of aircraft.


Naturally, the safety-related features of planes are integral at every stage, starting with manufacturing and assembly. As with any vehicle, even a small mechanical failure aboard a plane mid-flight can cause serious problems. Therefore, planes need to be built from high quality parts. Zach Mottl Atlas Tool CEO has made great strides in manufacturing and delivering such parts with aerospace in mind, for example. Airplanes and other vehicles are complex machines, and that means that they need to be assembled from parts that can withstand immense amounts of pressure and friction. However, the parts themselves are only half the battle when it comes to getting a plane ready to take to the skies.


Once the parts of a given aircraft are built, they need to be assembled. Airplanes are notoriously large, and so assembling poses a problem in terms of space. A plane will need to be assembled before it can be moved, and so it needs to be assembled in a massive hanger from which it can be moved after the fact. Along the same lines, assembling your average commercial airliner or cargo plane is not unlike a construction project, not only in terms of scope, but also in terms of operations and safety concerns. Workers are expected to use potentially dangerous tools to weld and rivet pieces together, for example.

Electrical components are also important for flight for a number of reasons. Airlines need to provide passengers with a number of modern luxuries, for example, but many of the more necessary tools for safe flight are electronic in nature. Workers are expected to not only deal with these occupational hazards, but also to do so with immaculate precision. Failures during the assembly process can result in compromised hull integrity or electrical or mechanical failures that could make a bad situation worse or even cause issues mid-flight.


Regardless of the quality of airplane manufacturing and assembly, they will experience wear and tear that can and will result in mechanical failures if left unchecked. Therefore, it’s important for aircraft to be inspected and maintained regularly. Specifically, most airplanes conduct inspections every couple of days to ensure that everything is in working order. However, these inspections are more superficial, and more thorough inspections will need to be performed every few years, at least. Things that need to be monitored include the nitrogen contents of the tires, various fluids that are integral to the operation of the engines, and the integrity of metal parts. Some of these problems are to be expected more frequently, while others typically take longer, assuming that the quality of the parts is up to snuff.

Air Traffic Control

One of the most important facets of flight safety is air traffic control. The specific ways in which planes move requires them to maintain forward momentum to maintain lift, and that gives pilots very little time in which to react to the presence of other planes when approaching an airport or when taking off. Likewise, the sheer size of airliners and cargo planes makes them unwieldy compared to smaller planes or helicopters. Enter: air traffic controllers. Using radio communication, air traffic controllers coordinate multiple planes at once in order to make sure that their flight paths don’t overlap in high traffic areas, and these personnel are essential for any airport. Much like with manufacturing, assembly, and maintenance, small mistakes on the part of air traffic control can result in major accidents.

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