Air Transport Mangement and Strategy



The managment paper is aimed at establishing the strategic plan for the Irish airlines authority and comparing it with the international set standards to establish compliance. Secondly, the paper is aimed at finding out whether the shortfalls experienced in the Irish air transport report of 2013 got tackled in the strategic plan geared towards mitigating the air transport calamities.


The use of aviation has been crucial for recent advances in tourism and business development. The form of transport provides access across the globe that is more efficient in terms of time. The air transport services have both economical and social significance. It has served economic growth by the enhancement of tourism industry and trade over the globe. The highly perishable goods are easily transported around the world hence strengthening the world economy. It has improved the life of people as they can move around the world so easily. People have a wider range of holiday destinations and ability to visit relatives and friends all over the world (Homsombat, Lei, & Fu, 2014).

History, Policies and Guidelines

Commercial aviation use has grown tremendously since the first flight in the year 1949. The growth is estimated to be over seventyfold from the initial jet airliner. The growth has been influenced by a number of factors. First there is increased availability of disposable income and improved standards of life in different parts of the world. The availability of funds and better quality of life has strengthened people’s desire to move to the neighboring countries or continents to explore, tour or set up businesses there.The aviation laws have been deregulated with the establishment of bilateral open sky accord between various governments, opening the market for different airlines hence making transportation cheaper and easier.

Further, the demand has increased with the assurance that the air transport is one of the safest means of transport. The increased competition among the airlines has made the cost of travel cheaper and affordable. The average distance travelled has grown with globalization and increased business destinations including the new politically stable countries. These factors are expected to keep increasing the usage of air travel by both passenger and business people for transportation of cargo. The increasing need for air transport has led to the increase in the number of the airlines in the worl. and respectively, there has been a great increase of airlines in operation today.

There are over 900 commercial airlines and about 22000 aircraft all over the world. . The airlines operate in more than 1670 airports, and a million of kilometers and the airline industry serves more than 2 billion passengers per year (Homsombat et al., 2014). The increased number of airlines launched stiff competition. With the increase in demand for the airline transport services, the companies have to strategize their operations so as to keep making profits continually. The assement of the operations is a continuous issue in the management of the air transport. Over the past years, in the aviation industry there have been fatal accidents that could have been prevented. Examples of the fatal accidents include runway collisions that has proven to be detrimental accidents over the past years.

Table 1 below indicates applicable accidents and incidents that were reported between the years 2011 and 2013. Such incidents and accidents are reported to ICAO.

Table 1. No. of Accidents, Fatal Accidents and Serious Incidents Involving Irish Registered Airplanes over 2,250kg.

Year Total reported Accidents Serious Incidents
2011 670 4 24
2012 739 7 29
2013 743 3 18

Ireland reports and incidents to ICAO. Ireland report

However it is attributed to poor management of the air transport system. Therefore proper management and coordination of work of different parts of the airport can prevent such occurrences. In other scenarios, the crew or the pilots have led to the fatal accidents that claim lives of a large number of people. Incompetence in making crucial decisions in the time of the impending calamity may cost many lives. Hence, different airline organisations have devised various operation plans to increase the safety of the airlines. The international civil aviation organization is among a number of international organizations that are mandated to give guidelines on proper strategic management for different airlines in the world. The main objective is to prevent the preventable calamities (Leib & Lu, 2013). By doing so , the authoritiess of various airlines, have been obliged to formulate strategic plans geared towards mitigation of airline tragedies.

In this case the Irish aviation industry, has developed a four-year strategic plan after reviewing the report of 2013 that highlighted the inefficiencies. The strategic plan draws the actions and the guiding principles from the international aviation organizations for the fact they are comprised of more sophisticated and experienced individuals from all over the world. Therefore each aviation industry has to comply with the guiding principles in order to come up with a viable document that will go a long way towards preventing the occurrence of the now common air transports accidents.

Strategic Position and Critical Analysis

The Current Strategic Position Regarding Aviation Safety in Ireland

Ireland has put into action the programs of its strategic plan to deter any failure or safety issues in the airlines system. To achieve the optimal safety in the airlines, the main focus has been on preventing the issues that compromise the airline safety at the root. The main target areas are the ones posing the greatest risk for the aviation industry. Various actions have been implemented to mitigate the risks. There are myriads of risks involved and they include systemic risks, national risks and global risks all interacting with the state safety plan. The developed plan that is intended to be fully achieved in terms of implementation by 2017 contains various safety initiatives geared to addressing the safety risks in the aviation industry. The safety operational risks are determined by analysing various safety outcomes, like incidents and accidents at both international and national level.

Further, various safety affecting issues that are the integral part of the plan, have been categorised into three sections: systemic issues, which include the factors affecting the structural aspects, the development of the state safety program, the development of performance-based oversight. Secondly, there is a commercial air transport department that addresses the issues of safety at the level of operation that may include navigation aerodynamics or maintenance issues. Lastly, there is a general aviation section that deals with operational issues from the general aviation perspective.

The Irish aviation has included key areas of concentration in the bid to mitigate the risks and fatalities of the airlines. The systemic issues concerning the operations include the realization of the state safety programme, implementing safety management systems, developing lagging and leading indicators of safety performance and performance-based oversight implementation. The risks associated with commercial aviation include the loss of in-flight control, mid-air collisions, the loss of control on the terrain, runway excursions, safety of ground operations, human performance, fire, smoke and fumes.

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In general aviation the points of contention include the low-level loss of control, the operation from airstrips, the aircraft maintenance risk, the risk from obstacles, striking of wires, hazardous risk fragment of the airspace. The risks stated above can pose a calamity in case they happen within the airline. For example, the striking of wires can be caused by electricity cables. In this case serious damage is done not only to crew and the plane but also to the community at large. Therefore there is a pressing need to come up with modalities to deter such risks.

Mostly they are associated with poor management from the tower and the weather for the pilots. In the first place, Irish aviation industry has determined the gaps to fill in the bid to build a safe airline industry. The effect of the modalities is determined by the declining events occurring in the different fields. The state safety plan encompasses all the actions that lead to a tremendous decrease in the number of fatal incidences in the industry.

Deficiencies Highlighted in the “Safety Performance Review 2013”

There is decreased evaluation of the internal company programs. Another deficiency is experienced with the weakness in safety training on handling the accidents and emergencies. A significant number of personnel do not report hazards adequately and effectively. The risk assessment is rated lowly with inefficient safety committee. Some of the accidents at that time included ground collisions, near collisions in the mid air. The four strategic plans have been drawn from the shortcomings and the deficiencies reflected in the report of the year 2013.

Therefore the plan covers the systemic issues, commercial aviation and general aviation factors that pose risk to safety. For each shortcoming stated in the report, there are devised guidelines and various actions to take to deter the repeat of similar calamities. Most prevalent risk factors included loss of control while in flight, number of objects strike and the human factors that include the technical team, pilots and the crew. In the plan, attention has been given to the risk factors and the actions to improve the situation. The training is needed, and assessing of the performance of the individuals at workplace creates more awareness of the workers hence ensuring they do their best at work. By default, there is a decreased incidence of human factor events as one of the factors that compromises the air transport safety.

Measures in a Strategic Plan with Shortfalls

The human factors failure has lead to increased safety issues and need to be handled with care since they cause large causalities. Among the key actions apart from establishing the factors of high risk among the workers, the system should formulate standard assessment and training needs to the members of staff. Following the above mentioned regulations, at the end of the four year period there will be a new crop of individuals who can handle the processes better. At the end of the training the individuals should be expected to change and respond to any shift adequately.The training should be mult-disciplinary with all departments that have an impact on the air transport safety included. It should involve everyone - from the cargo clearance personnel to the cork pit personnel. The training will provide the individuals with better skills and the colleagues will be able to learn from them to improve the services.

Strategic Choices & Best Practices according to ICAO and IATA

The international civil aviation organisation has provided best practises to maintain the safety in the industry. The framework provides various entities to comply so as to ensure adequate safety plans. The components of the framework include standardisation, whereby every person who has an impact on the industry has to posess clear knowledge of the behaviour which is good or bad for the organisation (Leib & Lu, 2013). The organisation should have independent trained accident or incident investigation committees/experts. The autonomy in the management of emergencies, can lead to mitigating the effect of an otherwise fatal accident that could befall. There should be a regulatory body to deal with issues that compromise the safety of an airline.

The International Air Transport Association, which is based in Montreal, Canada, where the ICAO is also based, is an international industry trade group of airline. Its mission is to serve, lead, and represent the airline industry that comprises 230 airlines, which accounts for 93% of scheduled international air traffic.

Secondly, there should be collaboration with stakeholders and the government. The safety plan should provide a framework to outsource experts from the colleagues or the institution so as to mitigate the effect of a calamity. Sometimes the organisation might not be in apposition to handle the calamities that befall them. Therefore good collaboration with other players in the industry, provides room for the mitigation of the full effect of misfortune (Abeyratne, 2003). There should be a framework of outsourcing resources to deal with the safety issues. Further there should be frequent training needs analysis that should be conducted to keep up with the changing technologies and operations in the airlines. Therefore adequate funds have to be in place to keep the operations running.Lastly, the safety in information exchange shoul be considered. Relevant information has to be moved from or to relevant authorities

My Opinion on the Irish Aviation Safety Plan

The Irish aviation followed the standards recommended by the international civil aviation organisation. There are modalities put in place to ensure the standards for operation and employees. It is a set of minimum standards of operation and the set code of conduct. There is collaboration with other departments to outsource the service needed in case of calamity. At the same time there are adequate resources set aside to increase the response rate and training of the staff in case of any training needs arise.


The aviation industry has to pay attention to the safety of its customers and the crew for the accidents are fatal in case they occur. At the same time the demand for air transport services has increased all over the world for various reasons. That has made the use of air transport inevitable because of convenience it has. From the case studied above, we see that there are various organisations that have provided guidelines on systemic planning to deter accidents. Proper utilization of the guidelines to draw a strategic plan and implement it, will definitely lead to a very low level of airline calamities experienced.

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