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Aviation and Geography

  • By: John Bowen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

In the more than 100 years since the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, aviation has become a significant influence on human geography. The world's air carriers now account for most intercontinental and transcontinental passenger trips and a rapidly growing share of shorter-haul movements, and they carry about 40% of world trade by value. Air transportation has become more important as it has become more affordable due both to technological change and, especially in the past few decades, to the deregulation and privatization of the airline industry. The resulting increased share of the world's travelers and cargo moved by air has affected patterns of urban and regional economic development and has helped enlarge the spatial scale of everyday life—as is evident in ...

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