What Was the Impact of Airplanes on Society?

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Several of the biggest impacts of the development of airplanes are increases in the speed of travel, drastic changes in warfare methods, increased revenue from commercial air travel, and the development of the field of aeronautics. Additional impacts of the development of air travel include jobs created by construction of airplanes and the commercial flight industry, increased international tourism, environmental damage, and noise pollution.

The most obvious impact of the development of the airplane is the drastic reduction in the time it takes to reach distant locations. A car journey that normally takes 6 hours takes about 80 minutes by plane. With the introduction of the airplane, destinations that were previously only reachable by boat are now able to be accessed by air travel. Airplanes also drastically changed military tactics. Not only are armed aircraft and bombing planes important parts of military strategy today, but airplanes have also enabled armies to transport soldiers and supplies.

The introduction of air travel also had far reaching commercial implications. Airplanes have made it much easier to transport supplies and products to remote and otherwise inaccessible places. They have also created an industry unto themselves, by requiring human resources to construct and pilot commercial flights, and employees to staff commercial airports.

There are also many environmental impacts of airplanes. Most notable is pollution, both of the air and of the land from runoff of fuel, oil, and grease spilled during maintenance. In addition, airplanes introduce noise pollution when they fly.