10 facts about air navigation

10 incredible facts about air navigation

Our mastery of the skies is no small feat, but there is incredible innovation behind every airplane that takes off. From understanding the physics that keeps 90,000 lbs of metal airborne to keeping passengers comfortable while 50,000 feet in the air, there are a lot of incredible things happening aboard a plane. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the amazing facts surrounding air navigation.


1. The world’s busiest airport is in Georgia, USA


It might not have the global recognition of Schiphol in Amsterdam or Heathrow in London, but Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia can claim to be the busiest airport in the world. With over 970,000 airplane movements per year, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport sees more passengers annually than any other airport.


2. There are around 20,000 airplanes in the sky right now


Air navigation is one of the most commonly used forms of transport in modern times, so it’s no surprise that there is quite a lot of air traffic in the sky. On any given day, there are around 20,000 planes actively operating in the sky.


3. Only 5% of the human population has been on an airplane


Although many developed nations use airplanes as a regular commodity, most of the developing world has never stepped foot on a plane. So, next time you’re sitting in a cramped airplane cabin, count yourself lucky.


4. Air travel is the safest method of transportation


Despite some of the bad press surrounding plane crashes, the statistics show that air travel is by far the safest form of transportation. In 2020, 137 people died as a result of airplane accidents, whereas more than 1.3 million people are estimated to die in car accidents per year.


5. Around 80% of us are afraid of flying


Although it is a common occurrence, the general population still has a fear of flying. Similar to a fear of heights, a fear of flying is a commonly held phobia. Although the risk of danger is very, very low, around 80% of us suffer from aerophobia.


6. Airplanes travel at about 550 mph


It may seem like you are cruising at a nice, calm speed while flying, but you’re actually zooming along at 550 mph on average. When flying above the clouds, there is no visual marker to help us know how fast we are going, so it seems slower.


7. Flights are around 35,000 feet in the air


Flights normally break through the cloud line and level out at about 35,000 feet – or seven miles or so.


8. Pilots and co-pilots get different food


Airplane pilots are usually obligated to eat the same multi-course meal found in first-class, whereas co-pilots are given different food items. This is to help safeguard against possible food poisoning.


9. Round airplane windows are essential


Airplane windows used to be square until engineers realized that the square shape compromised the safety of the aircraft by being unable to withstand air pressure. Circular windows can handle much more pressure, so they are standard on all airplanes today.


10. Global air navigation only accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions


It may seem like airplanes’ guzzle fuel, but they are actually a very fuel-efficient and eco-friendly method of transportation.