Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico
A s we look back 100 years to the Wright brothers’ success, today is also a good day to look at the future of aviation. A future as full of concerns, perhaps, as it was a century ago.
Heike Berthold, a sales director for an airplane manufacturer, expressed them well in a recent guest column for the Ayn Rand Institute:
“By the late 1970s, general aviation accidents reached their lowest point in 29 years, yet liability lawsuits were up five-fold, and manufacturers were sued for even such obvious pilot errors as running out of fuel.
“Companies like Cessna were spending more to defend themselves in court than on research and production of small planes dropped from almost 20,000 planes in 1978 to under 1,000 by the late 1980s.”
Government regulation of the airlines industry began in the 1930s. So it should be of little surprise that advancements in technology have slowed since, especially in the past 25 years.
Today, as we applaud the courage of the trailblazers of flight, we hope the focus can help redirect the airlines industry on a path of growth and advancement. In the words of Berthold:
“We should rededicate ourselves to the cultural values that made aviation possible and that made America great. If we truly want to see continued progress — in aviation and elsewhere — we must embrace it wholeheartedly, and we must leave our giants of industry free to innovate without being taxed, regulated, and sued out of existence.”