Let's celebrate the freedom of flightAt a time when hundreds of miserable anti-flying protestors are descending on Heathrow airport at it's most busiest time of the year, hell bent on causing disruption - I think it’s high time we start to combat such eco-puritanism by celebrating our freedom to fly
As far as I’m concerned, what I’ve always found completely astonishing, is the fact that a machine of such size, weight and power, can transport me over great distances, at such high speeds, in the most inhospitable environment, with such safety, and at such a cheap price - that, in mine eye, can never be 'unethical', on the contrary, to me, that is nothing short of a miracle.
I’m constantly struck by how blasé most people appear to be when it comes to aviation safety, coupled with their low prices. I was at Heathrow airport only a week ago waiting for my £54 return flight to Shannon airport in Ireland with my fiancée, we always grab a coffee at the Costa Coffee, then sit by the windows so we can read, or watch the planes land. I’m constantly astounded each time I see one of those giant machines come swooping down from the clouds and touching down so smoothly on the runway.
I always find it heartening to know that modern flying has developed into the safest form of mass travel known to mankind. Indeed, the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, Patrick Goudou reassured his audience at a recent EU/US International Aviation Safety Conference in Prague that ‘aviation remains the safest mode of travel’. The latest safety report from the International Air Transport Association also confirms that when aviation safety is concerned, Western-built jets are amongst the safest in the world with only one accident per 1.5 million flights – that is certainly a tremendously low accident rate by any stretch of the imagination, especially for something as complex as flying.
Even after having to endure all of Heathrow’s strict and tedious security procedures, nothing it seems can be more thrilling than the moment when your jet arrives at the runway, the engines are put into full thrust and you accelerate to a speed of 160 mph in three seconds flat, and off you go. Even though I might only have a rudimentary understanding of the science involved in flying, I still find myself astounded by the sight of the disappearing ground at Heathrow, and the rapid approach of the clouds – I think it’s about as close to miraculous as it will ever get.
Happy holidays to you all!