During the last three years, India’s civil aviation industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing in the country, and it is expected to surpass the United Kingdom to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024. Despite growing interest and an increase in published material on civil aviation, the majority of existing research remains focused on operations and technical training. This indicates a significant gap in the body of literature on management topics such as marketing, finance, information technology, innovation, and social impact. I would like to address the limitations of aviation management research and advocate for current and relevant research in data (a critical phenomenon) and aviation management.
Civil aviation management encompasses the business aspects of the air transportation industry and provides the knowledge required to oversee the proper operation of all airline departments’ and airports’ end-to-end operations, from strategy to day-to-day customer support, and across clients, planning, suppliers, and distribution management.
It is primarily a fundamental management practise that aims to keep the industry safe, secure, and efficient, but it is also unique due to the fact that the functional needs and nature of the civil aviation industry are very different from those of other industries. The management domain serves as an academic link between aviation law and regulations, as well as the application of business principles to airport and aviation industry operations. This is accomplished by focusing on management concepts and practical aviation industry knowledge.
More importantly, civil aviation management research strongly supports the core mandate of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the achievement of its strategic objectives. The need and potential for civil aviation management research in the realisation, implementation, and support of these objectives becomes paramount as ICAO’s focus on the fulfilment of its strategic objectives becomes more focused.
It is critical that a thorough understanding of the role of civil aviation management practises and outcomes supports and contributes to the achievement of ICAO’s strategic goals. This is due to the current disconnect between evidence-based research and its effective application in practise. In my opinion, the lack of academic research in civil aviation management may be attributed to the industry’s neglect of managerial roles. The study of civil aviation management has a high potential for maintaining and strengthening ICAO’s strategic goals, which will contribute to its effectiveness in its primary role of fostering cooperation, collaboration, and coordination among all stakeholders.
Despite the unprecedented innovations achieved since the establishment of ICAO in 1947, the aviation industry faces a number of challenges. While recent environmental concerns and the development of next-generation aviation professionals have received significant attention, global security and safety records remain major driving forces for a better industry.
Given the unprecedented terrorist attacks that have occurred around the world, aviation security continues to address critical issues. Offsetting the risk of terrorist attacks necessitates extensive collaboration in aviation management, and ICAO plays an important role in achieving this; for example, research in this area can assist ICAO in its endeavour.
This, among many other examples, makes the field of civil aviation management even more important and timely. The ICAO’s 2014 ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative can only be strengthened by the global establishment of effective and efficient research management systems.