The future of aeronautics after WWI (1919)


Aeronautics: A question about its future

What is to become of aeronautics after the war? This problem is discussed in “Le Petit Journal” of Paris by Jacques Mortane.

Considering the enormous progress aviation has made during and on account of the war, he says, only one answer to the above question is possible. Regular aerial lines of communication will be established throughout the world. And these lines will serve not only passenger traffic and the mails, but they will be used in increasing proportions for long-distance freight transportation.

The establishment of regular commercial air routes, however, has to be accompanied by the working out of an international code of air navigation.

For one thing, how will the air be mapped out between the different nations? Shall each country have not only its own aerial fleet and stations, but also its own exclusive lines? Is it possible at all to establish a rigid system of right of way in the air? How far will the jurisdiction of a country apply to lines internationally used?

But there are other no less complicated problems. What qualifications will be demanded from commercial pilots? Will a pilot’s certificate issued in one country, be accepted as valid in another? This question involves the safety not only of aerial shipping itself, but also that of the population above whose heads the shipping passes.

Will there be a standardization of machines? This is an important question, as it pertains to the safety of traffic and to the facilities of relaying and repairs.

What about aerial customs regulations and policing?

It is comparatively little known that as early as 1910 an international conference was held in Paris to consider some of the above outlined questions. Difficulties of a military character, however, prevented reaching an agreement.

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