In honor of the 100th birthday of commercial aviation, the International Air Transport Association has launched a new website for the celebration.
The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew the first scheduled commercial airline flight across Tampa Bay, Fla. Tony Jannus piloted the Benoist airboat.
IATA also is a sponsor of Flight 2014, a group that planned to retrace the nation’s first commercial flight using a replica Benoist airboat this morning. However, technical difficulties have deferred the replica flight, according to a recent Tampa Bay Times article.
A commemorative flight will still take place – with a Hoffman X-4 “Mullet Skiff” amphibious flying boat taking off from St. Petersburg, Fla., and flying across Tampa Bay.
However, a recent Tampa Bay Times article reported that technical difficulties have deferred the flight.
In honor of this day, here are some fun aviation facts from IATA:
* In 2013, passengers surpassed the 3 billion mark for the first time — to 3.1 billion. That number is expected to grow to 3.3 billion in 2014.
* Aviation supports more than 57 million jobs and generates $2.2 trillion in economic activity. The industry’s direct economic contribution of around $540 billion would, if translated into a country’s gross domestic product, rank at No. 19.
* About 50 million tonnes of cargo is transported by air each year (about 140,000 tonnes a day). The annual value of these goods is roughly $6.4 trillion, or 35 percent of the value of all goods traded internationally.