For the last century, humans have switched their mode of transportation from land to air.
On a cloudless day, you view many airplanes flying in different directions. It has become a permanent feature of the today’s skyscape.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), around four billion passengers will use commercial aircraft this year. Just 12 years ago, only half of this figure used commercial aircraft. However, the figure represents the number of journeys instead of unique passengers.
So question is how many planes are there to cater needs of such big number? But keeping track of each plane in the world is a tricky affair. There are manufacturing figures and registration but they don’t give a clear picture.
According to Ascend, the aviation analysts, the total number of currently in service aircraft is around 23,600 including cargo and passenger aircraft. The number of in storage aircraft is around 2,500.
Another estimate is given by the aviation enthusiast website airliners.net that there are around 39,000 planes including all military and commercial planes. This estimate however does not include light aircraft.
But despite of this number, are these aircraft enough to cater needs of growing world population? The answer is no. A UN body, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), says that after every 15 years the global air transport network doubles in its size. This is also expected to happen by 2030.
According to Boeing, over the next 20 years, global aircraft market needs 39,620 new planes. So, 2037 there should be 63,220 aircraft in the world excluding the older ones which slip out of service.