aviation

Introduction

aviation, operation of heavier-than-air aircraft and related activities. Aviation can be conveniently divided into military aviation, air transport, and general aviation. Military aviation includes all aviation activity by the armed services, such as combat, reconnaissance, and military air transport. Air transport consists mainly of the operation of commercial airlines, which handle both freight and passengers. General aviation consists of agricultural, business, charter, instructional, and pleasure flying; it includes such activities as the operation of air taxis, as well as aerial surveying and mapping.

See also air, law of the; air navigation; airplane; airship.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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