FROM LINDBERGH’S SOLO TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT TO COVID-19 FLIGHTS RESTRICTIONS

by Katia Ferrante

21 May 1927 was the day in which the American aviator Charles Lindbergh made the first nonstop solo transatlantic flight. It is widely considered a turning point in the development of aviation. Lindberg devoted much time and effort to promoting such activity.

93 years after that historic event, starting from March 5, 2020 the world flight schedules were subject to modification by airlines due to Coronavirus COVID-19 and the restrictions implemented. It is the first ever-grounding flights worldwide.  

THE SOLO TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT

Charles Lindbergh was born February 4, 1902 in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. and died August 26, 1974 in Maui, Hawaii. American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, and activist, Lindbergh is one of the best-known figures in aeronautical history. Lindbergh’s early years were spent chiefly in Little Falls, Minnesota, and in Washington, D.C. When Lindbergh was four years old, Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District elected his father, Charles August Lindbergh, to the U.S. House of Representatives. The elder Lindbergh would serve five terms in Congress, where he won a reputation for his independent stances and fierce opposition to the Federal Reserve System. Lindberg senior was a staunch supporter of neutrality and a vocal anti-war advocate. In March 1922, the younger Lindberg began flight training at the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation in Lincoln. After purchasing his own plane,”Jenny”, he became an aerial daredevil and one of the nation’s top stunt pilots, often twisting his machine into complicated loops and spins or killing the engine at 3,000 feet and gliding to ground. In 1924 he began a year of military flight training with the United States Army Air Service. Lindbergh had his most serious flying accident on March 5, 1925, eight days before graduation, when a mid-air collision with another Army S.E.5 during aerial combat manoeuvres forced him to bail out. Only 18 of the 104 cadets who started flight training a year earlier remained when Lindbergh graduated first overall in his class in March 1925, thereby earning his Army pilot’s wings and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Service Reserve Corps. Charles Lindbergh completed the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on 27 May 1927, covering the ​33 1⁄2-hour, 3,600-statute-mile (5,800 km) flight alone in a purpose-built, single-engine Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis. Although not the first non-stop transatlantic flight, this was the first solo transatlantic flight between two major city hubs, and the longest transatlantic flight by almost 2,000 miles. Lindbergh received the United States’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honour, for his transatlantic flight. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh was also awarded the Orteig prize, a purse of $25,000 that Raymond Orteig, a Frenchman who owned the Brevoort and Lafayette hotels in New York City, put to the first aviator to fly nonstop from Paris to New York or New York to Paris. In 1929 Lindbergh married Anne Morrow. He taught Anne how to fly and she accompanied and assisted him in much of his exploring and charting of air routes. In March 1, 1932, Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son, Charles Lindbergh Jr., was mysteriously kidnapped and murdered only a few miles from the family home in what the American media called the “Crime of the Century”. The case prompted the United States Congress to establish kidnapping as a federal crime if the kidnapper crosses state lines with a victim. By late 1935, the hysteria surrounding the case had driven the Lindbergh family into exile in Europe, from which they returned in 1939. Lindbergh travelled widely after World War II, and later claimed that his wanderings had made him acutely aware of the toll modern civilization was taking on animal and plant life. Arguing that he would rather have “birds than airplanes,” in the 1960s Lindbergh threw his support behind the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. He used his travels to lobby for environmental causes and fought against the disappearance of dozens of endangered species including blue and humpback whales, tortoises, tamaraws and eagles. Before his death in 1974, he also lived among indigenous tribes in Africa and the Philippines and helped procure land for the formation of Haleakala National Park in Hawaii.

THE COVID-19 FLIGHTS RESTRICTIONS

 

Lindberg’s achievement on May 27, 1927 spurred interest in both commercial aviation and air mail, which revolutionized the aviation industry.

Tomorrow will be the first week of June 2020 and, according to some commentators, the ensuing coronavirus crisis is the worst ever encountered in the history of the aviation industry.

While COVID-19 remains a global pandemic, the idea of air traffic returning to normal in the near-future is uncertain. That means that popular holiday destinations are seeing a huge reduction in numbers. In China, after many months of disarray, travel patterns are reverting to normal, and we hope to be able to announce the same for the entire world and, of course, for Monaco. The Principality is a travel destination. Good climate, ease of access from major European destinations, high-end hotels, a major port and many annual sporting and cultural events attract four million tourists a year. The tiny country is also a popular destination for gamblers as Monaco boasts historical casinos such as Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Café de Paris and Monte-Carlo Bay Casino. With social distancing and all unnecessary travel being stopped, it is set to be a difficult time for Monaco’s tourism industry. Nice-Côte d’Azur International Airport links the Principality of Monaco to more than 86 destinations across the world. A highlight of the French Riviera, the Principality of Monaco is 30 minutes by motorway from Nice Airport and, from there, daily links to the major European capitals and beyond to every continent.  Lately, the arrivals gate at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has been very quiet. Many commercial flights remain grounded around the world, and many major airlines are operating at well below capacity, usually to bring nationals back to their home countries. A single flight from Paris arrived at Nice Côte d’Azur on Sunday 3 May. Other than that, the airport remained completely deserted for the rest of the day. Except for a few national flights and a few flights to England, all international traffic at Nice airport has stopped. When COVID-19 became an international concern, Air China was the first to announce halting three weekly flights from Nice to Beijing. A few hours later, United Airlines and Delta Airlines cancelled their long-haul flights from the US to Nice. The two daily connections to New York will not resume until new order. As a highly integrated and complex network, international aviation has not been immune to the pandemic effects, some of which pose new challenges in managing risks which were never before considered in traditional safety management practices. Therefore, to provide confidence to governments and travellers to restart aviation, the websites of both IATA – International Air Transport Association and ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization-are encouraging  people to stay actively updated on their proposals for a layering of temporary biosafety measures. ICAO handbook is available compliments of the Organization on the ICAO COVID-19 Safety Risk Management website. With more than 40,000 airports existing in the world, an identification system is required that will serve to unequivocally identify each airport, differentiating it from the rest. The IATA and ICAO aerodrome identification codes serve this purpose. They consist of a four-letter code and are often used by more specialised staff due to their uniqueness (no code designates more than one airport), since due to their structure they contain geographic information about the aerodrome. The IATA code is perhaps the most well-known airport code and the one most used by passengers, because it is the one that appears on plane tickets, boarding passes, baggage labels and information displays at airports. The ICAO codes are used by aviation “professionals” of the aeronautical transport sector (controllers, pilots, etc.), but in general they are not as well known to passengers.

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