Air Transport

Air transport is the fastest and the costliest mode of transport. Modern age is known as the Air Age. The air transport was developed in the early twentieth century. World Wars accelerated the pace of development of air transport. There has been a phenomenal growth of air transport during the last y years. The world distribution of air transport is very uneven. Western Europe, Eastern USA and Southern Asia have dense network of air routes. Major air routes converge at or radiate from a few important nodal points. The major nodal points include London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Karachi, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Rio de Janeiro etc. Soviet Asia and Africa lack air services. There is a distinct belt of air routes form east to west in the mid latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The U.S.A. alone accounts for about 60 per cent of the airways of the world.

Africa, Asiatic part of Russia and South America lack air services. There are limited air services between 10-35 latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere due to sparser population, limited landmass and low level of economic development.


Pipelines are mostly used for the transportation of mineral oil, natural gas and water. The United States of America is foremost in pipeline transport and has 1,60,000 km long pipelines. Most of the pipelines carry petroleum from the regions of production to the regions of consumption. About 17 percent of all freight per tonne km is carried through pipelines in the USA. A very important pipeline is the ‘Big Inch’ which carries oil from the Gulf of Mexico to the north-eastern part. Middle East has a large number of pipelines. Some these pipelines cross the desert and carry oil from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to the refineries at the Mediterranean coast. The most important is the Trans-Arabian Peninsula pipeline (Tap-line). This is 1,600 m long and has a diameter of 750 mm. It carries oil from Ras Tanura to Sidon. Russia has one of the longest pipelines. This is 4,800 km long trans-continental ‘ COMECON’ pipeline. It carries oil from Ural and Volga regions to the East European countries. India has also laid pipelines to carry oil from Assam oil fields to Barauni and from Gujarat oil fields to Mathura and Bhatinda.

Pipelines comprise an important mode of transporting natural gas. In the United States of America the length of gas pipelines is more than the railway lines. In Europe, Italy, France, Netherlands and some other countries have laid gas pipelines. India has also constructed 1,700 km long Hazira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur (HBJ) gas pipeline. It supplies to fertiliser plants at Bijaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Jagdishpur, Shahjahanpur, Anwala and Babrala. Another gas pipeline connects Jamnagar to Loni near Delhi.


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