Few people are as visionary – or have saved as many lives – as Joseph Bazalgette.
Bazalgette was the civil engineer who designed London’s sewer system in 1868. In just six years and with 318 million bricks, his team built almost 900 kilometres of tunnels and created the embankments next to the River Thames that are still there now.
He was a great engineer but his real genius was forecasting. At the time London, which was the largest city in the world, had just hit two million inhabitants.
The city had been growing fast so anyone building sewers would have built in some spare capacity – especially after the Great Stink of summer 1958 – but most people thought this was as large as a city could get. Bazalgette, though, was a visionary. He thought big.
His team calculated the amount of waste the people of London created in 1868. He then doubled the amount of capacity that was needed. This is why his sewers are still being used 150 years later. His project stopped human waste going into rivers flowing into the Thames which helped London become cholera free.
How often do you see an infrastructure project like that now? Where an airport automatically builds a spare runway or leaves space for 20 hangars. When did you last drive on an empty freeway during rush hour?
It is really hard to think big. As Bill Gates said: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
The last eight years – since the Global Financial Crisis – have been tough for business aviation. In 2008 aircraft manufacturers delivered 1,313 jets, almost twice what they have achieved in the last few years.
But rather than focusing on the drop, it is worth looking at the total. Between 2005 and 2015 some 9,204 business jets were delivered. This is more than in any other decade. The global business jet fleet hit 20,000 aircraft for the first time in 2011.
If you average out business aviation forecasts for the next 10 years, most analysts expect around 8000 deliveries. That still means the fleet will have grown by 40% between 2017 and 2027. Allow for some growth between after this and the world fleet will at least have doubled again by 2035.
In a world of 24-hour news and social media (in 2050 Twitter will probably be as popular as MySpace is now) it is harder than ever to think long-term. We are all conditioned to check our phones hundreds of times a day.
The aim of this publication is to cut through some of the noise that surrounds the industry. We want to help you look at the key things you should be focusing on now and how the market will look in 20 years.
We have roughly divided it it into three sections:
- – Where are we now? How did we get here? What you should be focusing on?
- – What will the next 20 years look like?
- – The mega trends that are reshaping business aviation
We will publish it roughly in this order.
Like Bazalgette it is always worth taking a long term view. Anyone visiting London should raise a glass of tap water in his memory.
All the best for a great future.
Alasdair Whyte, Editor,
Corporate Jet Investor
Disagree? We thought you would. If you would like to make your own predictions please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org