An Ethiopian airways cargo plane. Image credit

An Ethiopian airways cargo plane. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Transport: Air Transport


  • Is very fast for example a trip to the Victoria Falls takes 1 hour 15 minutes by air and over 12 hours by road.
  • Is comfortable
  • Not affected by weather elements.
  • Not affected by surface relief
  • Can be used in times of emergency for example helicopters are used in air rescue missions such as after the earthquake in Nepal.
  • Can cover large distances without the need to refuel.
  • They can take direct routes.
  • They can carry high value goods safely for example there are no air pirates.


  • Airspace is usually restricted and controlled by host countries as a matter of national security.
  • They can be affected by extreme weather conditions e.g. cyclones.
  • Cannot provide door to door services.
  • Require expensive air ports to take off and land.
  • Airports are usually located far away from residential and industrial areas which means additional modes of transport are required.
  • They are very expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Accidents are almost always fatal and costly in damage terms.
  • Prone to sabotage and terrorism.

To access more topics go to the Geography Notes page.