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Fly 2. Life on the road/life in the sky. November 30, 2008

Posted by ieva in books, Uncategorized.
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“The design of work and the experience of mobility are merging. In today’s networked economy, many people spend their lives doing projects to earn a living; they do not necessarily have jobs. For project workers, life on the road has replaced the daily commute to an office. (..)

The world’s airlines now carry one sixth of the world’s population- more than one billion passengers- on scheduled flights. At the moment 300 000 people are in the air above the United States alone.


Frankfurt’s airport, with a workforce in excess of 40 000, is the biggest single-site employer in Germany. London’s Heathrow employs 55 000 people directly- meteorologists, air traffic controllers, engineers, pilots, cabin crew, cleaners, police, security guards, firemen, baggage holders. Another 300 000 or more people are employed by myriad suppliers- all those van drivers and sandwich makers. Airports are also the world’s largest employers of dogs.

Costs on this scale are sustained because airports and railways termini have become large multinational business in their own right. Less than 50% of Heathrow’s earnings come from landing fees or servicing aircraft. Commercial activity on the ground is one of the main sources of airport revenue, and hence one of the main drivers of the airport design.”

(John Tackara)