The impact of ageing on aviation


Ageing will be one of the major policy issues in the decades to come. The share of older adults in the total population is quickly rising. Older people in the future will have better health, higher levels of education, better housing and higher incomes than older people nowadays.
Different travel characteristics

Older air travellers have different travel characteristics than younger people. They may have special needs when traveling by air due to their physical, mental and emotional characteristics. At the moment, the air transport system facilitates those needs only partly. In addition, ageing will pose significant challenges for human resource management at airlines and airports.
Airneth addresses the implications of ageing for air transport in an international seminar. The following questions will be answered:

  •  How can the air travel behaviour of seniors be characterised?
  • How will ageing affect air travel and the air transport industry?
  • How do the needs of senior air travelers differ from younger air travelers?
  • What opportunities and challenges does ageing pose for policy makers and other stakeholders with respect to air transportation?


We had presentations from an academic and professional point of view. Target audience is policymakers, academics and experts in the field (airlines, airports etc.). The Chairman of the da was Prof. Jules Theeuwes (SEO Economic Research, Scientific Council for Government Policy, University of Amsterdam).
Contributions from: 

  • Harry P. Wolfe (Southern Illinois University and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)), 'Ageing and air transportation'
  • Dr Ton van Egmond (NHTV Breda University of applied sciences), 'Ageing and travel behavior in the 21st century'
  • Dr Ann Frye (chair of the ECAC sub-group on people with reduced mobility), 'Meeting the needs of disabled air travellers'
  • Dr Rob GrĂ¼ndemann (TNO), 'Ageing at work'
  • Mr Hans Martens (Schiphol Group), 'Facts on older air travellers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol'
  • Mrs Carmen van Casteren (KLM) (panel)
  • Prof. Jaap de Wit (Airneth) (panel)

Category: past activities