Transportation Systems

transportation sector icon

Transportation systems support basic societal functions by facilitating the movement of people and everyday necessities. Without them, ambulances couldn’t respond to emergencies and store shelves would be bare. 

Transportation infrastructure consists of three main systems — air systems, surface systems, and maritime systems.

  • Air systems consist of airports, heliports, landing strips, air traffic control systems, aircraft (manned and unmanned), and support services.
  • Surface Systems consist of roads, bridges, pipeline systems, rail, mass transit, and postal/shipping services.
  • Maritime systems consist of waterways, ports, and intermodal landside connections.


Transportation infrastructure plays the central role in supply chain operations, thus impacting most other critical infrastructure systems, as well as businesses and individuals. Examples of critical services provided by transportation infrastructure include:

  • Personal mobility,
  • Movement of raw materials and components to factories and processing facilities, such as chemical deliveries to treatment plants
  • Delivery of products to consumers, and
  • Shipment of agriculture and food products.

The Transportation sector depends on:

  • Communications to control and monitor traffic,
  • Information Technology to manage and route deliveries and manage supply chains,
  • Energy to deliver fuel and power facilities such as warehouses, distribution centers, and depots.

Transportation system hubs, such as ports, significantly impact critical industry making them an important nexus of infrastructure services and local and regional economies.

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