Aerial Board of Control

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Rescue by a Planet dirigible liner, under supervision of A.B.C. North Banks Mark Boat (from With the Night Mail)

The Aerial Board of Control is a fictional supranational organization to manage air traffic for the whole world. It was described in the early science fiction stories of Rudyard Kipling, "With The Night Mail" (The Windsor Magazine, December 1905; McClure's Magazine, November 1905) and "As Easy as ABC" (The London Magazine 1912). The organisation was able to limit the influence of national states and create a de facto world government.

Kipling wrote only these two science fiction stories; both are set in his Aerial Board of Control universe in the 21st century.

The concept that control of air traffic would lead to world government reappears in the works of H. G. Wells, most notably his 1933 book The Shape of Things to Come and its 1936 film adaptation Things to Come. The concept is also central to Michael Arlen's novel Man's Mortality, also published in 1933.

The corrected typescript of "With the Night Mail" was acquired at auction by the University of Sussex library in 1997. [1]


  • Carrington, Charles (1955). Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Work. London: Macmillan & Co., page 355.
  • Bennett, Arnold (1917). Books and Persons Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911. London: Chatto & Windus. A rather critical review by one of Kipling's contemporaries. "It is a glittering essay in the sham-technical; and real imagination, together with a tremendous play of fancy, is shown in the invention of illustrative detail. But the whole effort is centred on the mechanics of the affair. Human evolution has stood stock-still save in the department of engineering. The men are exactly the same semi-divine civil service men that sit equal with British military and naval officers on the highest throne in the kingdom of Kipling's esteem."