Lackluster growth predicted for GA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General aviation will grow over the next 20 years, but at a rate of only 1/2 of 1% a year, according to the FAA.

The agency also forecasts the total number of aircraft used in general aviation to increase from 220,670 in 2012 to 246,375 in 2033, an increase of only 25,705, less than 1,300 per year.

Fixed-wing piston-powered aircraft are expected to decrease annually at the rate of about 0.3% per year. Growth will be in turbine-powered fixed-wing airplanes and rotorcraft, with rotorcraft growing 2.7% and fixed-wing turbines increasing 2.8% annually.

Hours flown are expected to increase, with an annual growth rate of 1.5% a year, with turbines climbing 3.5% annually, FAA officials predict. Piston-powered fixed-wing aircraft are expected to show a drop in annual hours flown of 0.5% per year.

For more information: FAA.gov

Comments

  1. ManyDecadeGA says:

    The FAA is hallucinating if they believe that there will be more GA growth, on the flawed path that they and the GA OEMs and GA avionics manufacturers are currently on. Unless the economics of low and mid-range GA substantively change, and the costs of GA aircraft and ops decline dramatically, there will likely be a sharp steady decline in the ASEL and AMEL light twin fleets, and ops flight hours flown, as fuel price stays high and aging aircraft drop out of the system. This trend can only be accelerated as costs to maintain aircraft with STCs rise (driven by flawed FAA policy), supplemental inspections are forced, and aircraft are forced to re-equip with ill-advised marginally useful avionics equipment, like the current flawed and overbuilt SBAS driven ADS-B. Worse, as GA small airports close, FBOs close, pressure is placed on users to pay full compensation for the obsolete and highly inefficient ATS system, and as experienced CFIs and mechanics drop out of the system, the very infrastructure of any aviation below the King Air level will likely just shrivel. It is already hard to get fuel, MX, training, insurance, hangar rent, or aircraft inspections at any affordable price, particularly for low or mid-range GA. LSA may help, but with continued (unnecessary) airspace and use restrictions (e.g., security) growing like entropy, the future of GA below Citations and G650s appears pretty bleak. It is long past time to get AOPA, and the other GA lobby groups pointed in a more useful direction for GA (e.g., ref fixing the completely flawed NextGen concept as is currently proposed, as well as addressing FAA’s obsolete regulatory structure) and get FAA turned around in a much more constructive criteria and regulatory direction, to address the real issues that GA and other segments of aviation now critically face.

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