The global general aviation market was valued at $21.1 billion in 2017, with a new report estimating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.72% through 2023.
According to officials with Research and Markets, general aviation makes up a considerable component of any national airspace and airport system. As a result, insight into general aviation is relevant to issues in air traffic management, air transportation infrastructure, and aviation safety, among others.
General aviation is of significance to society, as a whole and other stakeholders, including pilot groups, aircraft manufacturers, and the workforce, researchers say.
The performance of the general aviation industry is measured using various parameters, such as active pilots, new airplane deliveries, number of airports, etc.
The market is influenced by several factors, such as the health of the global economy, technology disruption, the price of avgas and jet fuels, regulatory standards, and more.
Increasing number of passengers using the chartered jet, travel, and tourism are some of the drivers identified in the current market.
In 2016, there were more than 416,000 general aviation aircraft in the worldwide fleet, ranging from small training aircraft and helicopters to intercontinental business jets.
About 210,000 of these, or half the market share, is in the US.
However, deliveries of general aviation aircraft are still way below their 2007 peak levels, both worldwide, and in the U.S., because the price per aircraft has doubled, the report notes.
Business jet deliveries were strongest in the North American market, accounting for 2/3rd of the market share, with an increase in market share compared to 2015.
The worldwide business aircraft fleet continued to grow in 2016. At the end of the year, JETNET, showed that the turbine fleet consisted of 36,674 airplanes and 21,225 rotorcraft.
The share of turboprop shipments in North America increased slightly, in 2016, compared to the prior year, 57.8% compared to 56.2%. The second largest market share for turboprop airplane shipments in 2016 was the Asia-Pacific region at 13.2%.
Piston-engine aircraft are the most frequently sold general aviation aircraft worldwide, followed by business jets and turboprops.
In 2016, of the 2,262 aircraft delivered worldwide, 1,019 (45%) were piston-powered, 661 (29%) were jets, and 582 (26%) were turboprops.
Experimental airplanes are growing in popularity and make up an increasingly large part of the GA fleet. They are increasingly becoming more sophisticated and packed with advanced technology that is driving the market in many cases.
The number of active experimental airplanes increased to 27,922 in 2015 from 26,191 in 2014.
In 2016, the FAA selected two unleaded aviation fuels, developed by Shell and Swift Fuels, for testing as part of its effort to find an unleaded aviation gasoline to replace the 100 low-lead avgas currently used in the piston aircraft fleet.
Successful transition from leaded to unleaded avgas will mean the continued safety and utility of the fleet, and a reduced environmental impact, the report notes. This becomes more important in the context of the recent adoption of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) framework, which aims to adopt carbon neutral growth from 2021 onwards.