Posted on February 18th, 2011
The FAA is forecasting a recovery for general aviation, with business jets and light sport aircraft leading the way. After growing rapidly for most of the past decade, the demand for business jets has slowed over the past few years. Despite the impact of the recession, the FAA Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years 2011-2031–released on Tuesday–calls for “robust growth” in the long-term outlook, driven by higher corporate profits and continued concerns about safety/security and flight delays, increasing the attractiveness of business aviation relative to commercial air travel. Over the 20-year period in the latest forecast, the general aviation fleet is expected to increase from 224,172 aircraft to 270,920 in 2031. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt told attendees at the 36th annual forecast conference this week, “We are already seeing the tangible safety and efficiency benefits of NextGen.” Only a modernized air transportation system will be able to keep up with demand, he said, of one billion passengers by 2021 and 1.3 billion by 2031, the end of the forecast period.