Business Aviation Flight Activity Retracts Slightly

Business aircraft flight activity in the U.S. rolled back slightly from a year ago, decreasing 1.3 percent, according to recently released TraqPak data from aviation services company Argus. Part 91 operations remained in positive territory, with a year-over-year increase of 2 percent, but fractional flying led the pack, climbing by 2.7 percent. Meanwhile, Part 135 charter activity fell for the eighth consecutive month, this time by -8.4 percent from September 2010. Aircraft category results were mixed, with midsize jet flying up 1 percent, followed by light jets at 0.7 percent. Large-cabin jets and turboprops posted a decline from a year ago: -0.1 percent and -4 percent, respectively. Looking at individual market segments, the fractional large-cabin segment saw the largest year-over-year gain in flying, with an increase of 18.8 percent; the fractional light jet segment had the biggest decline in flight activity at -14 percent. For the NBAA Convention, Argus issued a special analysis of flight activity, which found that overall growth has been relatively stagnant over the past three years. It also confirmed that flight activity closely tracks stock market gains and losses, and that charter activity falls as fuel prices rise. Argus’s TraqPak data “is serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S.”


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