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General Aviation Profile

General Aviation Profile

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FINANCIAL1

  1960 1970 1980 1990 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Expenditures, total ($ millions) 895 2,035 8,053 9,907 9,332 10,379 11,605 13,797 16,372 17,553 21,909 26,499 U
Aircraft 202 339 2,853 3,398 3,910 4,260 5,298 7,174 9,573 11,262 14,291 18,524 U
Operating costs 693 1,696 5,200 6,509 5,422 6,119 6,307 6,623 6,799 6,291 7,618 7,975 U

INVENTORY2

  1960 1970 1980 1990 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Number of active aircraft by primary use, total 76,549 131,743 211,045 196,800 172,400 188,100 (R) 187,312 (R) 192,414 (R) 204,710 219,464 217,533 211,446 211,244
Corporate N 6,835 14,860 10,100 9,400 9,800 (R) 9,286 10,411 11,250 10,804 11,003 10,544 10,810
Business N 26,900 49,391 33,100 26,500 26,200 (R) 28,236 27,716 32,611 24,543 25,169 25,525 24,153
Instructional N 10,727 14,862 18,600 15,000 14,800 (R) 14,261 14,663 11,375 16,081 14,883 14,254 13,203
Personal N 65,398 96,222 112,600 102,500 109,300 (R) 109,619 115,630 124,347 147,085 148,192 144,031 145,996
Aerial application N 5,455 7,294 6,200 4,300 5,100 (R) 5,361 4,858 4,550 4,254 4,294 3,779 3,971
Aerial observation N N N 4,900 5,100 4,700 (R) 3,225 3,311 3,242 3,240 5,093 5,039 4,535
External load N N N N 100 200 (R) 424 186 313 190 234 202 151
Other worka N 2,054 2,813 1,400 1,200 1,100 (R) 1,118 (R) 679 1,116 2,363 1,787 1,528 1,733
Air taxi / air toursb N N N 5,800 3,800 4,100 (R) 3,963 4,948 5,190 4,569 4,019 4,004 4,157
Sightseeingc N N N N 1,300 900 (R) 889 677 679 832 881 918 641
Otherd N 8,249 17,045 4,100 4,200 6,300 (R) 6,718 5,250 6,010 1,200 1,952 1,573 1,895
Public use N N N N N N (R) 4,206 4,130 4,029 4,138 j N j N j N

PERFORMANCE

  1960 1970 1980 1990 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Number of flight hours by actual use, total3 (thousands) 13,121 26,030 36,430 30,763 24,092 (R) 26,612 (R) 26,909 27,713 28,100 (R) 31,231 (R) 29,960 (R) 27,017 27,040
Corporate N N 5,332 2,913 2,486 (R) 3,069 (R) 2,898 2,878 3,213 (R) 3,535 (R) 3,341 (R) 2,657 3,275
Business 5,699 7,204 8,434 4,417 3,012 (R) 3,335 (R) 3,259 3,006 3,523 (R) 3,602 (R) 3,588 (R) 3,579 3,287
Instructional 1,828 6,791 5,748 7,244 4,156 (R) 4,410 (R) 4,759 4,956 3,961 (R) 5,795 (R) 5,050 (R) 4,307 4,182
Personal 3,172 6,896 8,894 9,276 8,248 (R) 9,659 (R) 9,037 9,644 9,781 (R) 11,072 (R) 11,477 (R) 11,266 11,025
Aerial application N N 2,044 1,872 1,364 (R) 1,526 (R) 1,713 1,562 1,306 (R) 1,408 (R) 1,318 (R) 1,038 1,182
Aerial observation N N N 1,745 1,746 (R) 1,391 (R) 1,057 1,261 812 (R) 1,244 (R) 1,545 (R) 1,442 1,366
External load N N N N 135 (R) 128 (R) 191 112 153 (R) 123 (R) 161 (R) 131 97
Other worka N N 1,053 572 241 (R) 280 (R) 265 139 286 (R) 605 (R) 496 (R) 256 369
Air taxi / air toursb N N N 2,249 1,545 1,527 (R) 1,834 (R) 2,122 2,583 (R) 1,985 (R) 2,122 (R) 1,587 1,495
Sightseeingc N N N N 309 (R) 179 (R) 195 127 169 (R) 218 (R) 197 (R) 183 134
Otherd 2,422 5,139 4,925 475 622 (R) 1,107 (R) 656 819 940 (R) 535 (R) 665 (R) 664 628
Public usee N N N N N N (R) 1,047 1,096 1,373 (R) 1,109 j N j N j N
Vehicle-miles (millions)f,4 1,769 3,207 5,204 4,548 3,358 3,795 3,524 3,877 U U U U U
Passenger-miles (millions)f,1  2,300 9,100 14,700 13,000 9,800 10,800 12,000 12,500 13,100 14,100 15,200 15,900 U
Fuel consumed, total (million gallons)f, 5 242 759 1,286 1,016 731 847 896 934 1,126 1,313 (R) 1,305 (R) 1,228 1,262
Aviation gasoline 242 551 520 353 266 287 289 292 311 345 (R) 333 (R) 275 278
Jet fuel N 208 766 663 464 560 608 642 815 967 (R) 972 (R) 953 984

SAFETY

  1960 1970 1980 1990 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Fatalities, totalg,6 787 1,310 1,239 767 730 735 636 631 624 619 593 565 581
Corporate N 28 66 21 6 15 20 3 0 30 13 12 0
Business N 148 126 80 64 73 44 45 42 55 43 50 40
Instructional N 93 73 62 47 44 40 38 38 38 64 40 42
Personal N 726 808 492 472 488 413 432 432 383 386 376 407
Aerial application N 41 32 17 17 15 10 17 6 14 19 14 14
Other N 174 134 95 138 112 119 106 112 105 87 73 81
Accidents, total7 4,793 4,712 3,590 2,241 2,022 2,056 1,908 1,845 1,904 1,906 1,837 1,726 1,713
Fatal 429 641 618 443 403 413 361 350 364 340 344 325 345
Accident rate (per 100,000 flight hours)h,i 36.5 18.1 9.9 7.3 8.4 (R) 7.7 (R) 7.1 6.7 6.8 (R) 6.1 (R) 6.1 (R) 6.4 6.3
Fatal 3.3 2.5 1.7 1.4 1.7 1.6 (R) 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.1 1.1 (R) 1.2 1.3

KEY: N = data do not exist; R = revised; U = data are not available.

a In 1960, 1970, 1980, classified as "Industrial."

b Includes air tours done under 14 CFR 135: air taxi operators and commercial operators.

c Includes sightseeing done under 14 CFR 91: general operating and flight rules.

d Significant decrease in "Other" can be attributed to a redefining of the category to only include "Aerial Other" and "Medical Use."

e Federal, state or local government-owned or leased aircraft used for the purpose of fulfilling a government position.

f Includes air taxi operations. Nautical miles in source multiplied by 1.151 to convert from nautical miles.

g Sum of fatalities does not necessarily equal total. Differences are due to methodology used to count collisions involving aircraft in different categories.

h Suicide/sabotage cases are included in accidents and fatalities data but are excluded from accident rates.

i Accident rates are calculated by BTS using the formula: Accident Rates (per 100,000 flight hours) = Accidents or Fatalities/Flight Hours (thousands)*100.

j Beginning in 2000, "Public Use" was included in "Other Work".

NOTES

Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

Total fatalities in this profile may not match those in table 2-14, due to when the total fatalities data were received and the data breakdown by type of flying. NTSB constantly updates and reclassifies accident and fatality data.

1994-95 data for active aircraft by use, and flight hours, have been revised to reflect changes in adjustment for nonresponse bias with 1996 telephone survey factors. 1996 vehicle-miles and fuel consumption data are estimated using new information on nonrespondents and are not comparable to earlier years.

SOURCES

Unless otherwise noted, refer to chapter tables for sources.

1 Eno Transportation Foundation, Inc., Transportation in America, Annual Issues (Washington, DC), pp. 40 and 45, and similar tables in earlier editions.

2 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity and Avionics Survey (Washington, DC: 1990-2002 issues), table 1.1.

3 Ibid., table 1.6 and similar tables in earlier editions.

4 Ibid., table 3.3 and similar tables in earlier editions.

5 1960-1990: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, General Aviation and Air Taxi Acitivity and Avionics Survey (Washington, DC: 1990-2000 issues), table 5.1. 1994-2002: Ibid., FAA Aerospace Forecasts, Fiscal Years 2004-2015 (Washington, DC: March 2004), table 32 and similar tables in earlier editions.

6 1960-1970: National Transportation Safety Board, RE-50, personal communication. 1980-2002: Ibid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data, U.S. General Aviation, Calendar Year 1998 (Washington, DC: July 2000), charts 27, 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43, and personal communications on Sept. 10, 2002, Dec. 22, 2003, and April 30, 2004.

7 National Transportation Safety Board, RE-50, personal communication. Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data, U.S. General Aviation, Calendar Year 1998 (Washington, DC: July 2000), available at Internet site http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/ as of July 22, 2004, table 10.

Updated: Sunday, May 21, 2017