Aviators Reelin in the Years 2019

Here’s a summary of U.S. pilots by generation just “reelin’ in the years, and stowin’ away the time.” The FAA U.S. pilot population statistics were used to group pilots as close as possible into each generation.

Generation Age Group StatsPercentage
Silent Generation74-91         24,931 4%
Baby Boomers~55-74       184,786 28%
Generation X39-54       156,288 24%
Millennials23-38       206,823 31%
Generation Z7-22         91,735 14%
Total        664,563 100%
Summary by generation of FAA Statistics on Pilot licenses 2019.

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U.S. Pilot Population by Age 2019

For 2019, GAMA reported the FAA pilot population by age and certificate ratings. Here’s the summary by age group:

Age GroupTotal Pilots
14-15              465 
16-19         21,229 
20-24         70,041 
25-29         78,366 
30-34         66,742 
35-39         61,715 
40-44         52,044 
45-49         49,602 
50-54         54,642 
55-59         60,477 
60-64         55,915 
65-69         40,269 
70-74         28,125 
75-79         15,628 
80 & over           9,303 
Total       664,563 
Summary by generation FAA Statistics on Pilot licenses 2019.

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U.S. Pilot Population is Growing 2019

For 2019, GAMA reported annual aviator stats as follows: Active student pilot certificates reached 197,665, which was a 17.8% increase over the prior year. The number of Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot certificates also increased to 100,863 and 164,947 respectively. The number of Private Pilot Licenses dropped by 2% to 161,105.

The bulk of primary pilot training occurs in general aviation aircraft. FAA data shows more people are seeking flight training and obtaining pilot certificates.

The population of females holding U.S. pilot certificates climbed to 7.9%, one of the highest ratios on record for a total of 52,740 certificates.

FAA Data2019
Student Pilots       197,665 
Private Pilots       161,105 
Commercial       100,863 
ATP       164,947 
Total       624,580 
Summary FAA Statistics on Pilot Certificates 2019; excludes recreational & sport pilots licenses.

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Air Traffic Modernization Milestones 2020

GAMA’s annual report provided a brief update on an important milestone for U.S. Air Traffic Control modernization, which was reached January 1, 2020 when the automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) mandate went into effect. Over 108,000 aircraft were equipped with ADS-B when the mandate went into effect. But the GAMA annual report did not summarize the overall ADS-B compliance rate in the U.S.

As of July 1, 2020 the FAA is reporting 142,000 aircraft equipped but only 129,000 are good installs. FAA data excludes experimental and Light Sport Aircraft.

There are approximately 212,000 aircraft in the U.S. General Aviation Fleet (excluding commercial and military aircraft). So, it appears the compliance rate is currently about 60% for ADS-B. Still a lot of work left to do.

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, “Contributions of General Aviation to the US Economy in 2018,” PWC, Published 2020, page 6.

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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

Happy Independence Day! 2020

Happy July 4th 1776!

As we celebrate our nation’s two hundred forty-four years of freedom we honor those dedicated to its preservation. With respect and gratitude we thank the men and women of our armed forces, law enforcement, Homeland security, fire and rescue and many others that give us the land of the free because they are brave.

We hope that you have an enjoyable and safe July 4th weekend. God bless The United States of America.

Wheels Up! 2020

The first days of Summer 2020 are upon us and the heat is returning to Houston. We’re hopeful the progression of COVID-19 will recede as the temps rise and that effective treatments and a vaccine are on the near horizon to reduce the health risks we all face. No matter where you live, we hope you and your family are staying safe, and finding some time to fly.

2020 is wikiWings 7th year online and marks the milestone of more than 350 weblogs. We’re interested in general aviation market trends, technically advanced airplanes and supporting shared aircraft ownership.

We completed a five-year case study on the “Value of Shared Aircraft Ownership,” which was published in Cirrus Pilot Magazine, April 2020, Volume 15, Number 3, pages 50 – 58. Please let me know if you’d like a copy of the article and I’ll send one to you.

This year we’re researching cloud-based interactive aviator software to help pilots find, connect and share their passion for flying with like-minded aviators. We’ll post updates later in the year. Connecting Aviators® continues to be our Vision.

On approach RNAV 36 Tullahoma Regional Airport KTHA, photo credit wikiWings 2020
On approach RNAV 36 to Tullahoma Regional Airport KTHA, photo credit wikiWings 2020

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Connecting Aviators® and related marks and logos are property of wikiWings®

GA Economic Impact Factoid

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers, report on GA economic impact, “At the national level, each direct job in general aviation supported 3.3 jobs elsewhere in the economy.” Nationwide 273,500 full and part-time workers were directly employed in general aviation in 2018. In total, GA’s direct employment supported 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in economic output. About a 3.3 to 1 ratio.

Economic activities by pilots also have direct, indirect, induced and enabled impacts among related businesses in the economy. It’s an hypothesis that the related business to pilot ratio is similar to that found in the PWC report (3.3 to 1). Therefore, the number of related businesses to pilots would be greater than 1 to 1. There are 633,000 pilots registered with the FAA.

Reference: PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Contribution of General Aviation to the U.S. Economy in 2018,” GAMA’s State of the Industry Press Conference, February 19, 2020.

General Aviation Manufacturers Association Celebrates 50 Years (1970 – 2020)

In 1970, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association was formed to foster and advance the general welfare, safety, interests, and activities of general aviation. GAMA has grown to become a premier advocate for general aviation manufacturers, their suppliers, and businesses that maintain, repair and overhaul general aviation aircraft around the world.

GAMA’s annual report has become the industry resource for GA data. Over the next several weeks, we’ll share factoids excerpted from the 50th anniversary report.

Congratulations to GAMA for 50 years of service, support and contributions to general aviation community.

No Plane, No Gain

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA.aero) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have a joint undertaking to promote “No Plane No Gain,” which is a program designed to educate the public on the importance of business aviation to the United States and its communities, companies and citizens.  

In the U.S., business aviation generates well over a million jobs and $219 billion dollars in economic activity. It provides a lifeline to communities with little or no commercial airline service. Business airplanes can reach 5,000 airports but commercial airlines only serve 500 airports. Business planes help thousands of businesses of all sizes to be more productive and efficient and provides emergency and humanitarian services to people in need.

Learn more about the campaign by visiting the No Plane No Gain website. Business aviation – It’s working for America.