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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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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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.

Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day is one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances.  We extend our utmost gratitude to those men and women who gave their last full measure defending our nation and freedom.  We remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

We hope you’ve had a good Memorial Day and blessed week.

Contribution of General Aviation to the US Economy

In February 2020, PricewaterhouseCoopers released their report on GA contribution to the US Economy. The economic impact of the general aviation industry was measured in terms of employment, labor income, output, and value-added. 2018 was the most recent year for which full, consistent national and state level data was available.

GA directly employed 273,500 full and part-time workers. Including indirect, induced and enabled impacts GA supported 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in output.

GA generated $77 billion in labor income and contributed $128 billion to US gross domestic product (GDP). At a national level, each direct job in GA supported 3.3 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

References: “Contribution of General Aviation to the US Economy in 2018,” PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, February 2020.

What are the GA Flight Hours by Aircraft Type and Reason in the United States

In 2018, total General Aviation flight hours were 25.5 million. PricewaterhouseCoopers divided GA flight hours into four categories: Personal, Business without a Paid Crew; Business with a Paid Professional Crew and Other.

Personal: Included operation of GA aircraft for personal and recreational reasons. The pilots of personal-use aircraft are typically the owner and PWC assumed that owners tie-down their aircraft rather than rent hangar space (which under estimates the economic impact of personal-use GA aircraft because many owners rent hangar space). About 7.7 million or 30% of GA flight hours were for personal flight.

Business without Paid Crew: Typically flown by the owner of the aircraft who is not paid for flight operations. It’s assumed that owners rent space in a shared hangar and pay business insurance rates on the aircraft.

Business with Paid Professional Crew: Owners of such aircraft are assumed by PWC to rent a hangar, pay a lower business insurance rate, and hire professional pilot and flight crew. Air taxi and air medical services are assumed to have this cost profile. About 31% or 7.8 million GA hours were for business purposes. Business-use with a paid crew accounts for the majority (79%) of turboprop and jet-powered airplane hours.

Other: Included flight instruction, aerial applications in agriculture and other industries, aerial observation, and sight-seeing. It’s assumed “other-use” aircraft operate with a paid pilot but no paid crew. This large grouping included about 10 million hours or 39% of all GA flight hours. And, represented the majority (61%) of flight hours for rotorcraft.

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

Table 1: GA Hours by Aircraft Type and Reason in 2018

PersonalBus. w/o Paid CrewBus. w/ Paid CrewOtherHours
Piston Airplanes          5,790                  1,103                   551           6,342         13,786 
Turboprop             219                     192                1,176           1,149           2,736 
Jet-Powered             459                     230                3,582              321           4,592 
Helicopters               88                       29                  847           1,929           2,922 
Experimental          1,071                       67                    13              187           1,339 
Other               77                       29                      1                54              131 
Total          7,704                  1,649                6,171           9,982         25,506 

PricewaterhouseCoopers was engaged by the general aviation industry trade associations to help quantify the contribution of GA to the United States economy. PWC defined General Aviation as the manufacture and operation of any type of aircraft issued an airworthiness certificate by the FAA, excluding military operations and scheduled commercial airlines.

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How Many GA Flight Hours Occur in the United States?

In 2018, total General Aviation flight hours were 25.5 million (25,500,000). Piston-engine flight hours were over 15 million hours or 59% of the total GA flight hours.

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

PricewaterhouseCoopers was engaged by the general aviation industry trade associations to help quantify the contribution of GA to the United States economy. PWC defined General Aviation as the manufacture and operation of any type of aircraft issued an airworthiness certificate by the FAA, excluding military operations and scheduled commercial airlines.

Table 1. Hours by Aircraft Type

DescriptionHoursPercent
Single-Engine Piston       12,092,000 47%
Twin-Engine Piston         1,694,000 7%
Turboprop         2,736,000 11%
Jet-Powered         4,592,000 18%
Helicopters         2,922,000 11%
Experimental         1,339,000 5%
Other            131,000 1%
Total       25,506,000 100%

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