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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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.

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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How Many General Aviation Aircraft are in the United States?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll blog a few factoids from the PricewaterhouseCoopers General Aviation report that was released in early 2020. Let’s start with, how many GA aircraft are there in the US? Answer: In 2018, the total GA fleet size was 211,743 aircraft. More than 173,000 had piston engine propulsion which represented 82% of the GA fleet.

TABLE 1. US General Aviation Fleet Size by Type Aircraft, 2018

Single-Engine Piston130,18061%
Twin-Engine Piston12,8606%
Turboprop9,9245%
Jet-Powered14,5957%
Helicopters9,9885%
Experimental30,08414%
Other4,1122%
Total211,743100%
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.

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Cirrus Aircraft Outsells the Competition – 2019

In 2019, Cirrus Aircraft delivered 375 piston-engine planes. Cirrus by design, has successfully resegmented the piston-engine market and has distinguished their planes from the competition. 

The Cirrus SR series wins 2:1 over Piper Archer and Arrow, about 2:1 over Cessna Skyhawk, Skylane & Stationair, 3:1 over Diamond DA40 and 47:1 over Bonanza G36 deliveries. A summarization of the annual GAMA report shows Cirrus won 41% of the traditional “four-seat” (4-adult) piston airplane customer shipments. See “Who is the GA Market Share Leader 2019

The Cirrus “SR-series of high-performance piston airplanes are the best-selling aircraft in the world for [17] consecutive years – with over 7,800 aircraft operating in over 60 countries.”

References: General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Annual Shipment Report 2019. Cirrus Aircraft marketing website.

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How many airplanes does Cirrus Aircraft Sell Each Year?

Cirrus Design Corp. dba Cirrus Aircraft has been manufacturing planes since 1999. On December 31, 2019 total customer shipments stood at 7,814. Details by the numbers are in the table below:

Table 1: Cirrus Aircraft Shipments by Year

YearSF50 JetSR22 TurboSR22SR20SRVTotal
201981200131530465
201863180135650443
201722174135460377
20163149133350320
20150142128310301
20140160117310308
20130132112320276
201208881840253
20110102105480255
20100107115420264
2009015088280266
200802501771157549
2007030028811210710
20060305351506721
2005004751169600
200400459913553
2003003551122469
2002002921050397
200100124590183
200000095095
1999000909
Total1692,1643,9851,459377,814

References: GAMA Annual Reports and Cirrus Aircraft statistics for factory installed STC Tornado Alley TurboNormalized (TAT) shipments, per Matt Bergwall, not identified in GAMA statistics.  From 2006 – 2010, the FAA Registration for Cirrus planes with TAT systems is “SR22.” 

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Year over Year Change in Piston Single-Engine Shipments

Here’s a summary based on General Aviation Manufacturers Association Annual Report for piston single-engine shipments.

Summary GAMA Annual Reports Piston Single-Engine Shipments

Description20182019Variance% Change
Cirrus SR22T, SR22, SR20380375-5-1%
Piper Archer & Arrow1141826860%
Piper Malibu M350202115%
Cessna Skyhawk & Skylane160159-1-1%
Cessna Turbo Stationair3237516%
Cessna TTx10-1-100%
Diamond DA404512681180%
Beachcraft A/G36157-8-53%
Mooney Ovation & Acclaim149-5-36%
Sub Total78191613517%
Taildraggers38541642%
LSA & Other13514164%
Total Single-Engine Piston9541,11115716%

Notes: Piper did not deliver any Arrow airplanes in 2019.

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