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FAA 20-Year Forecast Predicts Gradual Decline In Light GA

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Old March 24th 17, 04:11 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default FAA 20-Year Forecast Predicts Gradual Decline In Light GA

FAA 20-Year Forecast Predicts Gradual Decline In Light GA
Fleet size and hours flown are expected to decrease roughly 0.8% annually
over the next 20 years, says the FAA in its annual Aerospace Forecast. The
Aerospace Forecast predicts that general aviation hours flown for all
aircraft types will grow slowly, possibly eclipsing 2007 levels by the end
of the next decade, with the overwhelming majority of that growth in the
fixed-wing turbine sector. Rotorcraft, LSA and experimental usage are
forecast to grow modestly over that time period. The FAA report predicts
that declines in the number of private pilots will be comparable to declines
in the piston-single fleet—shrinkage of 0.7% annually—which would be a
marked improvement from the 3.6% decline seen annually since 2010.

On the commercial side, the Aerospace Forecast predicts total revenue
passenger mileage of domestic airlines will grow at 2% annually, though the
number of pilots holding ATP certificates is expected to grow at a more
modest 0.5% as air carriers migrate to larger aircraft.

The FAA says its annual Aerospace Forecast is "consistently considered the
industry-wide standard of U.S. aviation-related activities." Readers are
warned that the report’s predictions are acutely dependent on assumptions
about the U.S. GDP, and the “baseline forecast assumes that the economy
experiences a pickup in growth over the next few years as a result of tax
cuts and higher infrastructure spending.” Previous FAA Aerospace Reports
averaged a 10.6% error in U.S. GDP when forecasting five years into the
future, which corresponded with an average 12.0% error in passenger
enplanements and a 17.7% error in IFR traffic volume relative to their
five-year projections.

When I began flight training in 1970, I could rent a PA-28-140 for
$6.50/flight hour. Today, 47 years later, the price is ~$170/hour. While
wages have risen in that time, wages haven't risen 26 times higher like
aviation costs have. The cost of GA operations has risen in excess of four
times the rate of inflation as calculated he
https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm Of course, fuel costs,
the most significant cost of aviation operation, have skyrocketed from
$0.50 to $5.00/gallon currently.

Now the Republicans and airlines want to privatize ATC which doubtless means
imposing user-fees. Is it any wonder that airports are steadily being
closed and the forecast for GA is bleak?

What can be done to revitalize GA and make it more affordable? Thoughts?


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