NextGen To Fuel Growth in Air Travel, FAA Says
The FAA said in its annual aviation forecast this morning that key airspace safety and modernization efforts contained in the Next Generation Air Transportation System will play a vital role in spurring long-term sustained growth in air travel and the nation’s overall economic health. Domestic mainline and regional airline enplanements are projected to increase 0.4 percent in Fiscal Year 2010 and then grow at an average of 2.5 percent per year during the remainder of the 20-year forecast period. For general aviation, the FAA is forecasting a fixed-wing turbine aircraft growth rate of 3.1 percent a year, fixed-wing pistons at 0.1 percent per year and a rotorcraft growth rate of 2.8 percent a year. The agency characterized the current low-level growth rate for business aircraft as a product of “unique circumstances” that will dissipate over time. GA hours flown are forecast to increase from 23.3 million in 2009 to 38.9 million in 2030, paced by a 4.6-percent annual growth rate for fixed-wing turbines and a rotorcraft rate of 2.8 percent per year.