Business Aviation Flight Activity Turning Around

 - September 15, 2009, 11:35 AM

Business aircraft flight activity for Part 91 operators appears to have bottomed, according to data released yesterday by aviation services company Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US), while a similar recovery for Part 91K fractional and Part 135 charter operators is not far behind. ARG/US’s TraqPak data–which includes serial-number-specific business aircraft arrivals and departures for all IFR flights in the U.S.–shows business aircraft activity last month tracking “very closely” to July levels, though down slightly by 1 percent. Overall business aviation flight activity decreased 5.8 percent last month versus a year ago, but this is the smallest year-over-year decrease since last fall. For the first time in more than a year, ARG/US data showed that, overall, Part 91 flying increased by 0.3 percent year-over-year, though light and midsize jet activity in this segment still posted small decreases. Meanwhile, Avantair again drove fractional turboprop activity up by 23.1 percent from a year ago, but fractional activity was off 14.2 percent overall. Part 135 flights fell year-over-year by 11.8 percent. August-to-August figures by aircraft category are: turboprops, +1.8 percent; light jets, -13 percent; midsize jets, -9.2 percent; large-cabin jets, -1.3 percent. Early indications are that flight activity so far this month is “steady,” ARG/US told AIN, meaning that there’s a good chance overall year-over-year flight activity for September could meet 2008 levels.