If past is prologue, expect an uptick in business aviation flight activity next March. That’s one of the conclusions drawn from an Argus Market Intelligence report released at the NBAA Convention. The report analyzes the last three years of the company’s TraqPak flight activity data, including its FlightView aircraft movement and JetNet aircraft ownership information. The Cincinnati-based aviation data and auditing company found “no clear pattern, in either the upward or downward direction of total flight hours,” but found a consistent year-after-year cyclical peak in activity during the March timeframe. Results also validate anecdotal evidence of a shift to the use of smaller aircraft.
During the past year (October 2011-September 2012) flight hours declined 0.8 percent, compared to a 1.7 percent increase seen in the prior year, according to the report. Over the past two years, only the light jet category saw year-over-year increases. In the last 12 months, Part 91 flight hours increased (1.2 percent), with large cabin jets the only category declining (-4.8 percent). Charter and fractional flight hours both declined in the same period (-1.9 percent and -5.3 percent respectively), with only turboprops showing an uptick (+1.6 percent). Yet in the fractional arena, light jet use showed the largest decline (-8.7 percent) followed by mid-size aircraft (-6.9 percent). Such historical and current trend data can help business aviation users make better and more efficient business planning decisions, according to Argus.