A special report released this week at the NBAA Convention by Argus analyzing the last three years of its TraqPak flight activity data 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 time frame. Results also validate anecdotal evidence of a shift to the use of smaller aircraft.
During the past year (October 2011 to September 2012), flight hours declined 0.8 percent, compared with 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 the large-cabin jet segment the only category that declined (-4.8 percent). Charter and fractional flight hours both fell in the same period (-1.9 percent and -5.3 percent, respectively), with only turboprops showing an uptick (1.6 percent). In the fractional arena, light jet use showed the largest decline (-8.7 percent), followed by midsize aircraft (-6.9 percent).