Business aviation flight activity in the U.S. surged 28.2 percent on August 21 as people clamored to fly into airports in the path of totality for the solar eclipse, said Argus International. According to its data, there were 10,606 business aircraft flights that day, compared with a year-to-date Monday average of 8,276 flights.
In order, Argus said that the top-five “totality airport” destinations for the eclipse were Tennessee’s Nashville International (BNA), up 182 percent from its Monday average; Casper/Natrona County International (CPR) in Wyoming, up 555 percent; Charleston Air Force Base/International in South Carolina (CHS), up 85 percent; Wyoming’s Jackson Hole (JAC), up 70 percent; and Columbia Metropolitan (CAE) in South Carolina, up 231 percent. The top operators conducting these eclipse flights were NetJets, Wheels Up, Flexjet, Executive Jet Management and PlaneSense.
Three of the top-five business aircraft used to travel to totality airports were turboprops, according to Argus’ data. The most popular aircraft used for these flights were the Pilatus PC-12, Beechcraft King Air 200, Cessna Citation Excel, King Air 350 and 800/900-series Hawkers.