Business aircraft flight activity in North America continued on its trend of healthy increases last month, according to the latest TraqPak data from Argus International. Compared with the year-ago period, activity increased 5.2 percent, the second straight month of at least 5 percent growth. This month, the company is predicting a 5 percent increase from a year ago.
Once again, Part 135 charter flights were out in front, surging by 11.8 percent during the period. Fractional activity climbed 3.6 percent, while Part 91 operations increased by 1 percent.
Analyzed by aircraft category, large and midsize jets were up 7.2 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, while light jets and turboprops gained 4.9 percent and 4.1 percent. The largest segment increase for the period was large jet charter, up 17.6 percent for the period, followed by midsize jet charter at 12.7 percent. Within the fractional space, light jets posted the largest increase at 9.4 percent. Notably, fractional large-cabin jets posted the only decrease, falling 4.3 percent.
Weekday flights jumped 3 percent, while those on the weekend ascended by 1.8 percent, according to Argus. By region, the U.S. Southeast recorded the most business aviation flights last month at 55,874. The Midwest/Great Lakes region was the next busiest, logging 36,558 flights.
However, business aviation activity was flat comparing September 2017 with August 2017 levels, posting an overall decline of 0.1 percent, while Part 135 activity logged an overall increase of 2.1 percent for the period and fractional flying plunged 6.8 percent. Large jets posted the largest monthly increase overall, up 4.6 percent, while large jet charter climbed by 11.1 percent. Conversely, fractional turboprop operations dropped 16.4 percent.