Business aviation flight activity in North America continued its upward trajectory last month, climbing 4.1 percent year-over-year, according to TrakPak data released yesterday by Argus International. This marks the fifth consecutive rise for the month of October, going from about 240,000 flights in October 2012 to more than 270,000 last month. Argus is predicting 3.2 percent growth this month.
Once again, last month's results were spearheaded by gains in Part 135 charter activity, which increased 7.9 percent from a year ago. Part 91 private and 91K fractional flying rose 2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
For the first time this year, midsize jet activity surpassed that of other aircraft categories last month, taking the top spot with a 6.9 percent year-over-year increase. This was followed by large-cabin jets, up 5.6 percent; turboprops, up 2.9 percent; and light jets, up 1.6 percent.
In individual categories, Part 135 midsize and large-cabin jets saw double-digit gains, soaring 11.1 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively. Large-cabin fractional jet flying had the only notable loss in October, falling 7.4 percent from a year ago.
The U.S. Southeast had 60,992 departures last month, dwarfing the next largest U.S. region, the Great Lakes/Midwest, by some 24,000 flights. Meanwhile, weekday and weekend flights climbed by more than 6 percent from October 2016, according to the data.
Argus’s TraqPak data provides “flight-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.”