FAA Certificated Pilots

FAA Certificated Pilots 1929-2011

Current as of March 2011 (if not otherwise stated)
Source: FAA U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics

Note: Certificate type (private, commercial, etc.) cannot be used to determine the number of "private pilots" or general aviation pilots. Many pilots who fly for personal business or pleasure earn higher FAA certificates or ratings for personal achievement. As a rule of thumb, about 20 percent of all pilots are actually employed full-time as pilots.

* "Other" includes helicopter (only) and glider (only).
** In March 2001, the FAA Registry changed the definition of this pilot category.
*** In July 2010, the FAA issued a rule that increased the duration of validity for student pilot certificates for pilots under the age of 40 from 36 to 60 months. This resulted in the increase in active student pilots to 119,119 from 72,280 at the end of 2009.
**** Forecast - 2011
Year Student Recreational Sport Private Commercial ATP Other Total
Pilots
Flight
Instructor
2011**** 115,000 210 4,350 195,650 123,900 142,650 36,900 * 618,660 96,551
2010*** 119,119 215 3,682 220,008 139,100 145,464 36,652* 627,588 96,473
2009 72,280 234 3,248 221,619 125,738 144,600 36,566* 594,285 94,863
2008 80,989 252 2,623 222,596 124,746 146,838 35,702* 613,746 93,202
2007 84,339 239 2,031 211,096 115,127 143,953 33,564* 590,349 92,175
2006 84,866 239 939 219,233 117,610 141,935 32,287 * 597,109 91,343
2005 87,213 278 134 228,619 120,614 141,992 30,887 * 609,737 90,555
2004 87,910 297   235,994 122,592 142,160 29,977 * 618,930 89,596
2003 87,296 310   241,045 123,990 143,504 28,866 * 625,011 87,816
2002 85,991 317   245,230 125,920 144,708 29,596 ** 631,762 86,089
2001 86,731 316   243,823 120,502 144,702 16,200 612,274 82,875
2000 93,064 340   251,561 121,858 141,596 17,162 625,581 80,931
1999 97,359 343   258,749 124,261 137,642 17,118 635,472 79,694
1998 97,736 305   247,226 122,053 134,612 16,366 618,298 79,171
1997 96,101 284   247,604 125,300 130,858 16,195 616,342 78,102
1996 94,947 265   254,002 129,187 127,486 16,374 622,261 78,551
1995 101,279 232   261,399 133,676 123,877 18,416 638,879 77,613
1994 96,254 241   284,236 138,728 117,434 17,195 654,088 76,171
1993 103,583 206   283,700 143,014 117,070 17,496 665,069 75,021
1992 114,597 187   288,078 146,385 115,855 17,857 682,959 72,148
1991 120,203 161   293,306 148,365 112,167 17,893 692,095 69,209
1990 128,663 87   299,111 149,666 107,732 17,400 702,659 63,775
1989 142,544     293,179 144,540 102,087 17,660 700,010 61,472
1988 136,913     299,786 143,030 96,968 17,319 694,016 61,798
1987 146,016     300,949 143,645 91,287 17,756 699,653 60,316
1986 150,273     305,736 147,798 87,186 18,125 709,118 57,355
1985 146,652     311,086 151,632 82,740 17,430 709,540 58,940
1984 150,081     320,086 155,929 79,192 17,088 722,376 61,173
1983 147,197     318,643 159,495 75,938 16,731 718,004 62,201
1982 156,361     322,094 165,093 73,471 16,236 733,255 62,492
1981 179,912     328,562 168,580 70,311 16,817 764,182 57,523
1980 199,833     357,479 183,442 69,569 16,748 827,071 60,440
1979 210,180     343,276 182,097 63,652 15,462 814,667 54,398
1978 204,874     337,644 185,833 55,881 14,601 798,833 52,201
1977 203,510     327,424 188,763 50,149 14,086 783,932 49,362
1976 188,801     309,005 187,801 45,072 13,567 744,246 46,236
1975 176,978     305,863 189,342 42,592 13,412 728,187 44,777
1974 180,795     305,848 192,425 41,002 13,658 733,728 42,418
1973 181,905     298,921 182,444 38,139 13,198 714,607 36,795
1972 181,477     321,413 196,228 37,714 14,037 750,869 37,858
1971 186,428     312,656 192,409 35,949 13,567 741,009 37,760
1970 195,861     303,779 186,821 34,430 11,838 732,729 37,822
1969 203,520     299,491 176,585 31,442 8,990 720,028 33,992
1968 209,406     281,728 164,458 28,607 7,496 691,695 30,361
1967 181,287     253,312 150,135 25,817 7,380 617,931 44,421
1966 165,177     222,427 131,539 23,917 5,697 548,757 38,897
1965 139,172     196,393 116,665 22,440 5,100 479,770 34,904
1964 120,743     175,574 108,428 21,572 4,724 431,041 32,158
1963 105,298     152,209 96,341 20,269 4,583 378,700 29,618
1962 94,870     149,405 95,047 20,032 4,617 363,971 28,873
1961 93,973     144,312 92,976 19,155 2,444 352,860 30,165
1960 99,182     138,869 89,904 18,279 1,828 348,062 31,459
1959 107,816     139,804 93,815 18,950 360,385  
1958 103,456     140,673 93,126 15,840 353,095  
1957 98,498     124,799 70,813 13,964 308,074  
1956 95,124     96,864 54,542 11,173 257,703  
1955 80,494     132,526 72,957 11,774 297,751  
1954 71,959     184,595 80,340 12,129 349,023  
1953     18,279 18,279  
1952     371,174 191,824 10,893 573,891  
1951     371,854 197,900 10,813 580,567  
1950      
1949     328,380 187,789 9,025 525,194  
1948     306,699 176,845 7,762 491,306  
1947     244,270 181,912 7,059 433,241  
1946     189,156 203,251 7,654 400,061  
1945     128,207 162,873 5,815 296,895  
1944     111,883 66,449 3,046 181,378  
1943     106,951 63,940 2,315 173,206  
1942     108,689 55,760 2,177 166,626  
1941     93,782 34,578 1,587 129,947  
1940     49,507 18,791 1,431 69,729  
1939     20,832 11,677 1,197 33,706  
1938     13,985 7,839 1,159 22,983  
1937     10,206 6,411 1,064 17,681  
1936     7,622 7,288 842 15,752  
1935     6,707 7,062 736 14,505  
1934     5,789 7,484 676 13,949  
1933     5,771 7,635 554 13,960  
1932     10,297 7,964 330 18,591  
1931     9,226 8,513 17,739  
1930     7,433 7,847 15,280  
1929     4,162 5,053 9,215  

Updated Friday, March 25, 2011