General Aviation Trends

AOPA General Aviation Trends Report
Fourth Quarter 2010

Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701  
(301) 695-2230


Executive Summary

Numbers Year-to-Date (YTD) for 2010 saw mixed results in terms of flight activity, pilot certification, aircraft shipments and aviation safety. All comparisons are based on Year-to-Date comparisons from 2009 to 2010.

Overall, measures of flight activity remained stable compared to the previous year. Center activity increased 6% compared to last year’s figures, while activity at towers decreased 3% compared to 2009.

Total gallons of Avgas sold showed an increase over last year’s numbers by 10%. The average regional price (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) for a gallon of Avgas rose by $0.40 to $4.99 as compared to 2009, when it was $4.59 as reported by 100LL.com.

Trends in certificate issuances YTD compared to 2009 experienced decreases in all areas except Students (up 2%) and CFI Ratings (up 3%). Decreases: Privates (down 25%), Commercials (down 29%), ATP Ratings (down 1%), and Instrument Ratings (down 31%).

Total U.S. shipments of general aviation aircraft (including Single-Engine Piston, Multi-Engine Piston, Turboprops, and Business Jets) fell behind 2009 totals by 16%.

The Air Safety Institute reports fewer general aviation accidents in 2010 than in the same period last year. Accidents Year-to-Date 2010 showed a decline of 7% (1,208 in 2010), compared to 2009 (1,294 in 2009).

GA Trends Statistics YTD Comparison Fourth Quarter 2010

2009 2010 % Change Change
FLIGHT ACTIVITY
Centers - Aircraft Handled 6,257,782 6,610,024 6% 352,242
Tower Operations 27,599,226 28,564,472 3% 965,246
Gallons AV Gas Sold (in 000's) 180,858 198,836 10% 17,978
PILOT CERTIFICATION
Student Issuances 55,786 56,658 2% 872
Private Issuances 19,893 14,977 -25% -4,916
Commercial Issuances 11,383 8,056 -29% -3,327
ATP Issuances 3,113 3,072 -1% -41
CFI Rating Issuances 4,348 4,486 3% 138
Instrument Rating Issuances 25,337 17,603 -31% -7,734
AIRCRAFT SHIPMENT & REGISTRATION
GA Shipments 1,587 1,334 -16% -253
AVIATION SAFETY
GA Accidents 1,294 1,208 -7% -86

Flight Activity

Centers
YTD 2010 saw a total of 6,610,024 IFR aircraft were handled at ATC centers. This total represents an increase of 6%, 352,242 more aircraft handled compared to 2009.

Towers
General aviation tower operations increased 3% in 2010 (965,246 more aviation tower operations) compared to 2009.

Aviation Gasoline
Gallons of Aviation Gasoline sold - A total of 198,836 million gallons of aviation gasoline (100LL) were sold YTD 2010. This total represents a 10% increase compared to the previous year.

Pilot Certification

Student Certificates Issued
A total of 56,658 student certificates were issued in 2010. This figure is up compared to last year’s figures by 2% (872 more new student certificates issued).

Private Certificates Issued
A total of 14,977 private certificates were issued in 2010, a 25% decrease compared to the same period in 2009 (4,916 less issuances).

Commercial Certificates Issued
The number of new commercial pilot certificates issued in 2010 reached a total of 8,056. This number represents a 29% decrease compared to 2009 (3,327 less new commercial pilot certificates issued).

ATP Certificates Issued
A total of 3,072 new ATP certificates were issued in 2010, a decrease of 1% (41 fewer ATP certificates issued) compared to 2009.

CFI Certificates Issued
YTD 2010 saw 4,486 CFI ratings issued. This total represents a 3% increase compared to the same period in 2009 (138 more CFI ratings issued).

Instrument Ratings Issued
Instrument ratings issued YTD 2010 totaled 17,603. This total represents a 31% decrease compared to the same period in 2009 (7,734 less instrument ratings issued).

Aircraft Shipments

U.S. aircraft manufacturers shipped 1,334 general aviation aircraft in 2010. This total represents a 16% decrease (253 fewer aircraft) over the same period in 2009.

Aviation Safety

General Aviation Accidents
There were a total of 1,208 general aviation accidents in 2010, down 7% (86 fewer accidents) than during the same period in 2009 (1,294).