Research board focuses on future GA growth trend

May 7, 2009

During the Seventh National Aviation System Planning Symposium May 3 through 5 in Pacific Grove, Calif., general aviation industry leaders, government officials, association representatives, and university officials looked beyond the currently bleak GA and economic circumstances to focus on the future. And the future looks promising.

Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president and assistant to the president, participated in a May 5 panel, “Recent Trends in General Aviation Activity,” to discuss not only the current state of GA, but also the future.

The FAA is projecting an annual 1.3-percent growth in GA through 2025, Rudinger explained. The projected growth is based largely on an anticipated expansion of the light sport aircraft market. Growth also is expected in the business aviation segment.

“General aviation will not only survive the current economic downturn, but thrive,” Rudinger said, explaining one of AOPA’s initiatives to help ensure the future of the industry.

That initiative, the GA Serves America Campaign, targets lawmakers, opinion leaders, and the media with the message that GA is an economic asset and a vital part of the national transportation system.

“It’s important that we get the message that GA serves every American out to those who don’t really understand our industry,” Rudinger said. “By bolstering the perception of GA, we can help continue the positive GA trend well into the future.”