January 12, 2011
By Thomas A. Horne
Aviation industry service provider ARGUS International of Cincinnati has released its December 2010 business aircraft activity figures. ARGUS tracks month-to-month and year-over-year data, and this year the company states that turbine business flying increased across all categories when comparing December 2009 with December 2010 activity levels.
Turboprop flying went up 3.8 percent; small-cabin jet flying 3.5 percent; mid-size cabin jet 6.2 percent, and large-cabin jet 4.4 percent. The biggest winner was in the turboprop fractional group, with a 15.1 percent increase in comparative activity. The biggest comparative drop was in small-cabin jet activity, which fell 7 percent.
A comparison of December 2010 with November 2010 business flying was less encouraging. ARGUS says that traffic historically drops off during the holidays, and that this explains December 2010’s slight decline. Overall, business flying fell by 3.2 percent from November to December 2010. The category most affected was small-cabin fractional flying, with an 11.9 percent decline in activity from November to December. The biggest increase in activity was among small-cabin jets in FAA Part 135 operations—with a reported 4.8 percent hike in activity.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
California pilot Christopher Braun has created a revamped version of the cleco plier that is said to be lighter and more ergonomic.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
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