Business IFR traffic up, but not by much

June 9, 2011

Aviation intelligence monitor Argus International reports that overall IFR turbine business aircraft arrivals and departures for May 2011 were above those recorded for the previous month. Compared to April 2011, turboprops took the lead with May activity levels 5.4 percent higher, followed by mid-sized cabin jets with an increase of 2.7 percent. Next in line were small-cabin jets with a May increase of 2.5 percent over April, followed by large-cabin jets with a 1.8-percent increase.

Within those groups, turboprops operating under FAR Part 91 rules experienced the big May-over-April gains, with a 6-percent increase in activity. But still higher were mid-sized cabin jets flying under Part 91, with a 6.5-percent activity increase. The biggest losers? Large-cabin jets in fractional ownership operations, with a 6.4-percent decrease in activity in May 2011.

Comparing May 2010 with May 2011, Argus paints a different story, with large-cabin fractionals experiencing 10.5-percent gains, and turboprops in fractional ops up 16.5 percent over the previous year. In Part 91 operations, gains May-to-May were more modest, with turboprops up 2.4 percent, small-cabin jets up 12.1 percent, mid-sized jets up 6.9 percent, and large-cabin jets up 10.3 percent.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne | AOPA Pilot Editor at Large, AOPA

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.