January 17, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Flight activity for December 2012 fell 2 percent compared to the same time period in 2011, while activity for all of 2012 versus 2011 rose only 0.3 percent, according to new data released by Argus TRAQPak.
The data showed that from November to December 2012, flight activity levels fell, finishing the month down 6.9 percent overall. However, fractional flight activity increased slightly from November,only 0.1 percent. Part 91 and Part 135 flight activity dropped 11.2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Aircraft category results were down across the board, with small cabin aircraft posting the largest month-over-month decline, down 8.8 percent. Large cabin aircraft activity wasn’t far behind, decreasing 7.3 percent, while mid-size cabin aircraft activity was down 6.8 percent. The turboprop market finished the month down 5.3 percent.
In individual market segments, the fractional turboprop segment posted a 37.4-percent increase in December, while the Part 91 turboprop segment experienced a 12.3-percent month-over-month drop.
Although overall flight activity increased only 0.3 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to TRAQPak data, Part 91 operations grew 1.2 percent from 2011, while the Part 135 operations increased 2.1 percent. Overall, the Part 135 market saw year-over-year gains in seven out of 12 months in 2012.
The fractional market fell 6 percent from 2011 to 2012. That segment posted a year-over-year drop each month in 2012. TRAQPak data shows a trend of people moving out of the fractional segment and into the Part 135 segment.
Across all aircraft segments, small cabin aircraft flying rose 1 percent in 2012 over 2011, while turboprop flying was up 0.7 percent. Mid-size cabin aircraft flying fell 0.4 percent year over year, while large cabin aircraft flying fell 1.5 percent during the same period.
The Part 135 turboprop market had the largest year-over-year gain, up 3.6 percent, followed by the Part 91 mid-size cabin market, up 3.5 percent. Finally, TRAQPak data found that the three largest year-over-year decreases occurred in the fractional market, with the mid-size, small cabin, and turboprop markets posting declines of 6.8 percent, 6.7 percent, and 6.6 percent, respectively.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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