FAA Says LSA to Grow 4 Percent Through Next Year
March 15, 2012 – The FAA projects that the number of light-sport aircraft will grow 4 percent through 2013 while the rest of GA aircraft will grow just 0.6 percent, according to the agency's annual aviation forecast released this past week. After that LSA will increase at a rate of about 2 percent per year through 2032, when the fleet will total 10,195. FAA also projects the number of active GA pilots (excluding ATPs) to increase 0.3 percent annually through 2032, or more than 35,000 to a total of 510,295. The number of student pilots is forecast to decrease at an average annual rate of 0.1 percent over that same time frame, from 118,657 in 2011 to 116,720 in 2032. More than 13,900 sport pilots are projected to be certificated during that time.
The FAA is cautiously optimistic that "the hard impact of the recession on the business jet market may have come to an end and demand for business jet aircraft is beginning to recover." With a significant portion of piston aircraft hours used for business purposes, the agency also predicts that business usage of GA aircraft will expand at a faster pace than that for personal and recreational use.
Although GA deliveries slowed for the fourth straight year according to GAMA, the FAA uses estimates of fleet size, hours flown, and utilization from the annual GA Survey as baseline figures upon which assumed growth rates are applied. To read the complete forecast document, click here.