Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aviation by the numbers

If you listened only to the alphabet groups, you'd swear general aviation is on its last legs. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. A release of data by the U.S. Census Bureau shows the extent to which aviation is changing.

For example, according to the Census Bureau:

  • The number of public use airports dropped to 5,221 in 2007 from 5,233 in 2006. That's 300 fewer airports than 1990, but it's 407 more than in 1980.

  • The number of piston general aviation aircraft increased by 1.9% from 06 to 07.

  • The number of private pilots dropped 1 percent.The number of private pilots airplane rating went down 3.7 percent. The number of student pilots stayed about the same. The number of instrument ratings went up.

    Here's the data.
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