General Aviation Profile

General Aviation Profile

Excel | CSV

Financial 1960 1970 1980 1990 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
Expenditures ($ millions)                 
Aircraft 202h 339h 2,853h R3,398h 3,910h 4,260h 5,297h R7,174h 9,571h
Operating costs 693 1,696 5,200 R6,744 6,050 R6,324 6,443 R6,818 7,105
Total 895 2,035 8,053 R10,142 9,960 R10,584 11,740 R13,992 16,676
Inventory                 
Number of active aircraft by use                 
Corporate N 6,835i 14,860i 10,100i 9,400i 9,800i 9,300i 10,411i 11,250i
Business N 26,900 49,391 33,100 26,500 26,200 28,200 27,716 32,611
Instructional N 10,727 14,862 18,600 15,000 14,800 14,300 14,663 11,375
Personal N 65,398 96,222 112,600 102,500 109,300 109,600 115,630 124,347
Aerial application N 5,455 7,294 6,200 4,300 5,100 5,400 4,858 4,550
Aerial observation N N N 4,900 5,100 4,700 3,200 3,311 3,242
External load N N N N 100 200 400 186 313
Other worka N 2,054 2,813 1,400 1,200 1,100 1,100 579 1,116
Air taxi/air toursb N N N 5,800 3,800 4,100 3,900 4,948 5,190
Sight seeingc N N N N 1,300 900 900 677 679
Other N 8,249 17,045 4,100 4,200 6,300 6,700 5,250 6,010
Public use N N N N N N 4,200 4,130 4,029
Total 76,549i 131,743 211,045 196,800 172,400 188,100 191,100 192,400 204,710
Performance                 
Number of flight hours by use (thousands)                 
Corporate N N 5,332j 2,913j 2,486j 2,869j 2,718j 2,878j 3,213j
Business 5,699j 7,204j 8,434 4,417 3,012 3,191 3,152 3,006 3,523
Instructional 1,828 6,791 5,748 7,244 4,156 4,106 4,425 4,956 3,961
Personal 3,172 6,896 8,894 9,276 8,248 9,320 8,893 9,644 9,781
Aerial application N N 2,044 1,872 1,364 1,557 1,787 1,562 1,306
Aerial observation N N N 1,745 1,746 1,385 1,036 1,261 812
External load N N N N 135 118 203 112 153
Other worka N N 1,053 572 241 268 262 139 286
Air taxi/air toursb N N N 2,249 1,545 1,527 1,773 2,120 2,583
Sight seeingc N N N N 309 206 186 127 169
Other 2,422 5,139 4,925 475 622 1,121 644 819 940
Public used N N N N N N 1,021 1,096 1,373
Total 13,121 26,030 36,430 30,763 24,092 25,667 26,100 27,713 28,100
Vehicle-milese (millions)1,769k 3,207k 5,204k R4,548k 3,358k 3,795k 3,524k 3,877k Uk
Passenger-milese (millions)2,300h 9,100h 14,700h 13,000h R9,800h R10,800h R12,000h 12,500 13,300
Fuel consumed e (million gallons)242l 759l 1,286l 1,016l R731q R847q R896q R934 1,126
Aviation gasoline 242 551 520 353 R266 R287 R289 R292 311
Jet fuel N 208 766 663 R464 R560 R608 R642 815
Safety                 
Fatalitiesf                 
Corporate N 28m 66n 21n 5n 15n 20n 3n 0p
Business N 148 126 80 60 73 44 53 42
Instructional N 93 73 62 47 44 40 38 36
Personal N 726 808 492 474 488 413 436 424
Aerial application N 41 32 17 17 15 10 18 6
Other N 174 134 95 127 99 105 122 112
Total 787m 1,310 1,239 767 730 734 632 660 620
Accidents                 
Fatal 429o 641o 618o 443o R403o 412o 360o R353o 365o
Total 4,793 4,712 3,590 2,215 R1,994 2,053 R1,908 R1,853 1,909
Accident rateg (per 100,000 flight hours)                 
Fatal 3.3 2.5 1.7 1.6 1.8 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.4
Total 36.5 18.1 9.9 7.8 9.0 8.2 7.7 7.3 7.1

aIn 1960, 1970, 1980, classified as "Industrial."
bIncludes air tours done under 14 CFR 135: air taxi operators and commercial operators.
cIncludes sight seeing done under 14 CFR 91: general operating and flight rules.
dFederal, state or local Government-owned or leased aircraft used for the purpose of fulfilling a government position.
eIncludes air taxi operations. Nautical miles in source multiplied by 1.151 to convert from nautical miles.
fSum of fatalities does not necessarily equal total. Differences are due to methodology used to count collisions involving aircraft in different categories.
gSuicide/sabotage cases are included in accidents and fatalities data but are excluded from accident rates.

KEY: N = data do not exist; R = revised.

NOTES: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Total fatalities in this profile may not match those in table 2-14, due to when the total fatalities data were received and the data breakdown by type of flying. NTSB constantly updates and reclassifies accident and fatality data.  

1994-95 data for active aircraft by use, and flight hours, have been revised to reflect changes in adjustment for nonresponse bias with 1996 telephone survey factors. 1996 vehicle-miles and fuel consumption data are estimated using new information on nonrespondents and are not comparable to earlier years.

SOURCES: Unless otherwise noted, refer to chapter tables for sources.

hEno Transportation Foundation, Inc., Transportation in America, Annual Issues (Washington, DC), pp. 42, 47.
IUnited States. Federal Aviation Administration, General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity and Avionics Survey (Washington, DC: 1990-1997 issues), table 1.1.
jIbid., table 1.4 
kIbid., table 3.3.
lIbid., table 5.1.
mNational Transportation Safety Board, RE-50, personal communication.
nIbid., Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data, U.S. General Aviation, Calendar Year 1998 (Washington, DC: July 2000), charts 27, 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43.
oIbid., NTSB Press Release, SB99-06 (Washington, DC: 2000, and earlier issues).
pIbid., personal communication, August 29, 2000. 
q1998: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Aerospace Forecasts, Fiscal Years 2000-2011 (Washington, DC: March 2000), table 29.