Steady and modest growth for US: FAA

Traffic volume for US carriers is expected to rise by more than 75 per cent in the next two decades as measured by revenue passenger miles.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made its forecast in its Annual Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years 2012-2033 which provides a comprehensive examination of current and future trends in air transportation.

The FAA said it was projecting steady and moderate growth in air traffic through 2033, despite cuts to the federal budget – or sequestration – putting short term growth in jeopardy.

The comprehensive report looks at all aspects of aviation including the numbers of flights, commercial airline passenger totals, aircraft fleet size, private flying, and international travel.

“Last year, 737 million people flew on US carriers, and we anticipate that number to hold steady this year,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Our future outlook shows continued positive growth. In fact, we can expect roughly 400 million more people flying 20 years from now, an increase equal to more than today’s US population.”

The FAA uses the forecast to determine how best to devote its workforce and resources, and the aviation community also uses the forecast for planning and investments.  A fact sheet is available to provide a snapshot of the report’s projections.

FAA WORKLOAD FORECASTS         

Operations at Airports with FAA Traffic Control and Contract Tower Service

  • Total operations are forecast to decrease 0.3% to 50.4M in 2013, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.0% for the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 61.1M in 2033.  The average annual growth rate for the entire 21-year forecast period is 0.9%.
  • Commercial operations decrease 0.4% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 1.6% thereafter, reaching 30.0M in 2033.
  • General aviation operations decrease 0.2% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 0.5% thereafter, totaling 28.5M in 2033.

Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) Operations

  • TRACON operations are forecast to decrease 1.2% to 37.3M in 2013, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.2% for the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 47.2M in 2033.  The average annual growth rate for the entire 21-year forecast period is 1.1%.
  • Commercial TRACON operations decrease 0.7% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 1.6% thereafter, reaching 29.9M in 2033.
  • General aviation TRACON operations decrease 2.2% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 0.6% thereafter, totaling 14.9M in 2033.

Aircraft Handled at Air Route Traffic Control Centres

  • IFR aircraft handled at FAA air route traffic control centers are forecast to increase to 41.1M (0.4%) in 2013 and then grow 1.8% a year over the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, reaching 58.2M in 2033.
  • Commercial IFR aircraft handled increase from 32.6M in 2012 to 32.8M in 2013 (up 0.7%). Thereafter commercial IFR aircraft handled grows at an average annual rate of 2.0%, reaching 48.8M in 2033.
  • General aviation IFR aircraft handled decrease 1.3% during 2013.  Thereafter, general aviation IFR aircraft handled grow at an average annual rate of 0.8%, reaching 7.5M in 2033.

 

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