Business Aviation outlook in 2008

The Outlook of Business Aviation in 2008

While no one can know for sure what the future will bring in terms of trends in business aviation, it is reasonable to assume that there will be some similarity between the way that business aviation has progressed over the previous couple months and the way that it will continue to progress in 2008. Here are some observations on the current outlook of business aviation and how the industry has recently changed and is expected to continue changing.

Results over the previous quarters have been mixed, with things such as flight activity, aircraft shipments, pilot certification and registration applications variably rising and falling. Flight activity and center activity have both been on the grow over the past couple months, though only by the amount of around one percent. The amount of avgas sold during 2008 grew by approximately 16 percent, although not all numbers are in at the time of this writing.

For certificate issuances in the aviation world, the numbers of certificates issued has recently differed according to the level of the certificate, with issuances of many types of certificates being down significantly from previous figures. Private issuances of certificates were down by 18 percent. CFI ratings were issued less, with another similar decrease of 18 percent. Instrument ratings were issued 19 percent less than they had been previously, and issuances of commercial certificates were down the most, with a drop of twenty five percent. Not all certificate types dropped off this year, however: student issuances as well as ATP issuances were both up, with student issuances rising by 13 percent and ATP issuances rising by 23 percent to show solid growth in those sectors.

Aircraft shipments were much the same as they had been over the previous year and are not expected to undergo any quick changes over the initial months of 2008. While the aircraft shipment figures for 2007 were almost exactly the same as the figures from the previous year, a one percent drop could be seen when comparing the total U.S. shipments of aircraft. The number of single-piston aircraft shipped was also somewhat behind. However, aircraft registrations have increased somewhat over 2007 and can be expected to continue to increase somewhat, with the most recent available figures for 2007 indicating that aircraft registrations are up by 5,236.

This was a good year for flight safety as the number of accidents was down by 19 percent over the second quarter of 2007. More recent numbers on the accidents for later quarters was not available at the time of this writing. The number of accidents that the aviation industry experiences in a year is in large part the result of the overall level of flight activity, but it appears that recently accident levels have fallen while flight activity and control activity has increased, indicating that new safety measures and an overall sense of safety awareness have significantly improved the safety of the aviation industry. This creates a great outlook for aviation safety as we enter into 2008!