General aviation is a major part of tour civil aviation and important sector our economy – statistically even larger than the airlines. Only in passenger count is the scheduled passenger traffic able to surpass the general aviation.
According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the general aviation provides over 1.3 million jobs in America.
General aviation is considered the entire air traffic in the US – with the exception of scheduled airline and military flights. This includes all types of flights, from a glider to the largest, non-scheduled cargo plane.
North America has by far the most widely developed general aviation infrastructure. No other country in the world has so many airports as the US – over five thousand. Canada follows with more than one thousand airports.
In North America, flying is a way of life. Even the smallest rural communities have a small local airport. In contrast to most other countries, local airports are not considered a “luxury” but an infrastructural necessity. This is in particular true for small rural towns with hundred or more miles away from the next metropolitan area.
The general aviation includes commercial and non-commercial flights such as:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regulate the general aviation. The US is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which determines international standards for the entire civil aviation.
The FAA oversees and regulates the entire pilot certification and aircraft registration.
Source: THE EXAMINER