By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
Use of mid-sized business jets has jumped substantially in the last year, perhaps signifying that corporate air travel is rebounding. Use of Part 91 mid-sized jets was up 8.1 percent in August 2010 compared to August 2009 and Part 135 operations jumped 12.9 percent, according to figures tallied by Aviation Research Group US (ARGUS). ARGUS counts serial-number-specific arrivals and departures of all IFR flight plans filed in each time period to arrive at the results. It considers mid-sized jets as those weighing from 20,000 to 41,000 pounds. Other classes of business jets didn’t have as strong a showing and Part 135 and fractional operations remain challenged, according to the figures.
Turboprop activity remained virtually unchanged across the board while small jets (under 20,000 pounds) were up 3.6 percent in Part 91, down 6.1 percent in Part 135 and up 4.1 percent in fractional operations. Large-cabin aircraft (bigger than 41,000 pounds) operations were down 2.8 percent in Part 91, up 2.7 percent in Part 135 and down 9.7 percent in fractionals. It all adds up to a modest 1.7 percent increase in overall business aircraft activity.