Critical Value of General Aviation
September 21, 2018
There are more than 5,000 public-use airports across the U.S. that can be directly accessed by general aviation. That is more than ten times the number of airports served by scheduled airlines. This makes general aviation uniquely and more widely situated to serve the public’s transportation needs.
These airports and general aviation are often the only option for fast, reliable, flexible air transportation to small and rural communities in every corner of the country, providing jobs, serving as a lifeline for small to mid-sized businesses, and providing critical services to remote cities and towns in time of natural disaster or crisis. In total, general aviation has a national economic impact of $219 billion annually and supports 1.1 million jobs.
Businesses use general aviation to visit clients, improve productivity, and transport employees, customers, suppliers, cargo and parts as needed. About 4 out of 5 business aviation flights are into an airport with infrequent or no scheduled airline service, or into a secondary airport. About 2 in 5 flights involve multi-leg trips to more than one destination. Passengers on these flights spend nearly two-thirds of their time on the aircraft on work-related tasks.
Across the United States, general aviation is a vital resource for our nation’s farms, food production and agricultural producers. Agricultural aviation operations ensure that our nation’s farmers continue to supply our communities with food and resources such as cotton, timber, bio-fuel ingredients, and farmers rely upon aerial application operations to survey and monitor crops, seed rice and wheat, feed fish, defoliate cotton prior to harvest, and fight forest and grassland fires. In the United States, roughly 71 million acres of cropland are treated annually utilizing aerial application.
Throughout the United States, emergency medical services (EMS) utilize helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to provide vital services to the general public. Approximately 550,000 air EMS missions are flown each year.
General aviation aircraft are crucial to everyday law enforcement operations, supporting vital services for communities, responding quickly to emergency threats, and ensuring the safety of both responding officers and the public.
General aviation also supports fire-fighting services. Across the country, agricultural aviation pilots provide their services and experience to ground-based firefighters, aiding those on the ground to suppress fires quickly and safely.
To see more about state and local economic impacts of general aviation, click here.
To learn how general aviation helps the mining sector Nevada, click here.
To see how general aviation supports manufacturing in Michigan, click here.