In its aerospace forecast released on Tuesday, the FAA predicts that the active general aviation fleet will increase by an average 1.3 percent annually, growing from an estimated 225,007 aircraft last year to 286,500 by 2025. Turboprop and turbine helicopter fleets are expected to increase by 3.7 percent annually over the 18-year forecast period, while the business jet fleet is predicted to grow 5.6 percent yearly.
Even though the 143 very light jets delivered last year fell well short of the FAA’s forecast of 350 shipments, the agency believes the active VLJ fleet could reach 1,000 aircraft by 2010 and an estimated 8,145 by 2025. Meanwhile, the FAA predicts that corporate safety and security concerns for executives, as well as increasing airline delays, will continue to fuel business aircraft fleet growth at corporate, fractional and on-demand charter operators.
Hours flown by turbine GA airplanes and helicopters are expected to increase 5.3 percent yearly over the forecast period, with business jets accounting for much of this growth.