Vital Signs Indicate the Worst Might Be Behind Us

The pulse of general aviation activity continues to show signs of life. Aviation research firm ARG/US compiles flight activity data through its TRAQPak program. The data represents serial-number-specific aircraft arrival and departure information for all IFR flights, including Hawaii and Alaska. In the 'it's not getting worse' category, activity for May 2009 was down 15.5 percent compared with May 2008. The good news is that it did not decline as much as April's traffic year over year (down 18.8 percent compared with April 2008). More good news: traffic increased 3.3 percent in May over April-so we are flying more. That bucks a trend over the previous 12 months averaging .73 percent decreases in flight activity from month to month. But before we start cheering too loudly, TRAQPak data reveals an overall decline in traffic of 21.52 percent for the past 12 months compared with the previous 12-month period.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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