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FAA: Passenger growth to reach 1.89 trillion by 2032

March 14, 2012, 10:15 am

At the Annual Aviation Forecast Conference in Washington, the Federal Aviation Administration projected that U.S. airlines will grow passenger capacity at an annual rate of 3.1 percent over the next two decades, reaching 1.89 trillion by 2032.

Nan Shellabarger, FAA executive director of aviation policy, said passenger volumes are expected to increase 0.5 percent year-over-year in 2012 before the rate increases in the future. International passenger traffic is expected to grow 4.2 percent annually through 2032. These predictions were made under the assumption that the economy recovers from the economic downturn without suffering another dip over the next 20 years.

The FAA also predicted U.S. airlines will carry 1 billion passengers a year by 2024, three years later than was originally projected last year. The delay in growth represents the downward adjustments as a result of overall economic conditions and recovery both in the United States and abroad. The FAA does not foresee U.S. Airlines returning to 2007 passenger capacity levels prior to 2016.

Despite the down economy, innovation in the airline industry will spur growth in the future. Through the implementation of NextGen GPS-based technology, the U.S. air transportation system will be able to deliver passengers to their destinations faster and more efficiently, which will positively affect the entire aviation industry. The new technology will not only increase speed of travel, but also boost air traffic capacity and enhance safety.

“This year, more people will be flying more miles, and we expect that to continue in future years,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta. “The American people deserve an aviation system that can keep pace with our increasing reliance on air travel, and NextGen will help us get there.”

According to the FAA forecast, the strongest growth in general aviation will be found in the jet aircraft industry. This market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.9 percent through 2032, with a 4 percent-per-year growth rate in hours flown.

As more customers are projected to fly via jet aircraft, more pilots will be called upon to complete these travels safely and securely. One way to ensure protection in the skies is through investment in pilot insurance.

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