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Projecting Potential Future Activity from New Generation Aircraft 17 fic, airport operators will need to analyze the demo- graphics much more closely to determine if the area will Recommended Steps for Evaluating support business aviation. Potential Demand 1. Determine catchment area 3.2 Evaluating Potential Addresses of owners of aircraft based at the Demand airport In evaluating how much potential demand there Origins and destinations of regular itinerant users may be related to new generation aircraft, airport oper- 2. Identify demographics of the catchment area ators should first understand the bounds of the air- US census data for cities, counties, or metro- port's catchment area. Commercial airports use this politan statistical areas (MSAs) to assess popula- term to describe the geographic area from which they tion, household income, education, types of draw passengers; the term can be applied to GA air- employment, etc. ports as well. The catchment area varies from airport 3. Inventory current local activity to airport and will depend on various factors, includ- Keep a log of operations by aircraft type ing the number and type of airports that exist in the Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) plan records can surrounding region. Determining how far people drive be used to inventory local and surrounding air- to use the airport is critical in understanding the ports (records most jet and some other types of bounds of the catchment area. operations) 4. Use ACRP forecast to assess potential air taxi VLJ Once the airport operator has established catch- operations ment area boundaries, the demographics of the area 5. Assess current levels of commercial service at sur- need to be assessed. Relevant demographics include rounding airports population, household income, age of the popula- 6. Review existing regional or state studies of (non- tion, average education, and type of employment commuter) automobile traffic (e.g., manufacturing, technical, and professional). Information also should be gathered on current activ- ity at the local airport and at any surrounding air- ports in the catchment area. If the focus is primarily on the potential for business- Key Questions for Understanding the Local related activity, then a relationship with the local Business Environment Chamber of Commerce or a local/regional planning commission can be important. In many cases, the Are any local businesses in the aviation local Chamber of Commerce or the economic devel- industry? opment branch of local government will have valu- How many and which local businesses own able information about the business community. aircraft? How many businesses already have aircraft In some cases, an airport operator may need to create based at the airport? or commission a travel survey or questionnaire that can What are the travel budgets for local be used to obtain some of this information. A small businesses? investment in a questionnaire may well be surpassed For businesses that already have based by the amount of valuable information that can be aircraft at the airport, how many have or obtained. might consider upgrading from a propeller driven aircraft to a VLJ? For businesses that have travel budgets 3.3 ACRP Forecasts for and do not have an aircraft, how many New Generation Aircraft have or might consider acquiring a VLJ? How many businesses have customers or A goal of the ACRP 10-04 project was to produce employees from other offices that arrive 5- and 10-year fleet forecasts for new generation small via aviation? GA aircraft. This section summarizes these forecasts, focusing primarily on the commercial air taxi forecasts