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20 Airports and the Newest Generation of General Aviation Aircraft Table 3-1. Estimated incremental air taxi operations by region. TAF 2007 Total 2017 Incremental Air Taxi % Region Operations Air Taxi Operations 2007 Operations Central 2,973,922 144,751 4.9% Eastern 8,002,088 418,472 5.2% Great Lakes 12,556,805 749,353 6.0% New England 3,106,122 81,938 2.6% Northwestern Mountain 8,391,973 252,373 3.0% Southern 17,920,957 914,709 5.1% Southwestern 10,159,174 652,743 6.4% W estern Pacific 11,318,066 936,144 8.3% Total 74,429,107 4,150,483 5.6% 3.3.2 Further Recommendations for Use of the Forecasts The air taxi forecast projections need to be viewed and used with caution because they are sub- ject to a large degree of uncertainty, particularly given recent events in the industry itself (the bank- ruptcy of both DayJet and Eclipse Aviation) and in the overall economy. Both DayJet and Eclipse were key players in the nascent VLJ air taxi market, and the forecasts were based on the assump- tion that the per-seat on-demand business model of DayJet (using Eclipse VLJs) would be success- ful and could spread across the country over the next 10 years, leading to significant activity at many GA airports. Although the specific set of assumptions used in the 10-year forecasts are probably now out of date, even very recent industry outlooks suggest that the VLJ air taxi market may still be viable, although the timing of when such activity may occur is uncertain. Thus, the forecast esti- mate for a given airport should not necessarily be interpreted as a specific prediction for 2017, but rather as a potential long-term activity target if the low-cost air taxi service business model becomes successful at some point in the future. 3.4 Summary The air taxi segment will continue to be influenced by overall economic conditions as well as operator business plans. The results of the air taxi activity forecast are best used by an airport oper- ator to ascertain the potential demand that may exist at an airport for air taxi operations and then to identify what factors may be affecting that potential. 3.5 Helpful References and Resources ACRP Synthesis 4: Counting Aircraft Operations at Non-Towered Airports, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/ acrp/acrp_syn_004.pdf. This synthesis project identifies and evaluates the different methods used by states, air- ports, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for counting and estimating aircraft operations at non-towered airports with the goal of identifying best practices. Also identified are any new technologies that can be used for these counts and estimates. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Data_ Elements.aspx?Data=2. BTS provides a wealth of information on aircraft operations at commercial airports and related data. FAA, General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Surveys, http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/aviation_data_statistics/ general_aviation/. The purpose of the Survey is to provide the FAA with information on general aviation and on-demand Part 135 aircraft activity. The data collected are also used by other government agencies, the gen- eral aviation industry, trade associations, and private businesses to pinpoint safety problems and to form the basis for critical research and analysis of general aviation issues.

OCR for page 20
Projecting Potential Future Activity from New Generation Aircraft 21 FAA, Terminal Area Forecast, http://aspm.faa.gov/main/taf.asp. This is the official forecast of aviation activity at FAA facilities. These forecasts are prepared in order to meet the budget and planning needs of FAA and provide information for use by state and local authorities, the aviation industry, and the public. FAA, Enhanced Traffic Management System, http://aspm.faa.gov/etms/sys/. This database is one of many in a sys- tem which provides access to historical traffic counts, forecasts of aviation activity, and delay statistics. FAA Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, Forecasting Aviation Activity by Airport, http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/ aviation_data_statistics/forecasting/media/AF1.doc#title. This report provides guidance to individuals who prepare airport activity forecasts as well as to those who review the forecasts. The guidance covers the basic steps required for producing forecasts. FAA Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, Model for Estimating General Aviation Operations at Non-Towered Airports, http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/aviation_data_statistics/general_aviation/media/GAModel3F.doc. This report provides a model for estimating GA operations at non-towered airports. In this report, a new model was developed in order to augment previous research by using additional variables for population, airport regional prominence, and certificated flight schools.