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14 Table 7. Distribution and attributes of VLJ airports. Number of Airports WITHOUT a Precision Runway and: Number of Airports WITH a Precision Runway and: Region No Based 1-10 Based 11+ Based No Based 1-10 Based 11+ Based TOTAL GA Jet Aircraft GA Jet Aircraft GA Jet Aircraft GA Jet Aircraft GA Jet Aircraft GA Jet Aircraft Central 85 2 32 11 11 25 166 Eastern 50 0 34 10 23 50 167 Great Lakes 172 1 74 34 33 73 387 New England 15 1 10 15 6 10 57 Northwestern Mountain 108 5 40 10 13 36 212 Southern 161 8 119 18 37 60 403 Southwestern 147 3 65 13 28 43 299 Western Pacific 59 16 38 6 13 19 151 Total 797 36 412 117 164 316 1842 identified in order to facilitate a search for attributes related Current Air Taxi Population to the commercial air mode for each trip. A total of 416 dif- The population of current air taxi activity that potentially ferent commercial facilities were identified, distributed as could be affected by VLJ competition was derived from the shown in Table 8. (Note that in some cases, a VLJ facility ETMS data collected by the FAA for the period October could simultaneously be identified as a commercial facility.) 2006 through September 2007 (FY2007). The ETMS system collects individual data on all flights that enter the domes- Census Data tic en route system. GRA, Inc. has performed an extended analysis of air traffic for the FAA using this data; part of this One of the most important practical issues to address is analysis categorizes each flight into a user category based on the physical location of travel trips. For the current analysis, N-number, aircraft type, and owner or operator identifica- it is necessary to assign trips projected to be taken by the VLJ tions. GRA identified six different user groups composing mode to the specific airports that are able to accommodate passenger charter and/or non-scheduled Part 135 passenger such flights. operations. The flights in these categories were then further Demographic data at the census tract level were obtained trimmed by applying the following filters: from Applied Geographic Solutions (AGS). This dataset in- cludes estimates of population and income for 2007 and 2012, as well as population projections for 2017. Catchment area de- · Departure or arrival airport must be in the list of "VLJ- mographics for each VLJ and commercial airport were then ready" airports identified above, identified by finding the nearest such airport to each census · Size of the aircraft must be between 3 and 8 seats, and tract. The data was combined with the airport data to obtain · Great-circle flight distance must be between 150 and 800 mi. catchment area estimates of current and projection-year pop- ulations and incomes applicable to each VLJ and commercial The logic behind these filters is that the introduction of a airport. Aggregations of population and income were also new VLJ alternative is likely to attract only those existing air made to the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and at State taxi passengers who already are flying to VLJ airports, on air- levels to allow for projections from the automobile traffic data craft of similar size to VLJs, and within the non-stop flying in the ATS. MSAs are collections of counties, cities, and other range of VLJ aircraft. A total of 146,763 annual flights were smaller defined geographic areas that together compose a sin- identified with this methodology, and each was assigned to gle metropolitan area. the piston, turboprop, or light jet air taxi mode. It is important to recognize that the ETMS data essentially covers only those flights operating under Instrument Flight Table 8. Distribution of associated commercial airports. Rules (IFR). To account for the potentially large amount of cur- rent activity that operates under Visual Flight Rules (VFR)-- Region Count which is not in the ETMS data but that nonetheless might be Central 31 captured by VLJ air taxi services--the flight counts were then Eastern 57 Great Lakes 72 scaled up using data from the 2006 General Aviation and New England 22 Part 135 Activity Survey conducted by the FAA. Specifically, Northwestern Mountain 65 activity ratios of total air taxi flights to IFR air taxi flights by Southern 68 Southwestern 54 engine type (jet, prop, or piston) were computed and applied to Western Pacific 47 the filtered ETMS data. This resulted in estimates of current Total 416 relevant air taxi flights as shown in Table 9.