For Immediate Release

March 6, 2013
Contact: Henry J. Price
Phone: 202-267-3883


FAA FORECAST FACT SHEET


FISCAL YEARS 2013-33

I. 2012 SUMMARY:  ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND AIR TRAVEL

  • U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 2.1%; world GDP increased 2.2%.
  • Domestic mainline yields increased 3.5% while international yields increased 4.6% in 2012.  In real terms (adjusted for inflation in FY12 $), domestic yields increased 1.1% and international yields increased 2.1%.
  • Domestic enplanements on mainline and regional air carriers increased from 650.1M in 2011 to 653.7M (0.6%) in 2012.  Domestic mainline carrier enplanements increased 1.3% while domestic regional carrier enplanements decreased 1.7%.  International enplanements on mainline and regional air carriers increased from 81.0M in 2011 to 82.9M (2.4%) in 2012.  Mainline carrier international enplanements were up 1.5% while regional carrier international enplanements increased 30.9%.
  • Domestic Revenue Passenger Miles (RPMs) by mainline and regional air carriers increased from 572.2B in 2011 to 577.6B (1.0%) in 2012.  Domestic mainline carrier RPMs increased 1.4% and domestic regional carrier RPMs decreased 1.6%.  International RPMs by US carriers increased from 242.5B in 2011 to 244.7B (0.9%) in 2012.  Total system RPMs increased from 814.6B in 2011 to 822.3B (0.9%) in 2012.  Total mainline carrier RPMs increased by 1.1% while total regional carrier RPMs decreased by 0.7%.
  • U.S. commercial air carriers (including passenger and cargo) reported an operating profit of $8.0B in 2012, compared to an operating profit of $7.9B in 2011.  Operating revenues increased 3.0% in 2012, while operating expenses increased 2.9%.
  • In 2012 total landings and takeoffs at combined FAA and contract towers were down 0.3% from 2011.  Air carrier activity increased by 0.1% while commuter/air taxi activity decreased by 3.1%. General aviation activity rose 0.6% while military aircraft activity dropped 2.0%. 

II. ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS FOR FAA FORECASTS

  • U.S. Real GDP is forecast to increase from $13.5T in 2012 to $22.9T in 2033, an average annual rate of 2.5%.  World GDP is forecast to grow at a faster pace of 3.2% over the same 21-year period, from $53.9T to $103.7T.

GDP by World Region

 (Average Annual Percent Growth)

World

 Region

Fiscal Year

Calendar Year

2012201320142013-332012201320142013-33

U.S

2.21.72.62.62.11.92.82.6

World

nananana2.22.23.23.2

Canada

nananana2.11.92.52.4

Europe/Africa/ME

nananana0.80.91.82.4
Latin Americanananana3.23.64.43.9
Asia/Pacificnananana4.24.05.14.5
  • Inflation is projected to increase 1.4% in 2013 and remain moderate over the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, averaging 1.9% annually.

III. AVIATION ACTIVITY FORECASTS

Mainline Air Carrier and Regionals

  • Total mainline air carrier and regional RPMs are forecast to increase from 822.3B in 2012 to 1.46T in 2033, an average annual rate of 2.8%.  Domestic RPMs are projected to increase 0.7% in 2013 and then grow an average of 2.2% per year during the remaining 20-year forecast period.  International RPMs will be essentially flat in 2013 and then grow an average of 4.2% per year for the rest of the forecast period. 
  • Total mainline air carrier and regional enplanements are forecast to increase from 736.7M in 2012 to 1,146.8M in 2033, an average annual rate of 2.1%.  Domestic enplanements are projected to remain steady in 2013 and then grow an average of 1.9% per year during the remaining 20-year forecast period.  International enplanements are forecast to increase 0.7% in 2013 and then grow an average of 4.1% per year for the rest of the forecast period.

Mainline Air Carriers

  • U.S. mainline carrier domestic RPMs are forecast to increase 0.8% in 2013 and grow at an average annual rate of 2.1% for the remaining 20 years of the forecast period.  U.S. mainline carrier domestic enplanements are forecast to be flat in 2013.  For the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, enplanements grow at an average annual rate of 1.9%, reaching 715.5M in 2033. 
  • U.S. mainline carrier international RPMs are forecast to be essentially flat in 2013 and grow at an average annual rate of 4.2% for the remaining 20 years of the forecast period.  U.S. mainline carrier international enplanements are forecast to increase 0.7% in 2013, and then grow an average of 4.1% per year thereafter, reaching 180.9M in 2033.  The fastest growing region is Latin America (4.5% per year), followed by Asia/Pacific (4.3% per year), and the Atlantic (3.2% per year).

U.S. Mainline Air Carriers

Enplanements by World Region

(Average Annual Percent Growth)

World Region

Fiscal Year

2012201320142013-33

Domestic

1.30.02.51.9

International

1.50.73.84.1

   Atlantic

-2.2-5.02.83.2

   Latin America

3.14.13.94.5
   Asia/Pacific3.90.85.44.3
System1.30.12.72.2
  • Total passengers to/from the U.S. (U.S. and foreign flag carriers) are projected to increase 2.6% in 2013 (calendar year).  The average annual rate of growth between 2013 and 2033 is 4.2%, with passengers increasing from 176.4M to 402.9M.  The fastest growing region is Latin America at 4.7% per year, followed by Asia/Pacific (4.3% per year), Atlantic (4.1% per year) and Canadian Transborder (3.1% per year).

U.S. Mainline & Foreign Flag Air Carriers

 Passengers by World Region

(Average Annual Percent Growth)

World Region

Calendar Year

2012201320142013-33

Total U.S./Foreign Flag

3.72.64.54.2

   Atlantic

1.61.94.24.1

   Latin America

5.63.04.84.7

   Asia/Pacific

5.23.55.54.3
   Canadian Transborder2.72.23.43.1
  • Domestic mainline passenger real yield (adjusted for inflation) is forecast to increase from 14.10 cents in 2012 to 14.24 cents in 2013 (up 1.0%).  Thereafter, domestic mainline carrier real yield declines at an average rate of 0.5% dropping to 12.85 cents in 2033.  International mainline real yield is forecast to decrease from 14.74 cents in 2012 to 14.23 cents in 2013 (down 3.4%).  Thereafter, international real yield declines at a rate of 0.6% annually, falling to 12.66 cents by 2033.

U.S. Mainline Air Carriers

Real Yield

 (Average Annual Percent Growth)

Region

Fiscal Year

2012201320142013-33

Domestic

1.11.0(0.6)(0.5)

International

2.1(3.4)(0.6)(0.6)
  • U.S. mainline air carrier passenger jet fleet increases from 3,782 aircraft in 2012 to 4,907 aircraft in 2033, an average annual increase of 1.4%.  The fleet is projected to shrink by 1.0% in 2013 (38 aircraft), with all of the decrease attributed to the grounding of less fuel-efficient narrow body aircraft.

Regional Carriers

  • Regional carrier enplanements are forecast to decrease 0.2% to 161.7M in 2013, and grow 2.2% a year thereafter, reaching 250.4M in 2033.

U.S. Regional Air Carrier Enplanements

(Average Annual Percent Growth)

Region

Fiscal Year

2012201320142013-2033

Domestic

(1.7)(0.2)3.12.2

International

30.9(0.2)3.12.2
  • Regional carrier RPMs are forecast to increase 0.4% in 2013 and grow at an average annual rate of 3.2% for the remaining 20 years of the forecast period.
  • The regional carrier passenger aircraft fleet increases from 2,403 aircraft in 2012 to 2,436 aircraft in 2033, an average annual increase of 0.2%.  The fleet is projected to shrink 2.6% in 2013 (63 aircraft).
  • Regional jets increase from 1,645 aircraft in 2012 to 2,082 aircraft in 2033, an annual increase of 0.8%.  All of the increase is attributed to jet aircraft in the 70-90-seat category.

Cargo

  • Total air cargo RTMs (freight/express and mail) increase from 36.4B in 2012 to 89.0B in 2033–up an average of 4.6% a year; domestic RTMs increase 0.8% a year; international RTMs increase 5.7% a year.

U.S. Commercial Air Carriers

Air Cargo Revenue Ton Miles

 (Average Annual Percent)

Region

Fiscal Year

2012201320142013-2033

Domestic

0.1(0.9)1.50.8

International

(3.6)1.17.45.7

Total

(2.4)0.45.54.6
  • The cargo fleet increases from 840 aircraft in 2012 to 1,211 aircraft in 2033, an average increase of 1.8% a year. 

General Aviation

  • The general aviation fleet increases from 220,670 aircraft in 2012 to 246,375 in 2033, growing an average of 0.5% a year.
  • Fixed-wing turbine aircraft grow at a rate of 2.8% per year, fixed-wing piston aircraft decline at a rate of 0.3% per year, and rotorcraft grow at a rate of 2.7% per year.
  • General aviation hours flown are forecast to increase from 24.6M in 2012 to 33.6M in 2033, an average annual growth rate of 1.5% a year.
  • Fixed-wing turbine aircraft hours flown grow at a rate of 3.5% per year, fixed-wing piston aircraft hours flown decline at a rate of 0.5% per year, and rotorcraft hours flown grow at a rate of 2.7% per year.

IV. FAA WORKLOAD FORECASTS         

Operations at Airports with FAA Traffic Control and Contract Tower Service

  • Total operations are forecast to decrease 0.3% to 50.4M in 2013, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.0% for the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 61.1M in 2033.  The average annual growth rate for the entire 21-year forecast period is 0.9%. 
  • Commercial operations decrease 0.4% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 1.6% thereafter, reaching 30.0M in 2033.
  • General aviation operations decrease 0.2% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 0.5% thereafter, totaling 28.5M in 2033.

Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) Operations

  • TRACON operations are forecast to decrease 1.2% to 37.3M in 2013, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.2% for the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 47.2M in 2033.  The average annual growth rate for the entire 21-year forecast period is 1.1%. 
  • Commercial TRACON operations decrease 0.7% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 1.6% thereafter, reaching 29.9M in 2033.
  • General aviation TRACON operations decrease 2.2% in 2013, and grow at a rate of 0.6% thereafter, totaling 14.9M in 2033.

Aircraft Handled at Air Route Traffic Control Centers

  • IFR aircraft handled at FAA air route traffic control centers are forecast to increase to 41.1M (0.4%) in 2013 and then grow 1.8% a year over the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, reaching 58.2M in 2033.
  • Commercial IFR aircraft handled increase from 32.6M in 2012 to 32.8M in 2013 (up 0.7%). Thereafter commercial IFR aircraft handled grows at an average annual rate of 2.0%, reaching 48.8M in 2033.
  • General aviation IFR aircraft handled decrease 1.3% during 2013.  Thereafter, general aviation IFR aircraft handled grow at an average annual rate of 0.8%, reaching 7.5M in 2033.  

   Unless otherwise specified, all years are fiscal years (October 1 through September 30).

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