For Immediate Release

March 13, 2014
Contact: Henry J. Price
Phone: (202) 267-3883


I. 2013 SUMMARY: ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND AIR TRAVEL

  • U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 1.6%; world GDP increased 2.1%.
  • Domestic mainline yields increased 2.4% while international yields increased 0.3% in 2013. In real terms (adjusted for inflation in FY13$), domestic yields increased 0.8% and international yields decreased 1.3%.
  • Domestic enplanements on mainline and regional air carriers increased from 653.8M in 2012 to 654.3M (0.1%) in 2013. Domestic mainline carrier enplanements increased 0.8% while domestic regional carrier enplanements decreased 2.2%. International enplanements on mainline and regional air carriers increased from 82.9M in 2012 to 85.1M (2.6%) in 2013. Mainline carrier international enplanements were up 2.9% while regional carrier international enplanements declined 5.9%.
  • Domestic RPMs by mainline and regional air carriers increased from 577.7B in 2012 to 583.9B (1.1%) in 2013. Domestic mainline carrier RPMs increased 1.5% and domestic regional carrier RPMs decreased 1.9%. International RPMs by US carriers increased from 244.6B in 2012 to 250.3B (2.3%) in 2013. Total system RPMs increased from 822.2B in 2012 to 834.1B (1.4%) in 2013. Total mainline carrier RPMs increased by 1.8% while total regional carrier RPMs decreased by 1.8%.
  • U.S. commercial air carriers (including passenger and cargo) reported an operating profit of $10.8B in 2013, compared to an operating profit of $7.6B in 2012. Operating revenues increased 0.8% in 2013, while operating expenses decreased 0.9%.
  • In 2013 total landings and takeoffs at combined FAA and contract towers were down 1.3% from 2012. Air carrier activity decreased by 0.8% while commuter/air taxi activity decreased by 2.1%. General aviation activity dropped 1.2% while military aircraft activity dropped 1.0%. 

 II. ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS FOR FAA FORECASTS

  • U.S. Real GDP is forecast to increase from $15.6T in 2013 to $26.5T in 2034, 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 $55.8T to $107.3T.

 Note: All specified years are fiscal years (October 1 through September 30).

GDP by World Region (Average Annual Percent Growth)
World RegionFiscal YearCalendar Year
2013201420152014-342013201420152014-34
U.S1.62.33.22.51.62.13.32.5
WorldNananana2.13.03.53.2
CanadaNananana1.72.42.72.4
Europe/Afr/MENananana0.81.92.42.4
Latin AmericaNananana2.73.64.14.0
Asia/PacificNananana4.44.75.04.3
  • Inflation is projected to increase 1.5% in 2013 and remain moderate over the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, averaging 2.0% annually.

III. AVIATION ACTIVITY FORECASTS          

Mainline Air Carrier and Regionals

  • Total mainline air carrier and regional RPMs are forecast to increase from 834.1B in 2013 to 1.47T in 2034, an average annual rate of 2.7%. Domestic RPMs are projected to increase 0.9% in 2014 and then grow an average of 2.2% per year during the remaining 20-year forecast period. International RPMs are forecast to increase 2.8% in 2014 and then grow an average of 4.0% per year for the rest of the forecast period. 
  • Total mainline air carrier and regional enplanements are forecast to increase from 739.3M in 2013 to 1.15B in 2034, an average annual rate of 2.1%. Domestic enplanements are projected to increase 0.6% in 2014 and then grow an average of 1.9% per year during the remaining 20-year forecast period. International enplanements are forecast to increase 2.8% in 2014 and then grow an average of 3.9% per year for the rest of the forecast period. 

Mainline Air Carriers

  • U.S. mainline carrier domestic RPMs are forecast to increase 0.7% in 2014 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 increase 0.4% in 2014. For the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, enplanements grow at an average annual rate of 1.9%, reaching 732.5M in 2034. 
  • U.S. mainline carrier international RPMs are forecast to increase 2.8% in 2014 and grow at an average annual rate of 4.0% for the remaining 20 years of the forecast period. U.S. mainline carrier enplanements are forecast to increase 2.9% in 2014, and then grow an average of 3.9% per year thereafter, reaching 183.3M in 2034. The fastest growing region is Latin America (4.5% per year), followed by Asia/Pacific (3.9% per year), and the Atlantic (2.7% per year). 
U.S. Mainline Air Carriers: Enplanements by World Region (Average Annual Percent Growth)
World RegionFiscal Year
2013201420152014-34
Domestic0.80.43.31.9
International1.52.84.53.9
Atlantic0.43.13.02.7
Latin America4.73.95.14.5
Asia/Pacific2.4(0.9)5.34.1
System1.10.73.52.3
  • Total passengers to/from the U.S. (U.S. and foreign flag carriers) are projected to increase 3.7% in 2014 (calendar year). The average annual rate of growth between 2014 and 2034 is 4.2%, with passengers increasing from 190.4M to 434.8M. The fastest growing region is Latin America at 4.7% per year, followed by Asia/Pacific (4.3% per year), Atlantic (4.0% per year) and Canadian Transborder (3.2% per year).
U.S. Mainline & Foreign Flag Air Carriers: Passengers by World Region (Average Annual Percent Growth)
World RegionCalendar Year
2013201420152014-34
Total U.S./Foreign Flag4.43.75.34.2
Atlantic3.21.95.54.1
Latin America5.64.55.04.7
Asia/Pacific4.96.76.34.3
Canadian Transborder3.62.24.03.2
  • Domestic mainline passenger real yield (adjusted for inflation) is forecast to increase from 14.42 cents in 2013 to 14.63 cents in 2014 (up 1.5%) Thereafter, domestic mainline carrier real yield declines at an average rate of 0.5% dropping to 13.13 cents in 2034. International mainline real yield is forecast to increase from 14.76 cents in 2013 to 14.78 cents in 2014 (up 0.1%). Thereafter, international real yield declines at a rate of 0.6% annually, falling to 13.11 cents by 2034.
U.S. Mainline Air Carriers: Real Yield (Average Annual Percent Growth)
RegionFiscal Year
2013201420152014-34
Domestic0.81.5(0.3)(0.5)
International(1.3)0.1(0.6)(0.6)
  • U.S. mainline air carrier passenger jet fleet increases from 3,774 aircraft in 2013 to 5,112 aircraft in 2034, an average annual increase of 1.5%. The fleet is projected to increase by 0.8% in 2014 (30 aircraft), with increases in both the narrow body and wide body fleet.

Regional Carriers

  • Regional carrier enplanements are forecast to increase 1.3% to 160.4M in 2014, and grow 1.9% a year thereafter, reaching 233.6M in 2034.
U.S. Regional Air Carrier Enplanements (Average Annual Percent Growth)
RegionFiscal Year
2013201420152014-2034
Domestic(2.2)1.33.31.9
International(5.9)1.33.31.9
  • Regional carrier RPMs are forecast to increase 1.8% in 2014 and grow at an average annual rate of 2.3% for the remaining 20 years of the forecast period.
  • The regional carrier passenger aircraft fleet decreases from 2,213 aircraft in 2013 to 2,141 aircraft in 2034, an average annual decrease of 0.2%. The fleet is projected to shrink 0.5% in 2014 (11 aircraft).
    - Regional jets increase from 1,642 aircraft in 2013 to 1,953 aircraft in 2034, 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 34.8B in 2013 to 81.0B in 2034–up an average of 4.1% a year; domestic RTMs increase 1.4% a year; international RTMs increase 5.2% a year.
U.S. Commercial Air Carriers: Air Cargo Revenue Ton Miles (Average Annual Percent)
RegionFiscal Year
2013201420152014-2034
Domestic0.71.22.11.4
International(7.5)0.68.85.4
Total(4.8)0.86.44.3
  • The cargo fleet increases from 740 aircraft in 2013 to 1,182 aircraft in 2034, an average increase of 2.3% a year.

General Aviation

  • The general aviation fleet increases from 202,865 aircraft in 2013 to 225,700 in 2034, growing an average of 0.5% a year.
    - Fixed-wing turbine aircraft grow at a rate of 2.4% per year, fixed-wing piston aircraft decline at a rate of 0.4% per year, and rotorcraft grow at a rate of 2.6% per year.
  • General aviation hours flown are forecast to increase from 24.0M in 2013 to 32.4M in 2034, an average annual growth rate of 1.4% a year.
    - Fixed-wing turbine aircraft hours flown grow at a rate of 3.3% per year, fixed-wing piston aircraft hours flown decline at a rate of 0.6% per year, and rotorcraft hours flown grow at a rate of 2.8% per year.


IV. FAA WORKLOAD FORECASTS

Operations at Airports with FAA Traffic Control and Contract Tower Service

  • Total operations are forecast to increase 0.8% to 50.3M in 2014, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.0% for the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 61.9M in 2034. The average annual growth rate for the entire 21-year forecast period is 1.0%. 
    - Commercial operations increase 0.4% in 2012, and grow at a rate of 1.8% thereafter, reaching 30.7M in 2034.
    - General aviation operations increase 1.4% in 2014, and grow at a rate of 0.5% thereafter, totaling 28.7M in 2034.

Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) Operations

  • TRACON operations are forecast to remain unchanged at 37.0M in 2014, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.3% for the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 47.9M in 2034. The average annual growth rate for the entire 21-year forecast period is 1.2%. 
    - Commercial TRACON operations increase 0.1% in 2014, and grow at a rate of 1.7% thereafter, reaching 30.7M in 2034.
    - General aviation TRACON operations decrease 0.2% in 2014, and grow at a rate of 0.7% thereafter, totaling 15.0M in 2034.

Aircraft Handled at Air Route Traffic Control Centers

  • IFR aircraft handled at FAA air route traffic control centers are forecast to increase to 40.2M (0.6%) in 2014 and then grow 1.7% a year over the remaining 20 years of the forecast period, reaching 56.5M in 2034.
    - Commercial IFR aircraft handled increase from 31.9M in 2013 to 32.1M in 2014 (0.9%). Thereafter commercial IFR aircraft handled grow at an average annual rate of 1.9%, reaching 47.4M in 2034.
    - General aviation IFR aircraft handled decrease 0.6% during 2014. Thereafter, general aviation IFR aircraft handled grow at an average annual rate of 0.7%, reaching 7.4M in 2034.

###