Biz Traffic Up

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Business aircraft activity is up considerably, bucking a trend that saw an overall decline in general aviation activity (it's down 3 percent overall) in the U.S. according to FlightAware. In its monthly analysis of aircraft movements, the popular online tracking and data site says private jet traffic is up a whopping 8.8 percent in February, compared to the same month in 2009. Turboprop was up 2.2 percent but the tale of the tape was in charter and fractional operations. Charters were up 16.5 percent and fractional traffic 6.5 percent, perhaps reflecting a shift from ownership to charters for economic and public relations reasons. Every other sector of GA activity measured by FlightAware was down.

Single and multi piston operations were off a staggering 14.1 percent and private operations lagged by 4 percent. As might be expected, Wichita Mid-Continent Airport saw the biggest overall reduction in traffic with 15.8 percent fewer movements. Fort Lauderdale Executive was up 23.3 percent. FlightAware also tracks movements by type and the Learjet 40 and 45 posted the highest gains. And whether it's a sign of the times or a reflection of the changing market at the low end, the Cessna 152 saw the biggest overall reduction in use at 35.1 percent.

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Read the full FlightAware report (PDF)