GA Survey Wants You


Every year for the last 39 years, the FAA has conducted a survey to help estimate the level of general aviation activity. Scott Wagner works for TetraTech, the independent research firm that collects the data. “We’re interested in activities for general aviation and Part 135 aircraft,” he told AVweb this week. “We take a sample of the population and send out surveys to owners and operators.” Data collected includes number of hours flown, fuel type, avionics gear, number of landings, what states the aircraft was flown in and how it was used. “The data informs activity estimates that we send to the FAA,” says Wagner. “For example, how many piston aircraft were flown, for how many hours, in what regions of the country, things like that. It’s used by the FAA to assess safety initiatives and infrastructure needs.”

The survey attempts to reach certain groups at 100 percent, such as rotorcraft and turbine aircraft, while others, such as single-engine piston planes, are reached by a random sample. All are contacted by TetraTech by mail. “It’s kind of invitation-only,” Wagner said. Most of the survey is conducted online. “We generally get a response of 40 percent or more, so we’re pretty happy with that,” Wagner said. “The data we collect is available on the FAA website, so research institutions also use it.” Wagner added that this year’s project is wrapping up, so if you’ve been contacted for data, please send it soon.