The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has acknowledged the decline in airline passenger traffic so far in 2009, but forecasts that the US airlines will grow again soon.
- The agency says that traffic will pick up again as we approach 2010, with domestic boardings growing 2.3 percent a year to reach 690.2 million by 2025.
- International boardings on the big carriers and smaller regionals will grow 4.3 percent a year from 2010 through 2025.
- The FAA forecast that total enplanements will hit 1.1 billion in 2025, up from 757.4 million last year.
- The FAA also expects that the general-aviation fleet will grow 1 percent a year, from 234,015 in 2008 to 275,230 aircraft in 2025.
- The agency, which runs the nation’s air traffic control system, said it expects its workload to decrease 5.7 percent this year and then grow 1.5 percent a year through 2025.
It is encouraging to hear what Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has to say on the subject: “A vibrant, efficient and green aviation system will play a key role in our nation’s economic recovery.”
The economy is sure to recover, and with it the airline industry. It is a cycle that has been repeated several times just in my own airline career, and I’m glad that I took advantage of it. I was trained and prepared when the hiring opportunities presented by the upswing of that cycle began. The people preparing now for this upswing in the cycle will be glad that they did too.