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Active U.S. Air Carrier and General Aviation Fleet by Type of Aircraft (Number of carriers)

Notes: 

Prior to 1970, aircraft counts included aircraft retained in FAA data systems until the owners requested that they be deregistered.  As a result, thousands of aircraft that had been destroyed over the years remained in the system. Since 1970, annual verification of aircraft registrations is required. Failure to comply with this requirement leads to revocation of the registration certificate and exclusion of the aircraft from the official count of the following year. Listed engine configurations (e.g.,  Two-, Three-, Multi-) represent all applicable combinations for each aircraft type. Totals may not agree with those in other tables as revisions to prior year data are reported at the aggregate level only.

Details may not add up to totals due to rounding in the source.

Estimates from the 2011 GA Survey are currently not available. The FAA is engaged in re-calibration efforts. 2011 data on the table are from FAA's Aviation Forecast estimates.

Beginning in 2004, commuter activity is excluded from all estimates. 

Prior to 2012, estimates for experimental light-sport aircraft were not included in the experimental category. In 2009 and 2010, the totals shown for experimental aircraft were manually calculated by summing the figures from amateur, exhibition, experimental light-sport, and other experimental. Due to the manual summation of experimental total, the percent standard error cannot be calculated.

From 1995 to 2009, numbers for active fleet under air carrier may not add to totals due to different sources. 

Subcategories data under air carrier are no longer provided by the FAA after 2008.

Description: 

KEY: R = revised; U = data are unavailable.

a Air carrier aircraft are aircraft carrying passengers or cargo for hire under 14 CFR 121 (large aircraft-more than 30 seats) and 14 CFR 135 (small aircraft-30 seats or less). This definition is more encompassing than that in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Forecast- jet aircraft, 60 seats or more carrying passengers or cargo for hire. Beginning in 1990, the number of aircraft is the monthly average reported in use for the last three months of the year. Prior to 1990, it was the number of aircraft reported in use during December of a given year. 

b Details may not add to totals due to estimation procedures and rounding. Beginning in 1993, excludes commuters. Prior to 1993, single-engine turboprops were included in Turboprop, Other; single and multiengine turbine rotorcraft were not shown separately; Gliders and Lighter-than-air aircraft were combined into the Other category; and Experimental aircraft were included in the appropriate aircraft type; for example, prior to 1993, the Piston, One engine aircraft type included both experimental and nonexperimental aircraft. Starting in 1993, that aircraft type only includes nonexperimental aircraft. Due to changes in methodology beginning in 1995, estimates may not be comparable to those for 1994 and earlier years. 

c For 1965, total includes 574 turbine aircraft of unspecified subtype.

d For 1965-1975 this category includes multiengine aircraft.

e For 1975, this category includes single-engine aircraft.

Source: 

Air Carriers:

1965: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Statistical Handbook of Aviation, 1966 Edition. (Washington, DC: 1966), table 7.5.

1970: Ibid., Calendar Year 1971. (Washington, DC: 1972), table 5.5.

1975: Ibid., Calendar Year 1975. (Washington, DC: Dec. 31, 1975), table 5.3.

1980: Ibid., Calendar Year 1980. (Washington, DC: Dec. 31, 1980), table 5.2.

1985: Ibid., Calendar Year 1993. FAA-APO-95-5 (Washington, DC: 1995), table 5.2.

1990-94: Ibid., Calendar Year 1996, available at http://www.api.faa.gov/handbook96/toc96.htm as of March 31, 2000, table 5.2.

1995-2015: Department of Transportation, Federal aviation administration, FAA Aerospace Forecasts, tables  21, 22, and 27, available at https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation/aerospace_forecasts/ as of August 08, 2016.

Fixed Wing, Turbojet, Turboprop, Piston, Helicopter:

1965: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Statistical Handbook of Aviation, 1966 Edition. (Washington, DC: 1966), table 7.5.

1970: Ibid., Calendar Year 1971. (Washington, DC: 1972), table 5.5.

1975: Ibid., Calendar Year 1975. (Washington, DC: Dec. 31, 1975), table 5.3.

1980: Ibid., Calendar Year 1980. (Washington, DC: Dec. 31, 1980), table 5.2.

1985: Ibid., Calendar Year 1993. FAA-APO-95-5 (Washington, DC: 1995), table 5.2.

1990-94: Ibid., Calendar Year 1996, available at http://www.api.faa.gov/handbook96/toc96.htm as of March 31, 2000, table 5.2.

1995-2008: Aerospace Industries Association, Aerospace Facts and Figures (Washington DC: Annual Issues), "Active U.S. Air Carrier Fleet," and similar tables in earlier editions.

General Aviation:

1965: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Statistical Handbook of Aviation, 1966 Edition. (Washington, DC: 1966), table 5.1.

1970: Ibid., Calendar Year 1971. (Washington, DC: 1972), table 8.3.

1975: Ibid., Calendar Year 1975. (Washington, DC: Dec. 31, 1975), table 8.4.

1980: Ibid.,  General Aviation Activity and Avionics Survey, Annual Report Calendar Year 1980, FAA-MS-81-5 (Washington, DC: December 1985), table 2-6.

1985: Ibid.,  Annual Summary Report 1994 Data, FAA-APO-95-10 (Washington, DC: 1996), table 1.2.

1990: Ibid., General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity Survey, Calendar Year 1999 (Washington, DC: 2001), table 1.2.

1991: Ibid., General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity Survey, Calendar Year 2002 (Washington, DC: 2004), table 1.2. 

1992-2000:  lbid., General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity Survey (Washington, Annual Issue), table 1.2, available at http://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/general_aviation/ as of July 11, 2012. 

2001-15:  lbid., General Aviation and Air Taxi Activity Survey (Washington, Annual Issue), table 1.1, available at http://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/general_aviation/ as of November 25, 2016. 

Product Type: 
PublicatonNational Transportation Statistics