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Economic Impact Survey: Executive Summary


There are 5,261 public-use airports that can be directly accessed by general aviation. That is more than ten times the number of airports served by scheduled airlines. This makes general aviation uniquely situated to serve the public’s transportation needs.

These public use airports are the only available option for fast, reliable, flexible air transportation to small and rural communities in every corner of the country, providing jobs, serving as a lifeline for small to mid-sized businesses, and providing critical services to remote cities and towns in time of natural disaster or crisis.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the United States has nearly 600,000 pilots, the vast majority of whom fly general aviation aircraft.


In 2005, a comprehensive study by Merge Global, Inc. concluded that employment from GA totaled 1,265,000 jobs in that year.


That same study pegged the national total economic contribution of GA at $150 billion annually.

Additional economic impact can be inferred from the 2200 charter flight companies, 4,144 repair stations, and 569 flight schools operating 4653 aircraft. There are 3,330 fixed based operators, 18 “fractional” ownership providers and 261,806 airframe and power plant specialists.


According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2007 roughly 1 in every 5 large law enforcement agencies had a specialized aviation unit operating at least one fixed-wing plane or helicopter. Aerial law enforcement is used in 46 states.

According to the National agricultural Aviation Association, there are approximately 1,600 aerial application businesses that use general aviation to support their farms and local communities.

In addition, with 46.7 million American living more than an hour away from a Level 1 or 2 trauma center, MedEvac fixed-wing aircraft transport 100,000+ patients over long distances annually which are not accessible by the range of helicopters. MedEvac helicopters transport approximately 400,000 patients annually.

The MedEvac industry employs 4400 pilots, 600 physicians, 5500 nurses, and 5300 paramedics/EMTs staffing MedEvac vehicles, both fixed-wing and helicopter.

State-by-State Economic Impact

Learn about the impact of general aviation on local economies and communities, and how it drives over 1.2 million jobs and billions in economic activity.

Activity In Your State

Visit the Local & State Activity Center to see what is happening in your state.

States which have passed proclamations.

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Issues Center

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Alliance for Aviation Across America

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