The FAA Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years 2015 to 2035 projects Revenue Passenger Mile (RPM) growth for U.S. air carriers (airlines) to average 2.5 percent per year over the 20-year forecast period. RPM, the aviation standard for measuring air travel volume, represents one paying passenger traveling one mile.
At the same time, the report predicts that U.S. air carrier Load Factors to grow to 84.2 percent by 2035 from an estimated 83.4 percent in 2014. Load Factor represents the average percentage of seats filled in commercial passenger aircraft.
The FAA forecast projects passenger growth to average 2.0 percent per year, reaching one billion passengers in 2029, and 1.14 billion by 2035. U.S. airlines served an estimated 756.3 million passengers in 2014, up by 2.3 percent from the 2013 level.
“To help the FAA and the aerospace system better prepare for the forecasted growth and future changes, the FAA and industry are working together to implement the NextGen air traffic modernization plan,” officials say.
Late last year, the FAA and industry unveiled the NextGen Priorities Joint Implementation Plan. Under the plan, the agency and industry share responsibility to meet specific milestones, locations, timelines, and metrics for “high priority, high readiness” NextGen initiatives. These initiatives include: Multiple Runway Operations; Performance Based Navigation using satellites to move aircraft more quickly from point “A” to point “B;” and improved Surface and Data Communications.
“The FAA and industry are continuing to deploy NextGen technologies and procedures to ensure that the nation’s aviation system can safely and efficiently meet our growing airspace demands.”
Air cargo traffic, which places growing demands on the U.S. airspace system, also is expected grow to 72.6 billion by 2035 at an average annual growth rate of 3.6 percent during the forecast period. Air cargo traffic is measured by Revenue Ton Miles (RTMs), or one ton of cargo flown one mile.
In addition, landings and take-offs at FAA-operated towered airports and FAA-contracted towered airports are expected to increase from an estimated 49.6 million operations in 2014 to 59.9 million operations in 2035, an average rate of 0.9 percent per year.
For more, be sure to visit the Air Traffic Control (http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/air-traffic-control-airport-infrastructure.html) and Regulations (http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/avionics-executive/standards-regulations-certifications.html) Topic Centers.