As Congress begins to debate the shape of this year’s aviation reauthorization bill, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts that U.S. passenger volume will rise to 1.2 billion in 2020, from 741 million last year, an average annual gain of 3.5%. Last year, mainline carriers’ enplanements dipped 0.5%, while regional carriers’ traffic rose 4%.
In its latest set of aerospace forecasts, released March 15, FAA says aircraft operations—takeoffs and landings—declined 3% in 2006, to 61.1 million. One factor was a cut in commercial airlines’ capacity.
Operations, a good indicator of the load put on airport runways and taxiways, will increase an average of 2% annually over the next 14 years, reaching 81. 1 million in 2020, FAA says.