Sunday, October 27, 2019

Update on Demographics of Private Pilots

Back in February 2014 - five and a half years ago - I took a look at the demographics of private pilots in the U.S. based on the FAA's database of Civil Airmen Statistics. What I found then was that the number of private pilots had declined 20% over that time period of 13 years, despite 12% population growth over the same time period.

There has been another 16% decline over the past six years, so the pace of the decline is actually accelerating.

The growth is in extremely old pilots! The 70+ brackets are expanding. (Harrison Ford landed on the taxiway at KSNA in 2017 when he was 75.) There are also slight increases in the very young 16-20 year old private pilots.

Twenty years ago, age 45-49 was the modal age range for private pilots. Six years ago, it was 55-59. Now it's 60-64.

It's surprising to see the attrition of pilots between those three modes. Since there are 50% more private pilots aged 55-64 than 45-54, it could really be a buyer's market for aircraft.

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