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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FAA Sees Latin America as Fastest Growing Aviation Market

Woodrow Bellamy III 

[Aviation Today March 18, 2014] Latin America's commercial Air Transport market is projected to be the fastest growing region in terms of passenger demand over the next two decades, the FAA said in its latest 20-year global aviation forecast. 

Aeromexico 737. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.

According to the forecast, mainline air carrier enplanements in Latin America are expected to grow an average annual rate of 4.5 percent per year through 2034.  The Asia Pacific is projected to grow at 3.9 percent and North America is third at 2.7 percent. 
"The international market is indeed a bright spot as growth in passengers for all world regions is strong, with the Latin region growing fastest and the Pacific region just behind," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said during a speech presenting the forecast before a gathering of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). 
Latin America is also projected to have the most passengers flying to and from the U.S., as the forecast projects the rate of air traffic between the two regions to grow faster than any other market at an annual rate of 4.7 percent per year.  
The forecast indicates positive signs for Latin America's growing aviation industry, which needs an Air Traffic Management (ATM) overhaul and modernized aircraft fleets with new avionics to handle the projected growth in passenger demand and air traffic to and from the region.    
The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is projecting Latin American airlines will post a combined $1 billion profit in 2014, which would be more than double the $400 million profit recorded in 2013. 
US Passenger, Cargo Growth
The forecast also holds positive signs for the growth of U.S. passenger and air cargo growth through 2034. According to the forecast, the total number of people flying on U.S. airlines will increase by 0.8 percent from 2013 levels to 745.5 million in 2014 and grow to 1.15 billion in 2034.
Air cargo traffic in the U.S., measured by Revenue Ton Miles (RTMs) is also projected more than double by 2034 with an average growth rate of 4.1 percent. 
Landings and takeoffs at FAA-operated towers and contract towers are projected to increase from 49.9 million in 2013 to 61.9 million operations in 2034. 
"We anticipate steady growth in passengers and operations.  We expect passengers to grow at an average rate of just over 2 percent, with even higher growth rates in international travel and nearly 4 percent for enplanements," Huerta said regarding the U.S. regional forecast projections.  
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