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11 Trends In Aviation You Should Know About

If you're a pilot, you'll be impressed by the latest facts about our industry.

The 2017 General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) annual report is now available online. It details general aviation aircraft shipments and trends in pilot certification. These are the most important trends you should know about...

1) For the first time in history, the percentage of female aviators in the United States broke 7% in 2017. That may not sound like much, but that's 3,500 more American female pilots than in 2016.

Haley Howard

2) Cirrus Aircraft shipped 355 piston aircraft in 2017, the most of any manufacturer worldwide.


3) There were 20,620 more student pilots in 2017 than in 2016. That's a trend we should all be proud of!

4) 133 Air Tractors were shipped in 2017. That's 54% more turboprops shipped than Pilatus' 86.


5) For the first time since 2012, the total number of active pilots in the United States broke 600,000.

Flickr/Marcin Wichary

6) California has 59,929 pilots, the most of any state. Florida follows in close second with 59,568.

Kyle Harmon

7) About 1/6th of all pilots in the country have a CFI certificate.


8) Textron Aviation (Cessna Aircraft) is the top seller of business jets in the world, with 180 shipments in 2017. Its next closest rival is Bombardier with 140 shipments.

9) There are 36,600 fewer aviation mechanics today than there were 10 years ago.


10) For the first time since 2009, the number of newly licensed certificated commercial pilots broke 10,000.


11) The average age of airline transport pilots is 50.6 years old. That's the highest average age for ATPs in history.


Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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