Friday, August 26, 2011

Status of General Aviation: Some Notes/Links

Harry R. Clements, The Rise and Fall of General Aviation — An Economists View with Focus on Single Engine Aircraft and the Impact of Airline Deregulation (2000 conference paper)

Matt Thurber, Free Fall: The Unexpected Decline of the Billion Dollar General Aviation Industry (Tab Book, 1995).  Seems to be out of print (Amazon link) Author indicates it was never published.

Janet R. Daly Bednarek and Michael H. Bednarek, Dreams of Flight: General Aviation in the United States.  College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M University Press, 2003. Pp. xviii+191   (Reviewed in Technology and Culture, Volume 45, Number 3, July 2004, pp. 629-630).  "Overexpansion and increased federal regulation precipitated a steep and apparently permanent decline in sales of general aircraft [...] commercial and military aviation interests have largely succeeded in limiting general avia- tion’s influence. [...] Faced with declining numbers of pilots and increasing costs for flight training, aircraft, and maintenance, American general aviation enters its second century facing an uncertain future. Still, interest and enthusiasm among America’s general aviators remain strong, and new technologies such as ultralight aircraft continue to fuel a fascination with powered flight."  (TL 721.4.B38)  Also see Bednarek's bibliography in General Aviation: An Overview.

Joseph J. Corn, The Winged Gospel (OUP, 1983) [TL 521.C643]. 

Dominick Pisano, "The Social and Cultural History of Aviation and Spaceflight" 2003

J.G. Wensveen, Air Transportation: A Management Perspective (6th ed, 2007, link), see section 4, The General Aviation Industry, pp 111ff, for a useful overview.

General Aviation Statistics (AOPA)
FAA Aviation Statistics

James Lardner and Robert Kuttner, Flying Blind: Airline Deregulation Reconsidered (Demos, June 24, 2009).

GAO:  AIRLINE DEREGULATION: Reregulating the Airline Industry Would Likely Reverse Consumer Benefits and Not Save Airline Pensions (2006).

Matt Thurber, Can general aviation reverse its decline (Blog: 03-2011)

Robert Goyer, Is Flying really that Expensive?  (Blog: 03-2011) References an APA whitepaper: "Role of Prices in the Decline and Renewal of General Aviation" (2009).  Both make case that expenses apart from A/C have tracked inflation.  A/C have been 2.5-4x rate of inflation, hourly cost of operation now far exceeds rental rates for most users.  Goyer has another blog post Part 23 Do Over where he mentions a number of experimentals which he would never fly again, but does not list them.  One comment:  "Come on Robert! First you dangle your list of scariest homebuilts right in front of our noses; Then you yank it away again [...] Be a man and fess up the list. Informing the public about designs which you believe top be really scary to fly would be a valuable public service. Perhaps your bosses are more worried about the flood of lawsuits such an admission might cause,"

Kerry Kovarik, A Good Idea Stretched Too Far: Amending the General Aviation Revitalization Act to Mitigate Unintended Inequities (article, 2008) 

Eric A. Helland, Alexander T. Tabarrok, Product Liability and Moral Hazard: Evidence from General Aviation (article, 2008)

Eric Helland and Alex Tabarrok, Crash and Learn: Consumption Externalities and the Reduction of Aircraft Accidents (working paper, 2007)

Phillip J. Kolczynski, GARA: A Status Report (Blog, 2001)

Scott Tarry, "Issue Definition, Conflict Expansion, and Tort Reform: Lessons from the American General Aviation Industry" (article, 2001)

William Keith Stockman, The Crash of General Aviation: A Public Choice Perspective (PhD Dissertation, George Mason University, 1996).  Argues that "rent seekers" are the primary cause of the decline of general aviation.  "The industry and its users have fallen victim to the successful rentseeking of of others and have only recently had any success in reversing this trend.  {MVO notes passage of GARA} Though durable good's models do offer some explanations for the industries woes, the majority of the evidence points to a public choice explanation.  Thus, the industry should look toward public choice solutions if it desires to reverse the current trend"  (p. 8)

Lawrence J. Truitt, Scott E. Tarry, The Rise and Fall of General Aviation: Product Liability, Market Structure, and Technological Innovation (article, 1995)

GARA: The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-298)
The complete text of the 1994 law.

United States Airline Deregulation Act (1978):  Alfred Kahn Overview.