Dramatic Rise in US Air Travel Forecasted
Cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages are likely to continue to play major roles in airline passenger travel increasing by over 60 percent over the next two decades.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now projecting that airline passenger traffic will grow from 732 million in 2012 to 1.2 billion in 2032.
The FAA is pointing to this anticipated growth as why it is so important to develop and implement NextGen, a satellite based air traffic control system to replace the country’s aging radar ground based system.
By using GPS technology NextGen is supposed to increase capacity and decrease gridlock by enabling planes to safely fly closer together and airports to operate more efficiently.
Many experts agree with the FAA’s forecasted increase in airline passengers pointing to the backlog of Airbus and Boeing airplane orders as well as anticipated growth of the global economy. Historically the propensity for air travel has increased as income rises.
Another issue the country has yet to face is how to handle the forecasted increase in traffic at airports. Already, certain airports are chronically congested and have major physical constraints. LaGuardia is one such airport that is maxed out and will not be able to be expanded in the future.
Opportunities exist in many of the country’s smaller airports which are currently underutilized. By moving traffic to those airports we could handle more air travel without having to build additional runways and/or airports.
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