General aviation (GA) is defined as all aviation other than military and commercial airlines. Years ago, general aviation - in truth, all aviation - was a conglomeration of barnstorming flights, stunt flying, occasional group pleasure trips, and in some cases, only for the adventurous.
But general aviation has come a long way in the past 100 years and is now an important and dynamic industry. Carrying 166 million passengers annually on aircraft ranging from two-seat trainers to helicopters and intercontinental business jets, general aviation represents millions of jobs, billions of dollars in economic output and the growth of thousands of cities, businesses, services and manufacturing facilities around the world. Learn more about GA's economic impact.
In some way, general aviation reaches every segment of the world population and touches people in many different ways. To the business man, it means efficient, productive means of transportation. For the farmer, GA means increased crop yield and more efficient fertilizing. To those in small towns, it not only helps bring the mail, but it also means new job opportunities and new dollars brought in by industry which utilizes the general aviation airport. In other areas, general aviation fights fires, carries patients, and performs aerial mapping and pipeline patrol.
General aviation is an integral and vital part of a magnificent system operated for the public benefit. It is providing services and fulfilling needs that are more essential to the world economy than ever before. It is millions of people working to bring the advantages of the airplane to communities around the globe.