Some of you might be wondering why I’m righting a blog about the future of general aviation because these blogs are supposed to be related to student life at Embry-Riddle. But, what about life after Embry-Riddle? I plan to stay in general aviation as a career and I am a huge general aviation proponent and believe it is a vital component to the transportation system around the globe. It is a pure form of time travel, and when someone is lacking a bit of time and needs to get from Point A to Point B more efficiently, regularly, general aviation is a the go-to to provide that service.
The GA industry has sure evolved since its major inception just after the Second World War, and it is still evolving today. Just like its big brother, the airline industry, competition across the GA market on the big scale has decreased, but it is still extremely strong today. One reason it is so strong is because of the advent of growth in the experimental aircraft category, which continues to pave the way for new, feasible aviation technologies. Parts being non-certified doesn’t always mean bad things, unlike their general connotations. Non-certified parts are generally cheaper and of the same quality as their certified counterparts, and sometimes they’re identical to the same, more expensive piece!
Consumer electronics are another revolutionary in the aviation industry as well. The onset of the true Electronic Flight Bag age is here, and that was all because of the iPad. No longer are the days of purchasing new charts every 56 days, just click “download” in ForeFlight and updated charts are at your finger tips. Cell phones are also being used for the same application, and that sector is only going to grow like the size of their new screens. One other consumer electronic device has revitalized flying, and that is the GoPro. Capturing everything aviation, the fish-eyed GoPro is making waves and bringing new people to the industry, young and old. Inflight wifi is also the next big thing that is coming to light airplanes, and hopefully soon. Costs are going down on that technology as developments are being made. I really think that will spark new interest in the common man with new found connectivity while on the go.
With all of these positives, there has to be a negative, and that comes in the sense of rapidly growing costs. No longer are the days of ads with $5000 airplanes, now $500,000 gets you a nice traveling machine. Fuel costs and associated airport fees are also skyrocketing which is only driving down the activity in and around general aviation.
I wrote this because I truly care about general aviation. I grew up around it and always aspired of owning a company in this industry sector because of all of the great things that come from it. True innovation happens here, and the gift of flight is given to so many here as well. I cannot wait to see what the future brings to general aviation!