What is General Aviation?

General aviation (GA) is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights. The majority of the world’s air traffic falls into this category, and most of the world’s airports serve general aviation exclusively.

General aviation is particularly popular in North America, with over 6,300 airports available for public use by pilots of general aviation aircraft (around 5,300 airports in the U.S., and over 1,000 in Canada). In comparison, scheduled flights operate from around 600 airports in the U.S.[2] According to the U.S. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, general aviation provides more than one percent of the United States’ GDP, accounting for 1.3 million jobs in professional services and manufacturing.

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