Australian Aircraft Activity


This annual survey covers all Australian registered aircraft used in the Commercial Air Transport (CAT) and General Aviation (GA) sectors of the Australian aviation industry.

The CAT sector is made up of scheduled commercial air transport and non-scheduled commercial air transport.

The GA sector is made up of all flying activity in Australian-registered aircraft other than commercial air transport. The major categories of flying are aerial work, own use business flying, instructional flying, sport and pleasure flying and other flying. In addition, the sport aviation segment of GA includes operations in ultralight aircraft, gliders, hang gliders and gyrocopters.

The basic measure of General Aviation is flying hours. All owners of VH registered aircraft are surveyed annually and asked to report hours flown and landings by each aircraft in various categories of operation. Response to this year's collection was 79.5 per cent.

The survey results are merged with details from the civil aircraft register, which gives access to other information such as aircraft type, engine and fuel type, country and year of manufacture, etc.

Aircraft registered to Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) have been included in the annual General Aviation Activity Survey since 2020. Responses were received for 77.1 per cent of aircraft registered to RA-Aus. Statistics for the rest of the sport aviation segment of GA are collected from self-administrating associations. Like the rest of GA, flying hours are the prime measure of activity.

Key Indicators

Total hours flown in Australia by Australian owned and operated aircraft increased by 23.7 per cent in 2022 to 3.23 million hours.

Commercial Air Transport hours flown by VH-registered aircraft increased by 44.7 per cent to 1.60 million hours. Hours flown by scheduled commercial air transport increased by 75.0 per cent to 1.09 million hours, while hours flown by non-scheduled commercial air transport increased by 5.7 per cent to 511,249 hours.

General aviation hours flown by VH-registered aircraft increased by 11.3 per cent to 1.28 million hours. There where increases in Sport and pleasure flying (up 27.9 per cent to 223,185 hours), Instructional flying (up 11.1 per cent to 337,090 hours), Own use business flying (up 10.5 per cent to 136,934 hours) and Aerial Work (up 8.3 per cent to 548,027 hours).

Sport aviation (ultralights, gliders, hang gliders and gyrocopters) activity generally experience large swings in activity from year to year. In 2022, sport aviation activity decreased 2.2 per cent to 353,094 hours.

Hours Flown in Australian Aircraft Activity (000's)–years ended December

2021 2022
Commercial air transport Scheduled 623.9 1,091.5
  Non-scheduled 483.7 511.2
Total Commercial air transport   1,107.6 1,602.7
General Aviation (VH)* Aerial work 506.2 548.0
  Own Use Business 123.9 136.9
  Instructional flying 303.4 337.1
  Sport & pleasure flying 174.5 223.2
  Other flying 39.8 32.3
Total General Aviation (VH)*   1,147.8 1,277.5
Sport Aviation (non-VH)*   360.9 353.1
Total hours flown   2,616.3 3,233.3

*VH aircraft are registered with CASA

*non-VH aircraft are registered with self-administrating associations