According to Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, the Federal Aviation Administration is exploring the idea of allowing some fly-for-hire operations using light sport and ultralight aircraft. Johnson says it will be at least a few years before any policy changes are made.
Using information provided by Rotax Aircraft Engines, which builds about 80% of the engines used in new one- and two-seat aircraft worldwide, blogger Dan Johnson concludes that the light sport aircraft segment represents the largest unit volume share of all aircraft delivered each year worldwide. "Americans are typically unaware that the rest of the world flies so many light aircraft," Johnson writes.
Blogger Dan Johnson writes that an AOPA eBrief poll shows that the majority of pilots in the U.S. are interested in flying modern light sport aircraft. Johnson breaks down the numbers and determines that to fulfill LSA market potential would require producing around 368 aircraft per year for the next 10 years. "My speculation using the AOPA eBrief survey numbers is that the future for LSA remains bright," writes Johnson.
The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association has taken a new approach to assessing its impact on aviation. According to group President Dan Johnson, in the eight years since light sport aircraft became a reality, there are approximately 8,000 planes flying in the U.S. "We think that's a pretty significant number," Johnson said.
The idea to create the light sport aircraft category was a "stroke of brilliance," writes Flying's editor in chief Robert Goyer. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Manufacturers were expected to save money with the simplified certification process and pass the savings to the consumer. The most noteworthy benefit of an LSA is "that the pilot in command needs no FAA medical certificate," Goyer writes.