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These States Top the Charts for Private Aviation

California, Texas, and Florida are home to more private aircraft and accompanying accoutrement than any other state in the union.

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More Californians, Floridians, and Texans own private aircraft than residents in the other 47 states. Data gathered by the Federal Aviation Administration and published by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) show that California, Texas, and Florida are by far the most active states for private flights. In fact, No. 3 Florida had more than twice as many hours in the air as No. 4 Oklahoma. What makes these three states so private-flight friendly?

Favorable flying weather might be one reason; an abundance of airports could be another (Texas ranks second in the country in that category, and California third). Or maybe it’s simply because they are the country’s three most populous states. “When you compare the states’ activity, do so in the context of population,” says Jens Hennig, GAMA’s vice president of operations.

California, he points out, accounts for about 12 percent of the country’s population and, with nearly 21,000 aircraft, 10 percent of the country’s private-aviation fleet. Florida makes up about 6.4 percent of the country’s population, and its residents own about 6.9 percent of the collective private fleet in the States. Those correlations make sense, especially when combined with shared friendly-sky statistics such as plentiful airstrips and sunny days.

State

Active Private Aircraft

Hours Flown

Airstrips

Alabama 4,418 504,000 98
Alaska 5,882 696,000 408
Arizona 5,909 809,000 79
Arkansas 2,879 298,000 99
California 20,972 2,408,000 257
Colorado 5,468 654,000 76
Connecticut 1,613 204,000 23
Delaware 1,307 198,000 11
Florida 14,543 2,034,000 127
Georgia 5,659 609,000 110
Hawaii 473 152,000 14
Idaho 2,867 302,000 119
Illinois 5,077 525,000 115
Indiana 3,679 408,000 107
Iowa 2,868 216,000 121
Kansas 4,176 402,000 141
Kentucky 1,431 111,000 60
Louisiana 2,807 622,000 75
Maine 1,090 88,000 68
Maryland 2,284 194,000 37
Massachusetts 2,307 223,000 40
Michigan 5,366 375,000 228
Minnesota 4,388 493,000 154
Mississippi 2,063 262,000 80
Missouri 3,985 377,000 132
Montana 2,385 226,000 121
Nebraska 2,175 225,000 86
Nevada 2,589 332,000 49
New Hampshire 1,073 85,000 25
New Jersey 2,852 376,000 46
New Mexico 2,238 155,000 61
New York 5,911 698,000 148
North Carolina 5,527 501,000 112
North Dakota 1,480 332,000 89
Ohio 5,250 662,000 170
Oklahoma 4,068 822,000 140
Oregon 5,077 776,000 97
Pennsylvania 5,331 486,000 132
Rhode Island 366 46,000 8
South Carolina 2,258 171,000 68
South Dakota 1,229 134,000 74
Tennessee 3,460 365,000 81
Texas 20,143 2,251,000 391
Utah 2,909 433,000 46
Vermont 523 37,000 16
Virginia 4,064 466,000 66
Washington 6,943 540,000 137
West Virginia 1,021 60,000 120
Wisconsin 5,316 423,000 133
Wyoming 1,219 111,000 41

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