Due to the chronic pilot shortage, more than 75 percent of airports in the United States have suffered and have not been able to provide proper service, according to recent research. According to the Regional Airline Association (RAA), 76 percent of U.S. airports have been affected by the pilot shortage, with more than 500 regional aircraft grounded and a “retraction of air service in 329 localities”
RAA CEO Faye Malarkey Black said, “14 airports have lost all scheduled commercial air service – a number that is still rising.” In total, U.S. domestic air operations declined by 18.4 percent from October 2019 to October 2022.
“We are on the precipice of a wholesale collapse of small community air service,” Black said. “It has already begun, with 60 U.S. airports losing more than half their air service since 2019. Every policymaker in the Administration and Congress must set aside politics and address this crisis today.”
324 commercial airports in the United States decreased flight frequency between 2019 and 2022, with 25 big hub airports and 23 medium hub airports facing a 16 percent drop in traffic. Additionally, the RAA revealed that 14 airports have lost all commercial aviation services since October of this year.
Last month’s domestic flights were 18.4% lower than in October 2019, although the total number of seats for domestic U.S. operations decreased by just 5.3%. According to a report published earlier this month by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), September passenger traffic increased 57 percent compared to September 2021, bringing worldwide passenger traffic to 73.8 percent of September 2019 levels.