Business aviation operations in October for the US and Canada recorded the second-most active month in nearly four years, providing more evidence of a long-awaited, gathering recovery, according to the Argus TraqPak survey.

Overall business aircraft activity in the US and Canada last month grew by 8.1% compared with September and by 2.8% compared with October 2011. The month was the busiest for operations since January 2009, bar a slightly stronger result in March 2011, the TraqPak data says.

The single largest growth in October was posted in the large cabin sector, which was 9.9% higher than September and 4.9% greater than the same month a year ago, according to the survey. It was followed closely by the mid-size cabin jet sector, and trailed by small cabin jets and turboprops.

TraqPak monitors all aircraft arrival and departures for instrument flight rules flights in the US and Canada.

Flight activity is considered a leading indicator of sales trends in the business aircraft sector. The entire market remains stubbornly below its pre-2009 peak, although losses have been significantly less in the large cabin jet segment.

Although flight and sales activity have noticeably increased since August in the US and Canada, manufacturers still do not expect a strong sales recovery in 2013.

Embraer has attributed market stagnation to cash hoarding by large companies and high-net worth individuals. Hawker Beechcraft, meanwhile, fears that changing market dynamics in the aircraft financing sector point to a structural change in demand in the business and general aviation market.

Source: Flight International