A comment posted on the AOPA’s web site made me think about changing priorities:
“General Aviation is in a graveyard spiral […] Fuel prices, aircraft, parts and maintenance costs, and, of course safety are all major factors. As is declining interest in flying. It’s no longer novel or new. On a recent trip, the school children were not interested in my airplane, or my KTM dirt bike. They were interested in my iPhone 5.
Younger school kids are likely more interested in a smart phone because it’s something they can relate to, something they can aspire to get their hands on at their age. That might explain it. But even amongst older people, I notice most are not really interested in airplanes. Planes are something you ride in to get from A to B, like buses. In much the same way, I think interest in cars is declining (at least interest in different brands and models of cars).