Late last year, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the third-quarter shipment and billing numbers for the general aviation manufacturing industry. Worldwide, general aviation airplane shipments declined 3.5 percent, from the same period last year, with 1,504 units shipped in the first nine months of 2016 compared to 1,558 units in 2015. Rotorcraft shipments declined 16.0 percent to 615 units compared to 732 units in the same period last year. Combined airplane and rotorcraft billings were $15.9 billion year-to-date in 2016 compared to last year’s $19.1 billion, a contraction of 16.5 percent.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that these numbers are not what we had wanted to see,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “Unfortunately, they reflect the instability of the used aircraft market coupled with complicating global economic and geopolitical factors. What is encouraging is that every GAMA airplane and rotorcraft manufacturer has a new product development program recently completed or currently underway, so optimism for the future runs high.
“We look forward to working with the incoming administration and the new Congress, as well as their counterparts across the globe, to highlight the importance of a vibrant general and business aviation industry with manufacturing, maintenance, and overhaul jobs at its core,” Bunce continued. “We also welcome a focus on making critical infrastructure investments, particularly airports and heliports, to support a safe and growing global aviation system. We stand ready to work with elected and appointed officials on policies that facilitate certification reform and product innovation, and improve the validation and acceptance of products worldwide.”
Turboprop airplane shipments generated a bright spot in the deliveries with 379 shipments, up 1.3 percent from 2015. Piston airplane deliveries declined from 719 units to 696 units. In addition, business jets slipped 7.7 percent from the same period last year, from 465 units in 2015 to 429 units this year. Piston rotorcraft fell 17.6 percent to 168 units shipped. A total of 447 turbine rotorcraft were shipped, a reduction of 15.3 percent versus the same period in 2015.