Pistons Power General Aviation Shipments In 2003
One of my favorite
"curses" goes something like "...may you live in interesting
times." It can also, occasionally, be looked upon as a blessing. At
the well-attended and exquisitely crafted 2004 GA outlook meeting
in Washington, DC, GAMA's president Ed Bolen pronounced the 2003
aviation year as "A Challenging Year."
The day's brief revealed some pretty dismal numbers...Bizjet
sales down 23.4% from the year before... employment down 10.3%,
billings down 15.5%... all in all it was GA's worst showing since
About the best anyone could say for 2003 was that it was over...
and much better times seemed to be on the horizon thanks to bonus
depreciation allowances, better economic times, new and innovative
airframes/avionics, and less used aircraft available on the market
to compete with new aircraft sales.
But... if there was a silver lining in all this... it came from
the single-engine GA community. GAMA announced that shipments of
piston-engine airplanes increased 9.5 percent in 2003. The strong
growth in the piston-engine market largely offsets a decline in
shipments of turboprop airplanes and business jets, keeping total
industry shipments essentially unchanged from the previous year at
2,686 units. Total industry billings, however, declined
15.5 percent to $9.99 billion.
According to GAMA Chairman Clay Jones, general aviation
manufacturers believe “the impressive strength of the piston
segment in 2003 is an early indicator of a broader turnaround in
all segments of general aviation.”
Jones credited a provision in last year’s tax bill,
commonly known as “bonus depreciation,” with
stimulating many recent airplane orders. He said extending the
provision, which is set to sunset at the end of this year, is
GAMA’s top legislative priority.
YEAR END SHIPMENTS OF AIRPLANES - MANUFACTURED
YEAR END SHIPMENTS OF AIRPLANES -
MANUFACTURED IN THE U.S.
ANN is preparing an analysis of the meeting's info and data for
presentation over the next day or so... more info to come. GAMA is
a trade association headquartered in Washington, DC representing
approximately 50 manufacturers of general aviation aircraft,
engines, avionics and related equipment worldwide. GAMA's members
also operate fleets of aircraft, fixed based operations at many
airports, and pilot training and maintenance training