Boom times reported by GA manufacturers

GA manufacturers recorded the highest first quarter billings in history, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Billings for the industry totaled $4 billion, an increase of 39.7%, compared to $2.9 billion for the first quarter of 2005. Shipments for the first three months of 2006 totaled 845, a 34.1% increase over the 630 airplanes shipped in the first three months of 2005.

Piston-engine aircraft shipments totaled 597 units compared to 434 units delivered in the first quarter of 2005, a 37.6% increase. Turboprop shipments increased from 57 units last year to 59 units this year. Business jet shipments were 189 in the first quarter of 2006, a 36% increase from the 139 units delivered in the first quarter of 2005.

“Based on the encouraging market activity throughout the industry in this first quarter, and the exciting new technologies and products on the horizon, it is hard to not get excited about the future of general aviation,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA’s president and CEO.

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