General aviation aircraft shipments down

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association stated on May 5 that, in the first three months of 2009, deliveries of general aviation airplanes totaled 462 units, a 41.1% drop from the same period last year, with industry billings falling 18.2% to $4.34 billion.

“This is an extremely difficult time for our industry,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are dealing first and foremost with the severe negative effects of a worldwide economic downturn, but also with unwarranted criticism focused on the industry. The result has been the cancellation of orders for new airplanes and the loss of more than 15,000 high-paying jobs for American workers over the past several months. The reality is that the U.S. general aviation industry leads the world in innovation and remains one of the few American industries with a positive balance of trade.”

Bunce added, “We will continue to work with governments around the world to recognize that general aviation can play a key role in propelling the economic recovery.”

The piston airplane segment was down 55.1% in the first quarter, with 179 units delivered as compared to 399 in the first three months of 2008. The turboprop segment was the only one that experienced growth in the first quarter, with 92 delivered, up from 89 during the same period in 2008, for a 3.4% increase. Business jet shipments fell 35.7% in the first quarter with 191 airplanes delivered, compared to 297 in the first quarter of 2008.

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