GA sales down last year, but optimism up

Manufacturers of general aviation aircraft saw a downturn in deliveries last year, but face the coming year with optimism, calling on governments not to stifle industry work to rebuild by placing new or unnecessary regulations which might have unintended consequences.

At the annual “State of the Industry” report by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), industry spokesmen said total shipments for 2010 were 2,015 aircraft, down 11.4% from 2009. Billings however were up 1.2% to $19.7 billion. Percentage-wise, piston aircraft showed the smallest decline from 963 to 889, a drop of 7.7%. Turboprops fell 17.7% from 441 to 363, and business jets dropped 12.3% from 870 to 763.

GAMA’s current chairman, John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon, said markets other than North America and Europe are showing signs of economic recovery and aircraft sales usually lag a year or two behind economic recoveries. Flying hours are steadily rising, he said, and the United States has two new tax provisions in place that will help the industry to recover. Business jet activity climbed 10.8% between 2009 and 2010.

Pete Bunce, GAMA’s president and CEO, said the industry recognizes current government economic problems but said actions to reduce expenditures must not bring unexpected consequences. He said the next generation transportation system (NextGen) is so vital the industry is willing to take a tax increase to assure its continued and rapid development. Manufacturers face unique circumstances, he said, of being dependent on government certification before bringing products or changes to market and called for government to fill the shortage of engineers, and have better cooperation between industry and government in aviation security and environment matters.

For the industry to move ahead, Bunce called for a more efficient government-industry relationship for developing rules and certification of products.

For more information: GAMA.aero

Comments

  1. Canada is having the same problem as the U.S.! Buttonville Airport just north of Toronto is closing mainly due to government interference! It has the largest training in Toronto Airways , can handle business jets and a number of FBO’s who will have no where to go! Edmonton Alberta is closing the Municipal airport while the International airport is at least thirty miles south of the city!

    It seems that general aviation is fighting an uphill battle! But where do these smart people expect pilots to come from? It is a little early for robots to fly the passenger plane to and fro!

    Dick Chapman

  2. Kent Misegades says:

    “GAMA’s current chairman, John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon, said markets other than North America and Europe are showing signs of economic recovery and aircraft sales usually lag a year or two behind economic recoveries.”

    The only problem is, there is NO economic recovery in the U.S., despite the federal governments massive smoke-and-mirror effort. As long as our so-called leaders attempt to use a printing press to strengthen the economy, it is doomed to its ultimate collapse. The sole reason for optimism are the sweeping changes coming due to the elections last November. GA should not expect any help from a recovering economy for some years yet, but continue to focus on improving productivity, encouraging innovation and cost-savings among employees, and using every chance to fight higher taxes and regulation. GAMA, AOPA and others just agreed to higher aviation fuel taxes – pray tell, how does this help aviation? It just puts another nail in the coffin of the lower end of GA. Kill it off, and you can forget the higher end.

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