In a new study titled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2011-2020,” Forecast International projects that general aviation and utility aircraft manufacturers will produce more than 24,000 aircraft worth approximately $28 billion in the coming 10 years.
The Connecticut-based market research firm, which excluded the production of business jets and light sport aircraft from this study, notes that economic growth in the United States and Europe has undergone a period of slow growth since the end of the global financial crisis and recession. As the two regions represent the two primary markets for turboprop and piston-powered general aviation/utility aircraft, the tepid economic recovery in both areas has hurt growth in the general aviation market segment, according to company officials. Demand from other areas of the globe with higher economic growth, including emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil, will not grow quickly enough to replace lost orders from customers in North America and Europe.
Production is forecast to climb slightly from 2011 through 2012, but the firm forecasts stronger growth starting in 2013, rising from a little over 1,900 aircraft in 2013 to more than 3,100 aircraft in 2020.
Of the 24,385 aircraft forecast for production during 2011-2020, production of piston aircraft will account for just over 18,400 aircraft worth $8 billion, the study predicts. Production of turboprops will total almost 6,000 aircraft worth approximately $20.5 billion.
“There have been signs of strengthening demand in the piston market, but the increase has been from a very low base,” said Douglas Royce, aerospace analyst at the company. “Getting production back to pre-recession levels will take years, if not the entire decade.”