WASHINGTON, D.C. — Shipments of general aviation aircraft dropped 3.5% worldwide in the third quarter of this year, according to the latest figures from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
In the first nine months of the year, 1,504 airplanes were shipped, compared to 1,558 in 2015.
Rotorcraft shipments declined 16% to 615 compared to 732 in the same period last year.
Combined airplane and rotorcraft billings were $15.9 billion year-to-date in 2016 compared to last year’s $19.1 billion, a drop of 16.5%.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that these numbers are not what we had wanted to see,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “Unfortunately, they reflect the instability of the used aircraft market, coupled with complicating global economic and geopolitical factors. What is encouraging is that every GAMA airplane and rotorcraft manufacturer has a new product development program recently completed or currently underway, so optimism for the future runs high.
“Now that the U.S. elections are behind us, we look forward to working with the incoming administration and the new Congress, as well as their counterparts across the globe, to highlight the importance of a vibrant general and business aviation industry with manufacturing, maintenance, and overhaul jobs at its core,” Bunce continued. “We also welcome a focus on making critical infrastructure investments, particularly airports and heliports, to support a safe and growing global aviation system. We stand ready to work with elected and appointed officials on policies that facilitate certification reform and product innovation, and improve the validation and acceptance of products worldwide.”
Turboprop airplane shipments generated a bright spot in the deliveries with 379, up 1.3% from 2015. Piston airplane deliveries declined from 719 to 696. In addition, business jets slipped 7.7% from the same period last year, from 465 in 2015 to 429 this year. Piston rotorcraft fell 17.6% to 168 shipped. A total of 447 turbine rotorcraft were shipped, a reduction of 15.3% versus the same period in 2015.