WASHINGTON, D.C. — At its annual industry review Feb. 22, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the 2016 year-end aircraft shipment and billings numbers.
GAMA Chairman Simon Caldecott, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft, revealed that airplane shipments globally fell 3.9%, from 2,331 in 2015 to 2,241 in 2016, while airplane billings declined 14.1%, from $24.1 billion to $20.7 billion.
Worldwide rotorcraft shipments fell 16.9%, from 1,036 in 2015 to 861 in 2016. Rotorcraft billings dropped from $4.7 billion in 2015 to $3.6 billion in 2016.
Business jet shipments in 2016 were at their lowest number since 2004 at 661 delivered, compared to 718 in 2015.
Turboprop airplane shipments provided a bright spot, increasing from 557 in 2015 to 576 in 2016, a 3.4% increase.
Piston airplane shipments declined from 1,056 in 2015 to 1,004 in 2016, a 4.9% drop.
Turbine helicopter shipments, based on initial data, declined from 757 unts in 2015 to 637 in 2016. Piston helicopter shipments declined from 279 in 2015 to 224 in 2016.
“The 2016 year-end results were disappointing overall, although we did see some blue sky in the turboprop sector,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “As we look toward 2017 and beyond, we are optimistic about the future and encouraged by the number of companies investing in innovative research and development programs and planning to bring new products to market.
“GAMA is actively working to create the regulatory environments that will make it more efficient and effective for manufacturers to offer new products and technologies to their customers, enhancing safety, efficiency, connectivity, and comfort,” Bunce continued. “We are encouraged by the completion of the Part 23 rule by the FAA and look forward to similar actions in Europe, as well as adaptation of these rule-making principles to rotorcraft and transport category airplanes. However, to enable and sustain that growth, policymakers and regulators must continue to work with industry to streamline regulatory processes and facilitate the global flow of aviation products.”