Total year-end avionics sales exceeded $2.3 billion in 2017, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s 2017 year-end Avionics Market Report.
That’s a 2.9% increase in sales compared to the previous year as reported by the participating companies in 2016. The increase reverses two straight years of declining sales and was the first year-over-year increase in sales since 2014, according to AEA officials.
Of the more than $2.3 billion in sales in 2017, 42.3% came from forward-fit (avionics equipment installed by airframe manufacturers during original production) sales, or more than $984 million. That marked the lowest dollar amount of forward-fit sales recorded in the last five years.
By contrast, the retrofit (avionics equipment installed after original production) market showed an increase in its percentage of total sales for the fifth straight year, recording an all-time high of more than $1.3 billion in sales in 2017, a 20.1% increase over 2016. Retrofit sales amounted to 57.7% of sales in 2017.
According to the companies that separated their total sales figures between North America (U.S. and Canada) and other international markets, 73.5% of the 2017 sales volume occurred in North America (U.S. and Canada), while 26.5% took place in other international markets.
Sales during the fourth-quarter months of October, November and December in 2017 were just shy of $600 million, up slightly compared to the 2016 fourth-quarter sales with a 0.3% increase.
“The sales growth in the retrofit market is the obvious headline for the year,” said AEA President Paula Derks. “With more than a 20% increase in sales, the retrofit market may be positively impacted due to an uptick in the aircraft equipage rate ahead of the FAA’s 2020 deadline for ADS-B Out avionics. The retrofit surge also could be partially attributed to the possibility that aircraft owners are choosing to have additional avionics work done while simultaneously coming into ADS-B compliance. Many avionics shops are telling us that aircraft owners are electing to order full-panel avionics upgrades rather than just the ADS-B equipment. It will be interesting to see whether the retrofit market continues to grow significantly in the next two years as the mandate draws closer.”
More information about the AEA Avionics Market Report is available online at AEA.net/MarketReport.
Companies currently participating in the report include:
- ACR Artex
- ALTO Aviation
- Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp.
- Aspen Avionics
- Blue Avionics
- FreeFlight Systems
- Genesys Aerosystems
- Gogo Business Aviation
- Honeywell Business & General Aviation
- Jupiter Avionics
- Latitude Technologies
- L3 Aviation Products
- Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics
- PS Engineering
- Rockwell Collins
- Sandia Aerospace
- Shadin Avionics
- Trig Avionics
- Universal Avionics Systems Corp.
*Note that the 2017 year-end totals do not exactly equal the sum of the four quarterly amounts as reported earlier in the year. This variance is the result of seasonally adjusted year-end numbers by some of the participants. In addition, the number of companies that participate in the AEA Avionics Market Report may change on a quarterly and/or annual basis. This may occur due to mergers and acquisitions during the year along with new companies participating in the reporting process. Any comparative analysis of the data should take this variance into consideration, AEA officials note.