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November 7, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported a slower decline in shipments of general aviation aircraft after nine months of 2011 than occurred in just the first half of the year. But GAMA warned that a fragile industry could still be derailed by “misguided tax policies,” in a reference to deficit-cutting proposals from the Obama administration that target aviation, under strong industry criticism.
In its report on third-quarter aircraft shipments for 2011, GAMA said that “worldwide deliveries of general aviation airplanes in the first nine months of 2011 dropped 9.8 percent as compared to the same period last year, to a total of 1,227 units. Industry billings fell 10.2 percent, from $13.5 billion to $12.1 billion.”
There were 577 piston-powered airplanes shipped, down 8.8 percent from 633 in the nine-month period in 2010. The 223 turboprops shipped in 2011 to date represented a 5.9 percent drop, year over year. Business jet shipments fell 13 percent, from 491 to 427.
“These shipments and billings numbers show some improvement over the sharper decline experienced in the first half of 2011,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said in the statement. “However, considering the fragility of the economies in the traditional markets of North America and Europe, this is not the time for new, undue government burdens to be imposed on general aviation. Misguided tax policies that single out our industry, unquestionably endanger jobs. Policymakers should be focused on initiatives that encourage investment in our industry and grow jobs.”
GAMA has been a leading supporter of efforts to warn of the devastating effects of user fees on general aviation since a $100-per-flight user fee was proposed in the Obama administration’s deficit reduction strategy. Later this month, a joint congressional committee will recommend a strategy for cutting $1.5 trillion from the deficit over 10 years.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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