March 13, 2014
By Thomas B Haines
The general aviation avionics business generates some $2.4 billion in sales, spurring economic activity at hundreds of airports across the nation, according to a new report from the Aircraft Electronics Association. Announced at the association’s annual convention in Nashville, the annual AEA Avionics Market Report represents the sales of 21 companies in 2013. The number represents 6.9 percent growth over 2012.
Some 46 percent of the sales are to the retrofit market, upgrading legacy airplanes, according to AEA President Paula Derks. The balance represents avionics installs in new airplanes. “Prior to 2012, there never had been an effort to capture the true dollar size of the business and general aviation avionics market,” Derks said. “This report provides valuable information to promote our industry to investors and inform our elected officials of the global economic value” of the industry.
The annual convention, running from March 12 through 15, is expected to draw nearly 1,500 avionics dealers, manufacturers, installers, and other avionics professionals and more than 135 exhibitors.
To develop new avionics technicians, the association leads an industry effort that awarded $125,000 in scholarships through the AEA Educational Foundation. Sponsored by various companies, the scholarships support students at technical schools with avionics and maintenance technician curriculum.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
Aircraft Electronics Association,
The Aircraft Electronics Association reports worldwide avionics sales for the first six months of 2014 increased 6.8 percent over the same period in 2013.
Thieves working in the night carefully removed avionics from more than a dozen aircraft parked in hangars and on the ramp at Jerry Sumners Sr. Aurora Municipal Airport in Aurora, Missouri, taking something from nearly everyone.
The FAA should leverage existing cockpit technologies to move NextGen forward before mandating new equipment, an AOPA member told the House Small Business Committee.
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