While strong agricultural sales drove most of 2012’s overall increase in turboprop sales, other customers are helping general aviation aircraft makers post increases in 2013, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
GAMA released first-quarter shipment data May 9, touting a 32-percent increase in total billing, up to $4.6 billion, compared to the same quarter of 2012, with increases in aircraft shipments across the piston, turboprop, and business jet sectors. Both piston and business jet shipments increased by 4 percent, in terms of unit shipments, and multi-engine turboprop sales surged 79 percent, from 19 deliveries in 2012 to 34 in the first quarter this year. (GAMA’s May 9 release did not include helicopters, which surged 21 percent in 2012 compared to 2011; the helicopter data will be released separately.)
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce noted in a news release that performance was “mixed within the segments,” and GAMA continues to meet frequently with lawmakers and regulators in support of efforts to revitalize and strengthen GA. Certification, tax policy, opposition to user fees, and related issues remain a focus of GAMA and other organizations, including AOPA, seeking to bolster market recovery.