Optimism for future aircraft manufacturing remains high despite third-quarter 2016 results that were “not what we had wanted to see,” said the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, releasing a report of industry shipment and billing figures.
GAMA released its third-quarter General Aviation Aircraft Shipment Report that noted a 3.5-percent worldwide decline in airplane shipments from the same period last year. There were 1,504 units shipped in the first nine months of 2016 compared to 1,558 units in 2015, it said.
Combined, airplane and rotorcraft billings came to $15.9 billion year-to-date in 2016 compared to $19.1 billion in 2015, a 16.5-percent contraction.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that these numbers are not what we had wanted to see,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “Unfortunately, they reflect the instability of the used aircraft market coupled with complicating global economic and geopolitical factors. What is encouraging is that every GAMA airplane and rotorcraft manufacturer has a new product development program recently completed or currently underway, so optimism for the future runs high.”
A bright spot in the third quarter numbers was the turboprop airplane segment, where the 379 aircraft deliveries realized a 1.3-percent increase from 2015.
Piston airplane deliveries declined by 23, to 696 units, and business jets saw slippage of 7.7 percent in 2016 with 429 units, down from 465.
Piston rotorcraft, with 168 units delivered, were off 17.6 percent; the period’s 447 turbine rotorcraft shipments reflected a 15.3-percent decline.
Following the Nov. 8 election, Bunce said, the organization was looking forward to working with the incoming administration and the new Congress, and foreign governments “to highlight the importance of a vibrant general and business aviation industry with manufacturing, maintenance, and overhaul jobs at its core.”
Bunce said he welcomed “a focus on making critical infrastructure investments, particularly airports and heliports, to support a safe and growing global aviation system.”