GAMA Report Continues Upward Trend in GA Shipments

General aviation market shows a mix of good and bad.

Cirrus SR22T
The Cirrus SR22T has been a steady seller in 2017, with 115 shipments to date, including 41 in Q3.Cirrus

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its third quarterly shipment and billing report for 2017 this week, indicating a continuing trend in general aviation sales. While the overall number of aircraft shipped increased slightly, total billings decreased.

The number of airplanes delivered to date adds up to 1,532, an increase of 1.7 percent over 2016. However billings decreased by 2.8 percent, from $13.5 billion to $13.2 billion.

2017 has shown terrific numbers for the helicopter market, where total billings increased by 8.8 percent to $2.7 billion with 661 rotorcraft delivered compared to 614 at this time last year.

Particularly strong was the lower end piston aircraft, which increased both on the helicopter and airplane side, growing by 13.1 percent and 4 percent respectively.

The turboprop market continues to be weak, suffering a 2.1 percent drop in the third quarter over 2016 numbers. The drop is, however, only seen in the twin-turboprop deliveries, which decreased by more than 30 percent while single-engine turboprop deliveries increased by 5.7 percent.

After suffering a continuous decline for the past couple of years, the bizjet segment has ticked up slightly with a 1.7 percent increase in deliveries for the first nine months of 2017 over the same period last year.

While the report was far from rosy, GAMA’s president and CEO Pete Bunce predicts a brighter future. “We’ve been very focused on streamlining certification and validation processes around the world, which will help our member companies continue bringing new and safer products to the market and hopefully spur growth in future quarters,” he said.