GAMA Shows Mixed Results in Q1 Aircraft Shipment Report

While deliveries increased in most GA segments, billings saw a considerable decline.

HondaJet HA-420
Business jet deliveries in Q1 are up 6.6 percent from last year, with aircraft like the HondaJet HA-420 seeing an uptick in shipments.HondaJet

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association released its quarterly aircraft shipment report showing a mix of ups and downs for the market. While total billings dropped by 12 percent, from $4.63 billion in the first quarter of 2016 to $4.09 billion this year, the report was far from bleak.

The total number of airplanes delivered in Q1 increased from 422 to 434. The piston and jet segments saw the greatest increase, each recording greater than 6 percent increases in shipments year over year. About the same percentage increase was seen in single-engine turboprop deliveries, from 82 last year to 87 this year. Twin turboprops, however, were hit hard, dropping by nearly half, from 27 deliveries in the first quarter of 2016 to 14 in 2017.

Also hit hard was the helicopter segment, which saw a 17 percent drop in billings, from $644 million in 2016 to $534 million. However, the loss in revenue represented lower valued sales rather than a drop in deliveries. The number of helicopters shipped to customers actually increased from 176 in 2016 to 183 this year.

GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce stressed the importance of streamlining certification to help the general aviation market thrive.

“We expect future growth to be driven by the introduction of new products, which underscores just how important it is for the U.S. Congress to pass certification reform legislation to facilitate the future of aviation manufacturing” Bunce said. “If the process for certification is not at its most efficient, products are prevented from reaching the market in a timely fashion.”