2015 Starts Slow for GA Deliveries

Billings down in all airplane and rotorcraft segments.

GAMA Numbers Small Plane

GAMA Numbers Small Plane

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association has published the shipment report for the first quarter of 2015 and the numbers are not looking good. The shipments included 678 airplanes and rotorcraft for a total value of $5.3 billion. That may not sound bad, but the numbers represent declines in total billings of 12.6 percent for airplanes and 17.9 percent for rotorcraft compared with the same period last year.

The numbers were particularly disappointing for the rotorcraft industry, which had a tough year in 2014 with an overall decline of $400 million over the previous year. The numbers were not quite as alarming for the airplane segment since it had a good year in 2014, with the exception of the turboprop market, which decreased by 6.5 percent. Turboprops saw the lowest decline this year so far with an 8 percent drop.

In both segments, the piston market was hit the hardest. Piston airplane sales were down by nearly 20 percent while the piston-powered helicopter market declined by a 29.7 percent over the three-month period.

GAMA's president and CEO Pete Bunce laid partial blame for the declining numbers on the lack of action on behalf of government regulators.

"Our industry is focused on regaining momentum, but we need the U.S. Congress to be a strong partner and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before the June 30 deadline," he said. "Congress needs to move ahead and pass reauthorization quickly to ensure a level global playing field and provide needed stability in a difficult market."

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