General Aviation Loses Altitude

Jan. 13, 2005
By John S. McClenahen Like the horizon in Kansas, 2003 is looking pretty flat to general aviation manufacturers. There simply won't be much change from 2002, a year that saw both shipments and billings of airplanes manufactured worldwide decrease about ...
ByJohn S. McClenahen Like the horizon in Kansas, 2003 is looking pretty flat to general aviation manufacturers. There simply won't be much change from 2002, a year that saw both shipments and billings of airplanes manufactured worldwide decrease about 15%. Total shipments of piston-powered planes, turboprops and business jets declined to 2,539 last year, 15.2% below the 2,994 shipments in 2001, says the Washington, D.C.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Total billings decreased to $11.9 billion in 2002, 14.4% under 2001's $13.9 billion. For planes manufactured in the U.S., shipments totaled 2,214 last year, down 15.9% from 2,634 in 2001. Billings were $7.8 billion in 2002, down 9.9% from $8.9 billion in 2001. "We have all established our production schedules, and they are likely to only slightly increase, even if the [U.S.] economy immediately starts to grow at a healthy rate," says W.W. Boisture Jr., GAMA's chairman and president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.

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