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The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the 2018 year-end results on Feb. 20 at its “State of the Industry” press conference.
GAMA chairman and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. president Mark Burns announced that globally, airplane shipments increased 4.7 per cent to 2,443 units in 2018; airplane billings increased 1.5 per cent, from $20.2 billion to $20.6 billion; worldwide rotorcraft shipments rose 5.4 per cent, from 926 to 976 units; and rotorcraft billings decreased slightly by 0.7 per cent.
Notable from these numbers is piston airplane deliveries increased by five per cent to 1,139 units. Turboprop airplane shipments increased to 601 units; business jet deliveries improved from 677 to 703 units; 281 piston rotorcraft were delivered, compared to 264 in 2017; and preliminary turbine rotorcraft delivery data shows a five per cent increase to 695 shipments.
“This is the first year since 2013 that we’ve seen all segments up in deliveries,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “New certifications over the last two years, especially in the lighter jet segments, as well as demand in North America are driving the business jet shipment increase. This is also the second consecutive year in which shipments of piston and turbine rotorcraft are up, driven by the introduction of new models to the market.”
“While impacts of the U.S. partial government shutdown are still being felt and assessed, we remain optimistic given recent type certifications and other certifications in the product queue that bode well for the large airplane segment to continue its strength,” continued Bunce. “Also encouraging is the demand for specific aircraft types we’re seeing in North America, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa regions.”