GAMA Puts On Brave Face

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In case you haven't heard, it was a bad year for GA aircraft sales -- that fact, courtesy of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's year-end roundup of red ink for 2002. In the midst of all the minus signs (like a $2 billion reduction in industry billings) GAMA CEO Ed Bolen did manage to find something nice to say: "However, on a positive note, business jet flight activity increased last year [and] we set a new safety record." Unfortunately, shipments of all types of aircraft were down. Nowhere was the downturn felt more than in the turboprop market. Shipments were down 38.9 percent in the U.S. and 33.9 percent worldwide. In all other types, the reduction ranged between 11 and 13 percent. GAMA Chairman Bill Boisture, president of Gulfstream Aerospace, also gave it his best shot. "Although the numbers are down, this is not the biggest one-year decrease our industry has ever experienced," he said, not mentioning the previous record. He said cost-cutting, better customer support and increasing the utility of aircraft will help get things rolling again.

NOTE: Read the full text of the GAMA news release, available in Adobe's Portable Document Format.