Pistons Powered GA Growth In 2003, Thank Taxes?...

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Little Airplanes Leading The Way...

Last year, 1,519 new single-engine piston airplanes were sold in the U.S., an 11.2 percent jump over the year before, the General Aviation Manufacturer's Association (GAMA) reported yesterday in its year-end report. Worldwide, the growth was even stronger, 14 percent over 2002, or 1,825 new singles. The positive growth, especially in the fourth quarter, "is an early indicator of a broader turnaround in all segments of general aviation," GAMA Chairman Clay Jones said yesterday in a news release. Manufacturers believe a provision in last year's tax bill, commonly known as "bonus depreciation," stimulated many of last year's aircraft orders, Jones said. (For more about bonus depreciation, see yesterday's BusinessAVflash.) The strong growth in the piston-engine market largely offset a decline in shipments of turboprop airplanes and business jets, keeping total industry shipments essentially unchanged from the previous year, at 2,686 units, GAMA said. Total industry billings, however, declined 15.5 percent to $9.99 billion.