2010 Starts On An Up Note For GA

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After a tough year in 2009, the general aviation industry seems determined to get back on track in 2010 and start the year out with some positive news. On Monday, Cessna announced it would recall 180 laid-off workers to work on the Citation Sovereign line. The company said new orders have come in from abroad for the executive jet, sparked by the chance to take advantage of the exchange rate as the dollar value remains low on international markets. One-third of the recalled workers started this week, and the rest will be back to work by the end of this month, according to KWCH in Wichita, Kans. Cessna had stopped work on the Sovereign line about six months ago, citing a drop in orders. A company spokesperson told KWCH that Cessna still expects a slow year ahead. Since late in 2008, the company has cut more than 8,000 jobs. Also showing signs of hope is aviation analyst Brian Foley, of Brian Foley Associates, who told the Wichita Eagle there could be signs of recovery as soon as this summer. If positive growth in the U.S. economy reaches 3 percent, that would indicate a favorable environment for aircraft sales, he said. That indicator was up to 2.2 percent in the third quarter of last year. And doing its part to accentuate the positive, Teledyne Continental Motors announced on Monday that prices will hold steady in 2010 for both factory-new and rebuilt engines.

The company said it has been able to lower costs in its factory operations and will reinvest those savings in technology advancements and hold pricing steady. "In 2009, TCM worked very hard to improve manufacturing efficiencies," said TCM President Rhett Ross. "We are committed to delivering this value to our customers. TCM is pleased to keep engine pricing near levels that were last seen in 2007." TCM builds and sells both new and rebuilt engines along with various related parts and systems.