GAMA: GA Shipments Down

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Total GA shipments dropped 15.5 percent in 2011 when compared to the same six-month period last year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) said Thursday, but small piston aircraft weren't the biggest losers in the segment. The first six months of 2011 saw 791 shipments versus 936 shipments for that period during 2010. The biggest loser in the general aviation segment was business jets. The industry shipped 355 last year, but recorded 261 in 2011 -- a 26.5-percent drop. Turboprop deliveries fell by 8.9 percent. And piston-powered planes fared better, but only by the slimmest of margins -- their numbers fell off by 8.7 percent. GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce included his political observations in a news release that delivered the figures and didn't seem to hold back.

"These negative shipment numbers demonstrate precisely how ill-timed and potentially destructive the Obama Administration's rhetoric and policies toward corporate jets are for general aviation," Bunce said. He added that the administration has "singled out business aircraft owners with political demagoguery," in a way that is "doing more damage to an industry that has obviously not yet clawed its way out of this recession." Year-to-date airplane billings for general aviation added up to more than $7 billion through two quarters of 2011, according to GAMA. The administration has singled out business jets while pressing to close what it has identified as tax loopholes. And it has also suggested changing depreciation schedules for general aviation aircraft purchases from five years to seven. GAMA's complete report is available online (PDF). Find Bunce's comments, here.