By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
A year-end report and forecast from the Aerospace Industries Association is upbeat on the prospects for the general aviation industry in 2013 and beyond. "While the last few years have been a challenging time for general aviation, including a major bankruptcy [Hawker Beechcraft] in this sector," says the report (PDF), "the market is still much larger than it was a decade ago, and there are few doubts that growth will resume as the world economy recovers." Moderate growth is expected for 2013, according to the AIA analysis. The five-year forecast shows that nearly 80 percent of those looking to purchase GA aircraft between 2013 and 2017 will do so in the latter part of that period, with larger business jets leading sales.
The bigger jets will comprise 40 percent of all GA deliveries over the next 10 years, AIA said, with markets growing in Asia and the Middle East. China could account for 20 percent of all global business jet deliveries, up from today's 7 percent, by 2020, AIA said. Light and medium business jets face a tougher market, and "remain an area of concern." The key market drivers for the civil aircraft market in 2013, the report concluded, will continue to be the price of fuel and the health of the domestic and international economies.