The first three months of 2012 saw total billings for aircraft fall 8 percent, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), but piston-powered airplane shipments dropped by a smaller margin. Piston aircraft shipments totaled 184 units for the first three months of 2012, versus 188 shipments over the same period last year. The figures account for a 2.1 percent decrease that matched the decrease in total worldwide general aviation shipments. GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce offered a theory and some legislative advice.
"One continuing concern is the lack of available financing around the world," Bunce said. "An important step forward would be for the U.S. Congress to quickly reauthorize the Export-Import Bank." According to Bunce, the bank's lending authority stimulates sales. The first three months of 2011 saw 377 general aviation aircraft delivered while this year saw 369. Total billings fell from $3.68B to $3.39B. Business jet deliveries fell by 4.7 percent from 128 to 122. Turboprops were an area of relative strength, showing a 3.3-percent increase made manifest by the delivery of two more aircraft in 2012 than 2011. Find the full report online (PDF).