GAMA: General Aviation Airplane Shipments Down

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Year over year, general aviation airplane shipments fell by nearly half, with pistons leading the way, over the first three quarters. Year-over-year totals show 2,982 total units (all general aviation shipments) in 2008 to 1587 units in 2009, with industry billings down 23.5 percent. GAMA released the figures along with a statement from its president and CEO Pete Bunce, who said that aside from the economy, "unwarranted negative attacks on business aviation" were a "contributing factor" leading to the disappointing figures. Bunce's statement did not offer evidence other than the correlational evidence of falling figures, but added that "90 percent of the identified S&P 500 companies are business aircraft users," which GAMA suggests shows a powerful connection between well-run companies and those that use business aviation. That says little of piston aircraft shipments, which fell from 1646 units delivered in the first three quarters of '08 to 679 units delivered for the same period in '09. That's a negative change of 58.7 percent. The other segments -- business jets and turboprops -- were more fortunate.

Turboprops dropped 15.8 percent in GAMA's year-over-year figures and business jets fell 37.8 percent. Total billings over the first three quarters of 2009 amount to $13.771 billion worldwide.