Avionics Sales Report Shows Continued Increases In Revenue


In the first three months of 2021, worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales totaled $568,810,353, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s first-quarter 2021 Avionics Market Report. Though that’s a 13.9 percent decrease over the bumper first quarter of last year, it also represents a 1 percent increase over the last quarter of 2020, marking the third consecutive quarter of increasing revenues, industry-wide. That’s significant because last year’s ADS-B mandate provided an unusual boost to retrofit sales, and the fact that revenues continue to increase is noteworthy.

And while retrofit sales (avionics equipment installed after original production) had dominated the statistics as the fleet reequipped for ADS-B, the forward-fit segment (avionics equipment installed by airframe manufacturers during original production) also shone in Q1 of this year, up by 18.7 percent above the figure for Q1 2020. Still, of the more than $568 million in first-quarter 2021 sales, forward-fit sales amounted to 46.3 percent, while 53.7 percent came from the retrofit market.

AEA President and CEO Mike Adamson said, “The last six months of 2020 saw a rebound in retrofit sales, and it’s encouraging to see forward-fit sales up sharply from the previous quarter in the aircraft manufacturing sector. As new products are introduced at the AEA Convention in June and EAA’s AirVenture in July, I’m hopeful that avionics manufacturers will be able to clear some of the supply chain hurdles they face and continue this upward trend.”

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  1. Just like big-screen flat panel TV’s, airplane owners are flocking to the new large format all-in-one displays to replace their aging steam gauge instruments. While Garmin is the clear leader with a dazzling array of products, the NORSEE route of enabling experimental avionics to fit into certified airplanes has given the average light plane owner access to more affordable modern equipment. Few private plane owners can afford the staggering price of even a new “basic” 172, but the new generation avionics allow them to upgrade their older plane to modern standards. After all, a 40 year old Skyhawk flies about the same as a new one.

    • I own an original ’75 C172M w/ steam gauges. For my recent Flight Review, I flew a ’77 C172N which had a totally updated panel w/ G5’s and radios including a GNX375. The difference was spectacular but — as said — the airplanes themselves are identical.