Aircraft deliveries have risen across most segments during the first quarter (Q1) of the year, according to the First Quarter 2023 General Aviation Aircraft Shipments and Billings Report (PDF) published by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) on Thursday. Compared to the same period in 2022, piston airplane shipments have increased 10.1 percent with 294 units delivered in Q1 2023. Turboprop deliveries rose 6.4 percent to 117 units and business jet shipments remained flat, dropping one unit to 117 for the quarter. Overall airplane billings dipped 3.5 percent from Q1 2022 to $3.7 billion.
“The continued health of general aviation manufacturing industry is encouraging, particularly in light of persistent supply chain, workforce and North American regulatory process challenges,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “Our manufacturers are focused on meeting this thriving product demand with new aircraft which incorporate advanced technologies that further enhance safety and fuel performance. During this transformative time in aerospace, our manufacturers continually demonstrate that our sector is the technology incubator for safety and sustainability.”
On the rotorcraft side, helicopter deliveries jumped 49.3 percent overall with 209 delivered for the quarter. Piston helicopter deliveries rose 40 percent from 40 in Q1 2022 to 56 in Q1 2023 while turbine helicopter shipments were up 53 percent at 153 units delivered. Helicopter billings rose significantly from $0.5 billion during the first quarter of 2022 to $0.8 billion in Q1 2023.
General aviation has done well in spite of “… North American regulatory process challenges”, according to Pete Bunce. English translation: In spite of the FAA’s continual foot-dragging and failure to produce any measurable progress on UL Avgas, Part 23 rewrites, or a host of other issues, GA has managed to stay in business.