GAMA 2023 Numbers Show More Than 4,000 GA Aircraft Delivered

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New-aircraft sales were up in all categories in 2023, with piston models leading the pack at an 11.8% increase compared with 2022 (to 1,602 deliveries from 1,505). That was the takeaway from today’s release of aircraft sales numbers from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

While the ongoing pilot shortage and its resulting focus on single-engine training aircraft no doubt played a role in overall fixed-wing sales, the fact that billings increased by 2.2% (to $23.4 billion from $22.9 billion) across the category suggests that increased sales of higher-priced business jets (up by 2.5%) indicate an improving market in that segment, as well. In all, total fixed-wing general aviation aircraft sales were up by 9.6%.

Deliveries of turbine helicopters also jumped by double digit percentage points last year—up by 10.4%. Piston rotorcraft also increased by a slightly more modest 7.7%. And in good news for the bean counters, billings increased by 11.2% to $4.4 billion from $4.0 billion.

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce noted that, in all, more than 4,000 GA aircraft rolled off the factory floors last year. He said that while 2023 numbers were encouraging, GA still faces challenges from continued supply-chain issues, workforce shortages, uncertainty over the paths chosen by global regulators and “short-sighted efforts aimed at curbing business and general aviation, particularly in Europe.” Bunce added, “It is crucial that the U.S. Congress passes a long-term FAA reauthorization bill, a fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill for the FAA, and a tax measure which is pending that promotes research and development.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I think an increase in billings of 2.2%, which is less than inflation, suggests a worsening market for higher-priced business jets, not an improving market.

    • It’s mainly business jets that are driving that 2% increase. It’s not that surprising considering that they make up the vast bulk of GA revenue. Some jet manufacturers, like Honda with a 46% increase, are doing really well, while others, like Textron with the Citation line and Gulfstream, are flat lining. The Honda numbers may be based off of fulfilling back orders. So it seems like flight schools are buying airplanes with a 10% increase in piston sales, but the richest of the rich are holding off buying for now.

  2. 4,000 is kind of sad number when you consider 17,800 GA aircraft were produced in the US alone back in 1978, during the peak of general aviation.

    • Thanks for putting it in perspective!

      Does anybody have a source for the makeup of the 4000 aircraft mentioned? 2 place, 4 place, fixed gear, singles, multis, turboprop, turbojet/. Does that include LSAs? Does that include homebuilts and kitplanes?

      It would be interesting to see how many TOTAL airplanes–and the CATEGORIES of airplanes–were added to and removed from each of the categories–numbers by themselves mean little.

      I’ve been flying for 63 years, and 56 years in the FBO business. I fear for the future of the industry, with “pilot shortages”, “airplane shortages”, and “supply chain” shortages–let alone runaway inflation and operating costs.

      It’s a heck of a note that so many people are BUILDING their airplanes–either from kits or from scratch–or RESTORING old airplanes–trying to dodge the costs and overhead of the airplane factories.

      An enterprising aviation publication could gain readership by comparing these numbers with the “high point” of GA aircraft production.

    • The actual number is likely higher than 4,000 when non-GAMA members are included. Think of all the LSA manufacturers and in particular the European microlight manufacturers that don’t even offer products in the USA. They are all part of worldwide GA. The GAMA numbers are American centric and mainly the $300 k offerings and up.

  3. FD:
    Remember the song “I can’t Drive 55”?
    Even a C152 could double more than double Jimmy’s speed limit, and you fly on the hypotenuse!

    • Hi, Edmund! Thanks for your input! Just one correction – the 55mph speed limit was adopted in 1974, two years BEFORE Carter was elected President! Gerald Ford signed the bill into law. That speed limit actually followed up on Richard Nixon’s proposal in 1973 to set a 50mph speed limit for passenger cars, and 55 for trucks and buses!

      Have a great day!

  4. I would like to know how many 182’s left the factory. When they’re going for close to a million dollars now, is it any wonder they’re not in most FBO lineup?

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