10:54 PM

Just wait until the numbers come in for ‘06!

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported a record year for general aviation manufacturers recently, announcing an all-time high for billings which totaled $15.1 billion, a 27.2 percent increase over 2004. Year-end, worldwide shipments of general aviation airplanes totaled 3,580 units for 2005, up 20.8 percent over the previous year’s total of 2,963 units.

These explosive sales figures say a lot about the healthy of GA, but GAMA President & CEO Peter Bunce sums it up best:

“The outstanding 2005 shipment and billing figures demonstrate that general aviation is one of the most promising sectors of manufacturing. Our growth shows that general aviation continues to have a dramatic impact on the way the world does business. As the worldwide economy expands and becomes evermore interdependent, general aviation will play an ever increasing role in making business soar.”
One figure that is telling of things to come in ’06 is this:
Business jet shipments increased by 159 units to a total of 750 airplanes. This is a 26.9 percent increase in shipments over 2004.
Almost 27% of an increase in production and sales is HUGE in any industry, and can only be welcome news to everyone involved in GA at any level.

For those who are really young, it wasn’t always like this, lad. There was a time long, long ago when you actually couldn't buy a brand new Skyhawk, when airplane assembly lines were shut down, factories were shuttered, and the GA future was bleak beyond belief. Nobody by a courageous few were building new planes, but it appears that has all changed for good. These impressive GA increases do not include VLJ sales either, and only a handful of LSA sales, which will both spike bigtime in ’06.

Man, it is ever a great time to be a pilot…

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