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Photo by John Shea

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the 2016 year-end aircraft shipment and billings numbers at its “Annual Industry Review” press conference on Wednesday.

GAMA Chairman Simon Caldecott, President and CEO of Piper Aircraft, announced that airplane shipments globally fell 3.9%, from 2,331 units in 2015 to 2,241 units in 2016 from the same reporting companies, whereas airplane billings declined 14.1%, from $24.1 billion to $20.7 billion. Worldwide rotorcraft shipments fell 16.9%, from 1,036 units in 2015 to 861 units in 2016. The rotorcraft billings declined from $4.7 billion in 2015 to $3.6 billion in 2016.

Business jet shipments in 2016 were at their lowest number since 2004 at 661 units delivered, compared to 718 units in 2015. Turboprop airplane shipments provided a bright spot, increasing from 557 units in 2015 to 576 units in 2016 for the same reporting companies, a 3.4% increase. Piston airplane shipments declined from 1,056 units in 2015 to 1,004 units in 2016, a reduction of 4.9% for the same reporting companies. Turbine helicopter shipments, based on initial data, declined from 757 units in 2015 to 637 units in 2016. Piston helicopter shipments declined from 279 units in 2015 to 224 units in 2016.

“The 2016 year-end results were disappointing overall, although we did see some blue sky in the turboprop sector,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “As we look toward 2017 and beyond, we are optimistic about the future and encouraged by the number of companies investing in innovative research and development programs and planning to bring new products to market.

“GAMA is actively working to create the regulatory environments that will make it more efficient and effective for manufacturers to offer new products and technologies to their customers, enhancing safety, efficiency, connectivity, and comfort,” Bunce continued. “We are encouraged by the completion of the Part 23 rule by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and look forward to similar actions in Europe, as well as adaptation of these rule-making principles to rotorcraft and transport category airplanes. However, to enable and sustain that growth, policymakers and regulators must continue to work with industry to streamline regulatory processes and facilitate the global flow of aviation products.”

2015 2016 CHANGE
Piston Airplanes* 1,056 1,004 -4.9%
Turboprops* 557 576 +3.4%
Business Jets 718 661 -7.9%
Total Shipments 2,331 2,241 -3.9%
Total Billings $24.1B $20.7B -14.1%


2015 2016 CHANGE
Piston Helicopters 279 224 -19.7%
Turbine** 757 637 -15.9%
Total Shipments 1,036 861 -16.9%
Total Billings $4.7B $3.6B -23.0%


* AVIC General was added to the shipment report in 2016. The 2016 piston and turboprop airplane data includes shipments from AVIC General. For purpose of comparison with 2015, the AVIC General data is not included.

** Leonardo Helicopters Q4 data was not available at the time of publication. Leonardo Helicopters will release year-end results in March 2017. GAMA will update the online 2016 report then. For the purpose of comparison, GAMA excluded 2015 Q4 data for Leonardo.

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