The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has released the industry’s airplane shipments and billings for the first quarter of 2014. In the first three months of the year, total worldwide general aviation (GA) airplane shipments increased 11.9 percent, from 447 units in 2013 to 500 units in 2014. Billings for GA airplanes totaled $5.1 billion in the first quarter, up 9.0 percent from the same period last year.

Piston airplane shipments increased a solid 21.4 percent from 182 to 221 shipments. The number of piston airplane shipments, however, remains below the 2006 peak, when there were 600 shipments in the first quarter. Turboprop shipments declined 8.1 percent to 125 shipments. Business jet shipments came in stronger at 154 airplane shipments, up 19.4 percent from first quarter of 2013.

“The GA manufacturing industry’s first-quarter numbers in 2014, especially the strong showing in the piston segment, are encouraging and show that we continue to climb our way out of the recession,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “But we remain a long way from being out of the woods as shown by the mixed performance among sectors. That’s why we continue to work with regulators and lawmakers around the globe to push for sound tax policies that stimulate manufacturing jobs; certification reform to make it easier to put new, safety-enhancing products in the sky; and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank so that manufacturers have a level playing field to meet the rising demand worldwide for GA aircraft.”