While many prognosticators forecast last year as the beginning of a resurgence for business aircraft manufacturers, those hopes will have to move to this year, according to 2012 aircraft delivery numbers released this morning by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. While 2012 saw a modest increase in overall turbine aircraft shipments, the gains were solely in the lower-end, non-pressurized turboprop segment as overall billings decreased by nearly 1 percent from $19 billion to $18.9 billion year-over-year.
For the business jet segment, the 672 aircraft handed over last year represented 24 fewer than the previous year and the lowest tally since 2004. Those delivery totals were buoyed by a fourth-quarter push that saw more than a third of the year’s business jets handed over to customers.
Although turboprops overall saw a better than 10-percent year-over-year increase–due mainly to GAMA’s recent inclusion of agricultural aircraft manufacturers–pressurized model deliveries declined by 6 percent, from 239 in 2011 to 224 last year.
“While the 2012 shipment and billing data were mixed, the numbers don’t reflect the amount of development work in progress in general aviation,” said GE’s Brad Mottier, who is GAMA’s chairman this year. “The general aviation segment is poised for resurgence in the next few years as these new technologies [achieve certification] and enter the market.”