Business and general aviation avionics sales during the first nine months climbed by 4.1 percent year-over-year, to more than $1.73 billion, according to the latest Avionics Market Report from the Aircraft Electronics Association. The dollar amount includes cockpit, handheld and cabin avionics; all associated hardware; batteries; and chargeable product upgrades. North America (U.S. and Canada) accounted for 73.5 percent of these avionics sales.
Retrofit avionics sales jumped by 28.3 percent from a year ago, while forward-fit billings fell 17.1 percent. Of the total avionics sales during the first nine months, 57.7 percent, or nearly $1 billion, came from the retrofit market and forward-fit sales amounted to 42.3 percent of sales. This is the first time that retrofit sales have outpaced those of forward-fit since AEA be began separating total sales between these two categories in 2013.
“The third-quarter report indicates that the retrofit market appears to be thriving, as those sales have increased more than 28 percent in the past year,” said AEA president Paula Derks. “To further that point, retrofit sales increased more than 32 percent during the third quarter alone. This is consistent with what shop owners in the U.S. have been telling me…as many have a backlog of work ranging anywhere from two to six months. I am hopeful that the retrofit market will remain healthy as we get closer to the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline for aircraft to be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics in the U.S.”