Local planemakers see deliveries fall in 2nd quarter

07/31/2014 3:54 PM

08/08/2014 10:26 AM

Wichita planemakers delivered fewer aircraft in the second quarter this year than they did a year ago, although deliveries by the general aviation industry overall were up.

Beechcraft, Cessna Aircraft, part of Textron Aviation, and Bombardier’s Learjet division in Wichita shipped 152 planes during April, May and June, down from 162 for the same time a year ago.

Shipments by the industry totaled 1,110 for the quarter, up 5 percent when compared to 1,059 for the same time a year ago.

Piston-powered aircraft deliveries grew 4 percent, from 500 a year ago to 520 during the second quarter of 2014.

Turboprop deliveries were essentially flat, with 272 deliveries during the quarter, down slightly from 276 for the same time in 2013.

The biggest growth in deliveries came in the business jet market.

Manufacturers delivered 318 business jets during the quarter, up 12 percent from 283 a year ago.

Billings totaled $10.9 billion during the second quarter, up 4.5 percent from $10.4 billion for the same time in 2013.

The figures were released Thursday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, an industry trade association, which compiles the numbers.

“The encouraging numbers in the piston airplane and business jet segments drive the industry’s optimism about global general aviation growth,” Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the GAMA, said in a statement.

At this week’s Experimental Aviation Association’s annual AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wis., enthusiasm toward the light-plane industry is palpable, he said.

“However, there is still a great deal of work that remains to make this recovery sustainable in the long term,” Bunce said. “This includes streamlining certification processes around the globe for both new production and equipage of safety-enhancing technology in the existing fleet.”

The Department of Transportation must put high priority on the rule-making process to meet the December 2015 mandated deadline for full implementation of the Small Airplane Revitalization Act that the Federal Aviation Administration administrator has said will improve general aviation safety, he said.

And reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is critical to keep the industry moving forward and to level the playing field for all manufacturers around the world, Bunce said.

In Wichita, Bombardier delivered two Learjets during the second quarter, compared to four a year ago and six during the first quarter.

Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft division delivered 52 Bonanzas, Barons and King Airs during the quarter, compared to 45 a year ago and 31 during the first quarter of this year.

Textron Aviation’s Cessna division, meanwhile, delivered 98 planes during the quarter, down from 113 in the second quarter of 2013. It delivered 93 during the first quarter of 2014.

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