Deliveries of business and general aviation aircraft last year topped 4,000 for the first time in more than a decade, according to newly released figures from the trade association representing the sector’s manufacturers.

“When compared to 2022, all aircraft segments saw increases in shipments and preliminary aircraft deliveries were valued at $27.8 billion, an increase of 3.6%,” the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) said on 21 February as it published its annual full-year figures for unit deliveries and billings.

Bombardier Global 7500 credit Bombardier

Source: Bombardier

Business and general aviation manufacturers boosted sales and deliveries in 2023

In addition to the strong sales figures, GAMA statistics show that there are “robust and growing order backlogs for all segments of aircraft”, says the association’s chief executive Pete Bunce.

“This is a testament to the resilience of our industry and the integral role that general and business aviation plays in our communities.”

Manufacturers delivered 3,050 fixed-wing aircraft, up from 2,799 the previous year. Piston aircraft deliveries rose 11.8% from 2022’s figures to 1,682 aircraft, while turboprop aircraft deliveries rose 9.6% and business jet deliveries climbed 2.5%.

The value of the aircraft rose to $23.4 billion, up 2.2% from $22.9 billion in 2022.

The preliminary value of helicopter deliveries for 2023 was $4.4 billion, an increase of approximately 11.2%, GAMA says. 962 units were delivered, versus 876 in the previous year.

More than two-thirds of the aircraft went to North America, with 12% going to Europe and 6.6% to Asia. Latin America accounted for 7% of the deliveries.

That said, the companies – like their commercial aircraft peers – are also facing supply chain issues, labour shortages as well as increased regulatory oversight, GAMA says. In addition, efforts at curtailing business and general aviation are mounting, especially in Europe, where sensitivity to factors that accelerate climate change is high.

“As civil aviation’s innovation incubator, our entire GA industry is focused on new aircraft and technologies that will lead the way in safety and sustainability for the entire aviation sector,” Bunce says. “This progress is dependent on having effective, predictable and accountable regulatory processes, and a supportive business environment.”