Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC


Five years after its enactment, the US General Aviation Revitalisation Act is being lauded as a "tremendous success" by the industry.

Since the act became law in August 1994, limiting manufacturers' product liability to 18 years, piston aircraft production in the USA has more than doubled, says the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

A report produced by GAMA for the US President and Congress says that, since the revitalisation act took effect, more than 25,000 manufacturing jobs have been created, research and development investment has increased by 150% and the number of people starting flying training has increased.

According to GAMA figures, piston aircraft shipments by member companies rose from just under 500 in 1994 to more than 1,500 last year. Exports, which had fallen below 300 aircraft in 1994, have more than doubled, says GAMA.

Cessna, is responsible for much of the increase, although it has yet to fulfil its promise to build 2,000 aircraft a year. It recommenced building piston singles in 1996, delivering 775 last year.

New Piper Aircraft has also increased production since emerging from bankruptcy protection in 1995 - 295 aircraft last year and an increase forecast for next.

Two new companies, Cirrus and Lancair, have begun piston single deliveries this year.

Source: Flight International