Feb. 23, 2017

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce spent a portion of the association’s annual Industry Review on Feb. 22 citing the humanitarian work done by the business aviation industry.

Bunce highlighted two organizations, specifically, that “truly give back” to others, often through the use of business aircraft:

Corporate Angel Network (CAN): For more than 35 years, CAN has transported cancer patients to live-saving medical treatment facilities across the country. The organization recently hit a milestone of 50,000 patients served, and conducts about 2,500 flights a year. “We’ve got a lot of companies that are out there that offer up those seats to cancer patients,” Bunce said. “So, it’s a very important and very successful program.” Learn more about CAN.

Veterans Airlift Command (VAC): This organization provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat-wounded service-members and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes, through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Bunce highlighted a recent mission, in which a Nashville-based veteran, who had lost his leg overseas, needed to get to Washington, DC, for final approvals to become an FBI agent – a trip AC helped him complete. Also, Bunce mentioned, the young man’s eventual goal is to join the Army National Guard as a helicopter pilot. Learn more about VAC.

At the event, Bunce also highlighted the many jobs, including those in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, which are supported by business aviation. We at GAMA are “passionate about being able to recapitalize our workforce,” he said.

To illustrate his point, Bunce noted that GAMA is once again conducting its annual Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge, with 93 high schools taking part in this year’s contest. “We’ve got to recapitalize that workforce so it works in our factories, it works on our flight line,” he said. Learn more about the GAMA/Build A Plane Challenge.

Industry Overview

GAMA Touts Industry’s Humanitarian Work at Annual Event

At its event, GAMA also released the 2016 year-end aircraft shipment and billing numbers at the event.

Association Chairman Simon Caldecott, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft, said that airplane shipments globally fell 3.9 percent, from 2,331 in 2015 to 2,241 in 2016. Aircraft billings declined 14.1 percent over the same period, from $24.1 billion to $20.7 billion. Worldwide rotorcraft shipments fell 16.9 percent, from 1,036 units in 2015 to 961 units in 2016. Rotorcraft billings declined in the same period from $4.7 billion to $3.6 billion.

Turboprop airplanes provided a bright spot for the year, reporting a 3.4 percent increase in shipments, from 557 units in 2015 to 576 units in 2016.

“As we look toward 2017 and beyond, we are optimistic about the future and encouraged by the number of companies investing in innovative research and development programs and planning to bring new products to market.”

Reach more about GAMA’s Industry Review.