Avionics Market Report Shows Biz Jet, GA Markets Increase Demand

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | September 3, 2014
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[Avionics Today 09-03-2014] Global business and General Aviation (GA) avionics sales totaled $652.1 million for the second quarter of 2014, according to the latest avionics market report released by the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA). Total sales for the three-month period of April, May and June represented a 2.7 percent increase in sales compared to the total reported during the same period a year ago. 
Sales for retrofit avionics, such as this Rockwell Collins upgrade for King Air 350s, represented nearly 50 percent of worldwide business and GA avionics sales during the second quarter of 2014. Photo: Rockwell Collins.
North America showed the most demand for business and GA avionics in the second quarter, as 62.7 percent of the sales volume tracked by AEA occurred in either the United States or Canada. Combined with the total first quarter figures, world wide sales for the first six months of 2014 exceeded $1.3 billion, a 6.8 percent increase compared to the same period in 2013.
AEA President Paula Derks said the greater demand exhibited by the North American market in 2014 is reflective of the improving economy in the United States, but she also believes emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia are helping to drive more sales as well. 
“As industry has witnessed, growth outside of North America has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Latin America and Asia-Pacific economies helped fuel the increase of sales over the last several years,” Derks told Avionics Magazine. “While it continues to be a steady source of sales, it has leveled off slightly in the last year, and we expect it to remain level over the next 12 to 18 months. As the North American economy continues to improve, avionics sales reflect that.”
Other noteworthy trends from AEA’s latest quarterly avionics sales report include the close split between forward fit and retrofit avionics. Total forward fit sales — avionics installed by airframe manufacturers during original production — were more than $333 million, while sales of retrofit avionics totaled more than $318 million. 
Derks said the number of new connectivity solutions coming into the market this year and into the near future is going to drive more demand for retrofit sales as well. Repair station and manufacturing members of AEA are currently seeing more demand for “cabin connectivity, WAAS, and low cost glass systems,” according to Derks. 
“As evident by the number of new products designed for connectivity and flight tracking, there is a lot of interest in these products and the capabilities they bring to the cockpit,” said Derks. “Those capabilities will drive more demand, and in return, more retrofit sales.” 

AEA’s report captures sales by all of the major U.S.-based business and GA avionics manufacturers, including Aircell, Aspen Avionics, FreeFlight Systems, Garmin, Honeywell, L-3 and Rockwell Collins among others. Overall, since the release of AEA’s first avionics market report in March 2013, total business jet and GA avionics sales have increased quarterly. 

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