The S-TEC 5000, a digital flight control system for business and GA aircraft made by Genesys Aerosystems, one of 23 companies participating in AEA's quarterly avionics market report. Photo: Genesys Aerosystems
Global sales of business and general aviation aircraft electronics totaled $724 million in the first three months of 2019, according to the first quarter 2019 Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) avionics market report.
The report, which tracks business and GA avionics sales only from reporting companies, showed an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period in 2018. A total of 53.6 percent of the sales came from aftermarket upgrades, while the remaining were the result of forward-fit original equipment manufacturer purchasing.
AEA’s latest report marks the ninth straight quarter of positive year-over-year sales growth for business and GA avionics makers. Total overall sales in the segment were up 17 percent in 2018.
Mike Adamson, who recently took over as CEO of AEA from the now retired Paula Derks, attributed the increase in sales to the 2020 automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out (ADS-B) Out mandates taking effect in the U.S. in Europe. However, avionics shops are also reporting demand for other cockpit system upgrades, he said.
“While it is likely that ADS-B installations in the United States are a contributing factor to the increase in year-over-year sales as we get closer to the FAA's equipage deadline, those are fairly straight-forward installations. Our member repair stations report that they are also doing an increasing number of full-panel retrofits. Installations of new electronic flight displays, digital autopilots, engine monitor systems, in-flight connectivity and other technologies are keeping the shops extremely busy,” said Adamson.
During the new products introduction session at AEA’s annual convention in March, avionics manufacturers responded to the type of demand reflected in the new report with new audio interface controllers, lithium ion batteries and touchscreen cockpit displays.
Regionally, the first quarter report followed a familiar trend for AEA reports, with 76 percent of sales occurring in the U.S., and the remaining going to international markets. The report is the aggregate of twenty-three participating companies, including BendixKing, Genesys Aerosystems and Mid-Continent Instruments, among others.