The slump in small airplane manufacturing has
been especially problematical for Wichita, the city that bills
itself as "the air capital."
And industry officials say the downturn shows no sign of easing
in the foreseeable future. General aviation shipments fell sharply
in 2001 and again last year. Restructuring, slow sales and layoffs
At the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's annual
meeting this week in Washington, Raytheon Aircraft president Jim
Schuster said all of the industry is looking hard at costs, and how
to be competitive.
Schuster said there are bright spots, including an increase in
business jet flights, an impressive industry safety record and a
steady number of student pilots. But sale billings and plane
shipments remain grim.
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