Buying a Used Certified Aircraft
Buying a used certified aircraft is a relatively straight-forward exercise, mostly due to the existence of a COPA Guide that will take you through the whole process. For a complete rundown have a look at the best-selling COPA Guide to Buying an Aircraft. It is available on the COPA website at no charge to COPA members.
Importing a Certified Aircraft
One of the advantages of certified aircraft is that they are universally accepted and relatively easy to import and export. If the plane of your dreams is located in another country then it is not all that difficult to import it. The COPA Guide to Buying an Aircraft has a complete look at what is required.
The Future of Certified Aircraft
The Canadian private civil aircraft fleet continued to grow in 2013, but at a rate that was once again the lowest seen since 2003, lower than in 2012 and worse than at any time during the recession of 2008-10. In 2008 the fleet grew at a fast rate of 3.2%, in 2009 by 2.2% reflecting the recession, in 2010 increased to 2.3% and in 2011 up to 2.5%. In 2012 it was down to just 1.96% and now 1.92% in 2013. The numbers seem to indicate that recession is still very much with us and that the ongoing state of the Canadian economy is affecting aircraft buying. As in recent years, the fact that the fleet has continued to grow and not shrink is probably due to the persistently high asking prices for used aircraft in Canada, as the U.S. economy and its dollar remained relatively weak through 2013. Towards the end of 2013 the Canadian dollar fell about 6% against the U.S. dollar, but this, still left aircraft asking prices higher than they should be compared to the U.S. market. This has encouraged cross-border aircraft shopping and driven up the overall number of aircraft registered in Canada. As I have noted in years past, the main problem remains that many of those for-sale-but-over-priced-aircraft are also not being flown much, so while the Canadian civil fleet grows in size, the amount of flying probably isn't increasing and may in fact be decreasing. In 2013 the total Canadian civil fleet increased in size by 538, compared to 593 for 2012. In 2013 the private segment of the fleet accounted for all the growth seen, increasing by 542, while the commercial aircraft fleet increased by only two aircraft and the state fleet, those aircraft owned by the various levels of government in Canada, shrunk by six aircraft. While private aviation is growing slowly, state and commercial aviation were both stagnant in 2013.
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