Despite an economic slowdown shared by all of aviation, the LSA industry is rich with entrepreneurs. Innovative new designs hit the market regularly. Consider this: In just over three years, the industry has certified an astounding 81 aircraft designs and several more are on the horizon. One hundred certified LSA might be available by 2009, in less than four years since the category was created by FAA. No one remembers anything close in FAA history. *** All Light-Sport Aircraft presently total about 1% of the U.S. piston engine fleet including all FAA registrations of all aircraft types and models. Yet three LSA years compare to 80+ Cessna years, so the new segment remains in its infancy. Consequently, the LSA industry may be acting precisely as needed — focusing on innovation and diversity as proven by the number of new models meeting ASTM standards. Big sales will follow, many experts believe. *** Simultaneously, the industry is building infrastructure — as demonstrated by our growing FIRM List. And as companies acquire market sophistication, one fact appears unassailable: LSA and Sport Pilot are the hope for growth in aviation. Conventional GA businesses are established and many are perhaps too comfortable. The greater likelihood is that LSA will be the segment to bring in a new round of aviators.
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