engine and wheel
photo: Mark Wagner

General Aviation Manufacturers Association

What It Is: A 501(c) nonprofit trade group, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) represents more than 110 makers of general aviation aircraft, engines, avionics, and components, in addition to repair stations, FBOs, training specialists, and other service providers.

How It Grew: Seeking a greater voice amidst competing military and civil aviation interests, several general aviation companies—until then members of the Aerospace Industries Association—founded GAMA (initially the Utility Aircraft Council) in 1970 with a mandate “to foster and advance...general aviation.”PR officer Ed Stimson was named president later that year, a title he held for the next quarter century. 

In 1971, the association helped to establish the Airport and Airways Trust Fund, and in 1982, GAMA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) launched the still-active No Plane No Gain campaign. In 1994, GAMA championed the General Aircraft Revitalization Act, which revived the liability-shackled industry. In 1996, Ed Bolen­—who would go on to head NBAA—succeeded Stimson as GAMA president.

GAMA helped reopen airspace to general aviation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, welcomed manufacturers based outside the U.S. to its ranks in 2002, and opened its first international office—in Brussels, Belgium, headquarters of the European Union—in 2009. 

More recent initiatives have included opening membership to rotorcraft manufacturers (2011), creating a membership category for makers of electric and hybrid propulsion aircraft (2015), and promoting an industry push for sustainable alternative jet fuels (2018).

What It Offers:

Lobbying and advocacy. Standingcommittees provide legislators, regulatory agencies, and others with guidance on technical policy, security, environment, safety, and flight operations. Current areas of additional focus include aircraft certification reform, Brexit, electric and hybrid propulsion, ATC modernization, and European regulatory and MRO issues.

Data. GAMA publications include economic-impact reports; aircraft-shipments and billing reports; and an annual statistical and industry-outlook report. The association also publishes white papers and technical and certification information.

Scholarship and academic contests. Awards an annual college scholarship; sponsors/promotes academic competitions (Aviation Design Challenge, GoFly)

Recent News: In June the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee approved a 2020 budget that includes funds for aviation workforce and technician development programs, and for alternative fuels for general aviation, as requested by GAMA.


Founded: 1970

HQ: Washington, D.C.

Staff: About 20

President and CEO: Pete Bunce

Website: gama.aero