The Airport Ground Handling Systems Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 15.27% during the forecast period (2022-2027).
The aviation sector has been affected greatly due to the slump in demand among travelers and the travel restrictions imposed by many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the aircraft movements decreased, the demand for airport ground handling services was significantly affected, affecting the airport ground handling systems market in 2020. However, the notable increase in passenger traffic and aircraft movements in 2021 supported the revival of the ground handling systems market.
With air travel gradually returning to pre-COVID levels, delivering new aircraft, introducing new routes, and increasing flight movements are resuming. This is anticipated to drive the investments of airport ground handlers into new generation ground support systems that reduce the turnaround time of the aircraft.
The construction of new airports, expansion of existing airports to increase passenger and cargo handling capacities, and privatization of airports are expected to drive the growth of the airport ground handling systems market during the forecast period.
The current plans of airports to decrease their carbon footprint has accelerated the deployment of electric ground handling equipment and the integration of advanced technologies like automation systems ramp and cargo handling operations. Such green initiatives by airport operators are expected to accelerate the market’s growth in the coming years.
Key Market Trends
Aircraft Handling Segment Accounted for a Major Revenue Share in 2021
The aircraft handling segment currently dominates the market and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The segment includes refuelers, tugs and tractors, lavatory service vehicles, deicers, ground power units, pre-conditioned air units, fuel trucks, and other ground handling systems in airports. Following the pandemic, various airports around the world are robustly investing in the enhancement of their existing ground handling systems with the introduction of new equipment for their efficient operation. The current trend of using GSE with low emissions rates and creating green airports has been gaining popularity over the years. Therefore, the companies are working on developing new electric aircraft handling solutions that work efficiently with low emissions. On this note, in October 2021, Toyota Material Handling, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp, introduced a new all-electric towing tractor (3TE25) for airport operations that will replace the current heavy-duty range. The new towing EV has similar towing capabilities as the conventionally powered towing tractors, with its loading capacity of about 27,000 kg. Such development of new equipment, as well as investments in the procurement of aircraft handling equipment, is anticipated to propel the growth of the segment during the forecast period.
North America Region is Expected to Witness Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
The North America region is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. This is due to the rapid recovery of the aviation industry from the COVID-19 pandemic impact along with investments of the civil aviation authority and airport operators in the region in the expansion of airports as well as the development of ground handling equipment modernization. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided various funds to the airports in the United States to introduce electric ground support vehicles in the coming years. John Wayne/Orange County, Indianapolis International Airport, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, and Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport were awarded funding of USD 5.86 million for the introduction of electric buses and related charging infrastructure. Also, in addition to the ground handling systems, the airports are investing in the development of infrastructure to ease the induction of electric ground vehicles. As a part of the new terminal building project at Kansas City International Airport, the Kansas City Aviation Department announced its plan to invest in the first wireless vehicle charging system installed at the US airport. The technology is expected to extend the range of its electric buses without installing a charging station or taking buses out of service for charging. Momentum Dynamics will supply the charging solution and is expected to be installed by 2023. Such initiatives and growing demand for enhancing ground handling operations will drive the market growth in the region during the forecast period.
The airport ground handling systems market is highly fragmented due to the presence of numerous local players that provide a wide range of ground handling systems. The key players in the market include Cavotec SA, John Bean Technologies Corp., Textron Inc., Air T Inc, and ALVEST. Strategic acquisitions and partnerships, along with the establishment of manufacturing and production facilities locally, can be helpful for players to establish a foothold in the local and regional markets. With the current trend of deploying electric ground handling systems at airports, the manufacturers are developing and testing new eco-friendly (electric) equipment, which is expected to help the companies increase their market share. For instance, in December 2021, Mallaghan Engineering launched Árbus electric airport bus following its successful trials with ABM Aviation. The bus is expected to be available in three models, with the largest bus capacity being 118 passengers. Also, over the past few years, the airlines and airport ground handling service providers have been partnering with manufacturers to introduce electric ground handling systems. Such partnerships are also expected to support the growth of the companies in the coming years.
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