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Complexities in airport infrastructure coupled with high security maintenance of aircrafts call for automated solutions

Across the global aviation sector, a lot of emphases has been given to streamline operation handling and aircraft management due to which, the demand for aircraft ground support equipment continues to witness a consistent growth.

The last couple of decades were arguably among the most exciting phases for the global aviation industry. As airline prices continue to descend, the number of global passengers has witnessed an exponential surge due to which, airline operators have increasingly focused on expanding their fleet to cater to the demand. The emerging airport industry coupled with the quest to offer a seamless passenger experience has played a key role in improving the prospects of the global aircraft ground support equipment market over the past decade.
 
Across the global aviation sector, a lot of emphases has been given to streamline operation handling and aircraft management due to which, the demand for aircraft ground support equipment continues to witness a consistent growth. In addition, while the commercial aviation sector provides abundant opportunities for players operating in the aircraft ground support equipment market, the military & defense aviation industry is another prominent end user that is likely to provide lucrative opportunities in the upcoming years. The blend of complexities in airport infrastructure and a high level of security maintenance of aircrafts are the major factors that are likely to drive the demand for adequate aircraft ground support equipment in the defense sector.

Market Participants Expected to Utilize COVID-19 Period to Assess Benefits of Different Technologies
Although the overall prospects of the global aircraft ground support equipment market look bright, the advent of the novel COVID-19 pandemic is likely to impact the growth rate of the market considerably particularly in 2020. As the commercial aviation sector around the world continues to suffer due to the stringent restrictions on transportation imposed by the governments around the world, the demand for aircraft ground support equipment is likely to witness a considerable drop during the COVID-19 event. The market is likely to show signs of recovery in the latter phases of 2020 and operations are likely to return to normalcy in the first quarter of 2021. However, on the flip side, players operating in the current market landscape are expected to utilize this window to explore the potential of different technologies to enhance the efficiency of cargo handling processes and overall safety levels of the aircraft ground support equipment that are deployed.

Some of the most extensively used aircraft ground support equipment includes cargo loaders, simulators, deicers, tow bar tractors, tow vehicles, and tow barless tractors among others. While minimizing production costs is likely to remain a high priority, participants operating in the current market landscape are expected to focus on rolling out environment-friendly products and solutions. For instance, the entry of lithium-ion battery-powered ramps has gained considerable popularity within the aviation sector around the world and the trend is likely to continue over the upcoming decade.

Integration of Digital Technologies Set to Redefine Aircraft Ground Support Equipment Market
Over the next decade, digital technologies are likely to have a strong influence on the ground operations across airports around the world owing to the growing emphasis on cost-savings, utilization of data-driven, and customer-centric solutions. As the ground handling agents are continually tracking new trends to curate business strategies and revenue streams, the adoption of new digital technologies is likely to grow at a consistent pace. Some of the groundbreaking technologies that are currently knocking the door of the global aircraft ground support equipment market include automated service data capturing, big data, indoor navigation, wearable in airport ground operations, and more.

Over the past few years, several participants involved in the aircraft ground support equipment market have also focused on rolling out new products to strengthen their position in the market. For instance, in September 2018, Ramper Innovations, revealed its latest product, TISABAS, at the 2018 International Airport GSE Expo in Las Vegas. The then newly launched product is a motorized conveyor belt system that moves the baggage and cargo mechanically due to which, the task of throwing heavy baggage is eliminated. Several companies are increasingly focusing on launching new products to create an efficient cargo handling system and at the same time, minimize injuries among ground handlers. While expanding the product portfolio is likely to gain considerable attention, market players are also focusing on streamlining the maintenance process of different types of aircraft ground support equipment.

Maintenance of electronic ground support equipment requires personnel training, a team of in-house experts, and regular preventive maintenance to function at optimum efficiency. Although there are no batteries involved in electric aircraft ground support equipment, periodic maintenance of electric ground support equipment is required. Regardless of the power source of the drivetrain, all the ground support equipment requires consistent maintenance. As new technologies continue to enter the market at a rapid pace, market players are increasingly spending resources on regular training sessions.

Over the past few decades, the aircraft ground support equipment market has evolved in many ways and new changes can be seen across the global markets. Initially, airlines were largely inclined to self-operate the ground activities across different airports. However, over time, these processes were sub-contracted due to the entry of a myriad of service providers. In addition, several airlines had gradually curated their own set of specifications to purchase ground support equipment and the ISO standards was largely applied only at the design stage. In the current scenario, ISO standards are expected to be applied at the product design stage by manufacturers in the ground support equipment market. Airborne aircraft ground support equipment including pallets and containers are required to strictly comply with the requirements of civil aviation authorities.

As the number of airports and airline carriers around the world continues to grow in numbers, the demand for aircraft ground support equipment has increased. However, the advent of ground support equipment has accelerated the need for setting standards and guidelines pertaining to how these products are likely to be deployed. Over the past few decades, several organizations in the aircraft ground support equipment along with the aviation authorities have come together to curate a set of guidelines and required standards for ground support equipment. Advancements in technology have played a key role in setting the standards for an array of new equipment that is critical for new types of airlines. The ISO TC20/SC9, an air cargo and ground equipment sub-committee was started in 1960 and since then, the body has rolled in a series of standards to enable the entry of two and three-decked airplanes such as the A380.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt operations in the different regions of the world, the global aircraft ground support equipment market is expected to go through an uncertain time period in 2020. Market players are likely to focus on the development of contactless aircraft ground support equipment that is likely to generate considerable interest in the COVID-19-free era. In addition, the focus should remain on automating the cargo and luggage handling processes to attain the cost-saving and injury prevention objectives. All in all, the global aircraft ground support equipment market is likely to experience a minor slump in terms of growth in 2020 due to the novel COVID-19 event. However, as the airline industry gradually gears for the post-COVID-19 era, innovations and new concepts are expected to gain considerable ground.

Research Manager - Future Market Insights

Nikhil Kaitwade works as Research Manager at Future Market Insights. With over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting industry, Nikhil has worked on more than 250 research assignments pertaining to chemicals, materials, and energy sector. He has worked directly with about 35 reputed companies as lead consultant for plant expansion, product positioning, capacity factor analysis, new market/segment exploration, export market opportunity evaluation and sourcing strategies. The insights presented in this article are based on Future Market Insights COVID-19 Impact on Aircraft Ground Support Equipment Market. 

Co-Author Karan Virdi, is an experienced market research who works closely with the on the Automotive and Transportation research team of Future Market to serve the needs of clients from across the globe. As an avid traveler, he is highly passionate about the new trends across the travel & tourism industry. The insights presented in this article are based on Future Market Insights COVID-19 Impact on Aircraft Ground Support Equipment Market.

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