Airports are the backbone of the worldwide commercial air transportation system. The rapid growth of this sector creates a continuing need to expand airports and provide high-quality services. At the same time, technological, regulatory, security, and economic trends are placing new demands on airports.
A major example of technological developments that are forcing airports to introduce new technologies is the introduction of new super-jumbo aircraft such as the Airbus 380. The A380, which can carry up to 850 passengers in some configurations, will require many airports to upgrade their baggage-handling systems and other ground infrastructure.
Regulatory developments often are tied to technological developments. For example, regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are working toward the implementation of Global Positioning System (GPS)-based approach and landing control systems such as LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System). In the future, at least some airports may be required to install LAAS or similar systems.
Airport security has been a major concern for decades due the vulnerability of commercial aircraft to hijacking. The first recorded aircraft hijacking was in the early 1930s, but there was a large increase in the number of hijacked aircraft in the late 1960s, initially to Cuba but later to the Middle East. Since then, the number of hijackings has decreased, but the horrific events of September 11, 2001, placed airport security in the limelight again.
The result has been a worldwide effort to develop and deploy technologies to prevent terrorists from gaining access to aircraft. The effort to secure the world’s civilian air fleet has become a race, with terrorists finding new ways to circumvent the security measures that have been put in place, as in the case of the “underpants bomber” who nearly succeeded in bombing Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009.
On the economic front, the privatization of many formerly government-run airports around the world has created a growing class of airport operators with the financial means and the incentives to invest in modernizing their facilities and infrastructure. The modernization of facilities and systems can help these private airport operators improve their bottom line by cutting costs and increasing traffic and revenues.
The net result of these trends is that over the next 20 years, airport operators are expected to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on new airport construction, expansion, and modernization.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This report is an update of a BCC report that was published in 2007. The overall goal of this report is to comprehensively describe and quantify the worldwide market for advanced airport technologies such as air traffic management and control, communications, and landing aids. (See below for a more complete listing of the technologies covered in this report.)
Other reports on the market tend to focus on one technology (e.g., airport security) and/or a single country or geographic area. However, many market players sell in worldwide markets and supply more than one type of airport-related technology. Thus, an up-to-date report that enables them to look at global markets and make strategic decisions based on a comparison of individual product segments would seem to offer obvious value.
This report is intended especially for executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, and other readers with a need to know where the market for advanced airport technologies is headed and where the greatest potential for growth exists in the next 5 years. The report’s findings and conclusions should also be of interest to the broader aviation and transportation security communities.
SCOPE OF REPORT
The report covers the worldwide market for electronic, and electro-optical, and other modern technologies used in airports such as:
- Air/ground traffic management and control systems
- Landing aids, guidance, and lighting
- Airport communications
- Digital information display solutions
- Airport management software
- Security, fire protection, and emergency services
- Passenger and baggage handling and control
- Car parking systems
This report covers only technologies and equipment that are based at the airport or nearby. The emphasis is on civil aviation; the military market is not covered in detail.
The study format includes the following major elements:
- Executive summary
- Trends in the global airport industry that affect the demand for airport technologies
- Advanced airport technologies that are in use or under development
- Global market size, major segments, and growth trends
- Key patents
- Vendor profiles
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report. All findings and conclusions are based on information gathered from industry sources, including airports, airlines, engineering and consulting firms, and technology suppliers. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources, such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases, to produce the projections contained in this report.
With 2009 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2010 to 2015. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts, combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.
Methodologies and assumptions used to develop the market projections in this report are discussed under the various types of airport technology addressed. This report carefully documents data sources and assumptions. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions such as price.
Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel, LLC. He is also the author of numerous other BCC studies, including the earlier edition of this report. Other reports by Mr. McWilliams include IAS027A — Microsensors: MEMS, Biosensors, and Nanosensors; MFG016E— Nondestructive Testing; AVM056A— Lightweight Materials in Transportation; SAS011B— Global Mobile Positioning Markets: Commercial, Military, Homeland Defense; and IFT057A— Emerging RF Technologies.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.