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The global aircraft communication system market size was valued at USD 915.5 million in 2018 is projected to reach USD 1,688.0 million by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.95% during the forecast period.
The aircraft communication system includes an electronic component and subsystem. They provide air-to-ground communication and in-flight cabin communication. The aircraft communication system, also known as aircraft communication (ACARS), is a combination of audio integrating systems, communication radios, radio tuning systems, cockpit voice recorder, and static dischargers.
The factors that are expected to drive the market are the use of software-defined radio (SDR) in aircraft for satellite communication and the advancement in data link connectivity. Moreover, increased demand for satellite-based navigation systems and wireless aircraft communication systems in the aviation industry is anticipated to boost the market growth. Increasing commercialization of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is one of the lucrative opportunities in the aircraft communication (ACARS) market. However, the high capital requirement to install the aircraft communication system is hampering the market growth. For instance, In April 2019, Honeywell International Inc. extended a contract with OJets to provide in-flight connectivity services for business aircraft.
Airborne Wireless Network (AWN) Technologies Will Boost the Market Growth
New technologies in wireless communication provide safe and efficient aviation operations. Airborne Wireless Network (AWN) is developing a high-performance communication system to offer cost-efficient wireless broadband service in the aircraft. AWN is helping to create a high-speed broadband airborne wireless network by connecting to multiple aircraft information. If used as a mesh network, it will act as an airborne router. AWN is sending and receiving broadband signals from one aircraft to another and creating a technologically advanced digital information superhighway in the sky. The introduction of these above-mentioned technologies will drive market growth in the future.
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Increasing Demand for 5G High-Speed In-flight Internet Connectivity will Help to Boost the Market
5G in aviation has a key role in in-flight internet connectivity. It is considered to be one of the leading market trends. 5G technology provides high-speed internet service in comparison with the conventional 4G LTE service. The technologically advanced Ku antenna is used for in-flight 5G connectivity. Increasing demand for Ku-based aircraft antennas for high-speed internet connectivity will help to boost the market. American Airlines, for instance, is providing in-flight entertainment such as access to live TV channel to the passengers by using the Gogo 2Ku satellite connectivity. In 2018, Qatar Airways signed a contract with Honeywell International Inc. to provide in-ﬂight Ka-band satellite communications hardware. This hardware is used for broadband access technology on 130 wide-body jets of Qatar Airways.
Increase in Aircraft Deliveries to Propel the Market Growth
The increasing number of aircraft deliveries is playing a crucial role in the growth of the market. For instance, up to the year 2019, Airbus S.A.S planned to deliver 863 commercial jet deliveries. The increasing demand for aircraft is responsible for the procurement of audio integrating systems, aircraft antenna, cockpit voice recorder, and static dischargers.
In commercial aircraft such as Airbus A320 and Boeing 767, multiple aircraft antennas are used for in-flight broadband communication, such as the AV‐530 aircraft antenna is majorly used in the aircraft for in-flight broadband communication. The antenna has the ability to operate at altitudes up to 50,000 ft. The increasing demand for military helicopters, commercial aviation, and regional jets is accountable for the procurement of aircraft antennas. The growing demand for aircraft antennas for usage in the next-generation fighter aircraft program will also help to propel the military aircraft communication system market during the forecast period.
Use of Software-defined Radio for Satellite Communication to Spur Growth
Software-defined radio (SDR) is a radio communication hardware system. These hardware systems are enabled with a software application and create digital infrastructure in the aircraft communication systems. They are used to perform radio operations over aircraft computing platforms, such as flight control systems and avionics. In the radio operation, SDR is used to decode the receiving radio signal. These signals provide accurate information about the aircraft operations to the pilot. Moreover, SDR is increasing the efficiency of a radio communication systems in the aviation sector. The increasing demand for software-defined radio in the aviation sector is estimated to propel the market growth during the forecast period.
High Development Cost of Aircraft Communication Systems to Restrict Growth
High development cost associated with building robust aircraft communication systems is a primary factor hampering the growth of the market. Aircraft communication systems consist of highly expensive aircraft antenna, communication radio, and technologically advanced audio integrated system. Rapidly changing technology in the aircraft antenna market is accountable for replacing the conventional antennas in the communication system. Furthermore, issues related to the availability of radio spectrum from the government regulating authorities for a longer period are restraining the growth of the market.
Antenna Based Communication Services to Gain Momentum during the Forecast Period
Based on connectivity, the market is classified into satellite communication (SATCOM), high frequency (HF), very high frequency (VHF), ultra-high frequency (UHF), and data link communication. The SATCOM segment is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the increasing use of satellite voice communication and data communication services in aircraft. A software-defined radio enables the design of satellite communications systems. They also help to complete several tasks associated with communication radio, such as changing frequencies, modulation schemes, and data rates. HF antenna and VHF antenna are used to generate radio communication between the aircraft and earth-based communication stations.
The UHF segment is projected to register significant growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to numerous applications of UHF antenna in commercial aircraft, business jets, regional jets, and others. These antennas are mainly used in the aircraft communication system for in-flight television broadcasting, as UHF and HF waves are suitable for line-of-sight applications that require high-end accuracy.
In the aircraft, a data-link communication system is used to generate communication between the pilot, crew member, and ground-based communication controller for the ATC service. It has the ability to increase the efficiency and predictability of the aircraft communication system by providing automated assistance to flight crewmember through a controller.
Increasing Use of Technologically Advanced Communication System in the Commercial Aviation Sector is Supporting the Growth of the Market
Based on the system, the market is classified into the audio integrating system, communication radios, radio tuning systems, cockpit voice recorder, and static dischargers. The communication radio segment is predicted to be the fastest-growing during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the increasing use of communication radio in commercial aircraft, military aircraft, business jets, and others. Communication radio and radio tuning systems include very high frequency (VHF) and high frequency (HF) transceivers. These transceivers are used for long-range voice communication.
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The audio integrating system segment is projected to register significant growth during the forecast period. It is used to integrate audio from cockpit audio services. These audio services consist of interphone communication between crew members and the pilot. The audio integrating system includes several components such as an audio electronic control unit, audio control panel, handheld microphones, and flight compartment speakers.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) continuously records radio communications and flight crew conversations. The CVR is installed in the aircraft equipment compartment. It contains one battery unit, an acoustic beacon, and a water-activated switch. It is capable of storing 120 minutes of analog data.
The static dischargers are mounted on the trailing edges of the aircraft. The purpose of static dischargers is to dissipate static electricity. Static electricity is created on the trailing edges of the wings and tail surfaces of the aircraft during the take-off & landing operation of the aircraft or when the aircraft is flying through rain. At that time, these static dischargers help to reduce electricity by using static wicks. They also help to provide a conductive path for static electricity and pull it back into the atmosphere.
Increasing Demand for Wireless Communication System is Supporting the Market Growth
By component, the market is classified into the antenna, transponder, receiver, transmitter, transceiver, display & processor, and others. The antenna segment holds the largest market share owing to their increasing use in the aviation industry. They are also used to establish in-flight communication. The AV-17 RAMI antenna, for instance, is used to provide a radiation pattern for air-to-ground communication and the AV-529 RAMI antenna is used for in-flight broadband communication.
A transponder is a wireless communication system used in air navigation to emit a coded signal in response to an interrogating received signal. Collins Aerospace, a United Technologies company, launched its HF-9000 high-frequency communication transceiver for fixed-wing aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft. HF-9000 maximizes the radiated high-frequency signal power of the aircraft antenna. It helps to improve long-range voice communications.
Increasing Aircraft Deliveries are Expecting the Market Growth
By platform, the market is segmented into the fixed-wing and rotary-wing. The fixed-wing segment consists of commercial aircraft, business aircraft, military aircraft, general aviation aircraft, and fixed-wing UAVs. The fixed-wing segment is expected to experience the fastest growth during the forecast period. It would occur due to the increasing commercial aircraft deliveries across the globe. Commercial aircraft, such as Boeing 787, Airbus A320, and Airbus 380, use several aircraft antennas as well as communication radio.
The rotary-wing segment is further classified into military helicopters, commercial helicopters, and rotary UAVs. The rotary-wing segment would show significant market growth during the forecast period. Military helicopters, as well as rotary UAVs, use a global positioning system (GPS) antenna for surveillance & reconnaissance. The increasing use of GPS, HF & VHF antennas and communication radios in commercial and military helicopters are supporting the growth of the market during the forecast period.
Increasing up-gradation of Next Generation Aircraft Antenna is Anticipated to Boost the Market
Based on the distribution channel, the market is classified into original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket. The OEM segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to the increasing number of military and commercial UAV deliveries across the globe from the past few decades. The growth of the OEM segment is attributable to the technological advancements in communication radio, as well as aircraft antenna in the commercial and military aviation sectors. An increase in commercial aircraft deliveries and high demand for advanced military aircraft communication systems are driving the growth of the OEM segment.
The aftermarket segment is anticipated to register the largest market share during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the up-gradation to the next generation aircraft antennas such as 5G antennas in the commercial aviation sector from several airlines across the globe.
North America Aircraft Communication System Market Size, 2015-2026 (USD Million)
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The aircraft communication systems market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the world. North America holds the largest market share during the forecast period. Increasing air passenger traffic in the U.S., high demand for UAVs in the region would help to boost growth. The presence of key players in North America, which includes Harris Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, is also projected to propel growth.
Asia-Pacific is likely to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to increasing utilization of UAV and 3D printed aircraft antennas in China. According to the global aircraft market forecast published by Airbus S.A.S, in the year of 2018 to 2037, China will need more than 7,000 passenger aircraft with a valuation of USD 1,060 million. In February 2019, India based Hughes Communications received a flight connectivity license from the government of India to offer in-flight broadband services within the union territory of India. Increasing investments from the private firms, coupled with supportive aviation policy from the governments of several nations across Asia-Pacific would propel the market growth.
In Europe, increasing investments in the field of military UAVs for battlefield operations would help to boost growth. In the U.K., the increasing use of GPS antenna in helicopters for search & rescue (S.A.R) operation is anticipated to propel the market. The rest of the world is likely to register remarkable growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the increasing use of a helicopter in the Middle East & Africa for oil & gas exploration. Increasing use of UAVs for commercial application in South America would contribute to the growth of the market.
Stronger product portfolio from Key OEMs such as Cobham Antenna Systems to offer a full range of Datalink and SATCOM antennas solutions.
Cobham Plc is designing and manufacturing of aircraft antennas that are used in the aircraft communication system. These aircraft antennas are enabling in the platforms such as general aviation, helicopter, business jet, regional jet, medium-range, and long-range and wide-body aircraft. The Company offers a wide range of datalink and SATCOM antennas, VHF antennas, and Narrow Cast datalink.
An Infographic Representation of Aircraft Communication System Market
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The aircraft communication system market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on the market and a detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market.
Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of market dynamics, emerging trends, and the competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption trends of an aircraft communication system by individual segments, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter’s five forces analysis, business strategies of leading market players, macro and micro-economic indicators, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Million)
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market was valued at USD 915.5 million in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 1,688.0 million by 2026.
Growing at a CAGR of 7.95%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2019-2026).
In 2018, the market value stood at USD 915.5 million.
The antenna segment is estimated to lead the market during the forecast period.
Increasing usage of software-defined radio in the aircraft is triggering the growth of the market.
General Dynamics Corporation., Hales Group, Harris Corporation, and Honeywell International Inc. are some of the leading manufacturing companies in the market.
North America is projected to be the largest shareholder in the market.
Rising adoption of controller-pilot data link communication (CPDLC), satellite connectivity, and 5G in aviation sector are the new trends in the market.
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