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9 Leading Ground Support Equipment Manufacturers in the World, 2021

June 21, 2021 | Aerospace & Defense

Ground support equipment (GSE) plays a vital role in helping airports to reach their sustainable goals. Some of them have already started replacing diesel GSEs with electric ones to lower emissions in the atmosphere. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, for instance, added e-GSE to save around 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas every year. As per a report by Fortune Business Insights™, the global market of ground support equipment is projected to reach USD 7,819.6 million by 2030. The rising cargo transportation and air traffic is accelerating the demand for equipment worldwide. For instance, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated that in 2019, approximately 61.2 million metric tons of cargos were transported globally. In the next five years, this is expected to increase rapidly.

Declining Air Passenger Traffic and Travel Bans to Hamper Growth amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the entire economic system. Government bodies have implemented social distancing and lockdown norms to prevent the transmission of this virus. Air transport, being an integral part of the economy, was also impacted as travel bans were deployed in various countries worldwide. There was a dramatic decline in the number of air passengers, which, in turn, reduced the production and usage of aircraft. Therefore, numerous pieces of equipment were either not used or were stored for an extended period owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Airport Council International (ACI), for instance, declared that in the second quarter of 2020, there was a reduction of more than 2.1 billion passengers globally. Such factors may obstruct the demand for GSE amid the pandemic.

Fortune Business Insights™ Presents Top 9 Ground Support Equipment Manufacturers:

1. AERO Specialties, Inc.

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersFounded in 1987 by President Matt Sheehan, the company is an international distributor and manufacturer of refurbished and new aircraft GSE. It also manufactures aircraft towbars, aircraft diesel-electric hybrid ground power units (GPUs), heads, oxygen/nitrogen servicing carts, lavatory, cleaning, and portable water carts. It is an authorized distributor of LiftSafe, Powervamp, Clyde Machines, and TDL.

In August 2019, for instance, AERO Specialties, Inc. introduced its 28V DC Hybrid GPU named JetGo 300. It will be available worldwide through the company’s DC aviation distributor. The product is the new addition to the company’s JetGo line of hybrid ground power units. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, such as regional airlines, maintenance & FBO organizations, and offshore helicopter operations.


2. Cavotec SA

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersIt is a prominent engineering group based in Switzerland. It manufactures and designs electrification and automation technologies that are majorly utilized for operating mobile equipment at airports and ports. Three of its core businesses are Services, Airports & Industry, and Ports & Maritime. It is considered to be the only supplier of fully integrated remote and gate apron solutions. These help in lowering emissions and fuel consumption.

In March 2020, Cavotec received two contracts worth EUR 5 million from the U.S. and Europe. These contracts would enable the company to produce and deliver 100 aviation fuelling pits in both areas for two installations. It would help Cavotec to strengthen its position in the market.


3. Curtis Instruments, Inc.

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersThe company is an innovator in the fields of vehicle instrumentation, battery management, and motor control. It was founded in 1960 and designs products with maximum performance and flexibility. It has four research and development centers in China, New York, Switzerland, and California.

For instance, in February 2020, Long Beach Airport (LGB), California installed 15 electric chargers worth USD 14 million. It was done for the ground support equipment. The new system is capable of quickly charging the equipment. It also includes a Curtis Instruments motor controller and the Tug 660E belt-loader.


4. Sojitz Aerospace Corporation

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersFounded in 1975, the company is an affiliate of the Sojitz Group. It first started business operations in the field of aerospace and defense equipment. Gradually, the company has broadened its product and service portfolios to the security and space fields for meeting the high consumer demand. It also provides a wide range of ground support type of equipment, such as simulators for assisting squad operation, ground testing equipment for aircraft-mounted equipment, and aircraft arresting systems for fighter planes.

In July 2020, Boeing signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for upgrading the ageing fleet of F-15J fighters in Tokyo. Under this agreement, the latter will provide technical publications, ground support equipment, and retrofit drawings associated with the aircraft. Sojitz Corporation has agreed to support MHI in undertaking this project.



Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersIt is a renowned manufacturer of pre-conditioned air units and ground power units. At the same time, the company provides hoses and cables. It developed every product on a common design platform to ensure smooth operations at all times. Its units have modular designs, which ensure quick repair and servicing.

In July 2019, Lyon airport chose ITW GSE to replace its 5 semi-centralized systems with 20 pcs of 90 kVA ITW GSE 2400 GPUs. The new products feature the Plug&Play system that can regulate the aircraft plug’s voltage automatically. Lyon Airport has been a loyal customer of the organization.


6. JBT

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersIt is a U.S.-based manufacturer of airport equipment and food processing machinery. The company’s Airport Equipment Division services and manufactures various equipment for ground support, such as pushback tractors, deicers, and cargo loaders. Besides, it produces airport passenger loading bridges of the Jetway brand.

In January 2019, for instance, JBT Corporation signed an agreement to acquire LEKTRO, a prominent supplier and manufacturer of all-electric, high-quality pushback vehicles and towbarless tow for commercial aviation and business jet markets. The transaction was worth USD 48 million. It would enable the company to deepen its engineering capabilities.


7. Mallaghan

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersBack in the 1960’s, it was a civil engineering firm that was founded by Terry Mallaghan. But today, it has become one of the most renowned suppliers of airport ground support equipment. It manufactures superior quality products for its broad customer base.

Mallaghan received a new contract worth €3 million from UTG Aviation Services Holdings in May 2020. It would enable the company to supply six deicing units in Moscow Domodedovo Airport. The units will be used by UTG Domodedovo to provide a state-of-the-art experience to passengers.


8. Textron Ground Support Equipment Inc.

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersIt manufactures GSE and provides associated service solutions. For more than 150 years, the company has served the world’s leading airports, freight carriers, and airlines. Its product portfolio includes a wide range of ground power units, conventional and towbarless push backs, belt loaders, baggage tractors, and other similar products.

For instance, in August 2020, Textron unveiled its new technology called Guardian for Premier deicers. It can eliminate human errors from shut-down and start-up procedures. It also offers numerous unique features to ensure operations run safely. This new technology also minimizes the risk of delayed flights, unnecessary downtime, and expensive repairs.


9. TLD

Top 9 Ground Support Equipment ManufacturersIt is a provider of a broad range of this type of equipment possessing a vast network worldwide. Its products are used by several airports across the globe. The company strives persistently to offer reduced maintenance cost, surge reliability, and dynamic efficiency. It owns seven factories in Europe, Asia, and America.

In September 2020, TLD announced that its ground support equipment was utilized by Air France for operating the ‘all-electric turn around’ of one of its flights named AF226. It was bound for Delhi, India.


Would Green Technology Define the Future of This Industry?

The demand for GSE is likely to increase in the upcoming years on account of the surging number of baggage counters and cabins. The availability of cost-effective flight tickets have also attracted many people to opt for this mode of transportation. As the air traffic is rising, most of the airports are turning to novel technologies to operate their GSE fleets. Green technology is expected to showcase high demand in the near future because of its ability to improve workflow and reduce long-term costs. Manufacturers/Companies would invest more in the development of this technology to succeed in this industry.

-Written by Reeti Banerjee

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