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The global docking system market size was valued at USD 56.45 million in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 65.04 million in 2023 to USD 139.91 million by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.6% over the forecast period.
An aircraft docking system (ADS) is a set of equipment and tools used to secure and place an aircraft in a certain position. It is commonly found in maintenance facilities, manufacturing plants, and airports. Its main usage is to ensure that the aircraft is parked safely and provide all essential services to it. An adjustable anchor guidance system, ground power unit, and retractable jet bridge are among the components of the ADS. The rising fleet of aircraft and maintenance requirements is expected to propel the growth of the market.
There are different types of ADS, such as fixed systems, movable systems, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, and others. The general purpose of an aircraft docking system is to ensure the safety of the aircraft during loading and unloading. These systems contribute to the prevention of accidents and damage to aircraft and buildings. They also help increase efficiency by reducing the time required to park and maintain the aircraft.
Although aircraft docking offers many benefits, there are some risks related to its use. One of the most serious risks is a system failure, which can damage aircraft or infrastructure. Another concern is that the docking system will not be properly maintained or calibrated, resulting in incorrect aircraft placement.
Decreased Air Travel Had a Negative Impact on the Global Docking System Market Growth
The global market witnessed a decline of 9.30% in 2020 due to travel restrictions and reduced passenger air traffic, which caused reduced demand for aircraft maintenance as well as manufacturing. In addition, the lack of aviation activity led to a reduction in demand for unscheduled and line maintenance operations, which is the main source of revenue for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sector. The reduction in line and unscheduled maintenance due to low aircraft operations was offset by an increase in facility maintenance requirements. MROs across the global also saw a decrease in their client base during the pandemic. Moreover, due to global lockdowns and border closures, operators that previously relied on OEM-operated MRO facilities in the West had to look to domestic MRO facilities instead.
The aircraft OEMs also faced various challenges during the pandemic. Orders for commercial aircraft were down by about 55% in 2020 from 2019, and the number of delayed deliveries increased. At the end of December 2020, Boeing's backlog (total outstanding orders prior to ASC 606 adjustment) was 4,997 aircraft, of which 4,031, or 81%, were 737 narrow-body jets.
Growing Demand for Robust and Lightweight Aircraft Docking Structures Is the Latest Trend
A robust and lightweight ADS are in significant demand by aircraft manufacturer and MROs due to operational flexibility provided by ADS. This technology aims to create secure and efficient docking solutions for aircraft while minimizing weight. It involves advanced materials, innovative designs, and automation to enhance safety and reduce turnaround times at airports. Such systems improve maintenance boarding and cargo handling processes.
Several factors of aircraft docking system such as mobile or stationary ADS and aluminum or steel dock structures are important aspects of its selection. Moreover, several major companies are focusing on providing fully customized ADS to suit individual customer specifications for standard work platforms and single-module accessibility. Aircraft docks and maintenance platforms can be built on mobile bases, allowing for faster docking and undocking. The joints do not loosen during installation and can be made anti-tamper if necessary by fabricating custom access platforms using 2D and 3D editing software to ensure aircraft safety and reduce aircraft downtime.
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Rise in Aircraft Fleet and Growth in New Airport Infrastructure to Drive the Market Growth
Airlines worldwide are constantly expanding their fleets to meet the growing demand for air travel. This expansion includes both cargo and passenger aircraft. With a large aircraft fleet, the demand for reliable and technologically advanced ADS rises. In September 2023, Network Airline Management (NAM) recently took delivery of Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, expanding its current fleet to four B747Fs. The additional aircraft joined the fleet based at Network's European hub, Liège – Belgium, and will enable NAM to further expand its scheduled and charter operations while offering customers more capacity, flexibility, and schedule stability.
Moreover, many regions across the globe are investing heavily in the construction of new airports and expansion of existing ones. This is driven by the need to accommodate the growing number of travelers and cargo shipments. As part of modernization efforts, airports are incorporating advanced aircraft docking systems into their infrastructure to streamline the maintenance processes. In August 2023, New Zealand's Auckland International Airport announced plans to spend USD 1.84 billion over the five years to 2027 to develop and improve airport infrastructure.
Rise in Air Travel and Number of Flights per Aircraft to Boost the Market Growth
The aircraft utilization factor is a major contributor to identifying the requirement of maintaining commercial aircraft. The growth in air travel has led to a rise in aircraft fleet utilization in recent years. According to a report by IATA, total traffic in March 2023 (measured in passenger revenue km or RPK) increased by 52.4% compared to March 2022. Moreover, the number of flights per aircraft has also risen globally, which is anticipated to lead to an increased need for scheduled maintenance checks.
Moreover, with the increase in air travel for business and personal use, the demand for the production of new aircraft is also increasing, which is expected to have a significant impact on the market. In addition, growing demand for old aircraft and environmental concerns have highlighted the need for continued monitoring and maintenance of old aircraft. This has created significant growth opportunity for the market as old aircraft require more frequent and specialized maintenance to ensure their safe flight and compliance.
High Cost of Product Integration and Customization Requirements May Hamper the Market Growth
Different aircraft designs require a custom aircraft stand guidance system. The custom aircraft stand guidance system can be used for MRO, painting, or manufacturing operations. For example, aircraft such as Beluga XL and Antonovo-25 require a high degree of customization due to different designs and dimension requirements. However, creating a stand guidance system of such a design is a challenging task. In addition, this work is time-consuming and labor-intensive, which increases the turnaround times.
Moreover, MRO companies need specialized equipment when working with large aircraft, which can increase the overhead costs. Hence, potential customers refrain from investing in these systems due to high maintenance and repair costs. Furthermore, as the downtime required for maintenance and repair is high, it can hinder the overall efficiency of the maintenance and repair processes, thereby limiting the growth of the market.
Engine Docks Segment to Dominate Owing to the Major Overhauls
By type, the docking system market is segmented into nose docks, engine docks, fuselage docks, wing docks, tail docks, and others. The engine docks segment is the dominating and expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. Depending on the type, the engine must be disassembled, cleaned, and serviced after every 3,000 or more flight cycles. This means the engine undergoes a major overhaul every five years for more frequent and less radical visits to the workshop. Due to this factor, the segment is projected to grow during the forecast period.
The fuselage docks segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the rise in regular structural maintenance activities to ensure the safety of aircraft.
Narrow Body Segment Dominated in 2022 Owing to Surge in Aircraft Fleet
On the basis of aircraft type, the market is segmented into narrow body, wide body, regional jet, and others. The narrow body segment dominated the market in 2022 and is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The segment growth can be attributed to the rise in aircraft fleets by various airlines. In June 2023, SpiceJet planned to integrate 10 narrow-body Boeing 737s into its fleet owing to the growing passenger demand the airline plans to meet.
The wide body segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The rise in segmental share is due to the increased need for MRO activities in various airlines.
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MRO Segment to Dominate Owing to Rising Number of Routine Maintenance Checks
By end user, the market is segmented into OEM and MRO. The MRO segment is anticipated to dominate the market and is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The rise in routine and scheduled maintenance checks is anticipated to drive the segment growth.
The OEM segment is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. OEM uses an aircraft stand guidance system for manufacturing, painting, and assembly processes. The segment growth can be credited to the rise in the manufacturing of aircraft by major players such as Airbus and Boeing.
In terms of geography, the market is studied across North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
North America Docking System Market Size, 2022 (USD Million)
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The North America market, valued at USD 21.64 million, held the largest share in 2022. The growth can be attributed to the rise in the number of aircraft and maintenance facilities across the region. Another factor propelling the regional growth is the presence of major aircraft OEMs and MRO companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Europe market for docking system held a significant share in 2022. The growth in the region is driven by rising aviation industry across countries such as U.K., Germany, France and so on. The region has many established players, such as NIJL Aircraft Docking, Zarges GmbH, CTI Systems, and others. Moreover, with the rise in the number of aircraft, the number of aircraft guidance stand systems is expected to increase.
The Asia Pacific market is expected to hold the highest CAGR during the forecast period. According to a report by Airbus SAS, more than 16,000 aircraft are expected to be delivered in the Asia Pacific by 2034, which is expected to boost the regional growth. The growing aviation infrastructure in India, China, Japan, and others is further anticipated to bolster the regional growth.
The Middle East & Africa is anticipated to witness moderate growth in the market during the forecast period. The growing demand for business aviation services in oil-rich economies is expected to boost the general aviation industry in the region. Approximately 1,160 aircraft, including business jets, helicopters, turboprops, and piston aircraft, are expected to be delivered to the region during the forecast period. Such factors are anticipated to drive the market growth in the region.
Latin America is expected to show moderate growth in the market during the forecast period. Privatization of airports in countries such as Brazil, Jamaica, Honduras, Paraguay, and Peru is expected to expand airport infrastructure and enhance capacity, thereby supporting the growth of general aviation in the region.
Leading Players Focus on Partnering with Major Airlines to Gain Competitive Edge
The global market is relatively consolidated with key players, such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., NIJL Aircraft docking, Semmco, Fortal, Shanghai Ifly GSE Co., Ltd., DAE Industries, and others. These players are focusing on increasing partnerships and collaborations with airlines to gain a competitive edge. In June 2023, NIJL, a Dutch company specializing in aircraft assembly engineering, decided to set up a manufacturing joint venture in Hyderabad. NIJL would partner with Hyderabad-based Sagar Asia Group to set up this joint venture.
An Infographic Representation of Docking System Market
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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It comprises all major aspects, such as competitive landscape, R&D capabilities, supply chain management, Porter’s five force analysis, and opportunities for ADS. Moreover, the market report offers insights into the market trends, and docking system market share, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth over recent years.
CAGR of 11.6% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Million)
By Type, Aircraft Type, End User, and Region
By Aircraft Type
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was valued at USD 56.45 million in 2022.
The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% during the forecast period (2023-2030).
Based on aircraft type, the narrow body segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period due to the rising aircraft fleet.
The market size in North America stood at USD 21.64 million in 2022.
The growing new airport infrastructure is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period.
Some of the top companies in the market are Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., NIJL Aircraft docking, Semmco, Fortal, Shanghai Ifly GSE Co., Ltd., DAE Industries, and others.
The U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
The steep cost related to the deployment of docking system and customization requirements may hinder market growth.
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