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The global flight simulator market size was valued at USD 5.89 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 8.05 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.20 %during the forecast period (2020-2027).
An aircraft simulator is an electronic device designed to create an artificial training environment for pilot training and other objectives. The flight simulators hold a prominent share of credit for the flight safety standard achieved by the aviation industry. The flight training system is used for training rather than learning purposes, which is strictly focused on a systematic procedure required for the successful flight operations. They are used to provide instruction, overall training, and final verification in the correctness of predefined regulations and international standards for flight operation.
The aircraft simulator is well equipped with an accurate and complete copy aircraft cockpit concerning the aircraft series or model. This simulator consists of a superior computer system enabled with optical realism, as well as practical maneuvers of aircraft for both situations such as aircraft on the ground, and aircraft at airspace. Technological advancement in the field of simulation has resulted in the excellent innovation for motion sensors designed for the simulators.
These motion sensors provide actual sensation and flight dynamics, which are necessary to learn by the trainers. Therefore, the flight training devices play an important role during the on-air flight operation such as onboard operation, power start, traffic patterns, emergency handling, flight maneuvers, take-off, safe landing, and other numerous basic skills and technical procedures. There are few major types of these simulators, such as full flight simulator (FFS), flight training devices (FTD), aviation-training devices (ATD), and basic aircraft training devices (BATD). These factors are likely to boost the flight simulator market growth around the globe during the forecast period.
These simulators and devices are the most important parts of training and are collectively called a flight-simulation training device (FSTD). Recently, there have been prominent advancements in the simulation devices. This has led to improved safety, performance, flight control, and reduction in the overall maintenance. Moreover, the advanced aircraft simulator system is more efficient as compared to conventional systems. Thus, the major companies are involved in innovations and are adopting new strategies to enhance their market share. Therefore, these factors are projected to boost the aviation simulator market growth in the next few years.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and severe lockdown measures have led to tremendous economic fall globally. The coronavirus spread is reported through traveling from one country to another. This is the key reason for the spread is credited to the airline industry across the globe. Therefore, several countries have shutdown air transport, rail transport, and global trade except for the emergency supply. The IATA stated that the global airline industry is estimated to suffer a loss of USD 314 billion in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a major decline of almost 55% of revenue for the global airline passenger industry. This is projected to impact the airline related industries around the globe during the forecast period.
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Adoption of Smart Simulator Equipped With Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR) is a Prominent Trend
The growing technological adoption in the airline industry is enhancing the aircraft efficiency to a great extent due to an increase in high-level safety measures. Also,well-trained pilots are fuelling the demand for simulator systems. The pilot training includes hours of training before entering the actual aircraft cockpit for the commercial airlines. This training is well equipped and certified of the Full Flight Simulation (FFS) level D simulator system. This simulator system is highly advanced and is equipped with computer screens with the sight of motion pictures identical to the real environment. Pilots are needed to train in the tactical interaction by knowing the detailed use of aircraft equipment due to regular changes in the aircraft model, size, and technology. The flight deck crew and cabin crew undergo simulator practice equipped with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). These benefits are projected to boost demand for these simulators in the future.
The Japanese airlines provide engine mechanics participation in supplementary training based on augmented reality, which includes computer-generated graphics. Moreover, virtual reality is mainly used to train the cabin crew with the basic structure of the aircraft and its appliances. It replicates the cabin interior & elements such as door, seat, and passenger interaction with a virtual passenger. The ground crew has an important role to play in the passenger and pilot safety with the necessary skillset and technical knowledge. Virtual reality provides training for wing problems, aircraft issue detection, and handling methods for the ground crew persons. The increasing demand for virtual reality in the training programs across the industry is projected to drive simulator market growth over the forecast period.
Increasing Air Passenger Traffic & Need to Reduce Loads will Favor Growth
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), currently, there are around 4.8 billion air passengers, and it is expected to grow by 4.2% up to 2027. The growing air passenger traffic will add more 1.6 billion passengers in the aviation market. These factors are increasing the requirement of additional flight frequencies and commercial pilots in the domestic and international operations to reduce extra loads. However, the airline companies were operating through commercial aircraft at the maximum load factors to gain high-profit margins and added revenue. The increased load factor is accelerating profits and reducing operational costs for global companies.
In 2019, Airbus S.A.S. and the other key companies had estimated that around 39,000 and above new aircraft would be operating by 2028. These factors are set to fuel the demand for new, professionally trained pilots and first officers in the future years. An increase in the passenger traffic resulting in more pressure on airlines to recruit commercial pilots around the world is also likely to boost the market growth.
High Demand for Active Pilots Because of Rising Attrition Rateto Drive Growth
The aviation industry has exhibited strong growth in the last few years. This is credited to an increase in air traffic and tourism activities around the world. These factors have also proved to be helpful to the airline operators to maximize the revenue from the air passengers. However, the increasing pressure on commercial pilots is one of the key reasons for leaving the workforce before retirement age. Reducing the workforce is directly impacting on the unavailability of a skilled and experienced pilot pool for the airlines in various countries.
However, the European and the Middle Eastern countries have recorded average pilot retirement age, i.e., Europe has 43.7 years, and the Middle East and Africa have 45.7 years. The airline industry is facing high requirements for active new pilots at the position of first officers and captains. It is estimated that the airline industry requires around 300,000 active pilots by 2027. These factors are likely to raise the demand for training systems through these simulators to make the pilots ready for commercial airlines for the future. The rising demand for active pilots in various countries is projected to boost the market growth from 2020 to 2027.
High Cost of Aircraft Simulator Systems is a Major Restraining Factor
Aircraft simulator systems consist of various computer systems, which handle different aspects. These systems need to provide the actual application of flight controls. The effects of the aircraft systems and reaction to the external factors include cloud, precipitation, air density, and turbulence. These factors are necessary to incorporate in the systems for creating a replica of the actual flight operations. The aircraft design & development experts and engineers create artificial characteristics in simulation. These factors are responsible for the high cost of aircraft simulation technology.
Moreover, the technological advancements in motion sensors are profoundly used in the simulation. Highly used technologies, such as vibration and dynamics pilot seats in the simulation, are proven to be the most effective in commercial pilot training, which further triggers the system cost across the globe. Hence, the high cost of the simulator hardware and product development is the major factor restraining market growth.
Full Flight Simulator Segment to Hold Largest Share Owing to its Exceptional Training Capability
Based on type, the market is classified into full flight simulator, flight training device, full mission simulator, fixed based simulator. The full flight segment is expected to hold the largest share during the forthcoming years. This system is projected to experience high demand around the globe due to its excellent training capability for the pilot, crew, and ground support. It is widely used for various training applications such as commercial pilot, business jet pilot, helicopter, rotary-wing pilot, and special mission pilot.
It is a full-size replica of the aircraft cockpit for several models, sizes, and series, which provides a visual system and flight operation. It consists of various assembled computer systems, equipment, and computer programming necessary for proving the exact situation of the aircraft during the flight operation. This type of simulator system is well equipped with motion sensors and night visuals for the pilots to learn the exact situation that they will face during night operations. These benefits are propelling the demand for this system and are driving the growth of this market.
UAV Simulator Segment to Grow Rapidly Backed by High Demand from Defense & Commercial Sectors
By platform, the market is segmented into a fixed-wing simulator, rotary-wing/ helicopter simulator, and UAVs/ drone simulator. The UAV simulator segment is projected to grow at the fastest rate in the aircraft simulator market during the forecast period. The increasing demand for the unmanned aerial system (UAS) for commercial and defense applications is likely to fuel the growth of this segment across the globe by 2027. Several defense agencies are focusing on the expansion of the fleet size in the unmanned aerial system for remote surveying and border security objectives. Most countries are heavily investing in R&D for the development and purchase of UAVs, drones, and unmanned aerial systems. These factors are projected to boost the market growth during the forecast period.
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Military & Defense Segment to Grow Steadily Stoked by Higher Usage of Simulators
By application, the market is segmented into commercial and military & defense. The military & defense segment is projected to grow at a faster rate in the market during the forecast period. Commercial flight simulator technology is well known to train key security arms, including the military, navy, and air force. They are widely used to train soldiers for several applications such as tanks, aircraft carriers, ships, helicopters, tankers aircraft, and transport aircraft. They have tremendous scope in the military and defense sector, owing to the increasing capability of various security arms in several countries.
Moreover, mission-based training, tactical, and strategic techniques are required for the recruits and officers. It also includes flying in battle, emergency recovery, and coordination with air support and ground support during critical operations. These factors are projected to boost the growth of this segment in the coming years.
North America Flight simulator market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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The findings based on our research service methodology indicate that North America was estimated to hold the largest flight simulator market share in 2019. According to CAE Inc., the region is projected to require around 85,000 active pilots to cater to the airline industry in the next ten years. Moreover, the region has the presence of a large number of aircraft simulator system manufacturers and several end-users that would facilitate market growth during the forecast period.
Europe was estimated to hold the second large market share in 2019 owing to the presence of prominent flight simulator system manufacturers and aircraft manufacturers in this region, such as Airbus Group NV, Thales Group, and Indra Sistemas. Asia Pacific is expected to show strong growth in the market during the forecast period. The high demand for commercial aircraft deliveries in developing countries such as Indonesia, India, and China is likely to drive the market in the coming years.
Furthermore, the market in the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to grow at a rapid pace on account of the rising air travelers in the Arab countries from the past few years. Also, the increasing investment in the tourism sector and the presence of well-established airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, Oman Air, and Gulf Air in the region are expected to drive the market in the Middle East. Moreover, the market in the rest of the world will showcase moderate growth due to the increasing global air passenger traffic and domestic flight operations.
Key Players in the Flight Simulator Market to Adopt Strategies of Continuous Innovation, Acquisitions, and Collaborations
The competitive landscape of the market depicts the domination of a few selected players such as Thales Group, CAE Inc., and Boeing Company. A diversified product portfolio of aircraft simulator systems and solutions, along with the increased investment in R&D and strategic acquisition, are the most prominent factors responsible for the dominance of these companies. They are adopting organic and inorganic growth strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, new product launches, long-term contracts with the airlines & governments, and long-term relationships with the pilot training institutes.
The flight simulator market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on the aircraft simulator systems and detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for the segments in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Flight Simulator Market
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Along with this, the research report provides an elaborative flight simulator market analysis of dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption of advanced technology, 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.
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Value (USD Billion)
In 2019, the global flight simulator market was valued at USD 5.89 billion, and it is anticipated to reach USD 8.05 billion by 2027, growing at a stellar CAGR of 5.20% during the forecast period (2020-2027).
In the market, the full flight simulator segment, fixed-wing simulator segment, and commercial segment are the leading segments.
Some of the driving factors for the market growth are the rising aircraft deliveries owing to increased passenger traffic, increased demand for active pilots for commercial airlines, and rising investment by aircraft simulator systems manufacturers.
In the market, some of the key players are CAE Inc., Thales Group, Indra Company, and Airbus SE.
In the market, the key players are mainly focusing on establishing a strong supply chain network in high growth regions such as AsiaPacific. They are also involved in acquisitions and technological collaborations to strengthen their market share.
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