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The global helicopter market size was USD 48.19 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 68.36 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.47% during the forecast period.
The helicopter is a type of aircraft which is lifted and propelled by one or more sets of horizontally revolving overhead rotors. As a helicopter has the operational feature of vertical take-off and landing, it can be efficiently operated in remote locations. Also, it minimizes the overall cost and time of the flight. Nowadays, lightweight helicopters are widely used for commercial applications owing to their benefits such as high reliability, safety, and easy operating systems.
The recent helicopter market trends are hybrid-electric propulsion, autonomous flight technology, electro-optical and infrared systems (EOIR), electronic flight instruments (EFI), and ultra-light multi-mode radar flight vision systems (EFVS). Among these, autonomous flight technology is adopted broadly by the manufacturers and helicopter operators present in the market. The implementation of autonomous technology is not possible without the implementation of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and the internet of things (IoT). These technologies assist in improving the helicopter flight operations, thereby making the flights near to the autonomy level.
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The sensors installed in the helicopter share real-time data that is collected from it, which is further analyzed and used for helicopter health monitoring purposes. It includes the efficiency of components & systems, route mapping & navigation purposes, maintenance, and repair & overhaul (MRO) operations. These improve the overall efficiency of the helicopter and minimize the operational cost. Moreover, the implementation of IoT in helicopters helps to connect with various other entities belonging to the supply chain. For instance, if any component or system fails during the operation, then the maintenance service providers can immediately track and take necessary precautions to avoid accidents.
“Rising Demand for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Helicopter to Drive Growth”
A rise in the smart city projects in India and China, the increasing government initiatives for improving medical facilities, and rising investment by private hospitals in infrastructure development are creating high demand for the emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters. These services are preferring helicopter as an air ambulance, which helps the emergency medical response team to reach at any remote location. Hospitals prefer air ambulance services over roadway transportation owing to benefits, such as fast and safe transportation of patients to the hospital. Moreover, rise in the human organs transportation through air ambulance is also supporting the growth of the EMS helicopters, which in turn, would drive the helicopter market growth rate in the coming years.
Major companies in the air ambulance services market are focused on expanding their business in regions, namely, North America and Asia-Pacific. For instance, in August 2019, AirLife Medical Inc., an air ambulance service provider, launched a new facility in North Carolina, in the U.S. With this new facility, the company has started providing air services during emergency and traumatic situations. Similarly, in February 2018, Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance (BSAA) launched the AW169 helicopter. It is used to serve the Nordic countries as an EMS.
“Increasing Application of Lightweight Helicopters in Various Fields to Propel Growth”
Companies, such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Airbus SAS offer lightweight helicopters for applications in tourism, corporate services, and search and rescue operations. The use of advanced technology and lightweight systems and components in the helicopter have helped to reduce the overall weight and cost of the helicopter. In the next few years, governments of several countries, namely, Singapore, India, and China would focus on smart city development. In these countries, air taxi can be used as a means of public transport and it would thus, create opportunities for lightweight helicopters.
“Commercial Helicopter to Lead: Presence of Major Investors in Developed Nations to Favor Growth”
Base on type, the market has been segmented into civil & commercial and military. A rise in commercial helicopter applications, such as air ambulance services, tourism, and emergency rescue is driving the growth of this segment. Asia-Pacific and Europe are expected to be the major investors in commercial helicopters during the forecast period. Moreover, the increasing infrastructure expenditure on intercity aviation connectivity is also driving the commercial segment growth during the forecast period.
“Rising Usage of Helicopters in Oil Rigs to Boost Growth of Oil & Gas Segment”
Based on application, the helicopter industry is segregated into corporate services, search & rescue operation, oil & gas, defense, homeland security, and others. The oil & gas segment is estimated to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period. Helicopters are widely used for the inspection and maintenance of offshore oil rigs. Besides, they are used to increase survivability, emergency evacuation, and equipment inspection. Also, the growing oil and gas exploration activities in the Middle East and Africa is expected to boost the growth of the market segment.
“Engine Segment to Dominate Owing to Increasing Research & Development Activities by Key Manufacturers”
Based on systems, the helicopter market has been grouped into the airframe, engine, avionics, landing gear system, and cabin interiors. Amongst these, the engine segment is estimated to drive the market during the forecast period. Some of the key manufacturers, namely, GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce are investing in hybrid engine technologies. These engine manufacturers are also conducting research and development activities to design efficient hybrid helicopter engines. Moreover, a rise in the fuel cost would create demand for the hybrid-electric propulsion as they are electrically operated. For instance, In June 2019, Airbus SAS integrated an electric propulsion system as a backup system into H130 demonstrator. This was part of a research project that was carried out by Airbus SAS. The technology would provide safety in case of of a single-engine shuts down during operation.
“Blend of Real-time Data & MRO Service Providers to Propel the Aftermarket Segment”
Based on the point of sale, the helicopter market is categorized into OEMs and aftermarket. Out of these, the aftermarket segment is expected to grow at a rapid rate during the forecast period. The rise in demand for aftermarket components and systems is majorly because of the replacement of conventional components with the technologically advanced components and systems. Also, a rise in the integration of real-time data with the MRO service providers would help to increase the operational efficiency of the helicopter and would increase the safety of the passengers.
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“Increasing Government Expenditure on Border Security to Accelerate Lightweight Helicopter Demand”
Based on weight, the helicopter market is fragmented into a lightweight, medium weight, and heavyweight. Amongst these, the lightweight segment is expected to showcase maximum growth during the forecast period. The rise in government expenditure on border security is expected to propel the growth of the market segment. The lightweight helicopter can be equipped with gun systems and thus, is suited for multirole combat operations.
“North America Expected to Dominate Backed by High Demand for Law Enforcement”
Based on regions, the global market has been segmented by North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the rest of the world.
North America is estimated to gain the largest helicopter market share during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to a rise in government spending on military helicopters and the demand for EMS helicopters. The U.S. is anticipated to contribute to the largest market share for helicopter OEMs in North America, as the government is investing increasingly to enhance the quality and effectiveness of helicopters and their components. The U.S. has also spent a substantial amount of its military budget to procure attack helicopters to strengthen its military fleet. Moreover, factors such as a rise in demand for border security, law enforcement, and search and rescue operations would be increasing the demand in this region. The region has a presence of key helicopter manufacturers, such as Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and others.
Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. The OEMs such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Kawasaki Industries have a major presence in this region. Moreover, the rising expenditure by the Indian government in the development of defense has created massive demand for military helicopters in this country.
North America Helicopter Market Size, 2018
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Moreover, the Chinese government is also modernizing its military helicopters and it will be done in the next five years. Thus, it would propel the growth of the helicopter market analysis during the review period. Moreover, companies such as Airbus SAS and Bell Helicopters are investing in the simulator training facilities in India and China. This would help to provide training to the pilots for various commercial and military helicopter applications. The commercial helicopters are used for public transportation at tourist places. They are also used for corporate travel and as air ambulances. Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) is expected to produce large number of commercial and military helicopters in the next few years. This would augment the helicopter market size in Asia-Pacific.
“Airbus Helicopters SAS, and Others to Strengthen Market Position by Expanding Product Portfolio”
The helicopter market share is dominated by some of the key companies owing to their strong product portfolio, key strategic decisions, and dominance of market share. These include a group of key companies with more widespread geographic presence and persistent R&D activities, resulting in strong regulatory approvals.
Manufacturers are aiming to gain the top of the line enterprise boom by adopting strategies, such as mergers & acquisitions, joint development, capability enlargement, design and engineering, long term contract & agreements, and sizable investments in R&D.
Increasing demand for lightweight parts and emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters in the aerospace industry are driving the growth of the helicopter market. The market is segmented by different industry types, applications, platforms, systems and components, and weight. The market research covers the scope of various countries and regions, which are generating the demand for the helicopter market report.
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Along with this, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the global market dynamics and competitive landscape for the key manufacturers of helicopters.
Value (USD Billion)
By Point of Sale
Fortune Business Insights says that the helicopter market was valued at USD 48.19 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 68.36 Billion by 2026.
The helicopter market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.47% during the forecast period (2015-2026).
The OEM segment is expected to be the leading segment in the helicopter market.
Increasing demand for emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters and lightweight helicopters are estimated to drive the growth of the helicopter market.
Airbus SAS, Bell Helicopter Textron, The Boeing Company, Leonardo SPA, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Russian Helicopters, JSC, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., MD Helicopters, Inc., Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd., Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and Robinson Helicopter Company are some of the top players in the helicopter market.
North America is projected to hold the highest market share in the helicopter market.
Hybrid-electric propulsion and autonomous flight technology are some of the important helicopter market trends.
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