Helicopter is a type of aircraft which drives with the thrust supplied from rotors. Helicopter are used for several applications such as medical services, corporate services, disaster management, law enforcement, oil and gas and defense. There are two types of helicopters, civil helicopter and military helicopter. Civil helicopters refer to the helicopters (apart from military usage) used for VIP or corporate transportation, offshore transportation, law enforcement, medical services, firefighting, general utility, and others. The military helicopters are the helicopters specifically used for defense purposes.
GLOBAL CIVIL HELICOPTER MARKET, BY TYPE, $M (2013 – 2023)
Military helicopter, which includes heavy, medium and light helicopters, held larger share in the global helicopter market in 2016. Heavy military helicopter refers to the helicopter with maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) greater than 8,500kg; medium military helicopter with MTOW between 4,500kg and 8,500kg; light military helicopter with MTOW less than 4,500kg. Civil helicopter, which includes light, intermediate, medium, and large and heavy helicopters, is expected to witness higher growth during 2017 - 2023. The increasing demand from developing nations and increasing usage in firefighting and emergency medical services is driving the growth of civil helicopter market.
Light civil helicopters refer to the helicopters with MTOW of 3,175kg or less; intermediate civil helicopters are the helicopter with MTOW between 3,175kg and 5,700kg; medium civil helicopters refer to the helicopters with MTOW between 5,700kg and 9,000kg; and large & heavy civil helicopters are the helicopters with MTOW greater than 9,000kg.
The global helicopter market is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.4% during 2017 – 2023. Ageing helicopter fleet, increasing usage of helicopters in disaster relief, and technological advancements are the major factors driving the growth of the global helicopter market. The market faces challenges such as economic uncertainty, and ongoing crisis in the oil and gas industry.
The global market is expected to be positively impacted by growing helicopter market in emerging economies. The increasing compliance for helicopters in the emerging economies is expected to provide growth potential for the market during the forecast years. Countries such as China, Brazil and India have a huge market potential, as the government is spending huge capital for developing their civil and military helicopter fleet. The economy of developing nations has witnessed significant growth over the past few years. Moreover, the territorial disputes in Asia compels governments to increase their defense spending. This is expected to result in increased procurement of military helicopters especially in the developing nations such as China and India.
The growing demand for medium helicopters, shift towards civil helicopters market, growing joint ventures between global manufacturers, increased demand for technologically advanced combat helicopters, increasing up-gradation of existing fleet, tie-up between helicopters manufacturers and aviation colleges are the key growth drivers for the global helicopter market. Several countries have high demand for helicopters in their defense sector, which finally shows a growth in the market.
Civil helicopters are widely being used by government bodies, mainly for law-enforcement activities and emergency response services. The market in civil sector provides helicopters for various purposes including transportation, private use, government use, and other purposes. The most popular helicopters are light helicopters with MTOW 3,175kg or less. The civil helicopter is estimated to have increased demand in emergency medical services and corporate sector. Increasing customer compliance for more equipped and sophisticated avionics, and flight safety are expected to fuel the growth of the global helicopter market. As an outcome, the global OEMs are continuously developing helicopters with specialized safety features, precisely designed to perform specific activities. In March 2015, Airbus Helicopters introduced H160, a twin-engine medium class helicopter. The company claimed that the H160 represents its strategy to provide the efficient solutions for its customers to safely carry passengers in the demanding environments.
The global helicopter market is consolidated with top six players including Russian Helicopters, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Airbus SE, Leonardo, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., and The Boeing Company, accounting for more than 70% of revenue in the global market. The major players are investing huge capital to develop light and medium civil helicopters and light and medium military helicopters with advanced security features and technology. Helicopter operators have shown interest in purchase of technologically advanced medium civil helicopters specifically for application in law enforcement, firefighting, and medical services. Key competitors are specifically focusing on Latin America for expansion of civil helicopter fleet, as the operators in the region show strong purchase intention in the coming year for civil helicopters. Similarly, manufacturers are also investing in the Asia-Pacific region for the expansion of military as well as civil helicopter fleet. Russian Helicopters showcased its latest developments during China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition-2016, which took place in November 2016. The company demonstrated a range of its civil helicopters models and featured latest products including medevac Ansats, a multi-purpose Mi-171A2 and a firefighting Ka-32A11BC. In November 2016, the company also signed a contract with Wuhan Rand Aviation Technology Service Co. Ltd. for the supply of 18 new helicopters including Mi-171s, Ka-32s and Ansat.
Some of the other key players in the market include Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd., Robinson Helicopter Company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, MD Helicopters, Inc., and Kaman Corporation.
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