A non-directional radio beacon transmits an omnidirectional signal, which is received by an automatic direction finder (ADF) onboard the aircraft. The pilot, with the support of ADF, determines the direction of the NDB with reference to the aircraft. Growing military spending, especially in developing economies, due to geopolitical tensions, rise in aerial surveying, and rising security threats is expected to drive the construction of new military airports to facilitate effective lading and rescue operations. This increase in the number of military airports is expected to lead to an increase in the application of non-directional radio beacons.
The global non-directional radio beacon market can be segmented by type and application. Based on type, the non-directional radio beacon market can be segmented into approach NDBs and locator type NDBs. Locator type non-directional radio beacons are slated to witness considerable growth as they are low/medium frequency, consume less power, and used to aid the aircraft’s final approach. These NDBs offers a signal range between 10 and 25 nautical miles and are used in combination with an Instrument Landing System (ILS).
Based on application, the non-directional radio beacon market can be segmented into civil airport,, military airports, and private airports. Civil airports are expected to hold a high share of the global non-directional radio beacon market due to rising prevalence of air travel. As per Airports Council International (ACI), over 17,678 commercial and civil airports are operational around the world. This number is expected to grow as the volume of international trade and travel increases. India plans to expand its overall airport numbers and invest over USD 60 billion for the construction of 100 new airports by 2035.
Geographically, the non-directional radio beacon market has been segmented into Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, and Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
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Asia-Pacific is expected to witness high growth in the global non-directional radio beacon market, owing to rising international trade, the growing middle-class population, which has been undertaking frequent air travel, and government support in countries such as China. Keeping the rising number of commuters in mind, China plans to build 200 new airports over the next 15 years to facilitate smoother air transport. On the other hand, the privatization of several airports in Japan might restrict market growth as private players are expected to opt for an advanced replacement of NDBs.
North America is expected to witness considerable growth in the global non-directional radio beacon market despite innovations such as satellite-based precision approaches, as some NDBs are still active in the U.S. For instance, Alaska alone has around 70 active NDBs, as per the FAA.
Europe is expected to witness significant growth in the global non-directional radio beacon market during the forecast period, against a backdrop of infrastructure developments such as the addition of a third runway at Heathrow airport, which could lead to an increase in the demand for locator type NDBs. However, BREXIT and other geopolitical tensions in Europe may have an adverse effect on the market.
Latin America is expected to witness substantial growth in the global non-directional radio beacon market during the forecast period, 2019–2026. Increasing preference towards air travel, growing air traffic from other regions of the world, and the integration of Latin American airlines into global alliances is fostering market growth in the region.
The Middle East & Africa region is expected to witness steady growth. The increasing consumption of alternative energy sources has compelled economies such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia to invest in other sectors such as aviation. The UAE and Saudi Arabia experienced an increase of around 3.3% and 8% in air traffic respectively in 2017. However, geopolitical tensions and trade embargoes are expected to restrict the growth to some extent.
Non-Directional Radio Beacon Market Segmentation
Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa (LAMEA)
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