The global airside services market size was valued at USD 3.1 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 5.8 billion by 2031, registering a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Airside services include a wide range of ground support and operational operations required to safely and efficiently pass aircraft, passengers, and cargo through airports. These services are crucial for guaranteeing the smooth functioning of flights and improving the overall passenger experience.
Factors such as increased investment to support brownfield and greenfield airside services, increased global passenger traffic, and adoption of new technologies supporting automation and self-services drive the market share of airside services. Most airports are currently focused on lowering operational costs, enhancing operational efficiency, and lowering their carbon footprint. The industry faces a problem maintaining international service quality requirements while adhering to environmental rules. Increasing competition causes price cuts, reducing service providers' profit margins. Growing pricing competitiveness and increasing airline negotiating strength are projected to emerge as some of the issues confronting the airside services business throughout the projection period.
Passenger numbers have increased as the middle-class population has grown, and air travel has become more affordable, particularly in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. As a result, airports and airlines are under pressure to improve their airside services to handle the increasing passenger volume efficiently. According to the Airports Council International (ACI), worldwide passenger traffic surpassed 9.1 billion passengers in 2019, with a 4.1% annual growth rate. This tendency was especially noticeable in Asia-Pacific, where growth was even faster, at 4.5%. This expansion is projected to continue, fueling demand for airside services capable of handling an expanding number of planes and passengers. For example, countries like China and India are experiencing significant economic expansion in Asia-Pacific, resulting in more disposable money and travel desires. As a result, airports in these countries are expanding and modernizing their infrastructure to meet rising passenger demand. Furthermore, the rise of low-cost carriers and international tourism trends have led to rising demand for air travel. This increase pressures airports to optimize their airside services, from aircraft handling and parking to passenger boarding and luggage management.
Airports and aviation sector stakeholders are under increasing pressure to reduce their environmental footprint as the global focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility grows. Airside operations such as aircraft movements, ground handling, and other services contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, noise pollution, and other environmental effects. The aviation industry is responsible for around 2-3% of worldwide CO2 emissions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As a result, airports and airlines are under regulatory and public pressure to implement more environmentally friendly procedures. This can complicate airside operations since traditional aircraft handling techniques and ground services may need to be adjusted or replaced with cleaner alternatives. For example, electric ground support equipment (GSE) is being developed to replace traditional diesel-powered equipment, lowering pollutants and noise levels on the airside. Transitioning to these technologies, however, may be costly and necessitates considerable investments in infrastructure and equipment. This may impede the expansion of the aviation services market.
The airside services industry offers a tremendous opportunity for advanced technology integration to improve operational efficiency and customer experience. One example of such technology is employing autonomous ground vehicles for baggage handling, airplane towing, and runway inspections. These vehicles can operate autonomously, lowering the danger of human error and increasing overall efficiency. Another airside service option is artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics. AI algorithms can forecast aircraft arrival times and optimize gate assignments, resulting in faster aircraft turnarounds and fewer delays. Data analytics can also provide insights into operational performance, allowing airports to detect bottlenecks and inefficiencies and make educated decisions.
The global airside services market is segmented based on Class, operations, platform, end-user, and region.
Class is further segmented into Class A, B, C, and D for better understanding.
Class B airside services include various services that aid in aircraft operation. These services could include airplane towing, baggage handling, aircraft cleaning, and catering. Class B services help improve the customer experience by ensuring that aircraft are properly equipped for departure and arrival and that luggage and cargo handling procedures are efficient.
Class A airside services are often associated with the highest quality of service and operations. These services are crucial for guaranteeing aviation operations' safety and efficiency. They include runway maintenance, aircraft marshaling, aircraft refueling, and ground handling for passenger and cargo flights. Class A services are critical to ensuring airport operations run smoothly and continuously.
Based on operation, the market is sub-segmented into Aircraft, Passenger, and Cargo Handling.
Passenger handling services include all activities connected to passenger transportation and comfort within the airport. Check-in, boarding, security checks, customs processing, and baggage handling are all included. Passenger handling services are critical in ensuring passengers have a pleasant and trouble-free experience from arriving at the airport until boarding the aircraft.
Aircraft handling services encompass a wide range of tasks that enable aircraft's safe and efficient movement on the ground and in the air. This comprises air traffic control, aircraft marshaling, towing, pushback, and parking. To direct aircraft during taxiing, parking, and departure, aircraft handling staff collaborate closely with pilots and ground control. These services are crucial for keeping air traffic moving and guaranteeing the safety of both aircraft and employees.
The market is classified by platform into Hardware, Software, and Service.
The hardware platform includes the equipment and gadgets required to support various airport operations. Items such as aircraft ground handling equipment, passenger boarding bridges, baggage handling systems, ground power units, and other machinery necessary for various duties can fall into this category. Hardware components are important to the smooth operation of airplanes, passenger services, and cargo handling.
The software platform includes digital technologies and apps that aid in managing and optimizing various airside processes. Examples are airport administration software, passenger check-in systems, flight scheduling and tracking software, cargo management systems, and security and surveillance software. Software solutions make real-time monitoring, data analysis, and decision-making possible, increasing airport operations' efficiency and accuracy.
By end-user, the segment can be further bifurcated into Commercial and military.
Airlines, passenger terminals, freight operators, and other companies participating in civilian aviation activities compose the commercial end-user category. Commercial airside services are designed to provide passengers with a smooth and efficient experience, punctual aircraft movements, effective luggage handling, and efficient cargo operations. Commercial airports prioritize services that improve passenger comfort, preserve flight schedules, and allow easy baggage transfer.
The military end-user segment includes air bases and installations that assist military aviation operations. In this context, airside services are adapted to satisfy the special needs of military aircraft, training exercises, and logistical support. These services primarily concern fast deployment, aircraft maintenance, and strategic mobility. Airside operations by the military are vital for national defense and security endeavors.
The global airside services market research is analyzed in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
North America holds a sizeable global market share and is expected to boost at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period. North America commands a sizable market share. This is because of extensive technological use, stringent air travel restrictions, and continually increasing air traffic. North American airport expansion and order backlogs for business and commercial aircraft have driven market demand. Furthermore, the United States Airside Services market had the biggest market share, while Canada Airside Services was the fastest expanding industry in North America. Many regional airports have invested in innovative baggage-handling solutions that track and carry baggage seamlessly using robotics, conveyor systems, and RFID technology. For example, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States features a cutting-edge baggage handling system that can process thousands of bags every hour, lowering the possibility of mishandled baggage and increasing passenger satisfaction. The number of people passing through U.S. airports has consistently increased throughout the years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Asia-Pacific is predicted to rise at a substantial CAGR of 7.8% throughout the forecast period due to the region's growing economic development and increased aviation passenger traffic. Singapore Changi Airport, one of the region's busiest, highlights the significance of effective aircraft ground handling services. The airport is noted for its short turnaround times and well-coordinated ground handling activities, contributing to its status as a leading regional transport hub. The Asia-Pacific area will account for almost 40% of worldwide aviation passenger travel in 2023, according to the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA). Asia-Pacific airports focus on improving the passenger experience by integrating cutting-edge technologies and services. For example, introducing automated check-in kiosks, self-boarding gates, and biometric identification systems enhances passenger flow and decreases waiting times.
Europe has several vital tasks that keep planes and people safe and efficient at airports. These services include aircraft, baggage, refueling, maintenance, and more. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will buy 19 baggage robots to improve baggage handling staff efficiency. According to Schiphol, these robots, built in six months, are supposed to replace humans' heavy bag hauling. Airside operations at European airports also prioritize environmental sustainability. For instance, Fraport and the Lufthansa Group are collaborating on E-PORT AN at Frankfurt Airport to increase electric vehicle use in airplane handling and reduce airport emissions. Many European airports are upgrading to handle larger aircraft and more passengers. This includes runway, taxiway, and apron expansion. These infrastructure improvements allow airside service providers to provide knowledge and support.
The Middle East is a significant market for airside services. Order backlogs for business and commercial aircraft and airport expansion have boosted market demand in the Middle East. The Middle East airside services business is primarily monopolistic, which is likely to produce future demand and supply mismatches. In recent years, the Middle East and Africa region has enjoyed significant economic expansion, fueled by oil and gas, trade, and tourism sectors. This expansion has resulted in increased air travel demand and an increase in the number of flights and passengers at regional airports. The Middle East's strategic location as a crossroads between East and West has aided in the growth of air travel. Airports in the region, such as Hamad International Airport in Qatar and Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, serve as important transit sites for long-distance flights. Airside services in the region are extremely important in handling air cargo, particularly in nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Airports such as Saudi Arabia's King Fahd International Airport and Dubai World Central are important cargo hubs, serving businesses like e-commerce and worldwide trade.
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