The light-sport aircraft market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 1.5% during the forecast period.
- The increasing demand for adventure sports and water sports around the world, along with the growth for travel and tourism, is expected to be a major factor boosting the demand for light sport aircraft during the forecast period.
- The ease in regulations of various civil aviation authorities is also expected to drive the growth of the market in the future.
- The investments made by many regional players in the development of new aircraft, for increasing their customer base, are also acting as key development factors for the market.
Key Market Trends
Airplane Segment to Experience the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
Currently, the airplane segment of the market studied has the highest share, and it is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of adventure sports in regions, like North America, Europe, and some parts of the Middle East, is the major reason for the growth of airplane segment. The light sport aircraft manufacturers, Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM SpA, Pipistrel d.o.o, and Flight Design General Aviation GmbH delivered 63, 22, and 43 aircraft, respectively, in 2018, and 72, 19, and 32 aircraft, respectively, in 2017. The larger scope of use for airplanes (as they can be used in both, land and water-locked areas), as compared to seaplanes (only useful near the water boundaries), and the growing support of LSA manufacturing are expected to fuel the growth of the airplane segment during the forecast period.
North America is Expected to Generate the Highest Demand During the Forecast Period
Currently, North America has the highest share in the market, and it is expected to continue its domination during the forecast period. The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) and the US Ultralight Association (USUA), in support of GAMA, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) are working with FAA, for developing the light sport aircraft manufacturing industry and opening up new opportunities for operators of LSA. Additionally, the FAA plans to increase the weight limit for LSA, which is anticipated to come into effect by end of 2019 or early 2020. Such changes in the regulations are expected to act as major factors supporting the companies to manufacture new aircraft models that may help the growth of the market in the United States, and thus, drive the growth of the market in North America, during the forecast period.
The market is fragmented, with the presence of many regional players in various countries, like the United States, France, Canada, Germany, China, and Australia, among others. Some of the prominent players in the light sport aircraft market are Zenith Aircraft Company, Cub Crafters Inc., ICON Aircraft, Flight Design General Aviation GmbH, and American Legend Aircraft Company. Over the years, with the ease of certification standards, many startups have entered the market, resulting in further fragmentation, in terms of the market share. In April 2019, the Italian manufacturer, Tecnam, unveiled three new models of aircraft, namely the P2002JF MkII IFR, the P92 Echo MkII, and the Sierra MkII EU 600 kg, at the AERO 2019 in Germany. These aircraft are expected to be certified by 2020. Currently, the Sierra MkII EU 600 kg model is made available for customers in countries where this category is approved by the local civil aviation authorities. Similarly, Colt, a new light sport aircraft, was built in Texas by a startup based in Brazil. Colt is powered by the 100-horsepower Rotax 912 ULS. The aircraft is yet to receive regulatory approval. Development of such new aircraft with latest propulsion technologies, like hybrid-electric propulsion systems, is expected to help companies increase their market presence in new geographical locations.
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