The North America aircraft MRO market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of more than 4% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- North America has the largest fleet of commercial, general, and military aircraft in the world and they require regular MRO services for operational availability. The presence of several aircraft OEMs in the United States makes the region the highest aircraft producer globally. Several contracts and agreements are regularly signed between aircraft MRO service providers and airlines, defense agencies, etc. with the introduction and procurement of new aircraft. The aforementioned factors are giving a significant boost to the market in North America.
- Implementation of stringent safety standards and the introduction of new laws by legislative authorities are also propelling the market growth for aircraft MRO services in the region. In November 2019, Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act was introduced that presents new conditions for FAA regarding inspection and overlooking of non-United States aircraft repair stations. The act also requires airlines to upload their heavy maintenance information on FAA database. The act also aims at creating unified maintenance standards for United States aircraft both inside and outside the country. In February 2020, Restoring Aviation Accountability Act was introduced with the aim of improving FAA’s certification process and restoring public’s faith in United States aviation industry.
- The North America region has one of the most ageing military aircraft fleet in the world which necessitates significant demand for MRO activities. Also, as the armed forces are opting for new aircraft to expand their fleet size, it is further generating demand for MRO activities.
Key Market Trends
Military Aviation Segment to Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate
The mission ready capability of the United States Air Force fleet has dropped from nearly 78% in 2012 to below 70% in 2018. The United States fleet of military aviation includes aircraft such as B1-Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress, etc. that has completed the operational service of more than 45 years. As of December 2019, the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group and B-1 Systems Program Office were nearing the completion of structural repair and maintenance works on B-1 Lancer aircraft that would increase the service life of the bomber. The United States Air Force wants to use the B1-Lancer aircraft for 20 more years till 2040. In 2019, the United States Air Force issued a proposal request for the replacement of B-52's TF33 engines with more fuel-efficient and easy to maintain engines. Canada is also struggling with the aging fleet of its CF-18 fighter aircraft that has reached an age of more than 33 years. In January 2020, the Canadian government announced its plan to invest USD 800 million on advanced upgrades and maintenance of CF-18 fighter aircraft. Some aircraft in the Royal Canadian Air Force is too old to be upgraded with the latest equipment to comply with the latest air traffic and aviation rules. In 2019, Canada made a deal with the United States to continue the operation of its very old Challenger VIP transport jets in the regional airspace despite not being equipped with latest air traffic control equipment. The aforementioned instances are propelling the demand for MRO services from the military aviation segment.
United States to Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate
The United States is the leading producer of commercial, defense, and general aviation aircraft and increased spending on aircraft development are further propelling the growth of aircraft and aircraft MRO market. Airframe and Engine MRO segments are expected to witness significant growth in terms of revenue share during the forecast period. The growth in the aforementioned segments is driven by defense aviation as the current average age of some aircraft such as bombers and high altitude surveillance aircraft is more than 50 years. Contracts are being provided to companies such as Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce for MRO services and engineering solutions for existing defense and commercial fleet. In May 2020, United States Air Force awarded a USD 237 million contract to StandardAero to provide engine MRO service for T-38 trainer jets till 2028. The aircraft MRO industry in the United States is heavily investing in the development and integration of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, drone inspection, intelligent machines, and tools, etc. General Electrics’ smart glass is being used with a wi-fi torque wrench that instructs mechanics on the amount of force to be applied during maintenance operations. Such developments will support the growth of aircraft MRO market in the United States.
The aircraft MRO market in North America is fragmented. Some of the prominent players in this market are Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Electric Company, The Boeing Company, Rolls Royce PLC, and Collins Aerospace among others. The region is marked by the presence of several foreign MRO service providers as well. MRO service providers are increasing focus on IT and technological developments to increase their efficiency and reduce the time consumed on MRO activities. The main revenue generation strategy of aircraft MRO market players is to win long-term contracts from armed forces, airlines, and freight carriers.
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