An overview of the aircraft towbar market at a global scale is covered, to help clients in better understanding future growth potential of the aircraft towbar market. This further enables them in devising future direction of their aircraft towbar businesses and making proper investment decisions in the aircraft towbar market. The report also offers a realistic view of aircraft towbar market acumen, eliminating all biases, along with data on aircraft towbar sales in terms of volume (units) and value (US$ Mn).
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Substantial efforts have been taken by gasoline-powered aircraft towbar makers for enhancing its reliability and ease-of-handling. However, these are deemed inefficient in offsetting the reliability of the relatively newer concept - electric aircraft towbars. Preference of airlines is currently witnessing a paradigm shift toward battery-powered electric aircraft towbars, to eliminate the routine maintenance requirements associated with their gasoline counterparts. With improvements in battery technologies, from low-density lead-acid to high energy lithium-ion with SiC films, the aviation industry is gradually leaning toward electric ground support equipment, thereby impacting adoption and production of electric aircraft towbar as a consequence. Key manufacturers in the aircraft towbar market have already introduced their electric towbar products, and some of the prime example include Lil Sherman and E200 (Aero-Tow), Nose-Dragger NDE-1 (Dragger), and ThunderVolt (PowerTow). These electric-based developments in aircraft towbars have further led end-users to shift their preferences toward these variants. As a result of these trends, electric towbars are expected to observe a 2X growth in sales than their gasoline-powered counterparts in the foreseeable future.
Prevailing range of challenges, from productivity to design, faced by airlines with regard to ground support equipment (GSE), have recently led to a rise in requirement for multi-faceted approaches that include better safety audits, new technologies and improved staff training methods. Recognizing possible benefits linked with global standard for GSE policies & procedures, IATA introduced its Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) model in 2008. The organization has recently made a new schedule for the model, while retaining its previous goals of auditor training/qualification and efficiency, elimination of duplicate audits, and improved ground safety. IATA estimates that making improvements in ground safety and curtailing damages to aircraft, will eventually save US$ 4 billion annually, which in turn has led GSE manufacturers, including aircraft towbar makers, to make huge investments in equipment design and development. Additionally, the focus of aircraft GSE manufacturers is shifting toward optimization solutions that offer intelligence that extend beyond location & status of the equipment, which in turn is expected to favor development, and thereby growth of aircraft towbar market in the near future.
Traditionally pervasive as a go-to-equipment to help tow aircrafts has several confinements associated with it, including time-intensive installation, cost-intensive staff training, high cost of the equipment, and limited speed. These challenges have led aircraft towbar manufacturers to join forces and come up with an advanced solution that offset the operational uncertainties apropos of towing aircrafts, which in turn has led the development of towbarless tugs. A prime example of such co-development is “eJP Towbarless Tug,” by the collaboration between Eagle Tugs and Tronair. The trend of towbarless is expected to significantly impede growth of the aircraft towbar market, as these new equipment enable operators to utilize zero-degree turning radius that results in precise positioning of aircraft with lesser space requirement for maneuverability.
Preventative maintenance persists as a vital aspect among aircraft ground support equipment (GSE) manufacturers, and this is no exception for towbar producing companies. Maintenance approach followed by aircraft towbar manufacturers is comprehensive, which involves procedures for all components, ranging from towbar body & head mechanism to lift mechanism & tow rings. Outsourcing these maintenance operations to specialty companies, such as FlyTek GSE, is a key industry trend that is a consequence of emphasis on minimizing downtime and repair costs through quality preventative maintenance. This has further built the customer confidence with regard to safety requirements of towbars, while offering them convenience of on-site trouble shooting and maintenance. Aircraft towbar manufacturers will continue to witness revenue benefits from these maintenance outsourcing activities in the upcoming years.
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Air transport GSE services continue to witness the boons of growth in airport expansions worldwide. According to the IATA, over half of the global population is expected to opt for air travel by 2036, which in turn has led the airports to focus on high optimization and efficient utilization of GSE, such as aircraft towbar, and relevant workforce. Traditionally employed aircraft towbars are being replaced with advanced ones, to offset decreased time of service per flight resulting from high rate of air traffic and low rate of airport expansion activities. For example, aircraft towbars are witnessing a shift in demand from multi-head to universal, as well as from the conventional gasoline-based to electric variants, to resolve bottlenecks and delays in processes, and reduce operational costs in return. Such inclination toward efficient and effective GSE will bolster future developments and demand for aircraft towbars.
Fact.MR’s report on the aircraft towbar market offers holistic intelligence on demand and supply trends of aircraft towbar worldwide, along with an in-depth assessment on the aircraft towbar market’s competitive landscape. Comprehensive data on prominent as well as emerging aircraft towbar manufacturers has been offered, along with analysis on their company overview, product overview, key financials and key developments. Key aircraft towbar market players profiled in the report include Tronair, Brackett Aircraft Company Inc., K&M Airporttechnik, Techman-Head Group, and others.
Some of the key developments made by leading players in aircraft towbar market include:
- The HT-60A Towbar by AERO SPECIALTIES, which is a lightweight aluminum-based model designed for continuous ramp use. The HT-60A can be disassembled into two parts for easy transportation, while the pneumatic wheels mounted rid the hassle of moving to and from aircrafts.
- ATA-9 by Tronair, which come in diverse range including custom, narrow & wide-body, snap-back, portable and multi-head. These models are made available for single-engine, light aircrafts. Resilience and dependability are key attributes of these models that Tronair claims to be incontestable.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) defines aircraft towbar as a GSE that hooks or clamps onto nosewheel of tricycle-gear airplane. While for airplanes with steerable nosewheel, aircraft towbar can be clamped onto the nosewheel strut. Aircraft towbar is majorly categorized into multi-head aircraft towbar and universal aircraft towbar, while the driving mechanism of aircraft towbar is classified into conventional and electric variants.
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