Market research firm Graphical Research has speculated that the global helicopter market is expected to register significant growth until 2027.
The growth is being driven by increasing demand for helicopters and helicopter components for both military and civilian applications, a growing demand for maintenance services in parallel, as well as a growing domestic helicopter industry in the Asia Pacific region.
The North American, European and Asia Pacific helicopter markets alone are forecast to be worth a combined $40 billion by 2027.
European countries to see rising demand for HEMS provision
The European helicopter market is forecast to reach a value of US$18 billion by 2027, with the industry expansion largely due to increasing investment in helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in the region.
Graphical Research state ‘helicopters and medical services are witnessing notable technological innovations that will improve their efficiency and timeliness of operations’, coinciding with a rise in investment by hospitals in the region in HEMS solutions and training.
This includes a significant forecast compound annual growth rate in the European helicopter market share driven by the production of environmental control system (ECS) components.
Graphical Research also reports that despite the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had on European helicopter production due to supply chain and production issues, the recent easing of restrictions should enable a recovery.
Military investment drives growing demand for helicopters in North America
Another key driving factor behind the growth is a buoyant North American market, driven primarily by rising military expenditure in the US and Canada. By 2027, the North American helicopter market is expected to be worth more than $10 billion.
In addition to a general ‘rising demand for commercial and military rotary wing aircraft’, the industry growth in the region can be attributed to active government collaboration with helicopter manufacturing companies to develop, produce and install high-end accessories in helicopters for specialized tasks.
Consequently, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services are expected to increase ‘to support the modification of helicopters and enhance their scope of operations’.
Aerostructure and airframe components are also anticipated ‘to capture a major share of the regional market by 2027 with growing prominence across a wide range of applications’.
This reflects the North American region’s status as the largest defense sector investor in the world, representing a combined investment of $732 billion, or nearly 35 per cent of all global military expenditure.
Rising domestic helicopter production in the Asia Pacific
The Asia Pacific helicopter market is also due to rise to approximately $12 billion in value by 2027, as key players in the region such as China, India and Japan increasingly focus on developing their native helicopter production capabilities.
The growth will be supported by initiatives such as Made in India and Made in China, which aim to support investment in domestic helicopter manufacturing through relaxed legislation, particularly regarding limits on foreign direct investment.