global civil helicopter market is projected to reach USD 15,338.36 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 3.83% during the forecast period 2020 and 2027.
The global civil helicopter market is expected to grow due to the rising product demand in developing countries and the increasing need for helicopter emergency medical services. However, the growth of the global market can be hindered by factors such as stringent government regulations and high manufacturing costs.
Helicopters are increasingly being used for emergency medical services (EMS) as they offer specialized crew and necessary equipment for emergencies. In remote locations and cases where time is of the essence, helicopter EMS (HEMS) plays a vital role in saving lives. This has led governments of various countries to support the implementation of helicopters as air ambulances. For instance, in Tibet, Lhasa Xueying General Aviation Co., a joint venture between the Lhasa government and Nanjing-based Ruoer General Aviation, announced plans to offer helicopter emergency rescue services by 2020. The company started a project in 2017 to build three rescue bases, each with a flight radius of 300 kilometers, in remote locations in Tibet.
The use of helicopters as air ambulances enables saving lives by transporting critically injured and ill patients to hospitals in minimal time. With HEMS, the processes of diagnosis, decision-making, transportation, emergency stabilization, and critical care are no longer sequential but occur simultaneously, thereby increasing the level of medical care received by the patient. Moreover, these services play a crucial role in densely populated areas where traffic congestion is a point of concern. Hence, the increasing need for helicopter emergency medical services is expected to drive the growth of the global civil helicopter market during the review period.
By Engine Type
The Single Engine Segment Accounted for the Larger Market Share in 2020: Single-engine helicopters are used for operations that include flying at low altitudes compared to fixed-wing aircraft. These are also operated in demanding environments. These helicopters are typically used for emergency medical operations, power line inspections, and search and rescue missions. For instance, the Airbus H125 and H130 are widely used single-engine helicopters for emergency medical service (EMS) missions in the US. They offer high performance, excellent visibility, mission flexibility, and low operating costs.
The Twin Engine Segment is Expected to Grow at a Steady Rate: The twin engine segment is expected to register a steady CAGR during the forecast period, 2020 to 2027. Twin-engine helicopters are used for long distances as they are fast and capable of operating in all weather conditions. The direct operating costs of these helicopters are comparatively higher than their single-engine counterparts; however, twin-engine helicopters are more spacious and luxurious. The Bell 429 Global Ranger is a twin-engine helicopter that is used for business charter services and transportation to offshore locations due to its long-range and luxurious cabin features.
The Light Helicopters Segment Accounted for the Larger Market Share in 2020: Light helicopters are primarily used for tourism. As the weight-carrying limit for light helicopters is less than 3 tons, the wear and tear of components are limited, due to which these helicopters do not require frequent MRO services. Light helicopters may also be used for other applications as well.
For instance, the Dhruv advanced light helicopter offered by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has features such as a glass cockpit and digital video recording systems. The helicopter is used for various missions such as search and rescue, training, and public safety. Similarly, Ansat light multipurpose helicopters are also suited for various applications such as search & rescue, medical, training, and passenger/cargo.
The light helicopters segment was valued at USD 5,317.51 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 6,610.93 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 3.23% during the forecast period.
The Medium Helicopters Segment is Expected to Grow at a Higher Rate: The medium helicopters segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period, 2020 to 2027. Medium helicopters have a carrying capacity of between 3.1 and 9.0 tons. They have multipurpose cabins, primary flight displays, navigation displays, and vehicle and engine management displays.
These helicopters are mainly used in the oil & gas industry to carry drilling machinery and equipment for EMS and private aviation. The medium helicopters segment was valued at USD 1,651.46 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 2,351.17 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 5.24% during the forecast period.
The Rental Segment Accounted for the Largest Share in 2020: The airport segment accounted for the second-largest market share in 2020. Rental helicopter services are available for various applications such as aerial tours, charters, weddings, and cinematography. Renting helicopters is convenient as it eliminates operational issues such as booking airspace, fuel, and aircraft maintenance as these are dealt with by the operator. However, helicopter rental is more expensive than private ownership. The rental segment is expected to register a CAGR of 3.47% during the forecast period.
The Owned Segment is Expected to Witness the Steady Growth in the Market: The seaport segment is anticipated to grow at a slightly higher growth rate during the review period. The private ownership of helicopters has increased in recent years. This can be attributed to the lower per hour cost of flying self-owned helicopters compared to rental helicopters. Furthermore, self-owned helicopters can be customized, and demand is expected to rise in developing nations due to a growth in per capita disposable income. The self-owned helicopter segment is expected to register a CAGR of 4.50% during the forecast period.
Key Players Operating in the Global Civil helicopter Market:
- Airbus SAS (Netherlands)
- Aviation Industry Corporation of China (China)
- Textron Inc. (US)
- Enstrom Helicopter Corporation (US)
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (India)
- Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (South Korea)
- Leonardo SpA (Italy)
- Lockheed Martin Corporation (US)
- MD Helicopters, Inc. (US)
- Robinson Helicopter Company (US)
- Russian Helicopters, JSC (Russia)