Ground Support Equipment Trends and Forecasts

Aircraft ground support equipment (GSE) refers to the equipment and components that are used to provide servicing and operations for aircraft in-between flights while they are grounded. GSE components and equipment may be used for aircraft mobility, loading operations, ground power operations, and other operations as needed. As commercial aircraft and airliners adhere to strict flight schedules, the efficiency and speed of aircraft ground support services is always a facet that providers strive to improve in order to minimize turnaround times. Over the forecast period of 2019 to 2025, the market for aircraft ground support equipment is expected to increase by $2.2 billion, equaling a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.45%. Altogether, this forecast puts the total market value at $9.7 billion by 2025. From technological advancements of GSE equipment to steadily increasing passenger air traffic, many factors contribute to this upwards growth. In this blog, we will discuss how ground support equipment aids in aircraft servicing, as well as the factors contributing to the market growth for the 2019-2025 forecast period.

In general, aircraft ground support equipment and services are not only tied to maintaining the aircraft’s ability to fly, but also encompass many other services and operations. In-between flights, GSE operations ensure that passenger comfort and safety is established and well maintained. This includes cleaning passenger cabins to remove trash and waste, as well as the restocking of consumables. GSE services also include cycling items such as blankets, pillows, magazines, tissues, and soap to maintain cleanliness for passengers. During this time, security of the aircraft can be established as personnel check for any concerning paraphernalia left behind after a flight. During their normal routines, GSE services will also remove waste from lavatories, cater food and drinks, and even provide electricity and air conditioning for terminal gates for crew and passenger comfort.

Nevertheless, aircraft ground support equipment will also be used for many normal in-between flight tasks. During this time, GSE personnel aid with the loading and unloading of cargo and passengers, refuel the aircraft, examine engines and the fuselage, and perform other ground operations to ensure safety and optimal operation of the aircraft before its next scheduled flight. Often, all of these ground services will be fulfilled by a subcontracted airport or handling agent. With smaller airlines, larger carriers may be subtracted, or they may establish a Maintenance and Ground Support Agreement with another airliner. To perform their operations, ground services utilize GSE components such as dollies, chocks, tripod jacks, service stairs, refuels, tugs, tractors, ground power units, buses, container loaders, and other vehicles and equipment.

Due to their benefits and services for aircraft preparation and operation, combined with an increased amount of air traffic, demand for GSE components and equipment is on the rise. Electric ground support equipment has been seeing increased amounts of interest, especially with the advent of more automated equipment options. Automation with robotic technology is slowly being introduced, allowing for streamlined operations such as automatic shut downs, ID cards for authorization, and electronic check-ins such as seat belt requirements before equipment can be turned on. Robotic handling of baggage is also becoming automated in certain airports across the world. Altogether, automation allows for increased safety and reduction on costs.

As the aviation industry is constantly expanding and moving into developing countries, the need for GSE operations also increases. Emerging economies and markets, such as the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions, are expected to contribute to the non-electric segment of the GSE market. The Middle East has the highest projected GSE CAGR growth, attributable to the amount of airports that are being constructed as air traffic expands. Meanwhile, electric and hybrid GSE markets continue to grow in areas such as North America, which continues to be a majority contributor to the overall market. Major players in the ground support equipment market include JBT Corporation, Tug Technologies Corporation, Tronair, Teleflex Lionel-Dupont, Cavotex, ITW GSE, Guangtai, among others.

With a great amount of markets across the world becoming invested in various GSE market segments, market growth should continue to rise and develop. When you are searching for parts for your ground support equipment operations, Aerospace Unlimited is your one-stop-shop for premium parts and solutions. Whether you need a tool bag, pin assy, or other GSE component, we can help you source everything you need with competitive prices and quick lead-times on even the most hard-to-find parts.


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