Rotor & Wing: Rotorcraft Report: Study Sees Civil Helicopter MRO Market Reaching Nearly $7 Billion by 2016

By Staff Writer | January 1, 2008
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A new analysis of the market for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of civil helicopters projects that segment of the industry will grow to a value of nearly $7 billion in a decade.

The aviation and aerospace management consulting firm AeroStrategy said it conducted a detailed analysis of the civil helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market.


The firm projects that the worldwide fleet of civil helicopters, which it put at 22,170 at the end of 2006, is projected to increase to 31,170 aircraft by 2016. That is slightly more than 4 percent growth over the decade. AeroStrategy’s numbers include civil-derivative helicopters used by military operators. It projects 9,950 new civil helicopters will be delivered between 2007 and 2016, with a peak of 1,049 in 2013

North America will take 41 percent of new civil helicopter deliveries in that time, it said, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific, comprising 23 and 15 percent, respectively

AeroStrategy found that maintenance accounts for 25 percent of a typical helicopter’s operating cost.

In 2006, the baseline year for the forecast, $5 billion was spent on civil helicopter MRO, the firm said. That is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2016.

The MRO market for component work is the largest segment, it said, at $2.0 billion. Next is airframe maintenance at $1.5 billion, engine overhaul at $1.1 billion, and major modifications at $400 million

The large backlog for new helicopters is forcing operators to keep their older aircraft in the air, increasing maintenance expenditures, AeroStrategy said. Growing use of health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) and increasingly sophisticated prognostics should reduce troubleshooting requirements and unscheduled maintenance for new-generation aircraft.

AeroStrategy calls itself "a premier management consulting firm specializing in strategy and market analysis for the aviation and aerospace industries." The firm has offices in Europe (London) and North America (Ann Arbor, Mich.). It was founded in 2001 by David Stewart and Kevin Michaels to deliver "informed, high-quality strategic consulting services to a varied roster of global clients, large and small."

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