Avionics Upgrades.jpg Professional Aircraft Accessories

Avionics Upgrades

Segment is expected to generate high demand.

Avionics work accounts for a small but significant part of sales for MRO providers, which are tasked with testing and repairing equipment as well as installing upgrades.

Demand for avionics upgrades is expected to grow at a slightly faster pace than the overall aircraft modifications market over the next 10 years, according to ICF International. The market intelligence company estimates that the avionics upgrade market will be worth $1.1 billion by 2025, up from around $600 million today.

From 2020 all aircraft flying over the US or Europe must be equipped with ADS-B Out transponders, which about a third of the global fleet still lacks.

Thus ADS-B retrofits will be the most popular avionics upgrade over the next few years, followed by flight deck modifications such as the replacement of cathode ray displays with LCD flat screens.

While this presents an opportunity for MRO providers, some flag up the testing of existing equipment as a growing challenge.

“In the last decade lots ofsome OEMs have transferred the manufacturing of test solutions to major players in this niche market. This was probably, among other things, a way to avoid to deal with obsolescence issues and let the test-bench manufacturers manage these issues,” says

Olivier Boina, director of industrial development and competitiveness at Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, says that three factors are contributing to a shortage of testing providers: better reliability of equipment; more complex systems that require more advanced testing capabilities; and the higher investment needed to implement test solutions, due in part to OEM restrictions.

“In the last decade lots ofsome OEMs have transferred the manufacturing of test solutions to major players in this niche market. This was probably, among other things, a way to avoid to deal with obsolescence issues and let the test-bench manufacturers manage these issues,” he says.

To find out more about avionics retrofits, look out for a feature in the next issue of Inside MRO.

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