The global Air-Crane Helicopter Market size is projected to reach USD 3.22 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.86% during the forecast period. Increasing frequency of forest fires will be a prime factor driving the growth of this market, shares Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled “Air-Crane Helicopter Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Application (Power Line Construction, Aerial Firefighting, Oil & Gas, Logistics Operations, Others), Endurance (Up to 5,000 feet, and Up to 10,000 feet), External Load Capacity (Up to 3,000 pounds, Up to 6,000 pounds, Up to 12,000 pounds, and Up to 15,000 pounds), End User (Civil & Commercial and Military), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027”. Forest fires, though a natural phenomenon, have increased in intensity and frequency in the past few decades as a result of rampant development activities, which have further fueled climate change and global warming. For example, according to data analyzed by NASA, in western US states, 61% of wildfires have occurred since 2000, and the size of the fires has also steadily grown. Air-crane helicopters are vital in putting out fires and rescuing people when such instances occur. For example, Erickson Incorporated deployed six of its Air Crane helicopters to fight the bushfires in Australia in January 2020. Thus, rising demand for lift rotorcraft in battling forest fires will significantly expand the scope of the market in the coming years.

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The report states that the global market value stood at USD 2.81 billion in 2019 and provides the following:

  • Granular research into the key market drivers and trends;
  • Careful evaluation of the market restraints;
  • Accurate computation of relevant market figures; and
  • Tangible insights into the regional dynamics and competitive milieu of the market.

Market Restraint

Declining Demand for Oil amid the COVID-19 Crisis to Limit Market Growth

Air-crane helicopters are extensively utilized by the oil & gas industry to ferry men and material to offshore well-sites. They also play a key role in facilitating construction of offshore oil & gas rigs and thus companies and governments invest heavily in these rotorcrafts. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast a shadow on the air-crane helicopter market growth. The pandemic, due to the unprecedented global economic downturn, has triggered extreme volatility in crude oil prices, mainly resulting from sharply falling demand. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global oil demand will stand at 91.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for the remainder of 2020, indicating a year-on-year contraction of 8.4 million bpd. Moreover, oil prices, the IEA observes, have fallen by 40% since the beginning of the year, which will result in lower investments and delaying or cancelling of projects. Cumulatively, these factors will limit the growth of this market as oil & gas is a major end-use industry where lift helicopters are massively utilized.

Regional Insights

North America to Hold Prominent Market Position Backed by a Robust Aviation Industry

North America dominated the air-crane helicopter market share in 2019, featuring a market size of USD 1.05 billion. The region is expected to continue is dominance during the forecast period, primarily owing to the presence of a well-established and flourishing aviation industry. Moreover, recent instances of wildfires in the US have heightened the need for efficient firefighting equipment and aircraft, which will create conducive growth conditions for this market.

List of Key Players Covered in the Air-Crane Helicopter Market Report:

  • Textron, Inc. (The U.S.)
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (The U.S.)
  • Erickson Incorporated (The U.S.)
  • Russian Helicopters (Russia)
  • KAMAN CORPORATION (The U.S.)
  • Airbus S.A.S. (The Netherlands)

The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to display healthy growth on account of increasing deployment of aerial cranes to fight bushfires in Australia. Rapid growth of the aviation industry in India and China will further bolster market prospects in the region. In Europe, the market will benefit from steadily expanding offshore operations in the domestic oil & gas industry.

Competitive Landscape

Key Players to Cater to the High Demand for Lift Helicopters to Mitigate Forest Fire Disasters

The development and deployment of advanced air-crane helicopters to mitigate the disaster caused wildfires is presently the central focus area for key players in this market. Companies are strategically investing in R&D to engineer holistic rotorcraft solutions to strengthen and expand their position in the market.

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Industry Developments:

  • May 2020: Kaman Corporation announced that the US Forest Service awarded 40% of all helicopter exclusive-use contracts to K-MAX helicopter operators. The helicopter has been developed by Kaman for external cargo load operations, which will be essential in fighting wildfires.
  • February 2020: Erickson Incorporated entered into a partnership with Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, to develop next-gen firefighting solutions. Under the agreement, Erickson will utilize Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ autonomy technology to augment cockpit awareness and safety for day and night operations.

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By Emelia Murison

Emelia Murison is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for innovation and technology. She covers breaking industry news, #SpaceForGood, and product reviews for the group. She also provides copywriting services to startups around the world – one of which introduced her to the world of Aerospace.

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