We take a look at the expected trends and opportunities companies can witness at the Dubai Airshow 2019
The aerospace industry is changing. According to Dubai Airshow’s Market Insights: The Future of Aerospace, there are key trends identified in the sector that will shape its future in the years to come. Innovation in the sector is being driven by efficiencies and traveller expectations, while quantum computing is entering the industry with many applications and the Middle East is investing in R&D in this area. Another trend is the operational, security and commercial applications of blockchain to the aerospace industry. Meanwhile, smart manufacturing is offering OEMs time, weight and cost efficiencies, and regulation and operation issues of eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles) are under scrutiny after the occurrence of first test flights. Finally, passenger surveys show travellers are increasingly open to automation at the airport yet only if there is a human for when things go wrong.
Middle Eastern defence spending will reach US$100bn in 2019, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to Jane’s by IHS Markit forecast. Out of the top 10 defence spending nations per capita, five are in the Middle East as are nine of the top 15 defence budgets per GDP. On average, Middle Eastern countries spend 13% of their fiscal budgets on defence annually with Oman and Saudi Arabia spending close to 20% and 30% respectively. In fact, Saudi Arabia’s 2019 defence budget is USD$51 billion, making it the third largest military spending nation in the world.
The Dubai Airshow Delegations Programme, co-ordinated by show organisers, in conjunction with the UAE Ministry of Defence, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and the Government of Dubai, invites military and civil delegations to participate. In 2017, the show hosted 279 delegations from 76 countries around the world, with that number expected to increase in 2019.
Air Traffic Management Challenges
According to research by Dubai Airshow, growth in passenger movements and air cargo over the coming decades is one of the greatest challenges facing the global air traffic management community. Experts will need to assess the upcoming technological changes, building an operating environment to anticipate future aircraft types, and much more. The short-term trends, according to Dubai Airshow’s Experts’ Insights: Global Air Traffic Management report, will involve collaboration of systems, information and technology as well as freer routing to expand air space capacity. Collaboration across all levels – whether airlines, airports, or ANSPs, national, regional or global – is key to managing growth. Technology will play a key role as well – whether through AI, automation or machine learning. The future may include drones, pilotless flights and big data to predict growth and inform strategy.
Air Cargo Trends
The OECD’s long-term ITF Transport Outlook 2019 predicts global freight demands will treble between 2015 and 2050 with the largest growth coming from the airfreight sector with a CAGR of 4.5%. Cold chain logistics for perishables and medicines is growing at 7.8% and both Emirates and Etihad have launched products for fresh produce and pharmaceuticals.
Cargo Connect is returning as part of the Dubai Airshow to tackle the issues facing air freight. In the medium-term, Boeing’s predictions for the air cargo industry is that it will sustain a 4.2% growth rate to 2037 much of which will be underpinned by eCommerce. Airbus has issued its own air freight forecasts and like Boeing, predicts a 4.2% CAGR from 2017 to 2027 yet then suggest a slower global growth rate for the following decade at 3.1%. As a long-term prediction, the European OEM sees a 3.6% CAGR globally and 3.4% in the Middle East.
The unmanned aerial system (UAS) segment of the aerospace industry is growing, and Dubai Airshow’s data shows that the consensus is that the greatest growth and opportunity is in the commercial/civil application of unmanned aerospace technology.
The global commercial market is estimated to be worth $43bn by 2024, with Asia Pacific and the Middle East being the two fastest growing markets. The application of commercial UAS stretches across transportation, agriculture, construction, infrastructure, medical and disaster relief, and PwC estimates $123bn of labour and service costs could be replaced with unmanned vehicle operations.
Mindful of the growing sector, Dubai Airshow will feature the leading UAS technologies from around the globe.