2021 saw the continuation of challenging conditions for the aviation sector. This year, more intelligent use of finite resources is the primary theme as the aviation sector begins its slow reopening.
Major airports and airfields have taken the opportunity to maintain their assets and systems within their allocated budgets. However, for years to come, asset and system investment will be complex due to tightening operating budgets. Keeping existing systems operational will be a priority to save on capital expenditure.
Airport managers and industry consultants have a new range of questions that need to be answered. These include:
The Major Trends to Expect in 2022
As per last year, the market will continue to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 3% from 2021 to 2025. No new information about growth has been conducted; however, it will likely remain in line with inflation projections. This is due to reduced budgets and spending funds on maintenance items. New equipment will be purchased after maintenance options are exhausted.
Upgrading runways will continue to include data-rich assets, and now, more importantly, systems
The adoption of connected systems is based on the application in which it is used. While connected fixtures are helpful and are more useful on smaller airfields where hybrid management is a must, an interconnected system of assets is the end goal for larger airports.
Bi-directional information is the outcome of these systems. Sending one-way commands is not enough and does not allow the airport manager to understand what is working on their airport. As we spoke of recently in our White Paper, The Airport of the Future, airports will realise the potential of a controlled and monitored airport.
There will be additional information from Avlite Systems in 2022 on this trend.
As a result of connected systems, additional vulnerabilities will be added to the airports’ information technology systems.
Cyber security is widely known to airports but largely unexplained in airport lighting. Since airport systems are interconnected, there is the potential for unsecured data flow in the airports’ network, expanding the attack access points.
Integrating any new system into the whole security network is vital, and having the airports’ technology leaders assisting is critical in preventing cyber-attacks.
Many smaller airports and airfields will be reopening in 2022, restarting and recommissioning assets.
This will lead to inevitable faults from storage, with urgent parts needed to make assets function as intended.
Support and technical advice will be required throughout the year to keep assets functioning. With tight operating budgets, customer support and servicing will be relied upon at a greater level.
There is a significant backlog in supply chain. Airports will be crucial to helping unlock a once in a generation shortage caused by lack of manufacturing capacity and key component shortages.
Traditional best-practice systems, such as just in time, will be sidelined for the interim as delays of receiving parts mean having stock on hand is required to keep airports open. This will mean that the lost passenger capacity can be recovered; however, the airport will need the infrastructure to handle additional cargo.
Connecting your airport is crucial to its overall efficiency. It will allow you to futureproof the turbulent aviation sector as it repairs from a sharp decline.