There are several avenues for growth that small businesses can target to stay ahead in the aerospace sector. Many of these avenues are emerging technologies. Hence, small businesses must adapt and specialize in these technologies to stay relevant in the future.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
According to forecasts, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market will swell up to $45 billion by 2025, indicating a 15.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Although produced for military purposes, in the beginning, UAVs are now going to see rapid growth in several other sectors. Law enforcement agencies need these devices to monitor dangerous or inaccessible areas safely.
UAVs will also become a key feature of agriculture since they can carry out crop monitoring and may even be used for spraying in the future. The film industry and media organizations are making extensive use of drone cameras to produce stunning visuals.
Logistics firms will also use UAVs for product delivery – Amazon and other logistics giants are actively carrying out development in this regard. UAVs will soon become the norm for commercial applications like remote sensing, mapping, surveying, monitoring, and product delivery. They will also find use in disaster management, search and rescue operations, and firefighting.
It is not just companies that are demanding more UAVs. Consumers are also interested in UAVs for recreational and other purposes.
The composites market is projected to rise from $26.9 billion to $43 billion by 2022 in the aerospace sector. Composite materials are increasingly replacing metals since they are more versatile and have several crucial properties such as lower weight, higher strength, and reduced corrosion-resistance.
The growth in demand for commercial aircraft and the need for better aircraft performance are driving the composites market.
During the forecast period, carbon fiber composites will see the highest growth. These materials will also likely have the biggest market share. Carbon fiber composites are ideal for aircraft since they have strong corrosion resistance, high strength, and low density.
The US has the greatest demand for aircraft composites. During the projected growth period, the US market demand will have the highest CAGR. This immense demand for composite materials presents a valuable opportunity for small businesses.
With increasing concerns over atmospheric pollution, regulatory requirements will likely become more stringent in the future. Many European countries impose a 15% surcharge on aircraft that do not meet their emissions regulatory requirements.
To remain competitive, airlines have no choice but to resort to clean fuels to avoid heavy taxes on emissions.
Intense research work is underway for green fuels that will dramatically reduce emissions. Chemical engineers from the University College, London are trying to produce methanol from non-recyclable domestic waste. This fuel will have very low emissions.
By 2038, the commercial aircraft industry will require over 40,000 new aircraft according to Boeing. With such a high demand for aircraft, as well as the need for emerging technologies, small businesses should consolidate their niche position to take advantage of the aerospace boom.
Small businesses in the aerospace sector should also strategically align and merge with supply chain providers in order to complement offerings. This will bring them several advantages that will allow them to stay ahead. Merging with supply chain companies will bring in several benefits associated with vertical integration like decreased costs, enhanced supply chain coordination to improve delivery timeframes, higher market share, better control over business operations and processes as well as increased competitiveness.