Flight Navigation System Market – Market Overview
The flight navigation system is an equipment used for controlling an aircraft. There are various systems installed in aircraft such as autopilot, sensors, flight management systems, GNSS, automatic direction finder and others help aircraft, move from one place to another. The techniques that are used in the flight navigation in the air will entirely depend on the IFR or VFR. In case of VFR, the pilot will navigate the aircraft using dead reckoning.
The demand for the latest avionics systems, and accurate flight navigation is continuously increasing so as to enhance the safety of passengers. With advancements in the technology, there have been significant improvements in autopilot system, which reduce human intervention and pilot work load and flight management system enhances the ways to reduce noise and improve flight plan. This increasing demand will help new generation aircraft such as A320 neo and Boeing 737max to be equipped with latest avionics, which will help in improving efficiency of the aircraft.
The next generation avionics that are capable of handling more air traffic and the shift towards NDB has become one of the major trends in the industry. The development of ERAM, flight management systems, ADS-B, ACMS and GAGAN are various systems that will help in effective monitoring and controlling of aircraft. NDB is a radio transmitter and operates in VHF band with a frequency of 190 KHz to 1750 KHz. It has the capability to access signals along the curvature of the earth even at long distances, which is one of the major advantages over marker beacon. The improved efficiency and the increased frequency levels of NDB, have led the market to shift towards NDB from marker beacon. For example, in Canada, marker beacons have been entirely replaced by NDBs because of its better coverage over long distances whereas in the U.S., an NDB is combined with marker beacon in the instrument landing system.
The key development program such as WAAS in US, MSAS in Japan and GAGAN in India is a satellite-based technology provided by Raytheon and helps in controlling the air traffic. Moog signed a 10 years contract with Xiamen Airlines in May 2014 for providing support on flight control systems for its fleet and introduced navigation and guidance systems for unmanned systems. Other investments such as Northrop Grumman received a contract in February 2014 worth USD 200 million to develop GPS and navigation systems for US Air Force. These investments and developments are likely to propel the market.
In addition, the demand for the navigation systems and equipment is continuously increasing due to the increased need for the accuracy in the systems, which will help enhance the safety of the passengers. In 2001, the major companies in US manufactured navigation systems and instruments and shipped $31.9 billion worth equipment to commercial and military sector. In 2003, $1.7 billion was spent to upgrade GPS by US Air Force. The increase in the investments and technological advancements such as enhanced transmitters, collision avoidance systems, gyroscopes and early warning radar are contributing in the market growth.
However, the advancements in technology are also leading to some of the disastrous problems in commercial aircraft. The new generation aircraft are equipped with latest systems such as in-flight entertainment systems, Wi-Fi networks and other avionics. These systems are prone to hacking, which can lead to a terrible events. For example, new generation aircraft such as Airbus 380 and 350 aircraft and Boeing 787 Dreamliner have Wi-Fi networks for their passengers through the avionics systems present in the aircraft. There are chances that passenger can visit the websites where the malware is planted and this provides an opportunity for the attacker to have the access of IP and hijack the flight navigation system.
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The leading market players in the global flight navigation system market primarily include Honeywell International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Esterline Technologies, GE Aviation, Sagem, and Navtech.