A new airline industry forecast from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that international freight volumes will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent over the next five years, suggesting a reasonably abrupt reversal of bad fortunes for a segment whose growth rate has averaged 0.63 percent a year since 2011. Emerging economies, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, will be the fastest growing markets, according to the report.
IATA predicts that the U.S., China and the United Arab Emirates will each add more than 1 million additional metric tons of freight by 2018. By that time, according to the forecast, the UAE will have replaced Germany as the third largest market. Routes between the Middle East and Asia will grow the fastest among all international markets, at 6.2 percent a year, followed by markets within the Middle East (4.6 percent), from North America to South America (3.9 percent) and Europe to Southern Africa (3.8 percent), it added.
Overall, the forecast shows that the Middle East's compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7 percent will make it the fastest growing market during the forecast period. Africa will become the second-fastest-growing market, with a CAGR of 4.4 percent, followed by Asia-Pacific and Latin America, both of which will post a CAGR of 3.8 percent, said the report. The more mature markets of Europe and North America will grow at a 3.0 percent and 2.8 percent CAGR, respectively, it concluded.
"This year, more than $6.8 trillion worth of goods, equivalent to 35 percent of total world trade by value, will be transported around the world by air," said IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler. "So it is welcome to see a forecast for a return to growth for the air cargo sector after several years in the doldrums."
Still, added Tyler, the "overall risks" to the economic outlook and, therefore, to air freight, remain "toward the downside."
"Trade protectionism is a constant danger," warned Tyler. "According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), between November 2013 and May 2014 alone, 112 new trade-restrictive measures were enacted by G20 governments. Geopolitical concerns, volatility of oil prices, and competition from rail and sea could also affect this forecast. The air cargo industry certainly cannot afford to be complacent."
Sandel Avionics (Booth 4866) announced that it had been issued a service installation bulletin (equivalent to an FAA STC) from the Russian aviation authorities and the Mil Design Bureau for installing its ST3400H HeliTaws system in the Mil Mi-8AMT and Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters. The ST3400H thus becomes the first non-Russian helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (H-Taws) to be certified in the country.
Installation in the Mi-8 required Vista, Calif.-based Sandel to undertake some modifications to the alerting parameters to meet Russian requirements. The program was driven largely by UTAir, Russia's largest helicopter operator. The carrier provided the helicopter for the initial installation, which was undertaken by APG/NEBO with Sandel on-site support.
HeliTaws is a self-contained H-Taws equipped with a TruAlert system that allows pilots to operate from off-airport sites without triggering nuisance false alerts. The panel-mounted system has also recently been approved by EASA under a European TSO.
International Communications Group (ICG), Newport News, Va., formed 20 years ago to specialize in connectivity for the cruise-ship industry. The company now is a major supplier to the aerospace industry and has relationships with all the major OEMs and many MRO companies in business aviation.
ICG's new key product is the eRouter, which has just entered production. Designed to provide connectivity for electronic flight bags, passenger computers, smartphones and other IP devices, the eRouter also facilitates 4G LTE connectivity through GSM cellular services when an aircraft is on the ground. ICG claims the eRouter is the smallest and lightest unit in its class, and is compatible with many communications networks.
ICG (Booth 1617) has become an acknowledged leader in FANS-over-Iridium installations, helping to bring future air navigation system compatibility to a growing range of business aircraft. Leveraging work already performed for commercial aircraft, ICG's NxtLink ICS-120A and ICS-220A satcom transceivers are proving popular for FANS 1/A retrofits using the Iridium network.
FBO chain Hawthorne Global Aviation (Booth 3031) has purchased Heartland Aviation, the lone service provider at Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in Eau Claire, Wis. Backed by Moelis Capital Partners, this latest acquisition marks the company's fifth FBO overall and its third addition in the past six months.
Along with the recently added facilities at Chicago Executive Airport and Cobb County Airport in Atlanta, Hawthorne also operates FBOs at Long Island Mac Arthur Airport in New York and at Louisiana's New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
The new location's 2,600-sq-ft terminal offers passenger and pilot lounges, a 10-seat conference room, free Wi-Fi and a crew car. In addition, it has 25,000 sq ft of storage space capable of housing aircraft up to a Bombardier Challenger 600 series jet.
The location's maintenance department is capable of servicing both piston and turbine aircraft. While the facility will be rebranded as a Hawthorne location, its aircraft charter and management services will remain under the Heartland Aviation name.