AI to drive runway foreign object debris detection market

3rd February 2021
Alex Lynn

The global airport runway foreign object debris (FOD) detection systems market hit a $36m valuation in 2020, and is poised to reflect a promising growth rate through the forecast period of 2021 to 2031. Airport runway FOD detection system sales are increasingly driven by growth in civilian aircraft fleets.

The global market is likely to register steady resurgence in growth in 2021 over 2020, as restrictions due the COVID-19 pandemic are gradually relaxed. The market outlook remains largely steady over the coming years, and is set to register a 7.5% CAGR over the next ten years.

With major investments being made in terms of ground infrastructure development in the global aviation industry, large-scale construction of civilian airports has also risen strongly. This, in turn, has increased challenges in terms of safety assurance for all civilian and military flights.

Foreign object debris is a key factor that aviation security workers need to consider carefully, owing to relevant threats associated to aircraft operations, making FOD detection systems a key priority for ground operations. Leading players in the industry are increasingly pushing to target countries with a focus on major government projects. Strategic collaborations with airport authorities and the defense sector will hold importance.

Key takeaways

  • Hardware components are estimated to account for more than $32m during the assessment period, with stationary systems remaining highly sought-after.
  • Support & maintenance services will hold the lead, supported by sustained growth in global airport operations.
  • Airport runway FOD detection systems for civil operations will account for more than 40% of the market, aided by growing airplane fleets, especially in emerging economies.
  • Adoption of airport runway FOD detection systems through sensor-based solutions is expected to display faster growth, with relatively better reliability in applications.

Regional takeaways

  • The US will account for a valuation over $56bn in 2021, and long-term growth prospects remain positive.
  • The UK is the largest market in Europe, and will account for more than 28% of the market share in 2021.
  • Germany‘s outlook for airport runway FOD detection systems is reflecting a gradual decline through 2031, as other European countries witness steady growth in terms of adoption.
  • Singapore and Malaysia will continue as high potential markets for airport runway FOD detection products.

“A key driving factor behind the airport runway FOD detection systems market is improvements in radar systems. Recent years have witnessed varying aviation administration agencies pushing for advancements in performance standards of these systems to minimise FOD damage to aircraft,” said a Fact.MR analyst.

Product development and collaborations key to rise

Major players in the airport runway foreign object debris detection systems market include The Stratech Group Ltd., Moog Inc., Xsight Systems Inc., Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc., Trex Aviation Systems, Pavemetric Systems Inc., Rheinmetall Italia S.p.A., ArgosAI Technology, and Arither. Strategic collaborations and product launches are major strategies for market players.

  • In March 2020, the United States Navy unveiled a patent-pending Automated FOD Detection System, which would use UAVs set up with cameras to provide real-time images of runway surfaces during inspection sweeps.
  • In July 2020, Xsight Systems collaborated with Bayanat Engineering of Qatar to deploy RunWize FOD Detection Solution at the Hamad International Airport, which will provide real-time, automated runway safety solutions with AI-based image and radar processing algorithms.
  • In April 2020, researchers from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) displayed a new high-precision foreign object debris detection systems to strengthen operational safety parameters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which will be capable of detecting 3 cm objects at a range of 500 m.

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