Although US budget cutbacks effects air traffic control the airport security sector is still expected to grow, and terrorism is still a threat, analysts have said.
In the wake of the September 11 attacks screening passengers and surveillance at airports has boomed. Because airport security is one of the areas that has been hit in the US by budget cuts, the expected growth on air travel will mean an increase in spending on airport security.
Didier Brechemier, an expert at the Roland Berger consultancy said “Airport security is a market niche which is outperforming that of the aviation. It grows along with the volume of passengers which is growing itself by five to six percent per year.”
3 billion passengers will travel by air this year according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), this is nearly double the amount of people that flew in 2001. IATA also expects this number to double by 2030.
According to Philippe Nguyen, president of the IPE Investment Fund “The airport security screening market is worth some $10 billion (8 billion euros) annually” The Visiongain business information service said “If physical security at and around airports is included the market is worth over $22 billion”
Visiongain has noted that national governments are increasing spending on developing new airport facilities and expanding existing ones to meet increasing air travel, with spending on enhancing security also rising. Visiongain said “Contract sizes and financial data released by companies involved in the industry indicate this and would suggest that the market will continue to expand”
Europe and the US have the largest airport security markets while the Asia Pacific region is on course for the largest growth in the aviation sector.
In the next 10 years China is expected to construct 70 new airports.
Other boosts for security companies include changing the restrictions on carrying on board planes certain items, and the change of the rules of liquids should also boost this sector.
At a recent security conference IATA chief Tony Tyler said “that a right balance needs to be struck between risk and regulation. If we don’t find the right balance soon we will lose the goodwill of our passengers and shippers, clog our airports, slow world trade, and bring down the level of security that we have worked so hard to build-up”
Plenty of commercial opportunities are expected as growth will rest on new technologies. Better target screening is expected by use of information on travellers available to border control agencies will rely heavily on technology and data gathering. Many companies are now offering a full suite of airport security and passenger processing solutions.