Passenger stairs allow safe and easy traverse to the door. These passenger stairs are generally utilized to enable passengers to board aircraft. Their usage is not limited to enabling a safe boarding to passengers but also rescuing aircraft passengers. This type of passenger stair is attached with the ramp at the end of the stairs.
Types of Passenger Stairs
There are two types of passenger stairs available in the market, which are:
Towable Passenger Stairs
Towable passenger stairs are available in various sizes, which have pivotal access platform that aligns with aircraft fuselage. They have stabilizers to provide safety to the passengers while their height is adjusted with the help of hydrostatic or pneumatic drive system. Their side panels are generally made from aluminum while stairways are constructed from the same.
The modern towable passengers’ stairs have four stabilizers. They are power steerable to tow the passenger stairs easily. Moreover, towable passenger stairs have fail and lock mechanism to enhance the passengers’ safety. These stairs have lights with sensor and timer. Additionally, they have power brake for the rugged airport situations.
Self-propelled passenger stairs
Most of the self-propelled passenger stairs have commercial truck chassis. They are driven by diesel or electric power systems. These passenger stairs have shock absorbing platform and are embedded with stabilizers as towable passenger stairs. Self-propelled passenger stairs have telescopic stairway type whose height can be adjusted accordingly.
The aluminum stairway offers non-slips, which improves safety for the passengers. Their handrails are anodized and are integrated with stairway lighting. Various technological advancements have been witnessed in the development of self-propelled passenger stairs, which has reduced the maintenance and power consumption of the product.
Major Companies in the Passenger Stairs Market
Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.
The Japanese company has three products under its passenger step business segment. All of them are self-propelled passenger stairs. Its PES-750 Series has a capacity of 45 passengers and its height can be extended up to 7780mm and has an overall width of 3360mm. Another product named 2PES-750UL has a capacity of 70 passengers with adjustable height and width. Its third product PES-500 U comes with canopy and can handle 70 passengers. Sinfonia’s products are powered by diesel water-cooled in-line six engine.
The company has a wide range of product offerings related to the aircraft industry, which includes conveyor belt loader, container pallet loader, and towing tractor. Its products are specially built for B767, B747, B777, B787, A320, A330, and A340 aircrafts.
Rosenbauer International AG.
The Austria-based company specializes in the production of firefighting and rescue operation equipment. Rosenbauer has two products under its rescue stairs portfolio, namely E5000 and E8000, which have height of 5500mm and 8500mm respectively. They can be utilized for short to medium range aircraft with a height of approximately 2500 to 5500 mm. The E8000 rescue stairs are built on three-axle chassis. On the other hand, the E3000 are usually used for short- and mid-range aircraft.
Both of the products are fitted with hydraulic jack system with automatic level compensation/regulation (ALR) and high level control system (HLC). In 2018, the company partnered with Melbourne Airport Rescue services and provided them E8000 rescue stairs.
The European-based company has runaway series, which has various products under its product line. These series have more than 11 products, which are driven by electric and diesel energy source. The company’s another series named Freeaway has over eight products and be used in over 34 aircrafts, including B747, B767, B777, A300, A350, and A380. TIPS GSE has one more series called Walkway that has over 10 products, which are used for ground operations and as other series can be used for over 34 aircrafts.
The company also provides products and also offers rental services. Additionally, TIPS GSE offers electro mechanical, laser cutting, surface protection, mounting, and other industrial services. Moreover, it has a wide range of baggage trailers, maintenance stairs, belt loaders, container dollies, and freight trailers.
John Bean Technologies (JBT)
The company has towed and self-propelled passenger boarding steps products under passenger stairs business segment. JBT has four stabilizers, fail-safe locking mechanism, and canopy in its towable passenger steps. On the other hand, its self-propelled passenger steps have commercial truck chassis. Moreover, it is electric powered and has aircraft proximity sensor.
JBT offers various products under its ground support equipment, which include cargo loaders, conventional tow bar tractors, expeditor towbarless tractors, mobile ground power units, and iOPS airport operations & equipment monitor technology. The company also offers services in food technology and automated systems.
The company announced the acquisition of LEKTRO, Inc., an electronic aviation ground support equipment company in 2019. In 2017, the former company acquired Aircraft Maintenance Support Services (AMSS), a manufacturer of military and commercial applications.
TLD (Alvest Group)
TLD has both towable and self-propelled passenger stairs under its product portfolio. The company’s ABT-2045-E products has four hydraulically vertically operated stabilizers and has 24V 220 Ah maintenance-free AGM battery. This product can also be charged through solar-charging system. It has mechanical restraint devices to prevent it from retracting and lowering. Moreover, the product is electrically powered and has a telescopic upper flight.
Other companies of the market include NMC-Wollard Inc., Mallaghan, Fast Global Solutions, Guangtai, and BlissFox. Industry players are focusing on product offerings, partnerships, collaborations, and agreements to expand their market share.
Market Trends & Dynamics
As per the detailed report published by Growth Market Reports (GMR), the global passenger stairs market was valued at USD 298.6 Million in 2019 and is anticipated to reach USD 386 Million by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 3.3%, in terms of revenue, during the forecast period, 2020-2027.
The growth in the airline industry is expected to propel the growth of the passenger stairs market. According to the statistics published in December 2020, around 100,000 flights takes off and land each day. Rising investment of government for the development of airport infrastructure is spurring the market growth. Moreover, the increasing number of airports in the developing countries is expected to boost the growth of the market in the coming years.
In 2019, the self-propelled type segment accounted for a large share of the global passenger stairs market owing to the introduction of products that offer various functionalities and enhance the aircraft services. Moreover, the developments in this type is expected to help the segment expand at a high CAGR in the coming years. On the basis of applications, the market is segmented into airport, construction, and military. The airport segment dominated the share of the market and is expected to continue the trend during the forecast period.
Which Region Is Expected to Witness Huge Demand for Passenger Stairs?
In terms of regions, the passenger stairs market is categorized as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific region accounted for a large share of the market in 2019 and is anticipated to grow at a healthy rate in the foreseeable future. The emerging economies such as India and China in Asia is expected to drive the growth of the market. In October 2020, India’s finance minister announced that around 100 airports were expected to be developed by 2024. Increasing disposable income of the population in the country is anticipated to act as a major contributor in the growth in the air travel passengers.
Impact of COVID-19 on the market
The coronavirus pandemic had halted the air travel across the globe. According to the International Civil Aviation (ICAO), the seating capacity have declined 50% in 2020 and has added up a staggering loss of USD 370 Billion to the aviation industry. As per ICAO, Asia Pacific witnessed a loss of USD 120 Billion year-on-year (YoY), European region reported USD 100 Billion YoY loss, while North America, Latin America, the Carribean, and the Middle East & Africa lost around USD 88 Billion, USD 26 Billion, USD 22 Billion, and USD 14 Billion respectively.
Although, the aviation industry had witnessed the worst, ICAO is optimistic about 2021. The organization says that the passenger number is anticipated to recover to 71% in 2021. The pandemic had led to the closedown of airports, which plummeted the demand for passenger stairs in the market. However, the market is slowly recovering as government state bodies across countries have relaxed the restrictions and allowed air travel under stringent regulations.