The Malaysia aerospace sector is expected to grow rapidly due to expansion in its fleet size and the rising trend of the migration of Commercial MRO activities to the APAC region. Malaysia’s MRO sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.45% over the next 20 years, making it the fastest growing MRO market in the APAC region.
Rapid expansion is expected based on the Air Asia group’s indication to venture into the MRO business and the possible resurgence of Malaysia Airlines Engineering. While manufacturing growth will be lower than growth in the MRO segment, it will remain steady at around 3.2%.
“As demand in the Malaysian aerospace industry continues to grow rapidly, suppliers will have to expand in order to cater to this increasing demand. Malaysia’s key to success in developing its aerospace manufacturing and MRO industry is its availability of skilled labour. MRO activities are especially reliant on skilled labour as certification and qualifications are a prerequisite for MRO personnel to conduct maintenance and repair activities,” said Nishant Dey, Consultant at Frost & Sullivan.
He continued, “More than 13,000 new technician and engineer jobs are expected to be created in the Malaysian commercial MRO space over the 20-year period from 2017 to 2037. While approximately 5,800 engineers and technicians were employed in the sector at the end of 2016, the number is forecasted to reach close to 19,000 by 2037. About 90% of these new jobs are for technicians while engineers make up the remaining 10%.”
In the aerospace manufacturing domain, avionics and aerostructures manufacturing have been powering the growth in Malaysia, while aero engine components manufacturing is also showing promise. The total export value of the manufacturing industry was around US$ 2337.76 million in 2016. At the end of 2016, the aerospace manufacturing sector in Malaysia employed about 10,900 people.
“While this sector is forecasted to grow at a more subdued pace than the MRO sector, the total workforce in the Malaysian manufacturing sector is expected to reach 16,634 over the next 20 years. The total number of new jobs created is estimated to be around 5,734 in the period from 2017 to 2037,” said Nishant.
Aerospace MRO and manufacturing are highly global industries and migration of MRO services or manufacturing of parts can take place anywhere in the world where capacity is developed with adequate certifications and quality control in collaboration with global players.
“Malaysia can reap the benefits of this global supply chain in the aviation industry and can help generate around 19,171 new jobs over the next 20 years,” said Nishant.
He added, “The key concern, however, remains in how global MROs & OEMs collaborate with local aviation training schools to bring in the right expertise and curriculum, delivering internationally accepted certified workforce to cater to Malaysia, the rest of ASEAN, and beyond.”