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Jeremy Parkin

The Helicopter industry rallies for events

By Jeremy Parkin, Parapex Media.



The pandemic has turned the schedule of industry events upside down, and over 150 aviation conferences and exhibitions have now been cancelled or postponed around the world. Helicopter events are no exception, but the regular schedule of these through the year has been somewhat advantageous for the bigger players.

Heli-Expo is the world’s largest helicopter show by some margin and this Q1 event, run by Helicopter Association International, moves around different cities in the US. This year it was in late January and thus unaffected by lockdowns, and the next dates are set for March 2021 in New Orleans.

Looking ahead to the autumn, a new European Rotors event is set for 10-12 November in the German city of Cologne. It is being run with the solid support of the European Helicopter Association and EASA. With this heavyweight backing, which includes commitment from every key helicopter OEM, we expect this to be a successful launch. The timing was set to coincide with the established annual EASA Rotorcraft Safety Forum, which will run alongside.

Heli Expo

The dates for smaller national or regional events haven’t fared so well, but three have shown resilience in moving the dates four months down the calendar. The Moscow based HeliRussia has moved from May to September, while both Rotortech in Australia and HeliXP in Brazil have set October dates instead of June.

The Helicopter Association of Canada may prove to be over-pessimistic by already cancelling their annual convention in November 2020 and announcing 2021 dates. Separately, the Dubai Heli Show is planned for the same three days as European Rotors, and we expect those industry executives with a diary dilemma to choose the show in Germany.

HeliTech returns under new owners

Finally, the Helitech name will be resurrected in March 2021 in London. With Reed Exhibitions changing the title to Vertical Flight Expo in 2019, the event was poorly attended at its new Farnborough Airport showcase and subsequently led to it being sold to Prysm Group. In turn, the new owners have reduced the Show from three days to two, and renamed it Helitech World Expo.

Despite the optimistic title, the general feeling is that it will not have the industry commitment that has already put its weight behind European Rotors. The timing for the Helitech World Expo also, less than three weeks ahead of Heli-Expo 2021 would also appear to be a less-than-ideal choice when exhibitors and visitors alike are expected to put their efforts into the US-based event to get a “bigger bang for the buck”


Jeremy Parkin


Jeremy Parkin launched the world's first helicopter industry news website in 1999, and has focused his aviation journalism on the rotary-wing world ever since. His website brings together both news stories, safety data and Jeremy's insight on the industry, which is under-pinned by an extensive network of contacts. HeliHub is run by a globally based team. Jeremy worked for one of the largest IT companies for a number of years, and managed teams spread around the globe from his home office in the UK.

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BlueSky Business Aviation News |18th June 2020 | Issue #562



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