Exhibition of rotorcraft and helicopters to debut here next year

Exhibition of rotorcraft and helicopters to debut here next year
A visitor getting into the cockpit of an Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) F-15SG jet, as fighter aces from South Korea’s Black Eagles squad fly overhead at the Singapore Airshow 2014 held at the Changi Exhibition Centre on 16 February 2014.

TWO aviation exhibitions will be held in Singapore next year as demand for helicopters soars in the Asia-Pacific.

Besides the biennial Singapore Airshow in February next year, an exhibition of helicopters and other types of rotorcraft will be staged here for the first time. Called Rotorcraft Asia, it will be held from Sept 6 to 8. It will feature military choppers and rotary-wing aircraft used by disaster emergency agencies and companies, as well as well-heeled businessmen.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Mr Leck Chet Lam, managing director of Experia Events, confirmed the launch of the helicopter show and said it taps the "robust growth trend" in demand for civil helicopters.

The show will establish a strategic global platform for industry players to seize growth opportunities, he added. Experia also organises the Singapore Airshow.

According to the latest figures from aviation consultancy Asian Sky Group, the Asia-Pacific region's helicopter fleet grew by 9 per cent last year, with the total number of civil rotorcraft rising to nearly 2,500 by last December.

Citing figures from consultancies ICF International and Flightglobal Ascend, Mr Leck said the global civil helicopter fleet is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 22 per cent between 2013 and 2023.

He added that the Asia-Pacific is expected to have the world's highest rate of fleet replacement and expansion over the same period. Currently, the only other helicopter exhibition in Asia is held in Tianjin, China, once every two years.

Called China International Helicopter Exposition, it attracts some 300 international helicopter manufacturers and service providers from 25 countries. The last expo, which was held over four days in 2013, drew more than 15,000 professionals and 40,000 visitors.

More than 100 helicopters were sold.

Airbus Helicopters told The Straits Times it is likely to take part in next year's inaugural helicopter show here.

Its South-east Asia and Pacific region head Philippe Monteux said a Singapore show will cater well to regional and South Asian countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Even though the Rotorcraft Asia show will be held just seven months after the Singapore Airshow, Mr Monteux is confident that a separate helicopter show will still draw the big wigs.

"With a dedicated helicopter show, attendees are likely to have a specific agenda in mind, which could make the discussions more fruitful."

jermync@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 28, 2015.
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