|An AgustaWestland AW101 (VVIP) outside London ExCeL on display in 2013.
Photo courtesy of Reed Exhibitions
Helitech International will return to its ExCeL London venue in October with exhibitors from 20-plus countries and a conference and seminar program that will explore the prospects for growth in new technology and ongoing efforts to improve the safety of global rotorcraft operations.
Organized by Reed Exhibitions and run in association with the European Helicopter Assn., Helitech has alternated between an English and Continental venue since it left its long-standing location in Duxford (about 40 mi. north of London, near Cambridge) after 2011. Last year, the show was held in Amsterdam. This year’s show is scheduled for Oct. 6 to 8.
Helitech consistently has attracted exhibitors from around the world. This year’s event has registered exhibitors from more than 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S. and 15 European nations. More than 35 first-time exhibitors from nine countries include Gulf Helicopters, Northrop Grumman Litef and Test-Fuchs.
The extensive educational program will return this year to span all three days of the event. Again, the inaugural day will feature a business and strategy conference, which will be followed by the EHA rotorcraft seminars and a safety workshop on the second and third days, respectively.
The business and strategy conference will open with a forum for business leaders to explore future opportunities and challenges for the European rotorcraft sector. Speakers include CHC’s senior vice president of engineering and operations, David Balevic; Bell Helicopter’s vice president of sales and marketing, Patrick Moulay; Rolls-Royce’s senior vice president-helicopters, Jason Propes, and Milestone Aviation President Daniel Rosenthal. Through the personal insights and opinions of these leaders, attendees and delegates will have the opportunity to learn more about the industry and its key issues.
After that forum, the afternoon session “Futureproof: Three Perspectives” will look at new technologies, procedures and technical applications. New for 2015 are two “Focus On” sessions. The first, also scheduled for the afternoon, will examine business opportunities presented by the growing unmanned aircraft systems sector.
The second “Focus On” session, in the afternoon of Oct. 7, will investigate offshore wind farms as a growth area for rotorcraft. This session will include an analysis of global market trends and opportunities for offshore wind farms, including their predicted growth, technology developments affecting that growth and transport support requirements.
Returning to Helitech on Oct. 7 will be the EHA’s series of informative seminars focusing on rulemaking and air traffic management (ATM). EHA Chairman Jaime Arqué will welcome attendees and then hand the stage over to the keynote speaker, the European Aviation Safety Agency’s strategy and safety director, Luc Tytgat.
The seminars will look at subjects including regulation, crew fatigue in helicopter emergency service operations, rotorcraft IFR operations at airports and benefits of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) collaboration to overhaul European airspace. Bristow Group’s head of flight operations in Europe, Tim Glasspool, will give an operator’s perspective.
|A Wiltshire Air Ambulance Bell Helicopter 429 on display in the ExCeL exhibition hall in 2013.
Photo courtesy of Reed Exhibitions
The safety workshop on the last day will focus on key elements impacting rotorcraft safety. After an introductory overview of the objectives and structure of the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) and the International Helicopter Safety Team, Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown will share secrets of success in his unparalleled aviation career. The very first pilot to explore the vortex ring state, Brown will share stories about his experiences and achievements flying helicopters. Safety culture, technology, risk-taking and training will be explored throughout the rest of the day.
The U.S. Commercial Service, the promotion arm of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, has again partnered with Helitech to highlight opportunities for U.S. companies to participate within the U.S. Pavilion. Helitech first featured a dedicated U.S. Pavilion in 2014. Participating companies included Heli-Mart, AeroComputers and Standard Aero, as well as REBTECH, which specializes in night-vision aircraft lighting and maintenance.
The potential business window to be offered this year is set in the context of increasing global sales of helicopters. Rising demand from key sectors in the international commercial market is triggering growth, particularly in Europe.
Helicentre Aviation will be flying a Hélicoptères Guimbal Cabri G2 to Helitech International for the second time. Its head of training, Capt. Sarah Bowen, said visitors will be able to see the two-seat, piston-powered helicopter up close. The G2 has become an integral part of the company’s training academy, she said. Since 2013, the company has flown more than 4,000 hours across its modern Cabri G2 fleet. With orders for more, Helicentre Aviation plans to double that fleet’s size by early 2016.
Also new this year is a “Learning and Skills Zone” aimed at young people with an interest in a rotary-wing career. It will provide an introduction to the various career paths available and cover key areas such as design and engineering. As part of this new career zone, Helicentre Aviation’s academy will offer visitors the opportunity to explore their bachelor of science (with honors) program for a professional aviation pilot practice (helicopter) degree. Other participants include the Air Cadets and the British Gliding Association.
Another added element this year is the Aviation Skills Awards, which will be presented during the show. The winners of this international competition will come from four different categories, including young person of the year.