By Claudio Agostini | August 18, 2017
Helicopters made up one-third of the aircraft exhibited at this week's Latin America Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition in São Paulo, one of the world biggest rotorcraft markets.
The traditional and consolidated LABACE event for executive aviation, held Aug. 15 to 17 at São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport, drew more than 120 exhibitors and 45-plus aircraft. Nearly 15 of them were helicopters. More rotorcraft were scheduled to appear. Gualter Helicopters, based at São Paulo’s Campo de Marte Airport, brought only three of the five it planned to have at the show. Company officials said two were sold right before the event.
Three big Western helicopter manufacturers – Airbus (in the form of Helibras), Bell Helicopter and Leonardo Helicopters – exhibited, with Bell bringing the newly certificated single-engine 505. A number of local and international helicopter-related support, services and equipment companies also exhibited.
One-third of the seminars and courses held during the event were also focused on helicopter-related subjects, such as search and rescue system, avionics, heliports, hospital helicopter infrastructure, cockpit digitalization, drones legislation and manned vs. unmanned aircraft (a session hosted by ANAC, Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency).
Helicopter professionals interviewed at the show by R&WI said they are optimistic about the helicopter business in Brazil.