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Frost & Sullivan Press Release Published: 25 Aug 2010

 

Frost & Sullivan: World Commercial Helicopter Market Slowly Picks Up Steam after Hitting Turbulence During Economic Meltdown

 

 

Date Published: 25 Aug 2010

 

 

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Aug 25, 2010 – The civilian rotorcraft market is expected to remain diverse with the bulk of all new deliveries arriving from mature production lines. The industry witnessed unprecedented growth in the global sales of civil rotorcraft from 2004 through 2008. However, as 2008 ended, the economic slowdown saw rotorcraft utilization and new orders decrease significantly, and financing became increasingly difficult.

The worldwide fleet growth declined from double digits in 2007 to 7 percent in 2008, and finally to 5.7 percent in 2009; lower demand and production levels are expected to persist into late 2011 and 2012. The financial crisis had an uneven impact on each geographic region. Rotorcraft operator growth in regions with higher GDP was less affected by the financial crisis than those with a lower GDP. The worst of the global financial crisis appears to be ending, giving way to fresh optimism.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.aerospace.frost.com), World Commercial Helicopter Market, finds that the market is expected to grow from 24,625 helicopters in 2009 to 36,946 helicopters in 2015.

"The markets in the United States felt the heat more than those in Western Europe and Asia, which had remained comparatively stable," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Nathan K. Smith. "Over the next five years, it is estimated that up to 22 percent of total world new rotorcraft sales will be to customers in Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East."

Rotorcraft financing remains a deterrent to new purchases, but this is easing as the economy moves in a positive direction. Factors such as government regulation, tight lending standards, stricter evaluations of applicant, and the proliferation of interest rates have made it increasingly difficult to secure loans.

There is a major shortage of qualified pilots available in a field that is slated to grow as much as 60 percent in the next 10 years. Most of the existing professionals are retiring, and there is short supply of pilots from the military. With a booming oil industry, offshore companies are facing a near critical shortage of rotorcraft pilots, which has led to an increase in demand for them. The lack of qualified rotorcraft maintenance technicians is further complicating matters.

Aside from this, difficulties exist in obtaining rotorcraft parts and components, and locating these can become a time-consuming process. The inability to meet the demand for certain spare parts has impeded maintenance programs.

With competition on the rise, industry participants are intensifying the focus on innovation and technology to obtain the cutting edge. Manufacturers are rolling out a diverse array of rotorcraft to meet customer demands.

"Safety, efficiency and the environment continue to be top priorities in the rotorcraft domain," says Smith. "Increased speed and reduced noise are also vital aspects to be considered in the development of rotorcraft in the future."

In the new product lines, participants are introducing safety-enhancing technologies, including new methods of health and usage monitoring, improved situational awareness tools, workload-reducing automatic flight control systems, and maintenance-saving vibration reduction packages. Manufacturers such as AgustaWestland are also investing in advanced technologies as product differentiators. A key goal has been to develop technologies for providing jet-like smoothness in helicopters with active vibration control of structural response.

 

 

dp

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There is a major shortage of qualified pilots available in a field that is slated to grow as much as 60 percent in the next 10 years...

 

With a booming oil industry, offshore companies are facing a near critical shortage of rotorcraft pilots, which has led to an increase in demand for them.

 

I wish someone would add..."Because operators are unwilling to train pilots from the existing SURPLUS!" <_<

 

We can buy the license, but we can't buy experience! :(

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I think they should clarify a bit.

There is a shortage of 10000+ hour pilots due to retirement, etc. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of unemployed cfis though.

Although I have seen a few 1000+ hour cfis move onto other things in the past couple of months, so it at least appears that the industry

Is loosening up a little compared to what it was a year ago.

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So the market may be taking a turn for the better sometime soon.

It looks as though PHI seem to agree:

 

 

PHI Signs Contract for 10 AW139

Those aircraft are going to be replacing S-76's on an existing contract, so this might not be as indicative of growth as one would hope.

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Those aircraft are going to be replacing S-76's on an existing contract, so this might not be as indicative of growth as one would hope.

 

Yes, but the 10 S-76's being replaced are not going to go sit in a hangar somewhere and retire. They are going to move onto other contracts, other companies and will require more pilots to fly them.

 

Overall, I think its definitely picking up since a year ago....with a long way still to go.

 

Goldy

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Yes, but the 10 S-76's being replaced are not going to go sit in a hangar somewhere and retire. They are going to move onto other contracts, other companies and will require more pilots to fly them.

 

Overall, I think its definitely picking up since a year ago....with a long way still to go.

 

Goldy

 

Customers upgrading to new aircraft do not necessarily guarantee the buyers of the old airframes will have contracts for them, or even that they will be sold.

 

However, I would agree that things are generally looking better. The Deepwater Horizon accident slowed down the recovery of the offshore market, but it will eventually come back. From the sounds of it, new CFI's looking to get a job are still hurting pretty bad.

Edited by Eggbeater
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