The British Helicopter Association (BHA) has been forced into a corner by Reed Exhibitions, who run the Helitech show in the UK. HeliHub.com was one of a number of industry publications copied on an email on Tuesday from a potential exhibitor who is clearly very unhappy at the BHA support for the move, which has been widely criticised across the industry.
We have made a number of enquiries to people across the trade on the new location at the ExCeL conference centre and have yet to find anyone supportive of the move. One email reply we had showed how enraged the sender was by the move from Duxford to London – by using language that we could not consider publishing here.
BHA chairman Brian Humphries is in a major dilemma. Despite the bullish press release put out by his organisation and EHA, Humphries conceded “we are just trying to make the best of it” in his email reply to the potential exhibitor. That does not sound like he thinks the move is a good one.
Humphries also stated that Helitech organisers Reed Exhibitions pay a stipend of £25,000 a year to BHA for their support, and that “we either had to make the best of it or opt out, placing our solvency in these tough times in doubt with the loss of £25k per annum“.
We can only conclude that the BHA have gone against the wishes of the majority of its own membership purely because it wants to stay alive. With a full Council meeting of the BHA scheduled for next week, it seems quite extraordinary that BHA have made a major decision like this without consulting its membership, when those running the organisation clearly have many doubts themselves. If the membership value the work of the BHA, it would be they who financially support its ongoing work, and thus they who should make the decision whether or not to support Helitech.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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