The organisers of Helitech have finally listened to what their customers want and moved the UK venue out of London to as location which will allow proper demo flights. Way back on 21st September 2012, HeliHub.com announced that Helitech was to move from its Duxford location to an indoor exhibition centre in central London – where it has survived with decreasing visitor numbers in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
The venue change went down like the proverbial lead balloon, removing the option for visitors to fly in – regularly Duxford hosted 30-50 visiting helicopters per day, including some from overseas. Demo flights were also difficult at the London location, and effectively non-existent. Let’s hope the movements-limited Farnborough location will work for visitors by air and demo flights alike. Certainly the organisers are pushing demo flights as a reason in their press release (below).
This move may even tempt Sikorsky to return to exhibit if they plan a push on the corporate S76D – they did not support the move away from Duxford despite the Helitech organisers saying they did. Let’s hope they’ve resolved those differences now. The S76D can hardly be called a commercial success and there is just one D model in the whole of Europe.
Helitech 2018 will be at RAI in Amsterdam next month. Time will tell whether the 2019 move to an airfield for the UK event will be matched by the 2020 event also being moved to an airfield. The plan has always been to alternate venues between UK and mainland Europe.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
Helitech press release follows
After 3 years at London’s ExCeL, Helitech International – Europe’s largest event for the rotorcraft industry – has announced that the 2019 edition of the show will move to Farnborough International’s recently launched permanent structure for exhibitions.
The purpose built 12500sqm multi-functional venue – which is 35 mins by train from London Waterloo and just 30 minutes from London’s Heathrow Airport – will provide exhibitors with enhanced facilities to showcase their latest solutions. The move follows feedback from both exhibitors and visitors who wanted an airfield location venue that would facilitate technology displays and live product demonstrations.
The airfield will enable exhibitors to offer test flights to potential and new customers, with Helitech International confirming that landing fees will be subsided for all exhibitors and visitors to maximise the potential of the new airfield location.
Michael Watton, Venue Director, Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre says: “Farnborough is internationally recognised for its role at centre of the aerospace industry, we’re thrilled to welcome Helitech International to our new Exhibition and Conference Centre.
“Rotocraft fascinates and excites in equal measure, there is no better backdrop to showcase the best, the latest and the most innovative helicopters than here at the birthplace of British aviation, with a great venue that will enable the industry to meet, do business and grow.”
Tim Fauchon, CEO, The British Helicopter Association (BHA) added: “The British Helicopter Association welcomes the move of Helitech International to Farnborough to showcase the capabilities of the European helicopter industry and offer the industry a great venue – and airfield – to demonstrate the latest technologies and innovation. We look forward to joining rotorcraft professionals at the new venue in 2019.”
Speaking about the change of venue, Teresa Heitor, event manager, Helitech International, said: “We’re very excited to announce that Helitech International will move to Farnborough’s new exhibition hall in 2019. This follows customer feedback for a venue that will facilitate new business partnerships and enable our exhibitors to showcase their technologies.
“Farnborough International has a long history, rich in pioneering heritage and presenting cutting-edge innovations. We’re looking forward to welcoming the very best of the rotorcraft industry to our new UK home next year, where they will find facilities better suited to our industry requirements.”
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