As the annual Heli-Expo convention prepares to open on March 6, analyst Brian Foley of Brian Foley Associates is predicting that the civil helicopter market has hit bottom and should resume growing again this year. The helicopter market is unique, with distinct government/military and civil markets, and these segments tend to balance one another, he explained. “The civil corporate helicopter market was compromised as the recession and credit freeze forced buyers to cancel orders. But while this was happening, the military helicopter business proved more resistant, which kept the industry working.” Military budgets have lowered large expenditures for rotorcraft programs, he noted, and rising corporate profits will spur growth in the civil sector. Major growth areas in the civil market should be the offshore oil and gas business and executive-transport, and fast-growing economies in China and India “with their lack of airport infrastructure and their likelihood of huge construction projects, are ripe for rotorcraft.” This year should be a “trough year” where rotorcraft deliveries bottom out, he said.