The New Zealand aviation sector is a $10 billion industry, including more than 1,000 aviation-related businesses and organizations employing around 23,000 people, according to Adam Bennett, customer director for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. New Zealand helicopter businesses represent 8 percent of the global industry, from a country with 0.06 percent of the world’s population.
“The country has more helicopters per head of population that any other nation,” said Bennett. “Aviation is in our DNA.”
Bennett is working hard at Heli-Expo ’13 to assist in networking New Zealand aviation businesses, both those exhibiting and those just attending, with international and U.S. companies that are a good technological match.
He pointed out several New Zealand-based companies at the show, including Spidertracks (Booth No. C1918), which has just introduced its S5 Web-based tracking and two-way communications devices that interface with iOS devices. Another company is IMS (Booth No. N2705), which manufactures and distributes aerial firefighting, aerial spreading and helicopter sling load systems worldwide.
Attending the show are principals from New Zealand’s Composite Helicopters. It is a husband and wife team behind the KC518, an all-composite frameless (monocoque) single-engine turbine helicopter seating up to six people.
“The KC518 is probably one of the more exciting products we have in vertical lift in New Zealand, if you ask me,” said Bennett. “They are here to find a way to market for their helicopter and are taking a number of meetings. It’s about finding out really what the market is all about. Heli-Expo is just the right place to meet tons of people in the industry all at once.”
Bennett held a reception Wednesday evening with Air Vice-Marshall, Graham Lintott ONZM, head of defense in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, who spoke about advancements in New Zealand vertical-lift markets at home and abroad.
“We are doing great in the Asia-Pacific market with New Zealand-based vertical lift products,” said Bennett. “But we’d like to see continued cooperation and expansion into the U.S. market.”