China had a substantial presence at Heli-Expo 2011 in the form of French event organizer BCI Aerospace, which is the lead in putting together the China Helicopter Exposition, to be held September 15 to 18 in Tianjin.
According to Alain Ngoie, BCI Aerospace area manager, it is the first aviation exposition in China dedicated exclusively to the helicopter industry and more than 2,000 visitors are expected. The organizers, including China Aviation Industry Corp. (Avic), Avic subsidiary Avicopter, CAAC and the Tianjin government, anticipate more than 100 Chinese exhibitors and another 100 from outside China. He added that most of the world’s major helicopter manufacturers are already signed up.
Featured will be a helicopter static display and aerial demonstrations. But most important, he said, is the business-to-business aspect, managed by BCI subsidiary Advanced Business Events, which is setting up a Web site to assist exhibitors and attendees in scheduling meetings before the show opening.
The value of the show is underscored, said Ngoie, by the fact that over the next decade, China will need more than 1,500 helicopters. And he added that Tianjin, while perhaps not on the tip of most western tongues, is developing into a major aerospace industry and technology hub, “rivaling Shanghai.” The city is just 60 miles from Beijing and connected by a high-speed train that makes the run in well under an hour. It is also home to a new $1.2 billion helicopter research and development and production center. –K.J.H.