Helicopter manufacturers are expected to deliver 4,800 to 5,500 new turbine-powered civilian models in the next five years, Honeywell predicts in its annual market forecast. “What the operators told us was that for the most part, far more operators plan on increasing their flight activity than those who reported they were going to cut back on flight operations,” Charles Park, Honeywell’s market analyst, told AIN. “The actual usage of the platforms should increase as well.”
Honeywell surveyed 1,000 flight departments that operate 2,800 turbine-powered as well as some piston-powered helicopters in compiling the forecast, its 16th. Park said the company also assessed the demand from large fleet operators like PHI, Bristow Helicopters and Air Methods, which could not respond to the survey in the format Honeywell used.
Based on operators’ expectations, Honeywell projects the industry will deliver 1,000 or more helicopters annually over the rolling forecast period, in line with what it predicted last year. The numbers reflect an ongoing recovery from the post-recessionary period of 2010, when deliveries bottomed out at around 750 helicopters. “We would call it stable demand at a pretty high level,” Park said.