Regs Drive European Operators To Multi-Engine Helos
Restrictions on single-engine helicopter operations in Europe have consistently stimulated operators to favor twin-engine models in their purchase expectations, according to Honeywell’s market forecast, which shows 57 percent of those plans being for multi-engine rotorcraft. “Regulations requiring twin-engine aircraft on flights over congested areas and other use limitations shape the preferences of the European operators,” says the report.
Light-twin helicopters are most frequently mentioned in the multi-engine sector, accounting for more than 37 percent of all European preferences, according to Honeywell. Its survey of expected orders shows single-engine models representing 43 percent of purchases. The manufacturer reports that the average of planned single-engine purchases in the region has been “trending down each year since 2006.”
The survey predicts the region will constitute a reduced presence in the global market. “[It] shows a reduction in European global share, moving down to about 18 percent of the extrapolated five-year market in 2010, compared to 30 percent in 2008,” the reports says. This is attributed to a sharp fall in European acquisitions after a steady year in 2009. Other regions fell by lower percentages, while Latin America and the Middle East increased market shares.
Honeywell’s survey studies Russian and CIS demand through less-detailed interviews with large-fleet operators. “Based on Russian fleet expansion plans and business outlook, the survey-based European share may be understated [by] 3 to 5 percent,” it reports.
European operators’ acquisition decisions are driven by maintenance costs and technology/avionics considerations, as well as aircraft age, cabin size and payload, says Honeywell. Corporate and utility operations top the use categories most frequently mentioned by Honeywell’s European survey respondents, followed by emergency medical services and law enforcement.