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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: On Strength of Boom, Heli-Expo Breaks Records

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Heli-Expo 2008 wrapped up its visit to Houston on Feb. 26 by providing another sign of the strength of the current helicopter market.

The Helicopter Assn International’s annual show broke all attendance and exhibitor records, the group reported. It said 17,373 people attended this year’s show and were presented with the products and services of 523 exhibitors. On the exhibit floor were 65 helicopters, HAI said, and exhibit space at this year’s show covered a total of 252,700 sq ft.

By comparison, 14,806 people attended Heli-Expo last year in Orlando, Fla., visiting 536 exhibitors whose displays included 35 helicopters and covered 213,040 sq ft. At Heli-Expo 2006 in Dallas, 16,629 attendees saw displays from 520 exhibitors, including 49 helicopters, who covered 225,600 sq ft.

Exhibitors generally reported high activity at their booths. Many commented that, even after the hectic pace of the 2007 show, they were surprised by the tempo of visits made and business conducted in Houston.

HAI also reported that its various committee meetings and educational seminars were well attended. More than 600 registrants participated in Helicopter Foundation International’s Professional Education Series this year, it said, and the Heli-Expo Job Fair and Mentoring Program included 35 employers and more than 800 job-seekers. That event, which was free and allowed participants to discuss opportunities in the international helicopter community, was free and fully sponsored by HAI’s Human Resources Committee. — Thomas McKenna

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