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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Annual Reports

Insight from the 2013 Outlook Panel

By Randy Jones

It hardly seems possible, yet here we are again at the dawn of another new year. In many ways, it seemed most of us were still waiting for the last one to get going! So as our editors began assembling the collective wisdom of our 2013 Rotorcraft Outlook Panel, I took a moment to look back at the insight we gathered this time last year and you know what? Collectively, I would have to give our panel high marks for accuracy.

Many pointed to offshore operations and the Gulf of Mexico in particular as offering the best opportunity for growth in 2012. While it may not have grown quite as quickly as we would have liked, comparatively speaking, it was and still remains the bright spot on the horizon for many operators and aircraft manufacturers, alike. In fact, the competition for airframes that can more efficiently serve the deep-water market is shaping up to be one of the more interesting heavyweight battles in recent years. The potential financial windfall to the winners and the downside to any company that might get completely shut out could make or break the long-term viability for at least one of the big name helicopter manufacturers.  

As we embark on another new year filled with promise and uncertainty, we decided to ask these questions:
“What technological advancements will most impact helicopter operations in 2013?
What issue or issues concern you most about the immediate and long-term future of the worldwide rotorcraft industry?
What is your company doing to improve
safety in helicopter operations?
How has your organization
strengthened its training programs?”

As we embark on another new year filled with promise and uncertainty, we decided to ask these questions: “What technological advancements will most impact helicopter operations in 2013? What issue or issues concern you most about the immediate and long-term future of the worldwide rotorcraft industry? What is your company doing to improve safety in helicopter operations?How has your organization strengthened its training programs?

A number of our 2012 panel members correctly predicted the negative impact of the “uncertain economy” and fiscal austerity measures around the world as the biggest obstacles to industry growth potential in 2012, and of course they were spot-on. Here in the U.S., I think most of us are just happy the presidential election is finally over so there is at least a glimmer of hope that lawmakers might actually do something in 2013. Good, bad or indifferent—some direction is better than no direction. Even if we don’t like the results, at least we can set a plan of action to deal with them. So with that said, we bring you the 2013 Rotorcraft Outlook Panel and Annual Reports, where you will have the unique opportunity to steal a glimpse into the vision and strategic plans of how these top industry executives intend to address the challenges and opportunities of the coming year.

Randy Jones,  Publisher, Rotor & Wing

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