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Thursday, November 1, 2007

From the Factories: Eurocopter Will Train Pilots in China

Compiled by Marcia Kay

Eurocopter is planning to open a flight school in China this year.

The demand for helicopters in China is increasing; Eurocopter expects the number of rotorcraft there to exceed 1,000 within 20 years, with demand spurred by the 2008 Summer Olympic Games being held in Beijing. Shanghai is hosting the 2010 World Expo, which is expected to add to the need for helicopters

Eurocopter is targeting sales of £150 million ($212 million) in China this year. It has sold two search-and-rescue helicopters to China’s communications ministry, two aircraft to the Shanghai public security bureau, and two to Jinjui, a helicopter operator based in Shanghai. Eurocopter expected to receive more orders last month.

China has established a national policy to set up police aviation units. Guangdong’s police now fly one Eurocopter EC135 and one EC120. In August, Beijing Municipal Public Service Bureau took delivery of an AW109 light twin and an AW139 medium twin.

Eurocopter opened an assembly line with the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group in 2004. It has produced 50 helicopters for the Chinese market.

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