Helitech 2018: A new Milestone


It was an honour to be at the final Helitech International last week.

Next year, Europe’s largest helicopter expo which has been running since 2009, will be rebranded as the Vertical Flight Expo and Conference – ten years after its inception.

This was not unexpected. While the current helicopter market has bottomed out and a credit freeze in effect, among the brightest shining lights on the horizon are the emerging VTOL and drone markets. Almost every helicopter company is looking at these technologies with more than passing interest.

The name change follows other large helicopter organisations such as the American Helicopter Society (AHS) rebranding as the Vertical Flight Society back in April and one of the largest OEMs Bell Helicopter dropping the ‘Helicopter’ from its name.

Overall, the air of Helitech 2018 was positive. Whilst there is still an oversupply of aircraft and a credit freeze is hitting the market, the price of oil is rising, and people are excited about the new wave of rotary tech on the horizon.

Whilst the rebranding was one of the biggest announcements at the show, the day prior to Helitech saw another significant story break.

On 15 October, Dan Rosenthal stepped down as President and CEO of Milestone, the largest helicopter lessor and subsidiary of GECAS.

Mr Rosenthal co-founded the leasing company and took up the mantle of president in August 2009. He would later take the roles of chairman, president and CEO in December 2016. He will be succeeded by Greg Conlon effective in November.

“I want to thank Dan for his leadership and commitment. He and his team have been doing an admirable job of managing the Milestone business through a significant downturn in the industry,” said Alec Burger, president and CEO GECAS. “I will personally miss his positive attitude and relentless energy.”

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