European Rotors: ‘bringing the helicopter industry together’


European Rotors, the VTOL show and safety conference, which starts in Cologne, Germany on November 8th, aims to help drive progress by bringing the industry together, according to Dr Frank Liemandt, show director, strategy and conferences.

“We aim to bring together the helicopter industry – retail businesses, operators, manufacturers, regulators and others – to deliver the full bandwidth, so we can exchange information to ensure safer operations and ensure we are moving in the right direction,” Liemandt told Helicopter Investor.

Liemandt looked forward to a vibrant show with more than 200 exhibitors compared with about 160 at last year’s event. The organisers also hope to exceed the 4,500 visitors who attended last year’s event.

The event, dedicated to all aspects of the rotorcraft industry and its many stakeholders, will cover new technologies, innovations, and methodologies. The full range of mission types will be included, spanning Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and search and rescue (SAR), police and public safety, aerial work and disaster relief, passenger transport, and smart urban air mobility.

More than 260 speakers will take part in the conference programme, which includes aircraft safety and financial topics. This year’s event features a Training Day covering safety and recruitment topics. “Lack of talent [recruitment] is one of the most important issues facing the industry,” Liemandt told HI. “The careers day will present companies as employers, because everywhere you need good people to run your business from the mechanical engineer and pilots to the partner of the business.”

Commenting on the integration of drone technology, he said: “There’s an argument that they are working on a complementary basis [with helicopters] at the moment in terms of drones on search missions. Helicopters then do the heavy lifting of people out of the water.” He also referred to the transport of medicines and vaccines by drones in Africa. For example, Zipline claims to have 25m customers, who have received 4.11m products flown over 30.8m miles.

Developing the infrastructure to help eVTOLs and drones integrate safely into air traffic control systems will be key, he said. “The most important factor is that we create the infrastructure to help them [eVTOLs and drones] take off,” said Liemandt. “And we need the bridging technology to make sure these operations can be conducted safely and efficiently.”

As ever, a key theme will be enhancing safety standards. The Vuichard Recovery Aviation Safety Foundation, founded by Swiss pilot Claude Vuichard, will run two half-day training courses. One will feature Vuichard techniques – a series of techniques to improve helicopter operational safety. The other will focus on human-factor accidents in helicopter operations.

Meanwhile, European Rotors takes place in Cologne, Germany between November 8th and 10th. The event, a partnership between the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is the biggest helicopter trade event outside the US. Helicopter Investor is a media partner for the event.

More information about the event is available here.

European Rotors’ Dr Frank Liemand

aims to drive progress by bringing

the industry together.