One of the most dynamic business-to-business trade shows celebrating the European VTOL industry is coming to Madrid November 28–30, 2023. Thousands of vertical flight professionals will gather for the third annual EUROPEAN ROTORS show to conduct business worth millions of Euros.
The three-day show attracts hundreds of exhibitors from the helicopter and advanced air mobility industries worldwide. More than a dozen helicopters are expected to fly in before the show and will be displayed on the exhibition floor at IFEMA Madrid, Hall 9. European Helicopter Association and the European Union Aviation Safety Council (EASA), organizers of the event, also anticipate other aircraft—including prototypes of AAM aircraft—will be on display as well. ATAIRE, representing the Spanish helicopter industry, is the event’s country host, and US-based Helicopter Association International (HAI), an international trade association, is producing it. The first two EUROPEAN ROTORS shows were held in Cologne, Germany, in 2021 and 2022.
In addition to the exhibition floor, EUROPEAN ROTORS 2023 again also focuses significantly on education and training. The renowned EASA Rotorcraft and VTOL Symposium remains the flagship of EUROPEAN ROTORS broad conference programme, which focuses on the latest rotorcraft and VTOL developments. The educational programme is augmented by certified training sessions, best-practice seminars, hands- on presentations in the Rotor Safety Zone and workshops.
An educational opportunity – Rotorthon – exists for student teams. This program, including an online version and an in-person version, challenges students to solve or innovate some of the more pressing issues in the VTOL industry. Examples are concepts for the next generations of VTOLs, public acceptance of urban mobility, support for disaster relief, joint use of drones and rotorcraft for the same mission, and much more. Information on the program for 2023 will be available soon.
“EASA’s primary focus is safe flight throughout the European Union,” says David Solar, head of general aviation & VTOL department for EASA. “This event allows us to work directly with the manufacturers, suppliers, operators, and individuals that make up this industry. We use this show to collaborate with everyone on developing the latest and smartest safety programs.”
The 2023 edition will start with the EASA symposium, held on Monday, 27 November at the Madrid convention centre as a full day stand alone program. In addition, EASA will contribute to each conference topics presented on the stages in the hall and offer briefings during the show days just like in the years before.
“We cannot be more excited to bring this show to Madrid,” says Christian Müller, chairman of EHA. “Spain has a long and distinguished history of supporting helicopters and vertical flight. It was a Spaniard who developed a solution that allowed rotorcraft to fly, and the majority of helicopter flights in Spain today are public-service missions, including search-and-rescue, fighting wildfires, and air ambulance operations.”
For firefighting operations alone, the government of Spain contracts 220 helicopter every year, deploying them throughout the country to battle wildfires. “Spain is directly following the best practices of other governments around the world,” says James A. Viola, president and CEO of HAI. “Contracting for these services means the government is paying only for the aircraft and crews when it needs them, allowing the experts from the commercial operators to conduct the actual missions.”
In 2021, several mission sets of vertical flight aircraft provided an economic impact of €330 million to Spain. In addition to the firefighting aircraft, another 40 helicopters supported air ambulance operations, and civil authorities used an additional 30 aircraft for search-and-rescue missions. “When the government hires commercial operators to conduct these missions, the money is returned to the economy through crew payroll and the purchase of fuel, parts, and other supplies,” says Eduardo Consejo, ATAIRE. “These crews are dedicated to public service, and we are proud to support the people of Spain through our flights.”
A special three-stage space on the show floor features presentations and panel discussions on a variety of industry innovations, workforce development, and safety topics. “The audiences for these presentations listen to the presenters through headphones, allowing us to conduct them next to each other without interference,” continues Müller. “We also schedule a variety of training sessions, career development options, and industry presentations in rooms close to the show floor. This event has something of value for anyone connected to Europe’s vertical flight industry, or even those who are thinking about joining us. EUROPEAN ROTORS features the best of our industry, for the people of our industry.”
In addition to the organizers, producers, and country hosts, Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturers and parts suppliers offer their direct guidance to ensure the success of the show. “We are grateful to companies like Airbus, Bell, Leonardo, and Safran Helicopter Engines for their direction and support of EUROPEAN ROTORS 2023,” adds Müller.
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