Aviation leaders are encouraged by the early showing at 2012 Heli-Expo in Dallas this week, with manufacturers reporting stabilization in the market and announcing new major orders. The show itself has been busy, with attendance by Monday morning already topping 2008’s record of 17,995. Attendance at this year’s show eclipsed 18,100 early Monday, and Helicopter Association International President Matt Zuccaro expects that number to increase – perhaps by more than 1,000 -- as the show continues through Feb. 14.
About 650 exhibitors are covering nearly one million sq. ft. of floor space, and manufacturers have brought in 60 helicopters for the show. Paula Derks, president of the Aircraft Electronics Association, says that since Heli-Expo typically is the first major aviation show of the year, its activity can foreshadow activity across the industry for the year. “Judging by the exhibit halls, it looks like it’s a pretty positive pace,” Derks says.