For some things, you gotta have a helicopter. You can’t land an airplane on an offshore drilling rig or right next to a traffic accident. Or pluck hostages from a hostile encampment in the dark of night. The helicopter industry remained relatively stable while the rest of aviation struggled, and most analysts predict robust growth extending into the foreseeable future.

That general optimism will be on full display in Dallas at Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo 2012. Statics. Elaborate booths. The latest gizmos. A colleague and I are going, and I can’t wait to experience it firsthand.

Why You Should Go

All that glitz and shine of new aircraft and advanced technology is fun and serves a critical role keeping the industry in-touch and up to date. But the real value, as always, isn’t what you see. It’s what you hear. Networking remains the most important reason to attend.

Once again, much of the talk will focus on safety. How the industry fares. Improvements made. Challenges ahead.

Safety First, Safety Always   

Overall, the helicopter industry sports an excellent safety record. Today’s aircraft carry an impressive array of lifesaving safety equipment, and the vast majority of operators emphasize safety above all other considerations. That doesn’t quench the industry’s continual thirst for improvement. Every study, commission and industry report cites, among its recommendations, the need for continued emphasis on professional training.

We’re proud to be associated with the industry leader in helicopter training – FlightSafety International. It relentlessly drives to improve its training, expand programs, add locations and develop ever-better training technology. FlightSafety will have a booth – 5305 – highlighting current and future investments in professional helicopter training. Stop by and check it out. We’ll be there, too. Hope to see you at the show.