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Mind the skill gap: rotorcraft industry in South America on the hunt for knowledge


Recently, AugustWestland Brazilian subsidiary has announced its plans to build a massive helicopter maintenance facility near Sao Paulo. The news were positively greeted by both operators and government bodies since the need for appropriate MRO support has long been subject to growing concern in the region. However, prior to popping the champagne, we must first acknowledge that as of today, the region has no qualified manpower to work in such centres. 

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Shortage of maintenance staff poses a direct threat to the rotorcraft industry


Combined with a predicted global growth in rotorcraft aviation, the decrease in the numbers of trainees – both civilian and military – is creating what many see as a looming shortage qualified personnel, especially mechanics. While more than 5 000 machines are expected to supplement the global fleet until 2019, the existing technical manpower qualified to maintain them is getting old and shrinking fast.

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MROs in India not nearly ready for the wave of Russian helicopters


Asia-Pacific has long been appraised as the leader of the growing aviation industry and India is one of the brightest stars in region. It is without a doubt that the country loves helicopters as the Indian rotorcraft fleet is one of the largest in the world with more than 2000 machines utilized in the military segment alone. Regardless, fleet size aside, in terms of quality most of the helicopters are old and in need of replacement or renewal. Sadly, the country’s maintenance sector is very far from being amongst the leading rotorcraft repair industry players. 

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Adapt or tap out – the inevitable future of helicopters


Just last week, Sikorsky, one of the most renowned rotorcraft industry companies, was purchased by Lockheed for $9 billion. Previously, Sikorsky had startled the helicopter market by laying off almost 1400 workers due to a significant decline in oil & gas explorations around the globe. Back then, 80 per cent of all company sales came from offshore business and 90 per cent of all hours flown by the company’s commercial aircraft were the hours spent on offshore operations. Couple such focus on a single market with the historically low fuel prices and we’ve got a very sticky situation to solve for all – OEMs, owners and operators.

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