EHA launches European Rotors event to rival Vertical Flight Expo

EHA launches European Rotors event to rival Vertical Flight Expo

22-Jan-2020 Source:

The European Helicopter Association (EHA) has launched European Rotors, an exhibition which will run in November 2020 in the German city of Cologne. It will be supported by EASA, along with airframe manufacturers including Airbus, Bell, Kopter and Leonardo, together with engine company Safran.

To many observers, this is hardly a surprise. The EHA was instrumental in ensuring no manufacturer supported Vertical Flight Expo, which ran in November 2019 at Farnborough UK – and was the renaming of the long-running Helitech show. The event was very disappointing for many visitors, and less than a week before Vertical Flight Expo opened in Farnborough, organisers Reed Exhibitions realised that they would have no helicopters on the exhibition hall floor.  They then approached HQ Aviation at Denham, who were very supportive by providing four Robinson helicopters at short notice – including two R66s, one a “3 North Poles” veteran and the other brand new, equipped with synthetic vision and an autopilot.  Additionally Bristow positioned a maintenance-spare AW189 outside the hall from their base at Lee-on-Solent.

Let’s hope that Vertical Flight Expo can adapt to the new situation and continue.  Certainly the event remains listed on the Reed Exhibitions website – without future dates as yet.

Jeremy Parkin –

Here is the EHA press release:-

New show format for Europe’s rotorcraft industry including an international range of exhibitors and a safety conference – Cooperation between European Helicopter Association (EHA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
For the first time, the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are joining forces to offer the international rotorcraft community a unique event format. In keeping with the claim “If you are rotors – we got it!”, the new show will be creating a global network platform for the helicopter industry from November 10th – 12th, 2020 at Koelnmesse, Germany. It will also integrate the renowned EASA Rotorcraft and VTOL Symposium. VTOL stands for vertical take-off and landing, and mainly refers to the new development of electrical or hybrid innovative vehicles with advance level of autonomy, which play an important role in the development of the entire sector – either complementing helicopter missions or as a new form of airborne mobility.

The market leaders Airbus, Bell, Leonardo and Safran are supporting the new format both through their presence as exhibitors and with an advisory function. “I am proud to announce the launch of EUROPEAN ROTORS in cooperation with EASA and with the great support of all our members”, declared Peter Möller, Chairman of the organizers, European Helicopter Association, at the opening press conference on 21 January in Cologne, Germany. “The new gathering for the industry marks an important milestone in our endeavours to promote the social and economic value of rotorcraft operations for European society. We will offer operators, manufacturers, aviation authorities, the supporting industry, mechanics, pilots, customers and suppliers the opportunity to network and also to be informed on state-of-the-art equipment and services. Visitors will additionally have the chance to discuss present and future regulations as well as to participate in dedicated training.”

Another fundamental component of the three-day event will be the integration of the renowned EASA Rotorcraft and VTOL Symposium. David Solar, Head of VTOL Department at EASA explained: “Through our participation in EUROPEAN ROTORS, in collaboration with EHA, we are integrating our very successful and established Rotorcraft and VTOL Symposium to reach out to the broader industry, enabling better collaboration and mutual understanding to enhance global aviation safety. Direct exchange with manufacturers, operators, Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) and maintenance organisations will provide us with valuable 360° feedback for our work.”

The venue for EUROPEAN ROTORS will be Hall 8 and the Congress Centre North of Koelnmesse, Germany. Beside the organizers, the service partner is Messe Friedrichshafen, an experienced exhibition and fairs company, which also stages the established aviation show AERO Friedrichshafen. Alongside the exhibition section, an additional focus of EUROPEAN ROTORS will be on the varied conference components with a large number of seminars and individual training sessions that visitors can book.

In keeping with the motto of EUROPEAN ROTORS “It’s for everyone”, the show also aims to present topics for the general public and political leaders on a separate stage inside the exhibition hall, thus increasing interest in helicopters. Recruitment also plays a prominent role for the industry, which is why there are favourable conditions for students and free admission for everyone as from the afternoon of the third day.

The major involvement of the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) is an additional added value for the three-day industry gathering, and Luc Bentolila, Airbus VP Marketing & Sales Development is already firmly convinced of this: “50 years ago, Europe was giving birth to Airbus so we are thrilled to be supporting the EHA and EASA VTOL show and safety conference. We expect high quality discussions and exchanges within the industry, especially at a time of transition to new technologies and environmental challenges. Understanding and anticipating the needs of our customers to increase the performance and safety of their operations will be essential in order to continue leading the market by delivering state-of the-art solutions.”

Roberto Garavaglia, Leonardo Helicopters SVP strategy and innovation, has similarly high expectations: “Europe is the world’s largest helicopter market, a benchmark for other emerging economies enhancing their helicopter services or even introducing all new ones. The continent stays at the forefront of technological and regulatory innovation and OEMs are, by definition, a crucial element of such competitiveness. That is why Leonardo believes a new, strong dedicated exhibition is needed, allowing all the relevant players to meet, assess the state of the industry and define the next steps.”

Patrick Moulay, Bell Senior Vice President, Commercial Business – International continues: “Bell is proud to support the new EUROPEAN ROTORS event. We thank the European Helicopter Association for bringing together the vertical lift industry and the aviation authorities to focus on the benefits and positive impact of helicopters on society, today and in the future. This event will be a driving force for the advancement of VTOL throughout Europe.“

“Safran wants the new EUROPEAN ROTORS show to be a powerful event for the European helicopter community and the general public”, says Franck Saudo, CEO Safran Helicopter Engines. It is a unique opportunity to bring together actors within the helicopter and VTOL industries in the same location, centrally in Europe. Exhibitions, conferences, best-practice seminars and networking will make it an indispensable event; one in which Safran intends to have a growing stake.”

EUROPEAN ROTORS is the VTOL Show and Safety Conference. It will be taking place from Tuesday 10 November to Thursday 12 November 2020. The venue will be Hall 8 and the Congress Centre North of Koelnmesse, Germany, with access via Entrance North. Further information, including opening times and prices, is available at

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