China - future HEMS opportunities?

What's a job in helicopters pay? Does it pay? Why do you get paid more than me?
CaptSpry
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China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Mon Jul 18 2011, 21:30

Release of airspace by military in China creates long term HEMS opportunities

If you are a faint of heart or do not like thinking outside the square, then please do not read any further.

For many years the Chinese air force has been accused of strangling Chinese general aviation industry by not releasing airspace for private and commercial purposes. In fact, their airlines grumble about only having access to one third of Chinese military controlled airspace. Critics state Chinese handling of the general aviation industry is in stark contrast to the rest of the country which is on track to become the world’s largest economy around 2020. Since February 2011, China has become the world’s second-largest economy. In the past, the general aviation industry has never been allowed to develop due to lack or accessible airspace.

In November last year the Chinese announced airspace around six cities would be freed up for private and commercial use. It is hoped to release most low-level airspace across China by 2015. At last private and commercial general aviation can develop along the lines we experience and accept as our right every day.

But the trouble is, to build a HEMS industry from almost nothing; you need a good foundation from which to draw expertise and resources. For example, Australia and New Zealand have around 2,000 civilian helicopters. Our SAR and HEMS resources are enormous by comparison to the Chinese civilian fleet which is around 130 helicopters. Even when you add military helicopters to this list you are struggling to make 500. (USA has 12,000 civilian helicopters.)

To get the ball rolling the Chinese are launching an inaugural Air Medical & Rescue Congress China 2011, in Shanghai, 11-12 October 2011. This is the beginning of what I consider to be an industry of phenomenal potential. For example, Europe with a relatively small landmass has around 360 helicopter rescue bases. China with 1.37 billion people, a large geographical area and a substantial coastline will need a SAR and HEMS capability approaching 1,000 helicopters over the next decade, according to Chinese reports. Those of us who have been in the HEMS industry know this target is almost unachievable even when international countries are contracted to provide management, training, equipment and expertise to launch the new services.

But for the youngsters in our midst, you should look at the opportunities you or your company could grab over the coming decades. If you think this is unreasonable, look back over 40 years at the offshore oil industry and the development of emergency services helicopter operations during the past two decades.

You now have the potential to be involved in an industry which has a zero base line. Maybe an exciting career? PM me if you need more info or fact sheets on China.
bluecollarwallah
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby bluecollarwallah » Tue Jul 19 2011, 02:41

The best way to learn more about China is to go there and experience it yourself, show respect and appreciation , learn a few words of Mandarin , go there single
CaptSpry
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Thu Jul 21 2011, 01:57

Just an update ...... China was not able to develop GA due to lack of usable airspace - things are changing - quickly.

An international tourist involved in a traffic accident whilst travelling in China may be surprised to find a helicopter aeromedical system does not yet exist in the world’s second largest economy. If the same person came to grief in Europe then they would probably be assisted by one of 360 helicopter rescue bases in that region. China’s lack of a helicopter emergency service industry has been somewhat of a puzzle to the international community.

Aviation enthusiasts are quick to point out China with a population of 1.37 billion is four times more populous than the USA and yet has no effective helicopter industry to foster helicopter SAR and HEMS development. By way of comparison Australia’s Register has 14,390 aircraft of which 1,880 are helicopters. New Zealand has 6,400 aircraft - 791 are helicopters. The USA has 12,000 and China only 130 helicopters. In fact, the meagre Chinese helicopter industry has been stagnant for over a decade, well insulated from China’s rampaging economic growth.

Added note: In theory, China should have 48,000 helicopters, if it follows the US model. Or 250,000 if the NZ model is used. The kiwis have 791 helicopters for only 4.4m people. (Same population as Queensland). Dreaming??

But help is on the way, albeit slowly. In November last year China announced the decision to intensify the reform of China’s low altitude airspace. The new policy coverers major cities including Changchun, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Jinan and Nanjing. The low altitude airspace will gradually expand to cover the whole country by 2015.

Chinese business leaders agree the new policy represents a lucrative opportunity to exploit China’s huge general aviation market potential. In particular, the opportunities to develop a SAR and HEMS industry with international help are enormous. Currently, international air rescue authorities are coming forward to assist China. These include European Air Medical Institute (EURAMI), Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS - USA) and European HEMS and Air Ambulance Committee (EHAC). The latter represents 360 helicopter rescue bases in Europe.

A key note speaker at Australia’s Rotor Tech 2006 stated that China has so few civilian helicopters; that the concept of expanding their GA industry to include a large number of multi-engine IFR helicopters is really not achievable in the short term, without assistance from international logistic and training providers. Sourcing and training of Chinese general aviation managers, pilots, aircrew, engineers and educators will create challengers for several decades. One solution (due simply to our regional proximity) is to use training resources in Australia and New Zealand.

The initial demand for training will focus on pilots and aviation engineers. It is believed China has only a handful of flying schools, including one in Hong Kong. The training of maintenance personnel and other management specialists is a major hurdle to be addressed. It is obvious international companies will have to be contracted to establish bases in China until the Chinese aviation industry reaches self-sufficiency.

Australia and New Zealand are in a good position to offer elementary training of pilots and aircrew using the resources of 30 flying schools in Australia and around 15 in New Zealand. Both countries will need to provide special courses due to the fact the existing commercial syllabuses do not meet Chinese licensing requirements. The Chinese CPL requires some instrument and night flying. This has been a stumbling block for Australian schools that do not have night training capability.

Fortunately, those wishing to assist with the Chinese general aviation expansion will have comfort in the knowledge they follow US FAA regulations. To an outsider, this seems unusual considering China’s political history over the past 100 years.

A stumbling block in Australia and to a lesser extent in New Zealand is obtaining permission to host foreign students under legislation covering issue of student visas. Overseas student trainers are usually monitored by the respective education authority, which can add enormously to the bureaucratic process. This is no doubt due to the fact many Australian training facilities were recently somewhat less than scrupulous and later collapsed taking with them funds deposited by overseas students.

If a flying school is prepared to jump all the bureaucratic hurdles, then the future looks very bright indeed. Advanced training for SAR and HEMS crews is really a revenue-generating venture for existing emergency services in Australia and New Zealand. One obvious need is to conduct classroom training in China for both pilots and air crew. The flying training can then be done outside China at an approved SAR and HEMS facility. These would cuts costs and avoid visa problems for students who don’t meet the academic standards prior to entering the flight line.

Those wishing to study opportunities in China would benefit from conferences being held in China. In this way you will meet like-minded government and business executives who are trying to launch a SAR and HEMS industry in China in the next decade or so. Two coming events are:

Aviation Expo China is being held 21 – 24 September 2011 in Beijing. This is more airline focussed. See their website or call +86 10 8773 0641.

Air Medical & Rescue Congress China 2011 is being held 11 – 12 October 2011 in Shanghai. This inaugural SAR and HEMS conference is the best option for those interested in opportunities now being presented due to the release of low?level airspace. For more information on this event, call +61 415 641 774 or email asiapacificaviationmarketing@gmail.com.

More later as we find out more .....
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havick
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby havick » Thu Jul 21 2011, 04:04

Catspry.. I think you will find there is already rescue operations flying S76's on mainland China already.

Flight Training Adelaide has been teaching most of their cadets for some time upto and including CIR-ME(H)
http://www.flighttrainingadelaide.com/i ... -training/

So it's nothing new, although what may happen is increase the throughput of these trainees if it picks up over there.

Also, all of their now co-pilots are flying the line:
http://www.flighttrainingadelaide.com/m ... cation.pdf
"You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel."
CaptSpry
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Fri Jul 22 2011, 10:47

Havic,
Good contribution. I am chasing further info to expand your update. It is good to get positive information sharing on this largely unknown subject.
Thanks.
CS
CaptSpry
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Fri Jul 22 2011, 10:55

What about Canada?
Several people called and asked about Canada with its 34.4m folks.
Surprisingly they have 34,230 aircraft of which 2,673 are helicopters or around 8%.
Australia - 13%
New Zealand - 12%
USA - 5%

The following is part of an update provided to an interested observer today.

Aviation enthusiasts are quick to point out China with a population of 1.37 billion is four times more populous than the USA and yet has no effective helicopter industry to foster helicopter SAR and HEMS development. By way of comparison Australia has 14,390 aircraft of which 1,880 are helicopters. Canada has a large fleet of aircraft totalling 34,220 of which 2,680 are helicopters. New Zealand with 6,400 aircraft has 791 are helicopters. The USA has 12,000 and China only 130 helicopters. In fact, the meagre Chinese helicopter industry has been stagnant for over a decade, well insulated from China’s rampaging economic growth.

For the serious number crunchers, in theory, China should have 109,593 helicopters, if it follows the Canadian model or 48,000 if the US model is used. No matter what comparison is made, the Chinese helicopter industry has been restricted in the past by the difficulties in obtaining permission to use military airspace.

Enuf for this week! Happy weekend.
CaptSpry
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Sun Aug 7 2011, 02:40

Now have access to an updated brochure with discounted Australian prices and more background on agenda and local venue.

Please PM and I can send a pdf.
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Fri Aug 26 2011, 03:51

Just an update from research into China's aviation opportunities. Sources are varied and tranlation makes odd reading at times.

CHINESE HELICOPTER MARKET OVERVIEW
China should become the world's largest market for helicopters. Government policies have hampered the development of helicopter industry

A recent media release states (in brief): Aviation commentators suggest during the 21st century, China will become the largest helicopter market in the world. Indeed, market analysts forecast that China's demand for helicopters is expected to reach 1,867 helicopters before 2013 representing a market value of $4.9 billion (source: China Daily). Today, the civilian helicopter fleet is around 150. (source: CAAC). Note: Australia’s fleet is 1,880 helicopters, NZ 800. (Excludes 250 or so military).

Chinese government is helping private aviation market by relaxing flight rules. The previous regulations were very strict and private aircraft were forced to apply a long time in advance for flight approval. The authorities will make some changes such as reducing wait-times from days to hours, eliminating flight-plan fee which was US$4,400. It is anticipated next year the 17% value-added tax and the import duty on corporate aircraft will be reduced.
If the trials, on private helicopters, which started in January 2011, are successful Chinese aviation authorities will start to open part of China’s low-altitude airspace - altitudes lower than 1,000 meters - for private flights, which include helicopters and small aeroplanes. Experts agree, the most direct beneficiaries of the opening-up of the low-altitude airspace are the helicopter users.

PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS NEED HELICOPTERS
Private, corporate and the public security sector need helicopters

Disaster relief, rescue and aeromedical operations are the new growth areas for the helicopter industry. Helicopters play key roles in efficient disaster relief and rescue operations. Recent figures showed that China would need at least 100 helicopters for observation and providing relief to natural disaster victims within the next five years (source: China Daily).

After the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province in May 2008, Chinese authorities are interested in acquiring suitable SAR and HEMS helicopters. In the recent past, helicopters demonstrated unique advantages in the disaster-relief efforts more particularly in earthquake toppled buildings, blocked roads, and destroyed railways and bridges.

Aeromedical helicopters also have great potential. The concept (new to China) of flying ambulances is of interest to China. A demand for 50 helicopters for the next five years has been is suggested. (source: China Daily).

In the remote areas of western China, there is a huge market for public sector helicopters because of the difficult terrain in the region, often extreme climatic conditions, numerous mountain ranges and undeveloped transport infrastructures. In these areas passenger, cargo transport and tourism would benefit from the availability of helicopter resources

Heavy industry needs access to larger helicopters capable of power grid construction and airborne maintenance, gas pipeline laying and patrolling, agriculture and livestock management, and fire fighting operations in forested areas.

Although police and security operations have been evolving for some time; if the international model is used for measuring the potential of public service operations, then there is an extensive market developing in this area once the capabilities become known to the community leaders.

Shanghai, is considered a vibrant and dynamic city with a growth of 9.9% in 2010; representing a market full of opportunities. By comparison to Australia with almost 2,000 helicopters, Shanghai has almost the same population as Australia. New Zealand’s population would make up less than 25% of the Shanghai numbers and yet NZ has around 800 helicopters.

In the long term, even though economic challenges are being faced all over the world, China is still expected to grow between 10 and 12% in 2011, with Shanghai leading the way. Also, the “Rich List” in China doubles every year with 1,363 individuals with a personal wealth of more than AUD$160 million, according to the 2010 Hurun Rich List. For business executives, having their own private helicopters is a real advantage; as it allows them to connect to cities in an easy, fast and flexible way.
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Re: China - future HEMS opportunities?

Postby CaptSpry » Fri Aug 26 2011, 04:37

Another research paper to share. See below loss of AW139 a week or so ago, during SAR training. Four dead, one OK. So I thought this paper would be an overview on the safety problems when you suddenly introduce medium-heavy SAR/HEMS/Police helicopters into a new organisation.

Beijing police - AW139 fatal accident

On the morning of August 17th, 2011, an AW139 helicopter crashed into the Miyun Reservoir, located in a northern suburb of Beijing (China), with five people aboard. Only one person survived. The Beijing Public Security Bureau Police Aviation Corps had four helicopters. Two Agusta A109E and two AW139 helicopters. Local media suggests water rescue training was being filmed? Our thoughts are with the families and colleagues of those who were killed.



China is releasing airspace to allow development of an almost non-existent general aviation industry. New opportunities are emerging for the future helicopter SAR and HEMS industry.

But what are the risks?

Introduction: This is an extract from a briefing paper prepared for Australasian readers. It is an indepth look at China’s emerging SAR and HEMS industry, it is believed the education and training industries will be first to develop during the pending expansion.

Currently there is a shortage of aircrew and management expertise in China to cater for the growth over the coming years. This creates an opportunity for international interests to help the new industry in China during the formative years ahead.

However, the lack of a proven safety culture and regulators with experience to oversee the relevant legistalion for this emerging industry is worrying. Learning from numerous accident investigations is a lesson the US and other nations do not want to see repeated in China.

Recent regional accidents: On the 20 Apr ’11 an Indian civilian helicopter crashed near the Chinese border killing 17 people. The Russian-designed passenger helicopter apparently caught fire while flying in the Tawang region of the north eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The helicopter belonged to state-run Pawan Hans Helicopters. It had 23 people on board, including five crew members.

On the 25 Jul ’11, the third of three Thai army helicopters crashed within a week of each other. Three soldiers were killed and a fourth injured in the third fatal crash. The Bell 212, part of the rescue mission following another helicopter crash went down in Phetchaburi province, south-west of the capital Bangkok, bringing the death toll from the three incidents to 17 people lost.

The aircraft, which was travelling from Bangkok to a task force base in Phetchaburi, had transported bodies from a previous Black Hawk helicopter crash, in which nine people were killed. The victims were eight military personnel and a television cameraman from Army-run Channel 5.

Australian standard established: The Aeromedical Society of Australasia has suffered through a difficult time when unreasonable losses were forced upon the industry. Their members should be proud of their history over the past decades in achieving a mature organisation which has identified standards to be met by aviation operators who provide aeromedical services.

Unfortunately, many of these standards were the result of those dreadful years of when losses of aircraft conducting aeromedical work, both in the United States and Australia. These shocked those who worked in the relatively small industry.

Today, we accept the past steep learning curve and hope our past experience, advances in technology, improved training and improved supervision will mitigate the risks faced by aeromedical crews in the future.

Lack of HEMS in China: A tourist involved in a traffic accident whilst travelling in China may be surprised to find a helicopter aeromedical system does not yet exist in the world’s second largest economy. If the same person came to grief in Europe then they would probably be assisted by one of 360 helicopter rescue bases in that region. China’s lack of a helicopter emergency service industry has been somewhat of a puzzle to the international SAR and HEMS community.

It could be said the development of general aviation in China has been suffocated by the reluctance of the People's Liberation Army to release airspace for private and commercial purposes. Airlines appear to only have access to a third of China’s airspace. Private and commercial general aviation operators are almost totally excluded.

Long term predictions: China recently became the second largest economy in the world, pushing Japan back to third place. Although the United States still retains first place, economists suggest China will take the overall lead by 2020.

Aviation enthusiasts are quick to point out China with a population of 1.37 billion is four times more populous than the USA and yet has no effective helicopter industry to foster helicopter SAR and HEMS development. By way of comparison Australia has 14,390 aircraft of which 1,880 are helicopters. Canada has a large fleet of aircraft totalling 34,220 of which 2,680 are helicopters. New Zealand with 6,400 aircraft has 791 helicopters.

The USA has 12,000 and China only 130 helicopters.

In fact, the meagre Chinese helicopter industry has been stagnant for over a decade, well insulated from China’s rampaging economic growth. For the serious number crunchers, China should have 48,000 helicopters if the US model is used. No matter what comparison is made, the Chinese helicopter industry has been restricted in the past by the difficulties in obtaining permission to use Chinese airspace.

Airspace to be released: As a result, in November of 2010, China's State Council and Central Military Commission jointly released a circular announcing the decision to intensify the reform of China's low altitude airspace, the new policy covering major cities including Changchun, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Jinan, and Nanjing. The low altitude air-space will be gradually expanded in more areas and finally cover the whole country by 2015.

Business opportunities: Chinese business leaders agree the new policy represents a lucrative opportunity to exploit China’s huge general aviation market potential. In particular, the opportunities to develop a SAR and HEMS industry with international help are enormous. Currently, international air rescue authorities are coming forward to assist China. These include European Air Medical Institute (EURAMI), Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS - USA) and European HEMS and Air Ambulance Committee (EHAC). The latter represents 360 helicopter rescue bases in Europe.

International help needed: A key note speaker at Australia’s Rotor Tech 2006 stated China has so few civilian helicopters; that the concept of expanding their GA industry to include a large number of multi-engine IFR HEMS helicopters is really not achievable in the short term; without extensive assistance from international logistic and training providers.

Outsourced training: Sourcing and training of Chinese general aviation managers, pilots, aircrew, engineers, safety specialists and educators will create challenges for several decades. In conclusion, the speaker stated. “One solution (due simply to our regional proximity) is to use training resources in Australia and New Zealand”. This concept is also applicable to Canada where there are close cultural links with China due to the substantial number of Chinese who have settled in Canada.

Asian airlines booming: Boeing, at the recent Paris Air Show released a report titled, “2011 Pilot and Technician Outlook”. The forecast went to 2030. It predicted the Asia-Pacific Region is where the greatest growth in airline traffic will occur. In particular, China will need an extra 72,000 pilots and 108,000 technicians. This puts them in third place after Europe and North America, according to Boeing.

Most western world countries have 10% of aircraft registrations allocated to helicopters. It could be argued the Chinese would need to train 7,200 pilots over two decades. The puzzle facing experts is how we assess the real figure when China has only 130 helicopters and very few flying schools at present. If these figures are relevant, then they would need to graduate about 7 pilots per week for twenty years. (More than 1,000 training hours per week.) A CFI would add to this by saying this estimate does not cover routine type ratings, role equipment endorsements, check and training, instructor qualifications, instrument ratings and role equipment, etc.

First priority training of manpower: The initial demand for training will focus on pilots, aviation engineers and aeromedical specialists. It is believed China has only a very few flying schools, including one in Hong Kong. The training of maintenance personnel and other management specialists is a major hurdle to be addressed. It is obvious international companies will have to be contracted to establish bases in China until the Chinese aviation industry reaches self-sufficiency, estimated to be achieved in ten to twenty years.

Pacific rim resources: Australia, Canada and New Zealand are in a good position to offer elementary training of pilots and aircrew using the resources of 32 flying schools in Canada, 30 in Australia and 15 in New Zealand. All countries will need to provide special courses due to the fact the existing commercial syllabuses do not meet Chinese licensing requirements. The Chinese CPL requires some instrument and night flying. This has been a stumbling block for the Australian schools that do not need a night training capability.

FAA model used: Fortunately, those wishing to assist with the Chinese general aviation expansion will have comfort in the knowledge they follow US FAA regulations. To an outsider, this seems unusual considering China’s political history over the past 100 years. The basic CAAC CPL(H) is 150 flying hours.

Safety concerns: Raising the equivalent of a small air force from nothing can be a very costly business. Statistical evidence from the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and later conflicts show that rapid expansion can result in enormous losses. This is caused poor supervision and training coupled with inexperience. In all of these conflicts non-combat losses exceeded those lost in operations against the enemy. So what is the implication of China? Where do we start our research? What are the implications for the safety of aeromedical flight crewmembers?

World statistics: It is estimated by the Association of Air Medical Services (USA), helicopters transport 400,000 patients annually in the United States. The growth in the HEMS industry has been spectacular. From 1995 to 2008 the number of helicopters used in aeromedical services increased by 130%. Just over a decade ago the Americans were losing one aeromedical helicopter every week. In recent years, the loss rate has decreased substantially. In 2008 there were nine fatal accidents which killed 35 people. The following year in 2009 nine fatal accidents killing another eleven.

These figures could be compared with say; Qantas, and the expectations of their fare paying public. If you compare HEMS loss rate over a typical year with Qantas carrying 38 million passengers without a single loss of an aircrew member, then you can see why the United States regulators have been reconsidering HEMS operations.

Odd risk analysis?
To put it bluntly, recent HEMS experience shows one crew member was killed for every 20,000 patients carried. By comparison, if Qantas had the same loss rate then almost 2,000 Qantas aircrew would have died to achieve the same uplift capability – 38 million.

This latent problem is probably being overlooked by the emerging Chinese HEMS industry which is probably focused on the setting up of the manpower and logistic resources to commence an aeromedical system. With the power of hindsight, international advisers will need to tell the leaders of the emerging industry within China, the road ahead has many potentially fatal potholes.

They will need to harness the knowledge and skills that have been developed by the Western nations in accident prevention techniques associated with the SAR and HEMS operations. There is no doubt past lessons were written in blood!

It is for this reason western organisations must be ready to provide guidance to the new organisers of the emerging industry, now being established as the airspace is being progressively released. No doubt ASA and AAMS and other international agencies will also need to lend a hand to ensure the traditional risk management procedures are covered in their safety system management protocols.

The international safety agencies will probably have to push very hard to get their point of view across to a group of people who have never experienced the pain of operating an aeromedical industry without the appropriate checks and balances.

Those wishing to study opportunities in China would benefit from conferences being held in China. In this way you will meet like-minded government and business executives who are trying to launch a SAR and HEMS industry in China in the next decade. One important coming event is:

Air Medical & Rescue Congress China 2011 is being held 11 – 12 October 2011 in Shanghai. This inaugural SAR and HEMS conference is the best option for those interested in opportunities now being presented due to the release of low?level airspace. For more information on this event, call +61 415 641 774 or email pyxis@pyxisconsult.com.

Australian residents – Rob Rich – robsrich@bigpond.com or 0415 641 774

PS: Discounted rates for Australian and New Zealand delegates have been negiotated. The Euro being used to cost the attendance was a little unweildy. Also exhibition boots are also confirmed in AUD$. Substantial reductions on both.

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