Understanding what is meant by APAC in relation to Australia and New Zealand’s rotorcraft interests.
Source: Australian Aviation in Focus by Rob Rich
Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond post COVID-19 there are enormous rotorcraft business opportunities in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) Region for Australian and New Zealand businesses interests located in a region where past predicated growth rates exceeded other global regions.
APAC comprises a collection of around 21 countries located in or near the Western Pacific Ocean. This includes Japan, East and South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. China is the largest country by area, followed by Australia, India, Indonesia, and Mongolia. The smallest country by is Macau. The region is home to some of the most populous countries. China has the largest population in APAC (and the world), with about 1.44 billion people. India follows closely, with 1.38 billion. The third-most populous country in the region and the fourth-most populous in the world, is our close neighbour Indonesia, with over 273.5 million people. The smallest by population is the British Indian Ocean Territory, which has just 3,000 people.
Industry commentators often ask for more precise figures on the helicopter industry in APAC. Data released at the Singapore Airshow in February 2020. Shows there an estimated 6,000 turbine engined helicopters in the region. The Australian and New Zealand helicopter figures were a surprise to many as these two countries with a combined population of only 30 million have more than 3,200 helicopters in an area encompassing India, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Japan, and across to the Philippines; to name a few.
Australia’s Aircraft Register (Sep 20) had 13,396 aeroplanes and 2,357 helicopters for a total of 15,753 aircraft. Helicopters made up 15% of CASA aircraft registrations. Growth rate pre-Covid was only 2%, down from the traditional 4-6% per annum or twice the GDP.
New Zealand has a population of only 4.7 million, their aircraft register lists 5,401 aircraft of which 924 are helicopters, which make up 17% of the total. At present, New Zealand is recognised as a country with more helicopters ‘per head of population’ than any other. NZ has 5,086 people per helicopter; Australia follows with 10,808 and USA 13,880.
The Robinson Helicopter Company dominates the Australian register with 1,201 machines, or 52% of all helicopter registrations. The Robinson lead helicopter is the R22 helicopter (617), closely followed by the R44 (553), which will soon push the R22 back into second place.
Australia and New Zealand are well placed to provide manufacturing, training, and mentoring support to the large number of APAC countries which are presently poised to start an enormous rotorcraft expansion program once the global pandemic is brought under control. The 40 helicopter flying schools in Australia and another 10 in New Zealand would be hard pressed to meet the demand for pilots, technicians and administrative staff required by APAC regulators and the global insurance industry.
The Asia-Pacific airline boom over the past decade is a model worth studying!