A new aviation association has been formed to cover all rotorcraft operators in Australia and New Zealand under one banner.
Convenor and CEO Rob Rich announced this week the formation of the Rotorcraft Asia Pacific Business Association (RAPBA) to be headquartered initially at Archerfield in Brisbane.
According to Rich, the need for RAPBA emerged from RotorTech this year when it became obvious the rotorcraft industry in the Asia-Pacific region was quickly outgrowing the resources available to the Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA).
Rotorcraft now includes helicopters, drones and tilt-rotor aircraft such as the AW609.
"Attendees at the recent RotorTech 2021 were advised Australia has the third largest helicopter fleet in the western world," Rich told Australian Flying. "
"Further, Australian and NZ helicopter registrations made up more than half of all registrations in the Asia-Pacific region. AHIA has done a sterling job hosting recent RotorTechs, but their now limited resources preclude them from representing the training industry and commercial operators.
"Thus, there was a need for a business-focused Australian association to help our industry make the most of the current 4.5% annual fleet growth rate."
RAPBA will initially be co-located at the headquarters of MD Helicopters at Archerfield, which is also the founding corporate sponsor of the association.