• Aircraft in the static display at the Royal International Convention Centre during RotorTech 2021. (AMDA Foundation)
    Aircraft in the static display at the Royal International Convention Centre during RotorTech 2021. (AMDA Foundation)

Rotary aviation industry convention and exhibition RotorTech 2021 set a new record for attendance during the week.

The event, which was held at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane, attracted more than 1800 visitors over three days, a record despite the lack of overseas attendances and the lock down imposed on the Melbourne metro area.

The result is very satisfying for AMDA Foundation CEO Ian Honnery.

"We believed that industry sought an in-person event as a platform to begin rebuilding confidence and reaffirming face-to-face relationships," Honnery said.

"That is confirmed by the great growth in the event. Despite the challenges of COVID the total combined daily attendance nearly doubled over the three days of the show compared with 2018, and the number of participating companies involved in the industry exhibition increased by almost 40%. The floor space occupied by the trade show increased by around 50%.

"From the first day of RotorTech, the buzz in the industry exhibition and conferences showed that the helicopter and unmanned flight communities were enthusiastic about being there, and were making the most of the opportunity."

The exhibition comprised of 140 exhibitors covering everything from major aircraft manufacturers to equipment OEMs, software developers and retailers. The turn-out also eclipsed the last RotorTech records.

The Australian Helicopter Industry Association's (AHIA) and Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) conferences programs included Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack via video link and new CASA Director of Aviation Safety and CEO Pip Spence. Other presenters covered many aspects of rotary aviation including lessons learnt from helicopter operation in recent natural disaster and developments in the drone sector.

Honnery also paid tribute to his workforce, which was faced with many COVID-induced challenges, but rose to meet them all.

"Our team has faced many challenges in bringing RotorTech 2021 to life," he said, "but its success is also proof of the commitment of industry to getting back to business."

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