Helicopter financing has suffered the ups and downs of an unstable market, but it is expected that in 2010 and beyond there will still be a positive demand for rotorcrafts.
This, according to Matthew Harvey, head of asset finance at law firm Denton Wilde Sapte, is because helicopter financing has always been a “niche sector”, which is particularly tied to specific industries, like the oil and gas sector. As such, it is not susceptible to consumer-driven demand.
In the same way, prospects for search and rescue helicopters are rather good. In the UK, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the MoD are currently working on a project to jointly operate their search and rescue helicopter fleet in the future.
The project is at the final stage of a tendering process, involving two consortia (Air Knight and Soteria).
Once the preferred bidder is announced – by early 2010 – the project will focus on how to provide the new helicopters, their specification and the way of financing them.