How to Start Charter Helicopter Service Business

Do you love flying hours? And you have a pilot rating? Then starting a helicopter service business is perfect for you. Here in this article, we have provided a complete charter helicopter service business plan checklist. Additionally, you will find 5 niche helicopter service business ideas that you can consider to start.

Starting a helicopter company is not everyone’s cup of tea. Actually, the business demands a lot of investment towards procuring the copter, licensing and maintenance. In addition, the business demands a right marketing strategy and fund for implementing that.

Basically, the helicopter can take off and land vertically. Also, it can hover, fly forward, backward, and laterally. Nowadays, people use helicopters for multiple reasons. The list includes transportation of people and cargo, military uses, construction, firefighting, search and rescue, tourism, medical transport etc. Additionally, helicopters are useful for law enforcement, agriculture, news and media, and aerial observation, among others.

According to the industry experts, the global helicopter market is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.4% in recent future. Globally, close to 29% of civil helicopters are in use for law enforcement and emergency medical services.

There are about 750 civil helicopters operating in Southeast Asia itself, where Malaysia has the strongest offshore operational base. Increased offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities in the APAC region stimulate the market demand for helicopters in civil aviation. This calls for strong offshore operational bases in countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, and India.

Actually, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America hold the major major market share. Additionally, growing corporate tours, leisure, and tourism have fueled the industry for a rapid growth.

5 Steps for Starting Helicopter Service Business

1. Learn How to Fly

This is one of the basic criteria for starting this business. You need to learn how to fly helicopters and get a commercial helicopter license. There are several renowned aviation institutes where you can pursue the courses for becoming a licensed pilot.

Generally, the cost depends on a few factors. These are the location of where you do your training, the courses you need to take to meet your career goal and the type of aircraft you fly. However, it is mandatory, and it will help you in getting necessary licenses for starting a commercial helicopter service business.

2. Craft the Business Plan

Crafting a business plan is mandatory. If you want to start with a single or two helicopters, then you must target a niche audience. A specialized service for the specific clients. Additionally, in the plan, you must mention the marketing strategy. Financial analysis is another an important aspect. You must accumulate the input costs and an expected ROI and break even.

3. Procure Helicopter (Buy or Lease)

Procuring the helicopter involves the major investment in this business. However, you can also procure a used helicopter or consider on rent. In addition to that, you will need to fix the location for establishing the helipad. Also, consider fixing the fees at a competitive price.

4. Get the Permission & Insurance

Anything to do with aircraft is highly regulated by the FAA under Part 135 aircraft charter regulations. The pilot must obtain a commercial airline transport pilot license with a helicopter (rotor) rating per the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Part 61.161.

The FAA also requires very a certain level of routine aircraft maintenance and inspection. Additionally, you will need to describe the helicopter model and the number of passengers it can safely carry. Also, the FAA requires the helicopter purchase or lease agreement, including the payment schedule.

5. Promote your Helicopter Service Business

Finally, you will need to promote your helicopter service business according to your marketing strategy. Generally, the promotional strategy depends on the specific niche service that you are offering. Create a website and mention the services you are providing to customers.

Apart from outdoor advertising, you must consider publishing offline and online advertisements in the related publications and websites.

5 Niche Helicopter Service Business Ideas

1. Tourism & Site Seeing

Basically, the introduction of new tourist destinations has fueled a revolution in the global tourism industry. There is a significant growth in the demand for air travel and a simultaneous rise in the number of aircraft and helicopter.

Actually, Australia, France, Spain, South Africa, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the UK, and the US are the major beneficiaries in this field. However, for starting the business in the tourism industry, you must select the location very carefully.

2. Charter

Generally, charter helicopters provide service for private transportation. And in that case, you will need to concentrate on the large companies and corporates. These services appeal to executives who need to travel to other cities. It allows you a way to charge top rates. Apart from large corporates, celebrities, and politicians, VIPs may be your potential prospects.

3. Training

This is another a great opportunity you can consider. You can open a training academy for the people who want to know how to fly. However, it demands cash investment in setting up the institute and getting the affiliation. Also, the location is one of the most important aspects of this business.

4. Air Medical or EMS

In the air medical service business, your primary responsibility is to move patients to and from healthcare facilities and accident scenes. Generally, air medical service providers provide a higher level of care at the scene of trauma and improving access to trauma centers. Helicopter-based emergency medical service (EMS) also provides critical care capabilities during interfacility transport from community hospitals to trauma centers.

5. Entertainment

If you live in a metro city or tourist place, you can consider starting a helicopter service business as only for entertainment purpose. In this business, location plays an important role. However, the business is comparatively easy to start. You will need to concentrate on the intensive advertising. You can also offer different prices for different distances.

Overall, starting a helicopter service business is not an easy job. You need to put a lot of investment and strategic thought for making the business a successful one.