Vertical Flight Expo & Conference sky high with a stellar programme for 2019

Europe’s largest vertical flight exhibition – Vertical Flight Expo & Conference, formerly known as Helitech International – is set to open its doors from 5-7 November, offering international operators the chance to stay abreast of the latest industry trends and source the latest technology for their vertical flight missions. The event returns in partnership with the British Helicopter Association (BHA) under a new guise and moves to the world-famous aviation hub, Farnborough International, for the first time.

Insight from Industry-leading speakers

Renowned for its insightful conference programme, the Vertical Flight Expo will welcome many of the industry’s foremost thought leaders to share their knowledge of topics including the latest market trends, UAV-Helicopter operations, firefighting and SAR missions, as well as regulation updates.

Kicking off the first day, a panel consisting of Alastair Fallon, Aviation Analyst at IBA, Nadav Kesleer, Sales & Business Development Director at Asian Sky Markets, Clark McGlinn, Principal at Uplifting Advice and Alix Leboulanger, Research Associate at Avescent, will come together to provide attendees with a Global Market Overview, looking at how the vertical flight market will evolve over the next few years.

Elsewhere in Conference Theatre 2, Jim Peyton, V.P. Customer Business at Rolls Royce, will chair a discussion on the Future of Urban Air Mobility and Infrastructure. Clive Lewis, Managing Partner at Achieving the difference LLP will be sharing is views on what is happening in the UK within this space.

Advising attendees on how best to manage airspace including policy and technical updates, Fabio Mangiaracina, Senior Technical Project Manager at Techno Sky, Karim Cosslett, Head of Business Development and Sales at Thales, and Andy Sage, Head of Unmanned Traffic Management at NATS, will each deliver short presentations on Safety: Air Space and Air Traffic Management.

Concluding Conference Theatre 1 on the first day, a session on Market Sectors: Offshore, Oil & Gas & Decommissioning Markets will look at aspects impacting the offshore sector, from market predictions and opportunities to more technical elements to ensure best safety practices. Joe Leask, Decommissioning Manager at Oil &Gas UK, will begin with a talk on Oil & Gas Decommissioning Market Outlook, followed by Steve Robertson, Director of Westwood Energy who will discuss the Offshore Market – Evidence That Things Are Looking Up.

Rowan Greenwood, Director of Airtight Aviation Services will also take to the stage to talk about Workplace Safety, What Offshore Needs to Know About SAR. Concluding the discussion, Alex Knight, Managing Director of Helideck Certification Agency will share his thoughts on Fixed Helidecks, whereas Dave Howsom, Flight Operations Research Manager at Civil Aviation Authority, will discuss Moving Helidecks.

Robert Garbett, CEO of Drone Major, will return on the second day in Gatwick One Year On: Lessons Learned, to delve into what went wrong as well as providing Resultant Strategies for Organisations to Prepare to Counter Different Threat Levels. Helping attendees to gain a 360-degree view, Damon Knight, Head of Air Traffic Services at Southend Airport, will join the line-up to explore Unauthorised Drone Activity from An Airport Perspective.

Addressing Blue Light Services, Fred Jones, President and CEO of the Helicopter Association of Canada, will deliver a presentation on Canadian Search and Rescue, sharing insights on how they carry out operations across the pond. He will be joined by Bobby Youang, Cofounder and CEO of Skybrowse who will examine Car Crash Inspections, Standardising Methodologies: Saving Police Lives, while Jim Winkel, President of ASU NVG, will share Feedback From The Frontline: Night Vision Goggle Uses in SAR.

Networking: literally at your fingertips

This year sees the return of the show’s popular networking and buyer’s initiative, Vertical Connect. The online business meeting assistant will offer all attendees a focused onsite networking tool as well as a concierge service to help both visitors and exhibitors make the most of their time at the show by scheduling the most fruitful business meetings to meet their company objectives. The free platform is back by popular demand after launching successfully last year, where a total of 545 meetings were confirmed and users rated the quality of their meetings as an average of 4.1 out of 5, with just under half (48%) of all participants rating the experience as five stars.

Fly in for free

Vertical Flight Expo lands in a brand-new location for the first time this year. The exceptionally well-connected Farnborough International will enable exhibitors and visitors to arrive in style by landing their aircraft at the venue, with Vertical Flight Expo covering landing fees for all pilots flying into the event.. Helicopters and drones will be on display throughout the show, enhancing the experience for both visitors and exhibitors alike

Global exhibitors

Returning exhibitors such as Pratt & Whitney Canada are an example of the vast and global expanse that not only the event, but broader industry of aviation can bring together in one place.

In a desire to demonstrate the very best of innovation in this challenging but rewarding corner of manned and unmanned flight, exhibitors such as AUK Protection, Axnes AS and Northwall srl will display the impressive services that vTOL aircraft can provide in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) sector. Whereas, CAE, Starspeed Training and Thales, will represent flight training, an essential service in the strive to maintain airborne excellence in the future.

Nurturing future flyers

Helping to inspire the next generation of engineers and pilots into the aviation sector, the British Helicopter Association (BHA) will host a dedicated aviation careers day on the final day of the show. Split into two sessions, the Careers Day will provide students with important information on qualifications, cadetships, apprenticeships and sponsorship opportunities.

To begin the day, students will hear from Albi Liddiard, Apprenticeships & Skills Manager at Virgin Atlantic, as he provides information on the Fly Virgin Apprenticeship Programmes. Charlotte XX from Starspeed will then share her personal story in Women in Aviation, followed by Nigel Orme, Chief Strategy Officer at Helispeed showing students exactly How To Become A Helicopter Pilot. Completing the morning sessions, Angela Beasant, Royal Air Force, will enlighten students on RAF Apprenticeships while Tim Glaspool, Head of Flight Operations at Bristow Helicopters will share key details about the company to inspire the students.

Jonathan Heastie, Energy, Marine and Rotorcraft Portfolio Director at Reed Exhibitions said:

“With new features, a comprehensive conference programme and a fantastic list of exhibitors, I’m confident that Vertical Flight Expo & Conference will demonstrate the best of aviation in the VTOL sector. With our new location for 2019, we’re particularly excited to offer a ‘Fly in for free’ service which will give exhibitors the exclusive opportunity to demonstrate the fantastic helicopters and UAV on show.

“We’re looking forward to bringing together all corners of the vertical flight community for the first time giving exhibitors and attendees the chance to explore opportunities for collaboration, as well as the latest products and innovations from across the globe.”

For more information or to register to attend, visit