Helicopter Demand Rises, Boosts Need forHeliportsFri, 12/01/2017 - 09:30
Q: How has the market for helipads grown in Mexico and what are the drivers behind it?
A: Helicopter manufacturing is expanding and it is increasingly becoming easier for transportation companies to acquire an aircraft. Interest and demand for helicopters rose in Mexico thanks to the incorporation of more safety measures, an increase in security concerns and the versatility of helicopters for many purposes, from emergency services to executive transportation. In response to this trend, infrastructure for helicopters is also growing and platform development on buildings is becoming increasingly necessary. The construction of heliports has also become simpler due to advances in construction technology and its materials, including concrete, steel, aluminum, fiberglass and wood. The challenge now is to increase safety, which depends heavily on the area in which the heliport will be located.
Heliport construction was very active in 2016. Our industry is dependent on the growth of other economic sectors, including real state and oil and gas. Heliports for marine platforms are mostly unique to that sector, which has been doing badly for the past few years. On the other hand, helipads on buildings are growing alongside Mexico City’s infrastructure, mainly for office buildings. The demand for helipads is rising in major cities, namely in Mexico City followed by Monterrey, Guadalajara, Cancun and Puebla. Other areas that are growing are those with a high concentration of hotels and hospitals.
Q: With increasing demand for helipads, have regulations for their construction become easier?
A: We are seeing more transparency from DGAC, which is becoming increasingly receptive to project proposals, revisions and comments. DGAC incorporates representatives from federal, local and municipal governments, as it addresses many different areas, from environmental and urban impact to construction permits. The regulations for all these permits have been simplified and increasingly adhere to ICAO standards. Adhering to these standards will benefit all players in the sector, including users, pilots and manufacturers. DGAC seems to be reorganizing itself and generating response units specialized in specific sectors, giving the entire organization faster response times.
Q: In which areas does EnTEC specialize and what have been your top projects?
A: While EnTEC has participated in helipad projects for marine platforms, ships and buildings, we specialize in the latter area. One of our most remarkable projects was the helipad at the November 20th National Medical Center as it allows us to help doctors save lives. We have done projects across Mexico and in several foreign locations, including the US, Costa Rica, Chile, Panama, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Colombia. Our close relationship with international suppliers led to our globalization. Customers in foreign countries often request projects from our partners in the US and Europe, who contact us to perform them. In Mexico, we represent European, Canadian and US companies, such as RWDI, Tractel, Jomi, Faraone and ReachMaster.
Q: How has your business strategy evolved to adapt to projects for the middle term?
A: We are now investing more in establishing a strong online presence through social networks and our webpage. We are also investing in participation in several conventions and fairs to get closer to decision-makers. Our strategy is to remain close to current clients and to approach potential customers in a personalized manner.
We are enthusiastic about a potential participation in the NAICM terminal and control tower, which will require the use of highly advanced technology. We are already operating in Mexico’s highest towers and plan to continue doing so. We want to make EnTEC the first company that infrastructure companies building skyscrapers think of when evaluating the high safety standards required for a helipad.