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Best 13 Helicopter Service Business Ideas

Are you looking for profitable helicopter business ideas? If yes, you are in the right place. It has been observed that the reduced price of fuel and an increase in domestic income have made helicopter rides more accessible to a greater number of customers.

What is a Helicopter Business?

A helicopter company consists of multiple businesses. Helicopters are used for emergencies, business, industry, and leisure. These companies take advantage of the special qualities of helicopters. It has manoeuvrability, hover capability, and vertical takeoff and landing. Most of the time, other types of aircraft cannot provide the services that helicopters can.

Below are some of the main benefits of running a helicopter business:

Versatility: Helicopters can operate in a variety of settings and carry out a broad range of activities, compared to aircraft.
Speed and Accessibility: Helicopters are perfect for emergency services and urgent transportation. It is because they provide quick and direct access to places that are challenging to reach by other means.
High Demand: Helicopter services are in high demand across a range of industries. It includes tourism, healthcare, agriculture, etc.

List of 13 Helicopter Business Ideas

1. Helicopter Tourism

The helicopter tourism market is expected to rise in the coming years. The market is projected to reach $ 1.6 billion by 2030.  Helicopter tourism offers flights over popular tourist destinations. In India, pilgrim helicopter service is a profitable helicopter-related venture.

Example: Maverick Helicopters in Las Vegas provides tours of the Grand Canyon, the Las Vegas Strip, and other landmarks, offering packages that cater to different budgets and preferences.

2. Aerial Photography and Filming

Helicopters are more and more used for capturing aerial footage in wide range range of activities. It includes films, commercials, real estate, and surveying. The global aerial imaging market size is projected to grow reach USD 36.70 billion in 2029.

Example: Helivideo Productions specializes in high-quality aerial footage for Hollywood films and real estate promotions.

3. Helicopter Charter Services

Private helicopter charter flights are often available to individuals, companies, and governmental entities. These services are frequently used when there is an urgent need for transportation. They are also utilised for business and opulent travel. The necessary certificates and licences for aviation must be obtained from the relevant aviation authority (such as the US FAA) in order to launch a helicopter charter service.

Example: Blade Urban Air Mobility offers charter services in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, catering to elite clients needing quick and private transportation.

4. Medical Evacuation (Medevac) Services

You can start a helicopter-related business by providing emergency medical transportation and patient transfer services.

Example: Air Methods is a leading provider of air medical services, offering rapid transport for critically ill or injured patients across the U.S.

5. Search and Rescue Operations

Helicopters often are used for aerial search and rescue services for natural disasters, lost individuals, and emergency situations.

Example: REGA, a Swiss air rescue organization, operates a fleet of helicopters equipped with advanced search and rescue technology to respond quickly to emergencies.

6. Agricultural Applications

Helicopters are used in agriculture for various activities It can be aerial crop spraying, aerial seeding, crop dusting, and frost control. These services are aimed at improving efficiency and coverage in large farming areas.

Example: Helicopter Applicators Inc. provides aerial application services for farmers, helping increase crop yields and reduce pest infestations.

7. Corporate Transport Services

You can offer helicopter services for corporate clients needing quick and efficient travel solutions.

Example: HeliFlite provides corporate transport services with a focus on punctuality and luxury, serving major business hubs like New York and Chicago.

8. Firefighting Support

Helicopters provide aerial firefighting support by transporting water, fire retardants, and fire crews.

Example: Coulson Aviation specializes in aerial firefighting, using helicopters equipped with advanced firefighting technology to combat wildfires in the U.S. and Australia.

9. Utility Services

Helicopters are also frequently used for power line inspections, pipeline monitoring, and maintenance.

Example: HeliService Powerline Inspections provides aerial utility inspection services, ensuring the safety and reliability of critical infrastructure.

10. VIP and Celebrity Transport

You can offer exclusive helicopter transport services for VIPs and celebrities, ensuring privacy and luxury.

Example: Elite Chopper Services caters to the needs of high-profile clients, providing discreet and luxurious travel options in major cities like Los Angeles and New York.

11. Helicopter Pilot Training School

There is a big shortage of qualified helicopter pilots in the global industry. Industry experts project a shortage of 61,000 pilots by 2038. If you are a trained pilot, consider starting a helicopter pilot training school. There is a big demand for  flight training programs across the world.

Example: Hillsboro Aero Academy in Oregon provides comprehensive helicopter pilot training, from private licenses to advanced commercial certifications.

12. Offshore Oil and Gas Support

Helicopters are often used for support services in offshore oil and gas industry. They provide transportation and logistical support for offshore oil and gas operations, including crew transfers and supply deliveries.

Example: Bristow Group provides essential helicopter services to offshore oil and gas platforms, ensuring the efficient movement of personnel and equipment.

13. Helicopter Maintenance and Repair Services

Helicopter maintenance and repair services ensure the safety and reliability of helicopters. It provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for helicopter operators, ensuring the airworthiness and safety of their fleets.

Example: Heli-One offers comprehensive MRO services, from routine maintenance to complex repairs, serving a global clientele of helicopter operators.

How to Start Helicopter Business – Important Tips

a) 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 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 the necessary licenses for starting a commercial helicopter service business.

b) Explore the Market Potential

Like any other business, it is essential to know the market feasibility of running a helicopter tour business in your locality. Do market research and find out the scope and threats of starting the business.

c) Craft the Business Plan

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

Some of the basic topics to be addressed in your helicopter service business plan document are the following:

  • Initial and recurring costs
  • Target customers
  • Pricing strategy
  • How do you plan to sell your helicopter tour packages?

d) Name Your Business

It is extremely important to select a catchy name for your helicopter business. An attractive name not only fetches more customers but also adds value to the overall brand growth of the company.

Also, book a relevant website domain Url. It is because the website should have a similar website address to that of your business name.

e) Procure Helicopter (Buy or Lease)

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

Do remember. the investment initiating this type of business will require a good amount of investment. The approximate cost of starting a helicopter business will be anywhere between $200,000 to $400,000 in the United States.

f) Get 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.

g) 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 related publications and websites.

Challenges of a Helicopter Business

  • High Operating Costs: The costs of acquiring and maintaining helicopters, hiring skilled personnel, and adhering to regulatory requirements are significant.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Navigating the complex regulatory landscape requires ongoing attention and investment in compliance and safety measures.
  • Weather Dependency: Helicopter operations are highly dependent on weather conditions, which can impact scheduling and service delivery.
  • Competition: The helicopter business industry is competitive, with many players offering similar services, making differentiation and quality service essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the initial investment required for a helicopter business?

The initial investment varies depending on the type of business but generally includes costs for purchasing helicopters, obtaining licenses, and setting up infrastructure.

How can I obtain the necessary licenses for operating a helicopter business?

You need to apply for licenses and certifications from the relevant aviation authority in your country, such as the FAA in the United States or DGCA in India.

What are the key factors to consider when starting a helicopter tourism business?

Key factors include choosing popular tourist destinations, designing attractive routes, ensuring safety, and marketing to tourists and travel agencies.

How can I find clients for my helicopter charter services?

Build relationships with corporate clients, high-net-worth individuals, travel agencies, and promote your services through online platforms and luxury service providers.

What are the safety regulations for operating a helicopter in offshore oil and gas support?

Helicopters must meet stringent safety and operational standards, and pilots should be trained in offshore operations and emergency protocols.

What are the benefits of offering agricultural helicopter services?

Benefits include high demand in large farming areas, improved agricultural efficiency, and opportunities to offer specialized services like pest control.

How can I contribute to environmental conservation with a helicopter business?

Offer services for environmental monitoring, wildlife tracking, and geological surveys, and collaborate with environmental organizations and research institutions.

What training is required for pilots in search and rescue operations?

Pilots need specialized training in search and rescue techniques, emergency medical care, and operating in challenging environments.

How can I market my helicopter pilot training school?

Promote your school to aspiring pilots, aviation enthusiasts, and military personnel through online platforms, aviation forums, and industry associations.