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 starting.
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 the right marketing strategy and funds 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.
Is Helicopter Business Profitable?
According to industry experts, the global helicopter market is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.4% in the 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 rapid growth.
The first step toward starting a helicopter business is to select the right opportunity. Find below a list of the most profitable helicopter businesses that have the potential of making good money.
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 helicopters.
Actually, Australia, France, Spain, South Africa, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the UK, and the US are the major beneficiaries in this field. However, for starting a business in the tourism industry, you must select the location very carefully.
2. Charter Helicopter Service
Generally, charter helicopters provide service for private transportation. And in that case, you will need to concentrate on large companies and corporations. These services appeal to executives who need to travel to other cities. It allows you a way to charge top rates. Apart from large corporations, celebrities, and politicians, VIPs may be your potential prospects.
3. Helicopter Training
This is another 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 improve access to trauma centers. Helicopter-based emergency medical service (EMS) also provides critical care capabilities during interfacility transport from community hospitals to trauma centers.
If you live in a metro city or tourist place, you can consider starting a helicopter service business only for entertainment purposes. In this business, location plays an important role. However, the business is comparatively easy to start. You will need to concentrate on intensive advertising. You can also offer different prices for different distances.
7 Steps to Start Helicopter Tour 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 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.
2. 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.
3. 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?
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Overall, starting a helicopter service business is not an easy job. You need to put a lot of investment and strategic thought into making the business a successful one.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.