Airbus Helicopters plans to expand its MRO centre at Kobe Airport, boosting capacity to 40 medium-sized helicopters from 25.

Construction will commence in June 2019 and be completed in November 2019, says Airbus Helicopters. The new building will include a hangar, an administration office, and a warehouse.

Airbus Helicopters is optimistic about growth in the Japanese market. In a presentation at the company’s stand, the company’s managing director for Japan, Olivier Tillier, said the company has 54% of the country's civilian helicopter market.

He noted two key growth areas, passenger transport and emergency medical services (EMS). Passenger transport, specifically sightseeing, is expected to grow given the government’s ambitions to boost tourism. The EMS helicopter fleet will grow on the back of the government’s ambition of having every Japanese citizen a short distance from an EMS helicopter.