Russian-made helicopters have been effectively operated in Mexico for a decade now, mainly in the armed forces. Their number totals 60 at the moment.
"The long, intensive operation of such a large number of rotary-wing aircraft and the distance separating them from their 'birthplace' will inevitably raise the problem of building a technical center fit to provide, along with servicing, repairs to the units and equipment as well as to the airframe," Rosoboronexport spokespeople said.
In December 2004, Rosoboronexport, SPARK, and Mexico's Naval Department, which operates a significant number of Russian-made helicopters, signed a contract for the construction of such a center on the Mexican Navy's Veracruz airbase. The center is to be fitted out by SPARK specialists.
As it begins operating to capacity, the center will be able to provide full technical maintenance as well as airframe repairs (100 percent) and unit & equipment repairs (60 percent).
After the Veracruz center is put into operation, similar projects may be launched in other Latin American countries operating a fleet of Russian-made helicopters, Rosoboronexport officials said. The arrangement of high-quality maintenance and repairs on the ground will also give a boost to exports, they added.
Aeroexpo 2005 will be running April 7 through 10 at Mexico City's central exhibition center, Santa Fe. Life-size aircraft models will be showcased at the Mexican capital's international airport, in Toluca.
Aeroexpo has been taking place in Mexico every other year since 1997. All previous shows were held inAcapulco. With the show's popularity constantly growing (as many as 144 companies from 12 countries across the world took part in 2003, featuring 96 aircraft models), the organizers have decided to find a more appropriate venue. They have opted for Mexico City as they believe the capital will provide optimum conditions for the participants and the visitors alike.