China will need 500 helicopters by the end of 2015 and 1,000 over the next decade as the nation opens its low-altitude areas, according to Eurocopter, the world's largest helicopter maker.
China has 150,000 private users of aircraft, which mainly consists of executive planes and helicopters. Potential private users of helicopters in the country currently add up to 30,000, Eurocopter estimated.
China is expected to overtake the United States as the world's largest private aircraft market 10 years from now. This year marks the beginning of China's prospering private aircraft business as the government deregulates skies below 3,000 meters, according to AVIC, a leading Chinese regional plane maker.
Eurocopter's products delivered to China are currently used on oil rigs and for search and rescue operations. China's rising demand for oil and gas will make this niche market more lucrative.
Eurocopter's revenue from China surged 70% to $73 million in 2011. It won $377 million worth of contracts in the country last year, capturing a 40% market share.