SUBANG JAYA: Malaysia can be an aerospace and aviation hub for the Asia-Pacific region which has more than 9,000 helicopters, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today.

Airbus Helicopters extended its footprint in Malaysia with the opening of a regional helicopter completion and delivery centre at Helicopter Centre Malaysia International Aerospace Centre here.

“It is projected that the global demand for helicopters will reach 22,000 in the next 20 years and Asia Pacific is expected to account about 35% of the global demand,“ Loke said.

“We are working towards facilitation and helping to get more investment into the local aerospace industry.

“We hoped we can build the whole eco-system here in Malaysia.”

Airbus Malaysia managing director Raymond Lim said the company is looking at delivering seven aircraft by year end and another 13 next year.

“The new regional helicopter centre can accommodate up to four medium-sized helicopters at any one time.

“It is capable of assembling and delivering up to 20 helicopters per year from across all its rotorcraft models,“ Lim said.