CHC Helicopter

CHC Helicopter
CHC Helicopter
Type Private
Industry Transportation
Predecessor Sealand Helicopters & Okanagan Helicopters
Founded St. John's, Newfoundland (1987)
Founder(s) Craig Dobbin
Headquarters Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Area served Worldwide
Key people William Amelio, CEO
Rick Davis, CFO
Services Helicopter services
Revenue increase$1.34 billion US (2010)
Owner(s) First Reserve
Employees 4,439 (2008)[1]
Subsidiaries Heli-One

CHC Helicopter is one of the world’s largest helicopter services company specializing in: Transportation to offshore oil and gas platforms; Civilian search and rescue services; Helicopter maintenance repair and overhaul

CHC Helicopter is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada and operates more than 250 aircraft in 30 countries around the world. CHC's major international operating units are based in the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Australia.

CHC Helicopter is one of several global providers of helicopter transportation services to the offshore oil and gas industry (the others including Bristow Helicopters) and claims to be the most experienced helicopter operator in the world.[citation needed] CHC has capabilities in precision flying techniques and technical support.

CHC has long-term working relationships with most of the major oil and gas companies. CHC operates the marine search and rescue service for the Irish Coast Guard at Shannon, Waterford, Sligo and Dublin airports and provides commercial Search and Rescue helicopter services for the United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency. CHC provides helicopter services in Australia for the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, the Victoria Police Force and Ambulance Service of New South Wales.



A Eurocopter Super Puma in Sealand Helicopters livery
A Sikorsky S-61 in Okanagan Helicopters livery

Commercial helicopter flying began in British Columbia in the summer of 1947. Three ex-RCAF officers, pilots Carl Agar and Barney Bent, and engineer Alf Stringer, were operating a fixed-wing charter company, Okanagan Air Services Ltd., from Penticton. In July 1947 they raised enough money to purchase a Bell 47-B3 and pay for their flying and maintenance training.

Okanagan Air Services moved to Vancouver in 1949, renamed Okanagan Helicopters Ltd. By 1954, had become the largest commercial helicopter operator in the world.[citation needed]

In 1987, Newfoundland businessman Craig Dobbin headed a group (Canadian Holding Company) that purchased Okanagan Helicopters and Toronto Helicopters and merged them with his own company, Sealand Helicopters to form Canadian Helicopters. The new parent company was called CHC Helicopter Corporation. CHC acquired British International Helicopters in 1994; Helicopter Services Group of Norway in 1999 (included Bond Helicopters), Helikopter Service AS, Lloyd Helicopters of Australia and Court Helicopters of South Africa. In 2004, CHC purchased Schreiner Aviation Group who provided offshore helicopter services company in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, and in the Nigerian offshore industry.

In 2000, CHC entered into an agreement with Fonds de Solidarité FTQ (FSTQ) and the management of its two Canadian divisions, Canadian Helicopters Eastern and Canadian Helicopters Western, for the sale of an interest in CHC's Canadian assets in a Management Buyout to form Canadian Helicopters. As a result senior Management and FSTQ acquired 10% and 45% equity interests in Canadian Helicopters, respectively, while CHC retained a 45% equity interest.

CHC restructuring in 2004 saw the creation of a new Corporate Head Office in Richmond, B.C., Canada, and the creation of three main operating segments:

  • CHC Global Operations, based in Richmond, B.C.,
  • CHC European Operations, based in Aberdeen, Scotland, and
  • Heli-One, CHC's leasing and Repair and Overhaul support group, now based in Delta, B.C.

CHC was purchased by First Reserve, a US private equity company in February 2008 for CAD$3.7 billion ($3.5 billion). At the time, the word "Corporation" was dropped from the company's name, which is now "CHC Helicopter".


CHC Bell 206

CHC manages its global operations through the following divisions:

  • EEA Helicopter Operations B.V. ("EEA"), a Dutch company majority owned by EHO Holdings S.a.r.l. and minority owned by CHC Helicopter S.a.r.l., provides helicopter services in the North Sea. EEA operates under the CHC brand name and uses CHC logo under license. It provides services from 17 bases in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.[2]
  • Brazilian Helicopter Services (BHS) (Brazil)
  • CHC Helicopters Global Operations/Corporate Office (Richmond, British Columbia)
  • CHC Helicopters (Australia)
  • CHC Helicopters (Africa)
  • CHC Composites (Gander, Newfoundland)

CHC EMS and SAR services


CHC S-61 operated for the Irish Coast Guard
  • Irish Coast Guard - CHC serves as the sole provider of Search and Rescue helicopter services to the Irish Coast Guard, where it operates a fleet of six Sikorsky S-61N helicopters based in Dublin, Shannon, Waterford, and Sligo.

United Kingdom

  • CHC, as part of the Soteria SAR consortium was selected as the Preferred Bidder for the 25-year SAR-H contract to provide a civilian Search and Rescue service throughout the United Kingdom.[3] However, days before the contract was due to be signed in February 2011, the UK Government halted the process after Soteria admitted that a former Royal Air Force officer who now worked for CHC Helicopter had passed commercially sensitive information on how the Ministry of Defence would commercially assess the bids. MoD Police are now investigating how the information came into the hands of CHC and Sorteria.[4]


CHC is the largest provider of emergency medical helicopter services in Australia.[citation needed]


  • Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) - CHC has been providing dedicated rescue support to the RAAF since 1989, where it operates a mixed fleet of Sikorsky S76 and Bell helicopters.



Snowy Hydro SouthCare Multi-purpose helicopter in Australia


  • Norwegian Search and Rescue - CHC provides private Search and Rescue services in the Norwegian North Sea but acts in concert with government SAR operations. The CHC SAR fleet includes three offshore-based Dauphin AS 365N2s, along with a Bell 214 ST at Statoil’s Statfjord field, which can be converted from inter-rig shuttle role to SAR duty role within 15 minutes. Several of the Super Pumas in CHC’s Norwegian fleet are prepared for the same quick change to SAR configuration.

Other related services

  • NH90 - CHC is designing, manufacturing and installing 19 life-raft assembly kits for the NH90

helicopter, a new military search and rescue helicopter provided to France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands through a joint venture shared by Agusta, Eurocopter and Fokker.

  • Supply, rescue, and support Services.

CHC provides extensive ship supply and rescue service off the coast of Africa and the Netherlands, and helicopter support services to scientific expeditions in Antarctica and other harsh environments.


CHC operates approximately 250 aircraft in Canada and 29 other countries which include Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, the Middle East, South Africa, Ecuador, Angola, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea.[6]


Fixed Wing

CHC provide a range fixed-wing transportation services for crew transport to helicopter bases around the world. CHC operates both jet and turbo prop aircraft including Dash-8 and Twin Otter service to meet the needs of the global oil and gas industry.



  • Adelaide • Perth • Victoria • Wayville • Sydney • Wollongong • Orange
  • Edmonton • Fort McMurray • Grande Prairie • High Level • Lac La Biche
British Columbia
  • Fort Nelson • Fort St. John • Golden • Kamloops • Penticton • Smithers • Terrace • Vernon • Richmond
  • Southport
Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Gander
Nova Scotia
  • Halifax (Location To Be Sold)
  • Esbjerg
  • Cork • Dublin • Shannon • Waterford • Sligo
  • Stavanger • Bergen • Florø • Kristiansund • Brønnøysund
  • Den Helder
 United Kingdom

See also

  • Canadian Helicopters


External links

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