CHC Helicopter

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CHC Helicopter
Traded as NYSEHELI
Industry Transportation
Predecessor Sealand Helicopters
Okanagan Helicopters
Viking Helicopters
Successor Canadian Helicopters
Founded St. John's, Newfoundland (1987)
Founder Craig Dobbin
Headquarters Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Area served
Key people
Karl Fessenden, CEO
Joan Hooper, CFO
Services Helicopter services
Revenue Increase$1.77 billion US (2014)[1]
Number of employees
4,500 (2014)[2]
Subsidiaries Heli-One

CHC Helicopter is a large helicopter services company, specializing in the following services:

  • Transportation to offshore oil and gas platforms
  • Civilian search and rescue and air medical evacuation 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 Australia, Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The company is one of several global providers of helicopter transportation services to the offshore oil and gas industry (others including Bristow Helicopters). CHC has capabilities in precision flying techniques and technical support.[clarification needed]

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, Victoria Police and the 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 of investors organized under the name Canadian Holding Company and using the acronym CHC. CHC purchased Okanagan Helicopters, Viking Helicopters, and Toronto Helicopters and merged them with Dobbin's own company, Sealand Helicopters, to form a company named Canadian Helicopters. The parent company was renamed CHC Helicopter Corporation. CHC acquired British International Helicopters in 1994; Helicopter Services Group of Norway in 1999 (including 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 headquarters in Richmond, British Columbia 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.

In February 2008 all of CHC's shares were purchased by First Reserve, a US private equity company, for CAD$3.7 billion ($3.5 billion). At the time, the word "Corporation" was dropped from the company's name, which is now simply CHC Helicopter. On January 16, 2014 CHC announced an Initial Public Offering of 31,000,000 shares. First Reserve now holds 56.7% of CHC's shares.


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.[3]
  • 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

CHC Helicopter serves as the sole provider of Search and Rescue helicopter services to the Irish Coast Guard, where it had operated a fleet of six Sikorsky S-61N helicopters based in Dublin, Shannon, Waterford, and Sligo. This fleet has now been replaced by 5 Sikorsky S-92 Helibus. The S-61N exited service in December 2013 with a flight from Dublin Airport to Weston Aerodrome, West Dublin. The flight was operated by EI-SAR, the oldest S-61N in commercial operation at the time.[4]

United Kingdom

CHC currently provides SAR helicopters to two of the four Maritime and Coastguard Agency bases in the UK; Portland, Lee-on-Solent, and until recently also operated from Sumburgh and Stornoway. CHC, as part of the Soteria SAR consortium was selected as the "Preferred Bidder" for a 25-year contract to provide a civilian Search and Rescue service throughout the United Kingdom.[5] However, days before the contract was due to be signed in February 2011, the British Government halted the process after CHC disclosed that it had unauthorised access to commercially sensitive information.[6]


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 Sikorsky S76.



Snowy Hydro SouthCare Multi-purpose helicopter in Australia


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 over 30 countries which include Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, the Middle East, South Africa, Ecuador, Angola, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea.[10]




New South Wales
  • Sydney • Orange • Wollongong • Newcastle
  • Melbourne • Latrobe Valley • Bendigo
Western Australia
  • Perth • Karratha • Broome
British Columbia
  • Richmond
  • Delta
Nova Scotia
  • Halifax
  • Esbjerg
  • Cork • Dublin • Shannon • Waterford • Sligo
  • Stavanger • Bergen • Florø • Kristiansund • Brønnøysund
  • Den Helder
 United Kingdom

See also


  1. "CHC Group Provides Fiscal-2015, Long-Term Guidance, Reports Fiscal-2014 Full-Year, Fourth-Quarter Operating Results". Retrieved 9 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Company Profile for CHC Helicopter Corp (HELI)". Retrieved 8 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Press Release". Soteria SAR. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. UK government shelves helicopter search and rescue privatisation
  7. Ambulance_Service_of_New_South_Wales#Helicopter_operations
  10. 10.0 10.1 [1]

External links