CHC Helicopter Corporation (sometimes known as Canadian Helicopter Corporation, Canadian Helicopters or Hélicoptères Canadiens) is the world’s largest global commercial helicopter operator. CHC has a fleet of 320 helicopters and has been providing helicopter services for more than 50 years and currently operates in over 30 countries, on all seven continents and in most of the major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world. Based in Richmond, Canada, CHC's major international operating units are based in the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, South Africa and Australia.
CHC's core business is providing helicopter services to offshore oil and gas companies around the world. CHC also provides emergency medical services (EMS), infrastructure maintenance, utilities, forestry, mining, and construction services.
CHC Helicopter Corporation is one of several global providers of helicopter transportation services to the offshore oil and gas industry (the others including Bristow Helicopters and Cougar Helicopters Inc.) and claims to be the most experienced helicopter operator in the world. CHC pilots are qualified for IFR, over-water and all-weather missions. CHC also has capabilities in precision flying techniques and technical support.
CHC has long-term working relationships with most of the major oil and gas companies, including the operating subsidiaries of BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Norsk Hydro, Total, Chevron Corporation, Maersk and Unocal Corporation. CHC operates the marine search and rescue service for the Irish Coast Guard at Shannon, Waterford 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.
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., out of 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, was renamed Okanagan Helicopters Ltd. and, by 1954, had become the largest commercial helicopter operator in the world. In 1987, Newfoundland businessman Craig Dobbin headed a group 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 Canadian Helicopter Corporation. CHC acquired British International Helicopters in 1994; Helikopter Services Group of Norway in 1999 and Lloyd Helicopters of Australia and Court Helicopters of South Africa.
CHC has been bought by First Reserve a US company, and is trying to cut costs.
CHC manages its global operations through 10 distinct divisions:
Published - July 2009
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