Australia’s Heliwest wins Western Power contract

Australia’s Heliwest wins Western Power contract


Leading WA-based helicopter company Heliwest has won a long-term contract to provide emergency response services to Western Power in the southern half of the state.

Heliwest already provides scheduled inspection flight services to Western Power and has now added emergency response flying to its operations.

Heliwest chief pilot Captain Ashley Williams said the contract specified the use of a twin-engine helicopter.

“We’ll be using one of our five BO105 machines, which have proven to be perfectly suited in terms of performance, reliability and safety for this type of operation,” said Captain Williams.

“We understand it’s the first time in Australia that any utility operator has selected a multi-engine aircraft for contracted power line work.”

The contract was won through a competitive tender process and will run for the next five years, providing aerial transport in emergency repair operations across Western Power’s south-west interconnected grid.

It is the latest in a long list of achievements for Heliwest over the past two years.

Most recently, the company won a long-term contract with Saipem to provide crew transfers and supply operations using B212 helicopters on a major gas project in Papua New Guinea.

Heliwest now operates eight B212 helicopters in PNG in a joint venture with Helifix of Port Moresby.

It has also recently won a contract with Roc Oil (WA) Pty Ltd to provide service and maintenance crew transfers for its Cliff Head project off the Western Australian coast from Dongara. Heliwest is operating another BO105 twin engine helicopter on the contract and a B212 machine for crew changes when required.

In onshore developments, Heliwest has opened operating bases at Toowoomba and Mt Isa, the first two of planned strategic expansions into Queensland airspace.

Heliwest proudly operates the largest helicopter pilot training school in Australasia and expects strong demand in Mt Isa, Toowoomba and across the Darling Downs.

The company is a Registered Training Organisation, authorised to deliver industry specific training that is nationally recognised.

Australia’s largest on-shore helicopter company, Heliwest has expanded its operations by signing a raft of commercial agreements throughout 2010 and 2011.

The recent contracts are as diverse as they are significant and underline the capability of a company formed 18 years ago by pilots Alan Bailey and David Grimes who fill the positions of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer respectively at Heliwest.

Over the past 12 months Heliwest has:

  • Created a strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi Aviation, one of the world’s largest non-military fleets of rotary aircraft, capable of servicing major onshore and offshore clients across Australasia and around the globe;
  • Launched a major joint venture with Helifix of Port Moresby with the aim of becoming the premier aviation company in PNG;
  • Won a two-year contract with major telecommunications operator Digicel for the construction of mobile phone towers across Papua New Guinea;
  • Signed an avionics dealership agreement with the internationally renowned Honeywell Corporation;
  • Established a cooperative agreement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in WA to provide the iconic organisation with helicopter support across the state
  • Joined the Western Australian Department of Health in a spraying program to help control mosquitoes in the South West of WA;
  • Provided a Bell 206 Jetranger to Network Ten Perth’s news division for the next four to six years;
  • Secured a two-year contract with the APA Group to conduct aerial gas pipeline surveys in the Perth metropolitan area;
  • Won a major tourism and land management contract with the Jawoyn Aboriginal Corporation people to provide helicopter land management and tourism on their 50,000 square kilometres of land in the Northern Territory including tourism flights into the Katherine Gorge, and
  • Installed a multi-million dollar twin engine simulator and commenced NVG training courses at its Jandakot headquarters.
  • Mr Bailey said the past two years had been a period of growth and diversification for Heliwest and the company would continue to reinforce its reputation as Western Australia’s largest on-shore helicopter operator and largest helicopter flight training school, while continuing to seek further opportunities for growth next year.

Mr Grimes said the ongoing growth and success of Heliwest was all about people and he had no doubt the Heliwest team was the best in the industry.

“Great companies are born of great people and I can state unashamedly that Heliwest is a great company,” he said.

“When Alan and I started Heliwest in 1992 we had two employees, now we have more than 130.

“The numbers have changed significantly but the skill and dedication to customer satisfaction of every member of the Heliwest family remains as it always has been.”

For more information: David Christison at CEA in Perth on 08 9367 3733 or 0418 959 817.

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