The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) says it’s time to develop a team focused solely on helicopter safety in the U.S. The new team will be co-chaired by the Bristow Group’s Bill Chiles, representing industry, while James Viola from the FAA’s Flight Standards Division heads the government contingent. Even though the number of civil helicopter accidents has declined over the past six years, that decline has recently leveled off.
Offshore-energy helicopter service operator Bristow Group reported increases in revenue and net income for the fourth quarter of last year. Compared with the same period in 2011, operating revenue increased by 17 percent, to $346.7 million, and adjusted net income grew to $42.6 million, a $14.8 million jump from the comparable 2011 period.
Bristow Group posted strong financial results for the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2012, reporting net income of $90 million on $993 million in revenues. Revenues for the quarter ending the year were $346.7 million, a 17-percent increase from the same period one year ago.
Bristow, which provides helicopter services to the oil-and-gas industry worldwide, attributed its improved quarterly results to increases in revenues in Canada, Europe, Australia, West Africa and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Bristow officials are confident an “interim way to safely fly” Eurocopter EC225s will be found late this spring or early this summer. In a recent fiscal third-quarter earnings conference call, top executives at the helicopter operator said such an interim fix could be tighter oversight of Hums parameters, thus confirming what Eurocopter’s CEO hinted late last month. A shaft redesign, if needed, would take about a year-and-a-half, Bristow officials estimate.
Global offshore helicopter service provider Bristow Group is making a $250 million minority interest investment in VIH Aviation unit Cougar Helicopters. Bristow said it expects to complete the transaction by year-end, subject to Canadian regulatory approval. As part of the deal, Bristow will acquire various Cougar operating assets, including eight Sikorsky S-92As and Cougar’s Canadian passenger and maintenance facilities at St. John’s, Labrador, and Halifax. The purchased aircraft and facilities will then be long-term leased back to Cougar.
With the appointment of a new manager to lead its bid for a joint civil/military UK Search and Rescue service, Bristow Helicopters is giving notice of its desire to win the contract back from Canadian nemesis CHC. Bristow director Allan Blake is confident that the loss of the work last year was “just a hiccup” for the helicopter services company.
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