Canadian firm plans helicopter service in Oman

Oman Tuesday 02/February/2016 21:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Canadian firm plans helicopter service in Oman

MUSCAT: Omani skies could potentially be filled with a lot more helicopters as CHC Helicopters Canada hopes to make a mark in the Sultanate’s industrial sector, mainly, by partnering up with Ali Al Aufi Trading Co. LLC.
CHC’s ambition is to start operations in Muscat and offer air transportation services depending on the Sultanate’s needs, such as Medevac (air ambulance), transporting passengers to oil fields and industrial zones, as well as starting VIP and tourism flights.
The Canadian company showcased their services as part of the first helicopter symposium held at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation.
Oman’s mountainous regions have a series of ongoing projects, such as in Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Shams, so use of helicopters for transporting materials can cut time as trucks take more time climbing up mountains.
Since the CHC helicopters are more in tune with transport passengers’ needs, Jamie Bowden, representing CHC, when asked whether it is possible for the helicopters to carry heavy loads, he aid, “All helicopters are able to do both jobs. We are able to carry up to 2.2 tonnes on our medium helicopters. Anything heavier than that will need our heavy helicopters.”
The main services CHC offers is transportation to offshore oil and gas platforms. They plan to establish their base operations in Muscat, Duqm and Salalah and provide Agusta Westland AW139 utility helicopters to support the energy and utility sector.
Omanisation plan
CHC has already drafted a plan to recruit Omanis as CHC pilots and crew members during the time it operates in the Sultanate.
The plan discussed involves an initial crew made up of expats, while Omanis will be trained during the first year of operations. As of the second year, trained Omanis will be eligible for a co-pilot position, and that of a winch operator and wiremen.
“Just like any other aviation company, co-pilots need to rise through the ranks to become a captain,” explained Bowden.
“However, if we see that he is well suited for a captain’s job during the first year, we will give it to him,” he added.
He also added that full Omanisation can be achieved within three years “and likely within two.”
Omanisation is also based on the assumption of a developed Omani rotary wind experience through the armed forces.
“We will use Omani staff where at all possible,” said Bowden, adding that candidates should be fully prepared to serve a long term partnership.
Bowden further explained that CHC mainly offers services to the industrial and energy sectors, but it is possible to use their helicopters for tourism purposes.
He said if tourism was the case, they would need to provide a platform for operations in Zighy Bay in Mussandam as it is a hotspot for tourism.
Helicopters would be able to fly from Muscat to Mussandam, land and fly back.