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A global operation that reaches beyond

Thursday, November 30, 2017


At CHC Helicopter, we have a simple mantra, which applies to our operations around the world – Reach Beyond. It underpins everything we do in terms of quality and efficiency, and, most importantly, safety.

Today’s CHC is an experienced, streamlined and agile operator, capable of driving and accelerating the roll out of innovations across the aviation industry through established global standards.

Our values – Simplicity, Agility, Collaboration and Innovation – are reflected in everything we do, every day. As a founding member of HeliOffshore, the global safety association for the offshore helicopter industry, we have helped deliver important safety enhancements for passengers and crew. While we are active in many HeliOffshore initiatives, CHC’s role as co-chair of the group developing Health & Usage Monitoring (HUMS) Best Practice guidance has allowed us to improve safety for all helicopter operations around the world.

“HUMS gives operators essential predictive data, providing early warning of any issues before they occur,” explains Lee James, CHC’s Regional Maintenance Manager – EMEA. Lee is responsible for ensuring the airworthiness of more than 40 aircraft across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“The HUMS Best Practice Guidance, which continues to evolve, details how data should be used at a line engineering level, as well as how HUMS can support the work of broader Technical Services departments.” The document is now used around the world by operators, customers, and regulators.

As Lee stresses, “there is no competition when it comes to safety”, which is why each year CHC invites the wider industry to our annual CHC Safety & Quality Summit, held this year in Dallas.  Since 2004, more than 7,000 delegates, including leading aviation-safety professionals from over 30 countries, have come together to discuss and share safety innovations. An additional 500 delegates attended this year for the Summit’s first time in Dallas.

One such recent innovation has seen CHC partnering with Leonardo Helicopters and Skytrac Systems Ltd to deliver the world’s first real-time HUMS and cockpit Electronic Flight Bag solution on an AW139 helicopter.

“It’s a game changer for the helicopter industry,” adds Lee. “Not only can the maintenance base monitor the health of aircraft while in flight, in real-time, but weather and marine data can be transmitted to the aircraft, helping to increase crew situational awareness and aid on-board decision-making.”

Such developments are made possible by CHC’s global structure and standardized procedures and processes. “With EASA Part-M Organisations across the world, encompassing six continents, we established standardized ways of operating, initially across flight operations, but also across our engineering and maintenance functions,” says Lee.

“We created global Centres of Excellence for our entire fleet, with regional operations specializing in a specific aircraft type. In the UK, Aberdeen is home to our Airbus Helicopters EC175 and Sikorsky S92 Centres of Excellence. In the Netherlands, Den Helder looks after our Leonardo aircraft – the AW139 and AW189 – while the team in Norway manages our Airbus AS332s. The Sikorsky S76 is managed from Vancouver, Canada."

“Each Centre is responsible for the maintenance, reliability and product improvement programs for that aircraft type, globally. They also give CHC a global voice when discussing safety, reliability and modification programs with aircraft manufacturers.”

The ability to share and cascade specialist type-specific knowledge across CHC’s global operations has been transformational.  “Rather than be reactive, with the aircraft dictating to us when servicing is required, we can be proactive, effectively production planning the engineering requirements of each aircraft.

“That’s led to significant efficiencies and safety improvements. We‘ve been able to reduce a typical 1,500-hour base maintenance program on the Sikorksy S92A – which happens approximately every 14 months – from 35 days to 21 days. We have clear roadmaps of what happens on each day of a maintenance program, ensuring a smooth engineering workflow by getting the resources and parts to the right place at the right time, every time.”

It’s one reason why CHC has recently received a maintenance excellence award from Sikorsky.

“We’re now working harder to reduce that 21-day input further, to as low as 14 days,” adds Lee. “Our Centres of Excellence have enabled us to capture all the lessons learned from our streamlined base maintenance environment, before deploying them across the globe in support of our regions.”

Every day, around the clock, our individuals and teams benefit from a global support network, as well as standardised advanced tools, systems and processes. The result being that, across energy transport, search and rescue, and helicopter emergency medical support missions, CHC continues to provide our customers with safe, reliable and airworthy aircraft.