Firm grows with fleet additions

Firm grows with fleet additions
Central Helicopters has been in demand for fertiliser application work.

Investing in new fleet has seen Central Helicopter’s business grow significantly in the past year. The company has added two Airbus AS 350 B2 Squirrel’s to its fleet, a six seater helicopter capable of a one tonne lift.
This has allowed the company to take on larger contracts such as running power lines and sluicing work for road slips.
“The larger lifts are also important because if the weather is bad we might only have a small window of opportunity to complete jobs so these helicopters allow us to get jobs done faster,” says company director Phil Janssen.
Phil and business partner John Wilson purchased Central Helicopters in 2014 and since that time it has grown rapidly seeing them employ more pilots and add in additional bases.
The company now has three bases located across the central North Island – Opotiki, Taumarunui and Rangitaiki/Taupo. This means that Central Helicopters can service the wider central to lower North Island.
It offers a full range of helicopter services covering commercial, agricultural, scenic/charter and pilot training.
Phil, who has 30 years experience in the aviation industry, says that the work is diverse ranging from agricultural spraying and fertiliser application, which forms the mainstay of work, through to heli fishing drop offs, aerial photography, frost protection for vineyards, corporate work, for example survey work, transportation or scenic flights, and even lifting bee hives into place.
He says the company has been in demand lately for fertiliser application as, due to the wet weather, helicopters can often complete the job easier. Central Helicopters can apply fertiliser in solid or liquid form.
“We don’t need an airstrip or tracks and can often load up from the side of the road or a laneway. This saves our clients a lot of hassle and expense.”
Combined with technology such as GPS proof of placements, Phil and his team can place the fertiliser exactly where it needs to go reducing wastage – better for the client’s pocket and for the environment.
The company is also equipped to transport fertiliser in one tonne or half ton bags to the job, which Phil says helps to coordinate fertiliser arriving at the appropriate time, eliminating time that product is sitting on the farm.
“Because it can be there ready to go as soon as the helicopter arrives this saves our customers times and money,” he says.
No matter what the job, safety is a vital aspect of the business and Central Helicopters has a full safety management system in place to cover all aspects of its helicopter operations.
“We consider safety as a vitally important aspect of daily operations and treat our safety management system as a living document, meaning it can be changed and updated at any time to allow for changes to suit any client’s needs,” says Phil.
Central Helicopters is a Central Aviation Authority approved operator and has Aircraft accreditation, an assurance programme combining flight safety and environmental safety. The Central Helicopters team includes four pilots, four ground staff/loadies and an office manager.
Phil plans to keep growing the business and fleet, continuing to enhance safety and reliability to cater to the company’s growing list of clients.
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