Australian helicopter company Heliwest has secured its first Australian offshore work, winning a contract from Roc Oil to provide service and maintenance crew transfers for its Cliff Head project off the Western Australian coast from Dongara.

The contract, which was previously operated by Bristow, is a major win for the Perth-based operator, which has undergone significant expansion over the last year.

Heliwest is operating a Eurocopter BO105LS twin-engined helicopter on the contract and a Bell 212 for crew changes when required.

The latest win comes as the company is expanding its offshore operations in Papua New Guinea, where it operates in a joint venture with Port Moresby-based Helifix. Heliwest says it is close to completing a new contract to supply two Bell 212s to support offshore oil and gas operations for Saipem. Heliwest operates six of the type in Papua New Guinea.

Domestically, Heliwest has opened operating bases at Toowoomba and Mt Isa in Queensland, where it is optimistic of new business from the resources and energy sectors. It is also hoping to secure a long-term agreement with the Jawoyn Association Aboriginal corporation for land management and tourism services in the Northern Territory.

Heliwest has picked up considerable business over the past 12 months, including a two-year contract with telecommunications operator Digicel for the construction of mobile telephone towers across Papua New Guinea. It has also secured a co-operative agreement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Western Australia to provide helicopter support and a two-year contract with the APA Group to conduct aerial gas pipeline surveys.

It has also formed a strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi Aviation to service major onshore and offshore clients.

Source: Flight International