New Leadership Affirms CHC Helicopter’s Commitment to Australia

New Leadership Affirms CHC Helicopter’s Commitment to Australia

13-May-2010 Source: CHC

CHC Helicopter has affirmed its continued commitment to growing its Australian business unit by appointing an internationally respected helicopter executive as Managing Director for Australia.

Rick Burt will commence his duties as Managing Director, Australia effective June 1, 2010. Burt joins CHC after more than 20 years with Cougar Helicopters Inc. (VIH Aviation Group), an international helicopter operator where he rose to the position of Senior Vice President responsible for all offshore Oil and Gas activities. Burt started his career in 1979 with Sealand Helicopters, one of the predecessor companies in the CHC Helicopter group.

“We are delighted to have someone with Rick’s scope and experience join CHC Helicopter,” said Christine Baird, President of CHC Global Operations. “CHC is intent on developing its Australian business and Rick has the right leadership skills and vision to accomplish that.”

Burt’s initial responsibility will include a review of CHC’s entire Australian operations, finding ways to grow the company while aligning it more closely with CHC’s global operations.

“CHC Australia has a great history. That is a legacy that needs respect,” said Burt. “Our commitment is absolutely unwavering. We owe it to CHC Australia to provide more focus and attention to that business unit.”

Burt will be moving with his family to Perth, rather than CHC’s traditional headquarters in Adelaide, in order to be closer to the company’s oil and gas customers.

CHC’s focus on EMS/SAR in Australia will also remain a critical part of the business. CHC Helicopter has recently won preferred bidder status on two important, long-term SAR contracts in Europe and, combined with Australia, the company is a global leader in civilian search and rescue. “I am very excited about the opportunity to apply the experience I have gained in EMS/SAR work to CHC’s Australian operations,” said Burt. “It is clearly a very important part of our business and one where I feel I have a lot to contribute.”

Burt replaces longtime predecessor Chris Ridings, who is leaving the company.

“Chris has been a great asset over the years he has served CHC and we appreciate his contribution,” said Baird. “He has overseen many stages of growth of CHC and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his dedication. On behalf of CHC, we wish Chris all the best in his future endeavours.”

Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, CHC Helicopter is a global leader in helicopter transportation for the offshore oil and gas industry, operating some 270 aircraft in more than 35 countries around the world. It is also a world leader in the provision of civilian search and rescue services, with current contracts in Australia, UK, Ireland and other locations around the world.  CHC is the parent company of Heli-One, one of the world’s largest helicopter maintenance companies. With its headquarters, also in Vancouver, Heli-One provides tip-to-tail maintenance services for a wide range of helicopters at bases around the world.  CHC is privately owned by US-based private equity firm, First Reserve.

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