Columbia Helicopters set to expand

Columbia Helicopter hangarColumbia Helicopters are set to expand its operations as new market
opportunities emerge for the company

“Our pursuit of commercial, and military helicopter maintenance and
operational contracts in new areas has resulted in our ability to grow and hire
more people,” said Michael Fahey, president of Columbia Helicopters.
“At the same time, we are continually developing new contracts with our
global petroleum and logging customers.

Columbia Helicopters owns, operates, and maintains the largest private fleet
of heavy-lift helicopters in the world, consisting of seven Columbia Model 234
Chinooks, and 14 Columbia
107-II, twin engine, tandem rotor aircraft. “Some of our Chinooks are
operating in Peru and Papua New Guinea,
where global petroleum customers use those aircraft to move heavy equipment,
and support exploration operations in remote jungles,” Fahey stated.

According to Fahey, recent growth was largely fueled by the entry into the
military operations market for the first time, with the deployment of five
heavy-lift helicopters and support personnel to Afghanistan in December 2011.

“The Afghanistan
mission is a perfect fit for the skill levels and expertise we have built up
over our 55-year history, and our understanding is that we are making a
difference,” said Fahey. “The military has repeatedly expressed great
appreciation of our operational tempo, high level of availability, and the
flexibility of our crews to perform our missions in a timely, and very
professional manner.”

“We are obviously pleased with our growth,” Fahey said.
“While we have grown conservatively, and do not expect our business model
to change, our Board of Directors and management team will explore all
opportunities when they present themselves, and I am confident that we will
continue to grow in the future.”

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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