CHC Helicopters Goes Paperless


CHC Australia is a subsidiary of CHC Group Ltd (“CHC”) the world’s largest commercial operator of medium and heavy helicopters. They provide transportation services to the offshore oil and gas industry. The company also provides transportation for emergency medical and search and rescue.

CHC’s Heli-One is the world’s largest non-original equipment helicopter support company, providing repair and overhaul services, leasing, logistics support, parts sales and distribution, in more than 20 countries.

In Australia CHC provides oil and gas transfer services off the north west of Western Australia as well as a search and rescue service based in Broome. It also provides rotary aero medical services in three states and conducts search and rescue for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to recover pilots if they eject from their aircraft during training.

Says Coakley “Using OzRunways has given CHC a triple treat:

  1. It’s a brilliant pilot’s tool in its own right for both planning before hand and situational awareness in flight;
  2. It all but eliminates paper in the cockpit; and
  3. It has delivered economic and operational savings doing away with all those expensive and constantly requiring updating charts, manuals, plates, forms etc.”

CHC Australia are a long-term customer and enthusiastic fan of OzRunways – both the electronic flight bag (EFB) and the company. Says Tom Coakley, pilot and spokesman for the company: “We have 88 iPads, running the OzRunways EFB, in 34 aircraft, across 15 bases, in Australia and East Timor. The EFBs are supported by detailed, international standard manuals, training programs – including online courses, and support systems”.

The CHC pilots found the iPad 2 a little too bulky for their cockpits but have recently changed to the iPad Mini which seems perfect.

IMG_4648_1Although CHC have tried other EFBs Coakley says there is overwhelming support by the pilots for OzRunways. It’s not just the tool itself says Coakley but the outstanding support from the team at OzRunways.

But the story gets better with CHC working with OzRunways to further enhance the product – both generically for everyone, and specifically for the unique needs of CHC.

The subject of customer service and 24/7 availability was emphasised by Coakley when he said “We could not speak more highly of the support team at OzRunways, especially Dean. Many times he has rung us back at odd hours from home because he knows how important it is for us to get quick service, and we can hear the kids in the background. What great service!”

Asked to give an example of OzRunways in situ Coakley, who also flies for CHC, told the personal story of a recent rescue from Bankstown in the remote Grose Valley, 45nm west of Sydney. Says Coakley “We used OzRunways to improve aircrew situational awareness of the nearby restricted airspace. Further, when the weather closed in quickly, threatening our ability to recover an injured climber, we were also able to use the radar overlay to gain a better understanding of the situation and how quickly it was deteriorating. OzRunways made all the difference to the crew’s situational awareness and the ability to make a difficult rescue possible.”