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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Canadian Native Groups Buy Astar


Deh Cho Regional Helicopters has purchased its first helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350B2 AStar B2 valued at $1.6 million.

The helicopter company is owned by the Canadian indigenous groups The Fort Simpson Metis Nation and the First Nations from Jean Marie River, Trout Lake, Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte. When it was formed in 2004, Deh Cho Regional Helicopters entered into a partnership with Great Slave Helicopters, which had previously had individual agreements with each of the communities.

That partnership involved each of the aboriginal groups promoting Great Slave’s services to companies working in the region. The pact also included a financial return for the groups.

Dehcho Regional Helicopters has a four-year contract with Great Slave Helicopters, which is leasing the AStar with a guarantee of 400 hr of work a year.

The company introduced the helicopter, painted in various shades of blue, last month to residents of each of the Deh Cho First Nations communities that are part of the company. It visited Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River on Sept. 4 and Fort Liard, Trout Lake and Nahanni Butte on Sept. 5.

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