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Vol. 15, No. 38 Week of September 19, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: Maritime Helicopters meets challenges of Alaska’s unique flying conditions

Creating a safe environment for customers and crew is Maritime Helicopters’ top priority

Q. What do you most want people to know about your company?

A. Maritime Helicopters has been in business in Alaska for 37 years. We are family owned and managed. We operate statewide from our hangar and offices at the Homer airport. We are an authorized Bell Helicopter Customer Service facility with Bell trained pilots and mechanics. We utilize Sat/Com to track and communicate with our helicopters and vessels at all times, creating a safe environment for our customers and crews.

Q. Where is your company located?

A. Our main office and hangar are located in Homer. We also have a base, hangar and staff in Kodiak.

Q. What is the company’s primary business sector?

A. Our helicopters are capable of covering many facets including the oil industry, mining, construction, surveying, environmental research, marine research, volcano monitoring, game capturing, state and federal agencies and local utilities.

Q. Are there important projects the company is currently a part of or has done recently?

A. Projects in which we have participated include one for scientists, flying from an icebreaker in the northern Arctic Ocean. Our research vessel, the 86-foot helicopter-equipped Maritime Maid, along with our Bell 407 are currently working in tandem throughout Alaska’s coastal waters. We are currently flying scientists to remote volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Range, including Mount Okmok and Mount Redoubt, where they maintain seismic monitoring equipment.

Q. How many employees does your company have?

A. Our core staff is 14. Employee numbers vary depending on projects. We have employed up to 40 seasonally.

Q. Describe the equipment your company might use and are there any new purchases planned?

A. Our fleet includes Bell 206B3, Bell 206LIII and Bell 407 type aircraft and our 86-footresearch vessel, the Maritime Maid. The option is always open to purchase additional equipment.

Q. Is your company expanding any of its operations or locations?

A. We stay current with the needs of the industry. Our present goal is to maintain a well-trained staff of pilots and mechanics, and to operate in a safe and efficient manner. Depending on the industry and the economy, future expansion could be considered.

Q. Is the company changing any of its services?

A. Not at the present time. We want to focus on keeping our customers happy and maintaining a safe working environment.

Q. What is your company’s main strength or its edge over the competition?

A. We are a family-owned, private Alaskan company, allowing us great flexibility to react quickly to our customers’ needs. Our helicopters work statewide, year round. We have an exceptionally clean operation, run to the highest standards. Our vessel, the Maritime Maid, equipped with a helipad, is able to travel to remote locations throughout coastal Alaska. The vessel sleeps 20. We provide meals, hot showers, laundry and a scientific lab aboard ship. The vessel carries enough fuel to be self-sustaining for extended periods.

Q. What new markets, clients or projects did your company attract in the last year?

A. Some new markets include exploration as well as utility projects.

Q. What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken?

A. Flying into the Aleutians to remote volcano sites is challenging, as well as working in the High Arctic.

Q. What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?

A. The weather and logistics are two of the biggest obstacles we face in the Alaskan environment; however, 37 years of experience helps to mitigate these problems.

Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A. Remaining competitive is always a challenge, especially with the fluctuation of fuel prices and other rising costs. Our longevity testifies to our ability to retain customers and meet industry standards in a constantly changing social and economic arena.

Q. Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?

A. This year marks our 37th year of business in Alaska.

Q. What is the average length of time employee’s work for the company?

A. 15 years.

Q. What is your company’s safety record? What steps does the company take to ensure a safe work environment?

A. Our company’s safety record is excellent. We recently were audited by Utilities and Aviation Specialists who gave us a very high rating. We are a “Preferred Vendor” for oil and gas production companies, requiring an annual safety audit. We have a Safety Management System and monthly safety meetings are held for all of our staff. All employees undergo annual training. Additionally, we conduct joint training with specific customers.

Q. Has your company received any awards or recognition?

A. Yes, in 2009, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce awarded our company the Bill Bivin Small Business of the Year Award. In 2000 we received the Homer Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business of the Year award. The U.S. Forest Service recognized us with a plaque for 10 years of accident free flying from 1996 to 2006.

Q. Has your company been involved in any community projects or charities events?

A. Yes, we contribute to numerous charities locally including Homer Animal Friends, Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics-Team Homer and many other school related functions.

Q. Does your company have a website?

A. Yes,

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