Bristow Helicopters Limited is a British civil helicopter operator originally based at Aberdeen Airport, Scotland which is now part of the U.S. based Bristow Group (NYSE: BRS, S&P 600 component) which in turn has its corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Bristow Helicopters Limited holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, it is permitted to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 seats or more. The U.S. division of Bristow is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Part 135 air carrier.
Bristow Helicopters Limited was established in June 1955 by Alan Bristow.
From 17 February 1965 and onwards, it operated the Westland Wessex 60 ten-seat helicopter in support of North Sea Oil industry off-shore installations.
During the late 1960s, Bristow operated a fleet of Hiller UH-12 training helicopters based at AAC Middle Wallop which were used to train flight crews for the UK Army Air Corps.
In 1985, it was acquired by British and Commonwealth Holdings plc.
In 1996, Bristow Helicopters was purchased by Offshore Logistics, an American offshore helicopter operator which operated as Air Logistics in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and was structured as a reverse takeover. The group now operates and maintains a global fleet of over 400 aircraft. In 2006 Offshore Logistics re-branded itself as 'The Bristow Group'.
The Bristow Group expanded their portfolio in April 2007 with the purchase of Helicopter Adventures, a Florida-based flight school, Helicopter Adventures was subsequently renamed Bristow Academy. The deal also provided the Bristow Group with the world's largest civilian fleet of Schweizer aircraft.
In January 2010, Bristow announced the retirement of the Air Logistics name and Gulf of Mexico operations would operate under the name Bristow. Bristow provides helicopter services, maintenance and other support services to the oil and gas industry. It operates more than 170 single and twin-turbine helicopters in the United States. These receive support, materials and operational assistance from its regional headquarters and primary maintenance facility located at the Acadiana Regional Airport in New Iberia, Louisiana.
Fixed Wing Bristow has controlling interests in Eastern Airways which is a regional airline based in the U.K. operating fixed wing regional jet and turboprop aircraft and Airnorth, also a regional airline, based in Australia operating fixed wing regional jet and turboprop aircraft. Both Eastern Airways and Airnorth operate scheduled passenger services, shuttle flights for oil and gas industry personnel, and charter services.
In addition to its wholly owned international operations, Bristow Group maintains service agreements and equity interests in helicopter operators in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Mexico, Norway and Russia (Sakhalin) and the United Kingdom. This allows Bristow to extend its range of services into new and developing oil and gas markets and helps provide a lower cost structure in some operating areas. Partners include:
Although not a joint venture, in 2015 Bristow and AgustaWestland agreed to develop offshore and search and rescue capabilities for the AW609 tiltrotor. This could simplify a typical trip from Clapham Common to an oil rig by using just one aircraft. Bristow intends to order more than 10 tiltrotors.
The Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley is a detachment of the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury, from which its aircraft are distinguished by their flotation bags, rescue winches and cable cutters above the cockpit roof. The aircraft are maintained to EASA standards but are military registered allowing them to operate outside civilian flight restrictions.
All the Defence Helicopter Flying School Helicopters and Synthetic Training Equipment are owned by FB Heliservices, a consortium of Bristow Helicopters and FR Aviation, who provide 40% of the instructional staff, all the ground school and simulator staff, carry out all maintenance and provide support services.
Bristow helicopters operated Sikorsky S-61N helicopters on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard, the United Kingdom's Coast Guard, until July 2007 after which there was a 12-month transitional period whilst CHC Helicopter took over the contract replacing the S-61N with new helicopters.
Bristow operated four dedicated Search and Rescue (SAR) sites in the UK, on behalf of the Coast Guard Service. The units were located at Portland (EGDP) and Lee-on-Solent (EGHF) on the south coast of England, at Stornoway (EGPO) in the Outer Hebrides, and at Sumburgh (EGPB) in the Shetland Isles.
Northern North Sea services operated from Aberdeen (EGPD), Scatsta (EGPM) and Stavanger (ENZV).
Southern North Sea services operate from Norwich (EGSH), Humberside (EGNJ) and Den Helder (EHKD) with its support organisation based at Redhill (EGKR).
Bristow S61N's were responsible to carry out SAR tasks, operating from Den Helder Airport on behalf of the oil and gas industry.
On 26 March 2013 Bristow was awarded a 10-year contract to operate the search and rescue operations in the United Kingdom, at the time being provided by CHC Helicopter (on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard), the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. Bristow is currently operating AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky S-92 helicopters in support of this contract. They were originally planning on using AgustaWestland AW189 helicopters but the procurement programme has been delayed, resulting in AAR AIrlift Group claiming the first civilian registered SAR AW189, based in the Falkland Islands, in support of the UK Government
Bristow operates a large fleet of over 450 helicopters and aircraft, which includes unconsolidated affiliates and joint venture partners. Bristow intends to reduce fleet variety from 24 helicopter types to six. For subsidiaries Eastern Airways and Airnorth fixed wing jet and turboprop aircraft, see Eastern Airways and Airnorth.
Investment goal date:
Bristow Group Inc. BRS report Q2 2017
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