Helitrans AS, based at Trondheim Airport Vaernes in Norway, has added another string to its bow after buying up the aviation operations of Fjeillanger Wideroe, a bankrupt company, early this year.
“In January we took over the company and the pilots,” said Captain Einar Viken, flight operations manager. “It operated four Twin Commanders and one Merlin.”
With everything already in place, the newly acquired fleet will continue its previous operations of laser measurements and photographing land to make exact maps.
“Almost nobody else is doing what we are, so that’s why it is so interesting for us,” said Einar.
Due to the hole cut in the bottom of the aircraft for the camera, the fleet will not be used for charter operations but can be used for various ad hoc missions worldwide, and has already been used
in southern Sweden, England, and Indonesia.
These new fleet additions join Helitrans’ established aircraft of one Fairchild Merlin, used by coast guards for surveillance operations, and eight Eurocopter AS350s and two Bell helicopters used for aerial work. These aircraft operate worldwide and are currently firefighting in Australia, before spending the summer in Norway and Spain.
“We also bought a Citation business jet for people up here in the middle of Norway,” continues Einar. “But that one is basically going to be for business people.”
Helitrans aims to charter the Citation for 500 hours per year, however the company is expecting
a slow first year until it is fully established.
Einar states that other charter companies in Norway have grown approximately 40 per cent over the last year, so Helitrans is hoping for a good market once businesses become more aware of the company.
“We are looking forward to seeing how well it will go, but it’s too early to say,” said Einar.