Utah-based Zion Helicopters has scheduled the delivery of an AS350B3 for May 2022. The company is in the process of completing the 12-year inspection and the helicopter will be ready for service at its River’s Edge base. It will support flight operations with additional weight capacity and capability at higher elevations during higher temperatures.
This new aircraft forms part of the company’s transition from R66s. It is already operating an AS350B2, which offers greater seat capacity and the potential for longer flights than the Robinson and which will be used going forward as the supporting aircraft.
“With COVID changing the passenger rules of engagement, Zion Helicopters has seen a huge increase in private flights,” says general manager and co-owner John Power. “These include 30 minute flights with champagne, landing on a nearby butte for spectacular panoramic views of Zion National Park and southern Utah.” The company is set to capitalise on this increased demand by offering a helicopter and zip line experience from spring from the Zion Canyon area, a lava clifftop above the Virgin River valley.
From its base at Virgin River’s Edge heliport, the company can fly over much of Zion National Park. The heliport facility is offgrid – a self-sustaining, energy generating facility using a combination of solar power and propane to heat and cool the building. It features two helipads with facing hangars, a VIP terminal and office space for flight operations and administration staff.
The company has now updated its website following the long term lease/purchase agreement between Zion Helicopters and 5 Star Helicopter Tours in Las Vegas, Nevada, that increased seat capacity and aligned the skill sets of the two companies.
“Since the merger in March 2021, we have focused on delivering sightseeing experiences. The recently launched company website allows users to either book or create helicopter and adventure activities,” says Power. "We recognise that COVID has impacted passenger flow from overseas, but we will be ready for both domestic and international travellers by ensuring that we run operate a safe, clean operation.”