Garden City Helicopters Ltd, the service provider for the NZ Coal and Carbon Rescue Helicopter Service based in Greymouth, and the NZ Flying Doctor Service fixed-wing service serving the West Coast community, have confirmed they are the successful purchaser of Coastwide Helicopter Services from the previous ownership of Mt Hutt Helicopters Ltd.
The transfer of ownership took place on 16th February, according to Group General Manager, Simon Duncan.
Garden City Helicopters Ltd have been providing rescue helicopter and fixed-wing patient transfers through the NZ Flying Doctor Service on the West Coast for 20 years, which the company, along with the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, will celebrate on 26th April this year.
Adding commercial helicopter services to their range of services for the West Coast became a ‘natural progression’ for the company, who recently employed former Coastwide Base Manager, Stuart Gorrie, adding him to the rescue helicopter service with his strong association and knowledge of the local area, together with Angus Taylor, Garden City’s Greymouth Base Manager.
Garden City Helicopters Group Commercial Manager Dion Edgar has also worked with many clients on the West Coast, both for GCH and his former employer.
“This will provide these three pilots, (plus potentially another pilot) with variety in their work, and give our commercial clients on the West Coast the opportunity to work alongside a very experienced locally based team,” Mr. Duncan said.
The Coastwide brand is synonymous with West Coast Helicopter operations and GCH acknowledges the strength of this brand, started off by Chris Cowan, the founder of Coastwide.
Garden City Helicopters plans to base a second AS350 (squirrel) at Coastwide for commercial work, and to provide the company with an onsite back-up rescue helicopter availability, as the helicopter concerned also meets the requirements of the Emergency Medical Service Standards.