Our safety pedigree

GCH Aviation has an enviable safety record. Since our establishment as a commercial, EMS and tourist operator safety has always been the principal consideration supporting our activities. The significant experience of our pilots and crew and their extensive knowledge of the beautiful, but often challenging terrain covered by our network, supports our ability to respond to the needs of the moment quickly and safely. Regular personnel training and upskilling also ensures a consistent approach to the assessment and planning of GCH Aviation operations to ensure our safety record is maintained.

GCH Aviation is an approved CAA Part 141 Training Organisation conducting aviation-related training and crew competency checks both internally and for other helicopter operators in the South Island. The company CAA approved Part 145 maintenance facility also ensures minimum downtime with aircraft maintained in a state of readiness allowing EMS crews to respond quickly to those in need.

GCH Aviation’s safety management system overlays all activities to ensure hazards and risks are fully considered and managed accordingly.

diamond safety rating

GCH Aviation is the only New Zealand company to hold the prestigious Helicopter Association of New Zealand Diamond Safety Award recognising 30+ years continuous service without injury or accident to self, passengers, or crew. 


GCH Aviation is committed to resourcing, developing, implementing, and constantly improving company safety strategies and processes to support our goal of achieving and maintaining the highest level of safety performance.

As the CEO I am responsible for ensuring all company activities are appropriately resourced so they can be conducted safely. The adoption, implementation, and maintenance of a robust safety management system supports company activities and ensures all reported hazards or safety concerns are fully considered and controlled to reduce any associated risks to as low as reasonably practicable.

Through acknowledgement of safety compliance as a moral responsibility all levels of management shall be held accountable for providing a safe work environment through active leadership, comprehensive procedures, training programs, employee education and clear communication of safety-critical information.

Safety is considered a primary responsibility for all staff. Each employee and contractor is accountable for ensuring the safety of themselves and those around them while undertaking company activities, and for reporting any identified hazards which may compromise safety.

Familiarisation and adherence to relevant company policies, procedures, regulations, and work practices along with the correct use of company-provided equipment, systems and processes is considered a condition of employment for all. 

The physical and mental well-being of all employees and the health and safety of the public, along with the protection of physical assets and the environment are of the utmost importance in the conduct of company activities. Should any employee witness or is a party to an action being undertaken or about to be undertaken, which they genuinely believe poses a significant risk to human life or of injury occurring, they may regardless of rank or status call for that operation to be immediately stopped.

The company confidential reporting process supports the disclosure and appropriate management of any sensitive concerns raised by staff without fear of future discrimination. The GCH Aviation Just Culture policy further ensures no action will be taken against any staff member who discloses a safety concern through the company reporting system, unless such disclosure reveals, beyond any reasonable doubt, an illegal act, gross negligence, or a deliberate or wilful disregard of regulations, policy, procedures, or documented duties and/or responsibilities.

Management at all levels are responsible for promoting the Safety Policy and for supporting and managing those safety management systems and processes relevant to their areas of responsibility.

All employees and contractors are responsible for actively participating in the company safety management system to the extent required of their roles and are considered accountable for knowingly disregarding safety management system outcomes.

The GCH Aviation ‘zero-pressure’ policy mandates that the safety of company activities will always take precedence over commercial pressure to complete tasks, this policy is fully supported by management.

I as the CEO and senior management will continually promote, and support company safety systems and processes based on the understanding that a lack of incidents alone does not indicate the presence of a healthy state of safety, it is the collective and individual ownership of safety responsibilities at all levels that supports a mature safety culture.

Daniel Currie

Chief Executive Officer

Other significant safety policies








GCH Aviation holds the following 5-year NZ Civil Aviation regulatory approvals:



PART 119/125 CORPORATE JET CERTIFICATION – Serving New Zealand, Australia, and the extended Pacific.


PART 141 PILOT TRAINING CERTIFICATION (in house and external)


The Safety Department is resourced by three full-time safety professionals, all are aviation SMS specialists with one also being a HSE specialist.

Collectively our safety team has over 35 years of fulltime aviation SMS & HSE experience including international experience in the Middle East, Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

The safety team also has significant real-life experience with two members having aviation careers within engineering and operations prior to committing full time to the company Safety Department.  

Our HSE specialist has significant corporate experience within New Zealand including an HSE management role within the Air New Zealand Group. GCH Aviation also has an active HSE Committee that represents all departments and bases that meets monthly.


NZ Civil Aviation have approved our SMS program as meeting all the requirements of CAA Rule Part 100 however GCH Aviation continues work to improve all aspects of its operations with the objective to meet international best practice. 

GCH Aviation uses the internationally recognised Air Maestro software system to manage its safety program.

GCH Aviation Safety Systems in brief include:

Aviation Hazard & Risk Management

Extensive Hazard Registers that include programmed reviews by responsible managers and with higher level risks the CEO. Hazards are mitigated by an extensive suite of SOPs that are also reviewed on a programmed regular basis. 

Internal & Vendor Audit Program

A comprehensive internal audit schedule is developed and implemented annually covering all segments of the companies’ operations. Critical external providers are audited on a regular basis. 

Operational & Safety Training

GCH Aviation conduct significant operational training that includes Safety, Crew Resource Management, HUET, Spill, Fatigue Risk Management and Dangerous Goods.

All training and scheduled recurrency training is tracked via SMS software with alerts issued when recurrency training becomes imminent. 

Safety Reporting 

GCH Aviation has a significant safety database of safety reports that is mined for emerging trends both positive and negative. Safety reporting is actively encouraged throughout the organisation and a confidential reporting option is available to all employees. 

Safety Assurance / Safety Performance Monitoring

GCH Aviation monitors a range of leading and trailing indicators and their trends across all segments of its operations, and these are reviewed monthly by responsible managers. Annual safety performance reviews are held within each department with all senior managers within those departments, the CEO, COO, and the safety team. 

Safety & Operational Communication Systems

GCH Aviation uses a tracked and required acknowledgement read alert memo system to disseminate critical safety or operational information to employees. Relevant external incident reports or other information deemed useful is also shared via this method.

All company memos are available for reading at any time within a controlled document library. 

GCH Aviation also produces a quarterly safety bulletin, conducts two yearly safety surveys, produces a weekly video from the COO highlighting issues of the week and a general weekly newsletter is emailed to all employees.


Please direct all safety-related correspondence in the first instance to safety@gchaviation.com.

our certifications