News & Insights

share this article
BC Government News Release: B.C. aerospace firm to refurbish Sultan of Johor’s helicopters April 26, 2016

From the British Columbia Government Newsroom:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Heli-One of Delta will refurbish two helicopters for the Sultan of Johor, Malaysia, under a new $8-million (US) contract, concluded during the recent three-day visit of His Majesty, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

Finance Minister Michael de Jong welcomed the agreement as a sign of the growing international reputation of B.C.’s aerospace industry and the promising economic ties between British Columbia and Malaysia.

Heli-One will design, certify, and install a new glass cockpit on two Sikorsky S-76 B helicopters owned by His Majesty, the Sultan of Johor. When complete, the aircraft will feature the latest navigation and safety features to match the capabilities of new helicopters, but at a lower cost. The company will also install a VIP interior, paint the aircraft with a custom livery and perform all maintenance tasks due on the helicopters. Heli-One will also provide flight crew and maintenance technician training for the new equipment.

Headquartered in Delta and with additional facilities in Fort Collins, Colo., Stavanger, Norway, and Rzeszow, Poland, Heli-One is the world’s largest independent helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul company. The head office and 18,000 square-metre (200,000 square-foot) maintenance facility in Delta employs approximately 250 people.

This is the second recent contract with Malaysia awarded to Heli-One. On April 20, 2016, the company announced a new agreement to upgrade the Sikorsky S-61 helicopter fleet for the Royal Malaysia Air Force in partnership with AIROD, Malaysia’s leading aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul centre.

Johor is located in the south of peninsular Malaysia adjacent to Singapore. This strategic location positions Johor as a regional Assoication of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic hub. His Majesty’s vision and leadership, such as establishing international and economic and trade partnerships, have guided the state of Johor’s robust economic growth to become the third-largest contributor to Malaysia’s GDP.

While in B.C., His Majesty also visited several other notable B.C. aerospace firms, including Conair Group and Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford, Viking Air in Sidney, Harbour Air in Vancouver, and Urthecast, the Vancouver-based technology company that serves the rapidly evolving geospatial and geoanalytics markets.

British Columbia’s rotary-wing sector has developed a worldwide reputation for its specialized knowledge in MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services, pilot training and the development of STCs (supplemental type certificates) that enable helicopter operators to maximize the utilization, safety, and performance of their aircraft. As the use of helicopters continues to increase in the Asia-Pacific region, B.C. is well-positioned to support this growth as a preferred gateway for the aerospace industry to the Asia-Pacific.

In April 2014, the B.C. government announced a five-year, $5-million commitment to be delivered through the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) Pacific Region to help create a world-class aerospace cluster in B.C. and accelerate the growth of the industry.


His Majesty, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar –

"I was greatly impressed by what I saw on my tour of the aeronautical facilities in B.C. The quality and cutting-edge technology is among the best in the world. I also wanted to clearly demonstrate my commitment to furthering ties between our two states. What better way to kick-start the relationship than with an investment and an endorsement."

Finance Minister Michael de Jong –

“This agreement, hopefully the first of many, shows that B.C. aerospace firms, like Heli-One, are among the world’s best in their field. His Majesty’s desire to have this work done in B.C. lends further confirmation of the capacity and expertise in B.C.'s aerospace and aviation sector.

“This is a positive outcome from a new and important relationship between British Columbia, Canada, and Johor, Malaysia. With His Majesty's vision and leadership, our government looks forward to continue building on the growing relationship between B.C. and Johor.”

Guy Borowski, vice-president operations, Heli-One –

“Heli-One is uniquely positioned to support this high value and high technology work due to the breadth and depth of our experience, our advanced engineering and design expertise and our proximity to important growing markets, like Malaysia.”

David Schellenberg, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) Pacific Region –

“Contracts like this demonstrate the effectiveness of the partnership established between the B.C. government and the B.C. aerospace industry. Companies like Heli-One are an important part of the aerospace cluster in this province, and are attracting increasing attention to the expertise our industry leaders offer.”

Quick Facts:

The B.C. aerospace industry:

  • Is made up of 170 companies, most of them small- and medium-sized enterprises
  • Generates annual revenues of $2.4 billion and direct GDP of $1.3 billion
  • Employs 8,300 British Columbians directly, and supports another 14,300 to 19,800 jobs indirectly
  • Includes Original Equipment Manufacturers in the aircraft (Viking Air) and space (MDA) sectors
The B.C. aerospace sector has nation-leading capabilities in such sectors as:
  • Space and remote sensing
  • In-service support and maintenance, repair and overhaul
  • Aviation training and simulation
  • Special mission aircraft
  • Advanced manufacturing
B.C. is uniquely positioned to capitalize on market opportunities with its proximity to Boeing and the world’s largest aerospace cluster in Washington state and to the rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific region.

Learn More:

Aerospace Industries Association of Canada—Pacific     
More on B.C. government’s support for the aerospace industry: 
Read the B.C. Aviation Strategy:
Learn more about the BC Jobs Plan: