Minister Harjit Sajjan Visits Heli-One Canada

On Tuesday April 16th, Heli-One Canada had the honor of hosting Minister Harjit Sajjan at the River Road facility in Delta, BC. Minister Sajjan is the Minister of National Defence and is from the lower mainland, and was elected in the Vancouver South riding. He is a Retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces combat veteran and a former Vancouver Police Officer. The Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) provide advice and support to the Minister and implement government decisions regarding the defence of Canadian interests at home and abroad.


The Minister and his aide were hosted by Stephen Ow (Senior Director Business Development & Sales), Billie-Ann Woo (Marketing Lead), Eddie Lane (President), Ralf Schmidt (GM North American Operations), Greg Wyght (CHC VP Fleet Management & Business Development) and Micah Jopson (Component Shop Manager). The team introduced Heli-One and CHC Helicopter’s capabilities and intentions on business development growth in Canada. The group visited several production stations and team members in the facility including:

  • S-92 Main Gearbox Station

    Heli-One has the unique distinction of being the only MRO outside of the OEM with the capability of performing MGB overhaul. Our technicians are highly skilled and have experience from supporting the S-92 MGB for CHC. 


  • AS350 Components Station

    This capability was brought to Heli-One Canada after the closure of Heli-One USA in Fort Collins, CO. The dynamic component MRO capability is targeted to officially go online in a few weeks after lengthy and comprehensive training and set up. The AS350 is the most popular helicopter in North America and combined with airframe capability at the Agar facility in Richmond, could be a solid new revenue source for the company. The Minister was introduced to Steve Bains, a long-time Heli-One employee who was retrained to work on this new line and is growing his own professional credentials as well as expanding the company’s capabilities

  • Plasma Station
    The River Road facility has a Materials Lab and Plasma Spray station that elevates the company’s MRO capabilities to a higher level. With this capability, Design Engineers can develop more complex cost-saving repairs with testing and implementation tools in-house. This empowers technicians to develop more innovations in the repair process and reduce the amount of processes outsourced to external vendors. Tom New runs the Materials Lab and Plasma Spray station and gave Minister Sajjan an explanation on this type of technology and why it will be important for Heli-One Canada and customers.

  • On the way back to the front room, the Minister was introduced to Mike & Even Hrehorak, one of the two father-son duos at the facility. The Hrehoraks are a second-and-third-generation aviation technicians with Mike having amassed over 45 years in the industry. Mike Hrehorak worked his way up from the floor to a supervisor and he believes in this industry enough to introduce his son to it. Both Hrehoraks have unique skills that would make them valuable assets in any industry but they have chosen to stay in the aviation field.

In the demonstration room, the entire facility had gathered to hear some remarks from Minister Sajjan. He referred back to the team members that he had met - remarking that our team was certainly highly skilled and competent. He brought up the diversification of Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) credits across the country - a couple of team members also had questions on that topic specifically. He expressed that as someone from the West coast, he understands the need to spread out work across the country and that the government intends to focus their attention on ITB and innovation growth in high-interest areas, aerospace being one of them. He also gave the team members feedback that as a company, we should not be complacent (government contracts or not) and work hard to stay competitive with skills and product offerings.


After the Q&A, the entire team gathered with Minister Sajjan to take a picture outside of the facility. He spent a few minutes mingling with team members and taking pictures. Thank you for visiting, Minister Sajjan!

Minister Sajjan Visits Heli-One Canada

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