Caverton deploys 11 new helicopters to boost offshore operations
Caverton Helicopters Limited has unveiled a set of 11 brand new Bell Helicopters to boost its offshore operations. The new equipment, unveiled at an event in Lagos recently, is in lieu of the airline becoming the preferred air transport provider for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture based in Escravos, Nigeria.
The fleet includes the state-of-the-art Bell 407 GXP and the industry’s workhorse Bell 412 EP. The Bell 407GXP incorporates new avionics, an upgraded engine, and new executive interior design options. Fitted with Rolls-Royce M250-C47E/4 dual channel turbine engine, this aircraft delivers exceptional hot and high performance, with efficient fuel economy.
Chairman of Caverton Offshore Support Group, Remi Makanjuola, described the new helicopters as a feat; not only for the company but the whole of Nigeria. Makanjuola said: “This is groundbreaking event. Over the past few years, we went through many phases of development as a company and in less than favourable circumstances. Nevertheless, we have been able to operate existing contracts successfully, as well as secure a few new contracts.
“The largest and most significant of these new contracts, the NNPC-Chevron Joint Venture Helicopter Services Contract, it is of course the reason we are here today to unveil the helicopters that would be used for that activity. We are recording some successes in our desire to be a financially strong and sustainable group that puts all stakeholders at the heart of everything.
“Our safety record is something we are proud and thankful for, and credit must go to our professionalism at all levels. Given Chevron’s global reputation for safety and quality, it is safe to say that Caverton’s diligent attention to safety, quality and continuous improvement contributed in no small measure to the contract award,” he said.
Makanjuola noted that the addition of these helicopters to existing fleet will make Caverton Helicopters one of the largest operators of BELL products in sub-Saharan Africa.He added that Caverton is fast tracking the national content policy by ensuring that more Nigerians are trained and given the pride of place in recruitment into high technical management positions.
And to diversify the business activities, the company is building a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Lagos, which will be operational by 2019.“Once completed, all the helicopters in our fleet as well as aircraft from third party operators will be maintained in the country, thus saving time and foreign exchange,” Makanjuola said.
In his address, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the new fleet was a milestone and the power of vision of its chairman.“I have followed the company since inception and since Mr. Makanjuola conceived the idea of going into aviation logistics. I commend him for his foresight and tenacity for putting non-existent entity company to become a conglomerate and now become a global brand. The contribution of Caverton Helicopter to aviation cannot be over-emphasised as the company has filled the vacuum.
“I am proud of the company’s safety even as an indigenous company, it has proved that commitment tenacity of purpose has helped the oil and gas company through its services. We will continue to support local companies as Caverton continues to raise the bar to become a household name globally,” Baru said.
Managing Director, Sales, Middle East and Africa, Bell Helicopters, David Sale, said on behalf of their 8,000 employees scattered all over the world, he thanked Caverton for giving them the opportunity to provide this service to a Nigerian company.
“Our plan is to pick and deliver over 800 passengers every day. We will ensure zero-accident as we increase our effort to protect our people. With over 50 years of doing business in Nigeria, I assure you that we will be here in the next 50 years.
“With an enviable safety record for flight operations across West Africa, Caverton Helicopters’ Flight Safety Culture and Maintenance Programme will be deployed in the management of these remarkable aircraft,” Sale assured.
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